Rain Barrels

Installation and Care

Here are installation directions for both styles of rain barrels that MMSD sells and distributes

MMSD rain barrel without diverter kit

Step 1

Figure out which downspout you want to use for the barrel. Put some concrete blocks on the ground and place the rain barrel on the blocks.

Step 4

Secure the downspout back to your garage or house with an aluminum strap. They are available in different colors to match the downspout.

Step 2

Put a flexible elbow or aluminum elbow on top of the barrel and rest it against the downspout to determine where to cut the downspout. Mark with a pencil.

Step 5

Attach the elbow to the downspout. You will most likely need to crimp the edges of the downspout to get an aluminum elbow to fit on the downspout.

Step 3

Use a hacksaw or electric saw to cut the downspout where you marked it with the pencil. Keep the section you cut off in case you want to move the barrel later.

Step 6

If you're using aluminum elbows instead of the flexible, plastic ones, you may want to add a second elbow to direct water directly into the barrel.

MMSD rain barrel with diverter kit

How to install a MMSD rain barrel with a diverter kit

How to assemble a MMSD rain barrel with a diverter kit

Selecting and preparing the site

Your barrel should be located close to a downspout, near the anticipated area of use on a solid and level service.
If the spigot is used to distribute water, the area directly in front of the spigot should be easily accessible. If a garden hose or soaker hose is used to distribute water, the barrel and entire length of the hose path must be elevated above the area to be watered. Place the barrel in the intended location and check to see that the fill hose can reach from the downspout to the water inlet on the barrel. To make sure the surface beneath the barrel is level, set a beam level on the barrel rim to check. If using a garden hose, the barrel should be elevated for maximum water pressure.

About the FlexiFit diverter

Your barrel uses a gravity fed FlexiFit Diverter to redirect water to the downspout when the barrel is full of rainwater. The Diverter is inserted into a hole that is cut into the downspout. The hole must be drilled at the correct height for the Diverter to work properly. If the hole is cut too low, the barrel will not fill. If the hole is cut too high, water will overflow from the barrel rim. NOTE: Not for use with round downspouts.

Marking the FlexiFit diverter hole

Mark a reference line even with the height of the barrel on the downspout using a pencil and a beam level, placed on the barrel rim as a guide. Measure 2 inches (50mm) below the reference line and make another line on the downspout. Next make a mark on the lower line to show the center of the downspout. Be sure to take any elevated base into account.

Drilling the FlexiFit diverter hole

Drill a hole in the downspout with a 2 1/8” hole saw. The center of the hole saw should align with center point marked on downspout. After drilling, carefully remove the hole saw to prevent the cut out piece from falling into the downspout. When cutting, do not force the drill. Cut slow and steady. Always use safety glasses and safety gloves when cutting or drilling.

Installing the FlexFit diverter (Download Printable Instructions)

Connect filler hose to the FlexiFit Diverter before installing it into the downspout. Press the hose into the Diverter until the corrugated section is flush with the Diverter end. Insert Diverter into downspout hole by squeezing the sides, making sure the collection funnel faces up. Push in until the Diverter's flange sits flat against the downspout. Check that the arrow on the outside of the Diverter is pointing straight up. Use two of the self-tapping screws to attach the Diverter to the downspout. Diverter collection funnel MUST face up to work.

Connecting the barrel

Connect the other end of the fill hose to the water inlet on barrel. Press hose end firmly into the water inlet until it "bottoms out.” The hose can be cut using scissors or a work knife, if a shorter length is required. The hose can only be cut in 1 foot increments, at the center of a flat section. A sagging hose will collect water, which reduces filling efficiency.

Cleaning your rain barrel

You can clean your rain barrel using a mild soap and a pressure washer or garden hose.


When temperatures fall below 40°F (4°C), winterize your Rain Barrel by removing the barrel and FlexiFit Diverter from your downspout and placing the winterizing cover over the hole. Then, disconnect, drain, and store your barrel. To prevent your barrel from cracking in the winter, take it inside or turn it upside down to keep water out. We recommend that you run downspouts or tubing at least 6 to 10 feet away from your house.

MMSD Rain Barrel Care PDF