Stand Alone Rainwater Harvesting System
How do I put an overflow hole in my rain barrel?
by RainSaucers Inc. on April 11th, 2016

A full rain barrel is a great thing.  But it also means you are now catching and then losing precious rainwater. Or worse, you could be creating a home for mosquitoes.  That's why almost every rain barrel needs an overflow hole.  Simple ones are nothing more than a  hole in the side of the barrel (toward the top) that are covered with some glued on mesh screen. More sophisticated ones allow you to send that overflow into an adjacent barrel so as not lose any rain.

But adding more water storage can be tricky- namely how do you get that overflow from one rain barrel to another? Over the years we've learned that the easiest solution is to drill a hole in the side of the barrel (toward the top) and install a grommet that hugs the hole while allowing a pipe to be added. The brand name of the grommet we use is called Uniseal.

Uniseals come in a variety of sizes but for rain barrel overflow, it does not have to be big. Once a Uniseal is installed and the pipe added (see picture) you now have a means of taking  overflow from one barrel to another.  This can happen at the top inlet of the second barrel (assuming the second barrel is shorter that the first) or at the same height into an appropriately sized hole in the second barrel (the hole should have space for the pipe only).

We would be remiss if we didn't mention that one alternative to an overflow hole is to daisy chain the bottom holes of the rain barrels.  This allows for simultaneous fill up of two barrels. This article describes how one can do that.

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