Spanning the Distance: Inlet Hose Extension for Rain Barrels

What if you can't place your BlueBarrel System™ right next to a downspout? You may even need to turn a corner or bypass a fence or walkway. This article provides a guide for spanning the distance between your downspout and rain barrels by extending the inlet hose.

The Standard Inlet Hose: A Briefing

A red BlueBarrel System? Indeed barrels can be painted. Search our blogs for tips on painting and other beautification techniques! (Photo courtesy of BlueBarrel customer Jeff in Helotes, TX)
A red BlueBarrel System? Indeed barrels can be painted. Search our blogs for tips on painting and other beautification techniques! (Photo courtesy of BlueBarrel customer Jeff in Helotes, TX)

When it rains, water flows through the downspout, is intercepted by the downspout diverter, and directed into the barrel through a flexible inlet hose.

Our standard inlet hose, included with the downspout diverter kits in our online store, is an accordion hose that extends up to 31", or 2.5'. If you want to place your BlueBarrel System™ at a further distance from a downspout, we have easy options for extension!

Tip: With BlueBarrel's unique underplumbed design, you only need to access one barrel with the inlet hose. All barrels in your system will fill from the bottom with a single inlet! 

Inlet Hose Extension for Rain Barrels

If you need to span a distance longer than 2.5' from downspout to barrel, we have longer inlet hose available by-the-foot in our online store. Order the number of feet you need, and we'll cut you a custom length. The material is easy to cut at 1' intervals. If you need more than one inlet hose extension for rain barrels, enter the total number of feet you will need to service all systems.

A longer hose can sag, however, so read on for ideas on how our DIY customers have supported their hose extensions for success!

Anchored Extensions

Inlet Hose Extension for Rain Barrel

Here is a classic example from Hilleary in Santa Rosa, CA. A couple of C-shaped pipe hanger straps anchor the inlet hose extension to the wall to keep the hose level.

long inlet hose for rain barrel

Greg in Farmville, VA routed his extended inlet hose along the edge of a deck to reach his 6-barrel BlueBarrel System around the corner. With the deck to support and vegetation to shade and protect the hose, a loose anchor next to the downspout does the trick to hold things in place.

Rain barrels with supported inlet hose

This creative example is from Gayle in Boerne, TX. She used standard PVC pipe and fittings to craft a pass-through tee to support her inlet hose.

Covered/Encased Extensions

wall-anchored inlet hose

With an air conditioning unit between his BlueBarrel System and downspout, Erik in Moreno Valley, CA used a similar approach, but added some standard pipe insulation. The sponge-like insulation protects the inlet hose both from sun and from abrasion with the hanger straps. See more creative ideas from Erik's place here.

PVC extends the inlet hose. The pipe is pitched away from the downspout and anchored to a wall.

In this example, Stephen in Lawrence, CT has encased his inlet hose extension inside of standard 1.25" PVC pipe. This serves the dual purpose of holding the hose steady, and keeping it protected from sunlight. He connected PVC ells to a short pipe segment to turn a corner. He then anchored the pipe extension to the siding using a combination of plumber's tape and pipe hanger straps.

Rain barrel hose extension

Danny in Palo Alto, CA also used PVC to encase a very long run. Danny has three BlueBarrel Systems collecting from four different downspouts at his place. Two of his four downspout connections required an extension. The other two are standard.

Supported Extensions

supported inlet hose extension

Byron in Loranger, LA offset his BlueBarrel System from the wall, so he needed to be creative in supporting the inlet hose extension into his rain barrels.  He employed a lightweight wooden furring strip to support the hose from underneath. Zip-ties secure everything in place.

Custom downspout for rain barrels

This beauty was submitted by Georgann in Montara, CA, showing an extended trellis to bring the downspout over a walkway. She says: "Success! My husband installed our 10-barrel system in a day. He added a gutter over the path to feed into the downspout. Genius!"

Pass-Through Extensions

The following solutions exemplify the creativity of our customers! Sometimes you have to navigate distance or a corner, and sometimes you hit a wall, so to speak!

inlet hose under deck

Trevor in Lambertville, NJ tucked his BlueBarrel System beneath a deck, but had to navigate around timber cladding to connect with a downspout. In order to keep the inlet hose level, he bore a hole in the wood, with the same hole saw used to create the inlet hole in the downspout. On closer inspection, you'll notice that he used copper to trim the inlet configuration! Fine craftsmanship, Trevor.

Mary-LarkfieldCA 2

A number of our customers have placed a System alongside their house, tucked behind a fence or gate. This is a great solution for utilizing narrow spaces on your property. Mary, in Larkfield, CA, lined up eight barrels discreetly behind a fence, but the nearest downspout was on the other side. Much like Trevor, Mary used BlueBarrel's hole saw to bore a right-sized hole in the planking to ensure the inlet hose would run horizontally from the downspout to the first barrel's inlet.

We love learning from our customers and sharing their DIY tips and tricks with fellow BlueBarrelers! Check out our blogs below for more customer customization ideas. And browse our customer reviews and photo gallery for yet more examples of BlueBarrel Systems across the country.


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