How to Winterize Your Rain Barrel

How to Winterize Your Rain Barrel

Thank you for taking steps to help manage stormwater by purchasing and installing a rain barrel during. We hope you enjoyed having the rain barrel on your property and were able to use the water throughout the spring, summer and fall.

Information below contains details as to how you can winterize your barrel. We recommend you follow these steps on or around the first annual frost or no later than the end of November.






If you have a diverter installed on your property, switch the diverter tab so it faces away from rain barrel. Doing this will direct any water that might come down your downspout from going directly into the barrel (see picture above).





Drain the rain barrel by opening the spigot.   If you keep your rain barrel full during the winter, your rain barrel will become a freezing hazard. A typical 55‐gallon rain barrel weighs almost 500 pound when full while any barrel over 100-gallons can weigh over 1,000 pounds. If it freezes, your spigot could get clogged with ice and prevent the barrel from draining when it thaws. Plastic can shrink in the heat and expand in cold temperatures. Due to the material variations, if frozen, a frozen barrel could crack from the pressure of expanding ice.





Remove the garden hose and overflow tubing and store indoors over the winter. If you leave either hose outside during the winter, you risk having them freeze and break, losing their functionality come spring time.





You can store your barrel outside. If it is small enough, you can also bring it indoors. If outside, cover the barrel with a tarp to prevent any water from going inside of the barrel.

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