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Water Barrel Tower Project

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by ditch witch, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    We have a 550 gallon rain catch setup outside, plus a 275 gallon tank for the chickens, but I'd been wanting something in the garage strictly for drinking water. I have 20 gallons stored in one spot and I thought I had another 20 in another, but apparently the Mr. found one stash and used it all for his aquarium and didn't bother to replace it. :mad:

    Went and picked up 3, 55 gallon barrels on Saturday that had been used for flavored syrup. Coconut, peach, and strawberry. Best smelling barrels I ever dealt with.

    Built this water tower today. Still need to run plumbing on it. Going to connect all three but put in shut off valves between them so the bottom one doesn't get the water pressure from the upper two. Going to add a bit of framing and some OSB to the side by the door so it'll make a bit of a wall and I can add shelves, but I need another set of hands to run the OSB through the saw and the Mr isn't here.

    This was the original mess. We've been cleaning the garage for a couple of weekends now.
    Originally I was going to use 4x4 for legs, but decided to sister up 2x4, slotting the horizontal braces in between verticals so the brace weight is resting on 2x4 and not just screws.

    First frame up. It was then that I realized I didn't think to cut the top ends off the frame. :rolleyes:

    Second frame up. I cut the extra off that one.

    Slipped a barrel in so I could get an idea of how far apart I wanted them.

    Went through two cordless drill batteries to get to this point. Had to stick one on the charger for a few hours before I could put the last few braces on.

    And voila! A 3 barrel water tower stand.

    Tomorrow I'll run to the hardware store for a couple more 2x4 so I can frame this side out a bit. I want to make a wall going from the house to the edge of the concrete and put some shelves on it. Then deck the top so I can toss our never-used chainsaws up there out of the way. Will also grab some shutoffs and hose and whatnot to daisy chain the barrels together with a faucet on the bottom one. And then fill 'em up!
  2. gregorio

    gregorio Monkey

    That's pretty cool. How you gonna fill it up? Rain, well, or city water?
  3. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    City water. Our roof is asphalt shingles, so, ick. The chicken/rabbit house and hay shed have metal roofs but they drain into the chicken tank.
    HK_User likes this.
  4. gregorio

    gregorio Monkey

    That's gonna be time well spent when you're done.
    Mike and ditch witch like this.
  5. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    I would suggest you also pick up some 2x12s. The purpose is to make saddles from the 2x12s to allow the weight of the plastic barrels contact to be spread over a larger area. I'd use 4 saddles on each barrel. Consider that the tanks will weigh over 400 lbs each.
  6. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey

    Looks great - I hope the barrels are strong enough to support the weight of the water with two points of contact on their sides. BTW city water will supposedly store for at least 10 years without treatment.
    HK_User and Mike like this.
  7. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    Motomom34, HK_User and Mike like this.
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    You are going to want, ah, no, you DO want cross bracing on the sides to avoid falling away from the back wall. 1200 lbs is going to make a serious mess of anything you have in front. I would also cross brace the back if there's any way to do it, or anchor the front and back frames to the walls. The mention of slowly distorting plastic drums is well worth heeding, too.
    Georgia_Boy, vonslob, madmax and 4 others like this.
  9. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    @ditchwitch.... dang girl you are good =) nice project!
    HK_User and Brokor like this.
  10. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    Very nice project DW!!! This just may need to get copied at my place.... looking forward to seeing the overall project at completion!!
    HK_User and Ganado like this.
  11. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    I added cradles last night from some scraps, running the length of the barrel sort of like the bars on a boat trailer. Should help relocate some of the weight to the outer edges instead of all on the center.
    Heading to the hardware store this afternoon, will get some more 2x4 to add cross bracing to the sides.
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Structurally speaking, the cross braces do not need to be the same size or strength as the main members. (They are considered as auxiliary members to the structure.) 1X2 will be plenty.
    Georgia_Boy, kellory, HK_User and 2 others like this.
  13. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    They make a device that dumps the first few gallons of roof water (I forget what it's called), so you get rid of the petro, bugs, etc. Basically it a tee fitting that collects the first few gallons before allowing the rest of the water to fill up you tanks, I would think it would be fine for washing, showering, but I would probably distill for any drinking.
    kellory and Tully Mars like this.
  14. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    @ditch witch, the projects looking good.

    @azrancher what you're thinking about is called "first flush". Basically it takes the first few gallons of water off the roof and keeps it out of your collection barrel.

    With a first flush you could run the water through a good filter and/or boil it to make it potable. I use my water barrels for the garden, to keep the chlorinated/fluoridated stuff out of that area.
  15. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Asbestos is found in some roofing products. Asbestos should not be ingested or should you be in contact with it by washing etc.
  16. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    I wouldn't boil or distill, requires too much energy. Filter with cartridge filters and run through a UV treatment. Will clean up rain water just fine and doesn't take much energy. You can even get 12 VDC UV treatment that will flow 2-3 gal/min for a couple hundred bucks.
  17. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+ Founding Member

    Using the nails to hold it together and using the 2x4's for strength built right with room on top for a shelf, nice job
  18. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    I used 3" screws in the whole thing. Partly because nails come loose, but mostly because hammers and I don't get along well.

    I have a 550 gallon setup that is fed off gutters on one side of our house, with enough tanks to triple the size. Mostly it's just there for garden use, but if I had to use it I've got what I need to build filters to purify it.

    The Mr is asking me why I want to add cross braces when I'm already covering the sides with OSB.
  19. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    You do not need cross bracing if you are putting siding on the "tower."
    3cyl and ditch witch like this.
  20. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    Yeah I'm sheathing the side against the wall, and then walling in the side by the door so am about to add additional framing and shelves. It'll look like, coming out of the door, just a solid wall with shelves on it.
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