By: Mike Gannon | Posted On: February 28th, 2011 | 3 Comments on HOW TO WINTERIZE YOUR RAIN BARREL | In: Uncategorized

When winter sets in for the colder zones, we all have to reel in and winterize most of our backyard living accessories like rain barrels. It becomes time to store this, or tarp over that, put away and shut things down. If you’re like me you milk the outdoor season for as long as you can, in total denial of the winter that is barreling down towards us like a freight train. Because of my denial I usually end up leaving something outside for the winter that I should have properly winterized and protected. One year I did not bother to winterize my rain barrel, I figured it was pretty tough and could handle it. I was wrong and ended up having to invest in another rain barrel.
So let me save you some money here and run down some quick tips for winterizing your rain barrel. How do I winterize a rain barrel? It is pretty quick and easy. I know there are many types of rain barrels so this will be some general tips for most rain barrel set ups.

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• Disconnect the rain barrel from the gutter downspout.
• Connect a temporary downspout extension to the gutter that feeds that rain barrel. Position this so that it is directing rainwater away from the house.
• Use up or drain the rain barrel so there is no water left inside. Water left in for the winter may freeze and crack the barrel itself.
• Open the barrel’s spigot and leave open for the period of no use, this will avoid freeze damage to the hardware of the barrel.
• Rinse the interior of the barrel. Now is a good time to clean the barrel of sediment build up that occurs in many rain barrels during the course of the rainy season.
• If you have storage move the rain barrel to an indoor storage area to really extend the life of your rain barrel. If you have not storage or prefer to leave your rain barrel outside then be sure to turn the barrel upside down.
• Cover your rainbarrel with a tarp for additional protection.

Following these very quick and easy steps on how to winterize a rain barrel, will keep your rain barrel in good condition for many years and will extend the useful life of your rainbarrel.
Do you have a rain barrel? Do you have any rainbarrel tips to share? Please give your feedback here at the LOVEYOURPOND Blog! Thanks for reading.
All copyrights to this material belong to Mike Gannon.

Written by Mike Gannon

Mike Gannon

The LOVEYOURPOND Blog is written by Mike Gannon of Full Service Aquatics located in Summit, NJ. Mike is an award winning pond, water garden, and water feature builder. Always “In The Pursuit Of All Things Aquatic” Mike has been a lifelong hobbyist and providing professional services since 1995. Mike is the creator of The Pond Hunter video series seen on Youtube and has made several television appearances on Networks such as HGTV and the DIY Network. He also hosts the Pond Hunter Radio Broadcast, a show on everything aquatic, every other Wednesday at 8pm EST. You can see what else Mike is up to at the following sites:


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  1. Elvis M. Ives Says:

    on February 26, 2019 at 9:36 am

    This is an amazing post, I read out the post and this seems very useful to me. I have two water barrels and um looking forward to keeping water on the barrels during the winter season. Thanks for sharing the Idea, Mike.

  2. Mike Gannon Says:

    on July 1, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks for the comment Joel! good luck rain collecting, but I guess in Oregon you’ll fill up pretty frequently! Beautiful part of the country, lucky you!! -Mike

  3. Joel Says:

    on June 26, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing this info! Looking at investing in a rain barrel (in Oregon) so good to know about this sort of thing BEFORE purchasing. 🙂

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