DIY Files: Danny’s 3 BlueBarrel Systems™ from rain barrel kit to install

Get Inspired!

This highlight is from BlueBarrel customer Danny, of Palo Alto, California. He used our custom rain barrel kits to install three separate BlueBarrel Systems™ collecting from four downspouts.

Danny used the tools right here on this website to customize for his site, including extra downspout connections; inlet hose extensions; custom barrel spacing to work around obstacles; and double-row and L-shaped configurations.

Enjoy photos and videos of this project, and read on to get inspired by our DIY highlight of the season!

Barrel Pickup

Barrels in minivan

After placing his order in our online store, Danny picked up his barrels from one of our local BlueBarrel pickup locations.

Danny says: "We could fit seven barrels in our minivan so it took two trips to get all fourteen barrels."

Check out our FAQ for more guidelines on how many barrels fit in different types of vehicles. (Some of our participating barrel suppliers offer doorstep delivery, too!)

System 1: Standard Setup with Extended Inlet Hose

Rain Barrel Kit

This system consists of 5 barrels in a classic single-row configuration against the wall of the home. This space allowed for standard 2' spacing, and the flow from this downspout fills five barrels easily. Danny used our rainwater calculator to estimate how much water comes out of each downspouts, and sized his systems accordingly.

With a downspout more than 2.5' from his barrels, Danny used an extended inlet hose—one of our most common modifications.

Each BlueBarrel rain barrel kit comes standard with an elevated spigot for bucket filling, and a ground-level outlet that can fully drain the rain barrel system, and connect to a gravity-fed drip irrigation line.


System 2: Custom Spacing and L-Shaped Configuration

BlueBarrel rain barrel spacing

This system consists of three barrels, collecting from a downspout that gets less water. While the standard diverter hose is used, Danny spaced one barrel apart from the other two, in an L-shaped configuration, to fit an inset notch at this corner of the home.

While standard spacing requires a simple 2' x 2' footprint per barrel, the beauty of our flexible underplumbed design is that users can increase the distance between barrels to work around obstacles on the site, such as AC units, utility boxes, windows, trees/shrubs, and more.

There is no upper limit to the distance between barrels. That said, all barrels in any one interconnected system need to be level with each other.

BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment System
BlueBarrel System with custom spacing

System 3: Double Rows and Multiple Downspouts

BlueBarrel Rain Barrel System with multiple rows

The third system consists of six barrels, collecting from two different downspouts. While one downspout will fill any number of barrels with our unique underplumbed design, connecting multiple downspouts will allow for faster fill. This is an easy upgrade with extra downspout diverters available as add-ons to our standard rain barrel kits.

The photo above shows a standard downspout connection. Below you can see Danny used another inlet hose extension to capture water from a second downspout.

To work around an HVAC box, he separated two barrels from the other four, and used BlueBarrel's Multi-Row Connection (another customization available for our DIY RainKits) to maximize the space by doubling up his barrels.

All of these add-ons and customizations are available in our Tools & Accessories menu as standalones, or as part of the checkout process when ordering one of the full rain barrel kit options in our Online Store.

rain barrels around AC unit
Inlet hose extension for rain barrels


BlueBarrel is your one-stop-shop for used barrels, DIY rain barrel systems, and gravity-fed irrigation.

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