Rain Barrels

Installation and Care

MMSD Rain Barrel Installation and care Instruction

Follow these instructions below to properly set up the tan rain barrel you received from MMSD.

Did you receive a Black Rain Barrel from MMSD?

Follow these instructions to properly set up your black MMSD rain barrel.

Step 1 - Leveling

After selecting the proper location, dig up the turf grass around the area where the barrel will be placed. Tamp area once turf grass has been removed. Add gravel, and tamp again. Ensure your base is level. (Note: if you have a 2x3 downspout you will drill into the front of your downspout, and if you have a 3x4 downspout you will drill into the side of your downspout.)


Leveling area for tan MMSD rain barrel

Step 2 - Drilling the Rain Barrel

Determine which side of the rain barrel you will be connecting to the downspout. It will either be the side with the red cap, or the side with the threaded black connector to attach an overflow hose. If you choose the side where the overflow hose would go, you will need to move it to the location the red cap was on. After this, use the smaller hole saw (1.5”) to drill into that location. After drilling, place the rubber seal into the spot you drilled on the barrel.

Drilling the tan MMSD rain barrel

Step 3 - Measuring the Downspout

Place the rain barrel on your level base. Place a level on the top of the rain barrel (without a lid) and align it with the downspout. Use a ruler or tape measure to measure 2-inches down from the level you have on top of the barrel and mark the center of the downspout with a pencil.

Drilling the downspout for MMSD rain barrel

Step 4 - Drilling the Downspout

Align drill bit with 2-inch mark and the center of your downspout. Drill into downspout using the larger hole-saw. When cutting, do not force the drill. Cut slow and steady. Always use safety glasses and safety gloves when cutting or drilling. After you drill the hole, file around the edges of the hole you created as it will be sharp.

Drill the Downspout for MMSD Rain Barrel

Step 5 - Attach Diverter to Downspout 

Place diverter piece into hole. Place vertically so the two pre-made holes are on the top and bottom of the diverter piece (not side-by-side). Drill screws into pre-made holes to securely attach diverter to the downspout. 

Attach Diverter for MMSD rain barrel

Step 6 - Attach Barrel to Diverter

Attach one end of the fill hose to the rubber seal hole you created in Step 2 and the other end of the fill hose to the diverter piece inside of the downspout. 

Attach MMSD barrel to downspout

Step 7 - Enjoy Your Rain Barrel! 

Finished MMSD tan rain barrel


Around Halloween, remove diverter piece from downspout and replace with winterizing cap (included in installation kit). Reattach screws to secure winterizing cap. Bring rain barrel inside.

Winterizing your rain barrel


Rain Barrel Maintenance


            1. Wash out debris.

            2. Check spigot and other fasteners for tightness.


            1. Empty within a few days of rain.

            2. Check for leaves caught in diverter from time to time.


            1. Insert winterizing cap.

            2. Clean and store barrel upside down in your basement or garage.

Rain Barrel Care Tips

Water isn’t flowing to the rain barrel – what’s wrong?

  1. Barrel is too high, relative to the diverter. The hole on the back of the barrel should be below the diverter hole in the downspout
  2. Fill hose is clogged
  3. Downspout/Gutter is clogged

How much water can I collect?

Rule of thumb:

  • A 1000 square foot roof can provide:
    • ~600 gallons of water during a 1" rainfall;
    • ~300 gallons in a 1/2” rainfall;
    • ~150 gallons in a 1/4” rainfall;
  • Up to 12 gallons of rain per minute flows in out of your downspout

For more rain barrel care and maintenance, download our Rain Barrel Care Manual.