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Use old wine barrel as rain barrel with tap – Sustainable ideas for rainwater harvesting with instructions

Have you considered positioning an old wine barrel as a winter or fall rain barrel under a downspout? If so, there are a few options available to you for eco-friendly water conservation and a rustic look for your outdoor space. Most garden owners know how expensive water can be, and rain barrels can double as water storage and a decorative element. In addition, reusing old natural materials as an alternative to plastic is an eco-friendly concept these days that seems to be beneficial to more and more people. So, if you want to increase water consumption efficiency in your household, below are some great options and tips.

Before you reuse a used wine barrel as a rain barrel

use a special kit with water tap to attach rain barrel to a gutter

Among the obvious advantages of rainwater is, of course, the free use of natural resources for various purposes. Rainwater is also still naturally soft and free of minerals, chlorine and other chemicals found in city water from treatment plants. Upcycling wine barrels as rain barrels is not a new idea, as people have been doing this for centuries. However, this is more popular than ever given the current world situation. Moreover, a wine barrel holds around 230 liters, which can contribute tremendously to sustainability in a household. In addition, you can divert rainwater away from your home and concentrate it in different areas of your property. In the summer, for example, stored water can be put to optimal use for watering plants as well as washing garden paths and can contribute to savings on your water bill.

sustainable use of rainwater in the garden by using wine barrel as rain barrel with tap

However, before you undertake such a project to install wine barrel as a rain barrel on your property, you should make sure that the wood is treated to withstand UV radiation and moisture. It helps to protect the wood from warping, cracking and grain. It is also important to keep the moisture content moderate. You may need to add some wood oil to the barrels to keep them from shrinking or cracking. You can also add a layer of silicone or other sealant to keep the barrels from getting soggy. These protective coatings keep the liquid inside and protect the barrels from the elements outside. Accordingly, the silicone can also be inserted into the bunghole. You should then let the barrels sit for at least an hour before you start filling them. This is important because too much moisture can lead to mold growth.

Good reasons to use rainwater from wine barrels

use a wine barrel placed on gravel as a rain barrel with a tap and water plants with rainwater

A wine barrel is an ideal choice for collecting rainwater, not only because it looks great on its own, but also because you can decorate it. There are also decorative wine barrels available for purchase online, and you can make a rain barrel out of them as well. If you plan to use the barrel to collect rainwater, be sure to buy a lid and cork for it. Before you use a wine barrel as a rain barrel, it is also crucial to rehydrate it properly. Wine barrels often leak when left outside for long periods of time. To solve this problem, fill the barrel with water and let it sit until it swells. However, this technique is only suitable if you have a tight wine barrel. For this purpose, you must make sure that your barrel is absolutely waterproof.

use recycled wine barrel as a rain barrel in the garden area under a drain pipe sustainably


Even if you don’t have gutters or downspouts, rainwater can be captured in a wine barrel from the roof. Just observe where the water flows the most the next time it rains and place your barrel in the appropriate area. Another old-fashioned idea is to place a rope or chain on your roof at an angle. The rainwater will follow the rope, allowing you to see where it comes off the roof, and position the wine barrel there. With all of these variations, remove or cut off the top of your barrel and place it where the best drainage areas are. By the way, there are also kits that allow you to add a second or even more barrels to your collection system. Below is an example of such installation.

Building instructions for repurposing wine barrel as a rain barrel.

different parts of plastic in a set for making diy wine barrel as rain barrel in the garden

If you are determined to convert a used wooden barrel into rain barrel, there are some simple steps you can follow. You can do such a DIY project over the weekend if you get the necessary materials and tools in advance. You may also already have some of them lying around with you, but here are the needed items that you can buy and use inexpensively.

  • Wine barrel
  • Kit with faucet for rain barrels
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety gloves
  • Drill
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Spirit level
  • Stone slabs or paving stones
  • Gravel or soil

Aside from the materials listed above, a rain barrel kit usually includes everything you need to build it. Spigots, hose, diverter and possibly even the hole saws. The instructions included in the kit are usually very detailed as well, but if you’re more of a visual learner, you can also watch the video above and adapt the building process to your wine barrel. Otherwise, you can find step-by-step instructions below.

Instructions for assembling wine barrel as rain barrel

collect rainwater diverted through the gutters in a recycled wooden barrel and use it in the garden


  • Before you assemble your rain barrel, choose and prepare the location where you want to use it.
  • The wine barrel should be no more than 70 inches from the downspout, and the downspout should be wide enough to drill.
  • It’s also important to make sure the ground is level and firm before you move your barrel into place.
  • Once your base is prepared, mark the front of the barrel for the spigot and check that the tubing can reach from the edge of your barrel to your downspout.
  • Install the spigot and drain and break out the power tools. It is then time to install the spigot and drain.
  • The spigot hole should be about 30 inches from the bottom of your barrel, and the drain hole should be a. 8 inches from the bottom.
  • After measuring and marking the holes, use a drill bit and the small hole saw to drill the holes.
  • Then insert the rubber gaskets into both holes and then install the spigot and drain.
  • When the front of the barrel is finished, it’s time to move to the back to install the fill hose gasket.
  • After carefully measuring, drill a hole with the center hole saw and install the fill hose gasket.
  • Before you do anything, carefully measure the location of the hole in your downspout. Then use the large hole saw to cut the hole.
  • Once the hole is cut, insert the diverter into the hole. Then, using a Phillips screwdriver, use 2 screws to secure the diverter firmly to the downspout.
  • To complete your DIY rain barrel, first connect the hose to the downspout diverter. Be sure to tighten until the fluted portion of the hose is flush with the diverter.
  • Then extend your hose to the desired length and connect it to the hose seal on your barrel.
  • Finally, check that the hose is flush with the seal, and your DIY rain barrel is ready.

More tips on how to use your rain barrel

rustic and eco-friendly garden design with rainwater harvesting using a wine barrel as a rain barrel

  • Rainwater from your DIY rain barrel is perfect for your flowers and vegetables, but it is not recommended for consumption by pets or humans.
  • If you were to also sand, stain and seal the barrel and then apply a nice varnish to the outside, it would last much longer.
  • Take your time sealing the outside and finish this off in a weekend, or at least remove the painter’s tape from the metal. Do not leave the painter’s tape on for more than 48 hours.
  • Also, on occasion, do a simple filtration of gravel and activated carbon to prevent sediment or contaminants from accumulating in the barrel.
  • A clear plastic tube connecting the downspout to the barrel looks nicer, but can develop algae.
  • To winterize, you should first remove the screws from the downspout and remove the diverter.
  • Next, drain the barrel completely and make sure the water is directed away from the foundation of your home.
  • Lastly, cover the hole in the downspout with the winter hole cover that is usually included in the kit and secure it with screws.