FAQ About our Products Why is there a screen in the lid? The screen is to keep mosquitoes and other pests out while letting the water flow freely into the barrel. Do I need to remove the fittings for winter? You do not need to remove the fittings for winter. We use plastic fittings because brass and steel do not interface well with plastic barrels. These items expand and contract at a different rate, which is the major cause of other manufacturer’s barrels leaking in a short period of time. The only thing you need to do to prepare for the winter season is to drain all the water out of them, remove the linking fitting cap, and open the spigot. Are your barrels new? These are USED barrels. They will have some scuff marks and scratches from shipping and handling. I inspect, clean, and modify each barrel. There are no significant scuffs or scratches that would harm the structural integrity of the barrel and lead to any leakage. The spigot is installed on the nicer-looking face. How are the lids held onto the barrel? The lids screw on and hold the cap in place in some models. In others, the lids and screen are held on with a galvanized (won't rust) lock ring. Why are there so many holes in the lids? We install multiple holes in the cap for the best collection of water. Do you paint your barrels? These barrels are not painted. We offer a very inexpensive and no-frills rain barrel. If you want to change or enhance the color of your barrel, there are two products we recommend. The first is Ace Hardware-brand spray paint, and the second is Krylon-brand spray paint. Both do an excellent job on plastic and will not peel for years to come. What kind of spigots and fittings do you use? We use an acetal plastic spigot for the faucet and poly fittings for the linking and overflow hoses. Is there any assembly required? All fittings are shipped inside the barrel and include instructions to install them into the predrilled and threaded holes. What is the purpose of the linking fitting? The linking fitting allows the user to connect multiple barrels together for even more free water, and the overflow fitting allows the homeowner to direct the additional water away from their home. How do I decide what color and size barrel should I order? Before determining which color or size of the barrel to order, the following factors must be considered: Where is the best location to collect the water from? – A toolshed roof can work as well as a house roof to collect the water. A 4’ x 8’ sheet of plywood that receives ¼” of rain will fill a 55-gallon barrel. Then look at the surrounding area. If you prefer to hide it behind a tree or large bush, our black or brown barrels work well. The terra-cotta color blends nicely with red-brick homes. Some people prefer to decorate their barrel, then blue is an excellent choice. If you want to put your rain barrel around the corner from where the gutter is, we offer flex hoses to enable you to install it there. Our barrels are meant to be left outside during winter; just leave the spigot and the linking hose fitting open so the water drains during the winter. (If the barrel fills with water and freezes, it will crack). How much water pressure does a rain barrel have? To water from your rain barrel, you can use a garden hose, landscape tubing (just drill holes into the tubing near the plant), or drip tubing. You will not be able to run a sprinkler or a soaker hose from the rain barrel. But as long as you are not trying to go uphill, you can go any distance from the barrel you need to; water seeks its own level, so it will always be flowing to the lowest level the hose is at. You can water hanging pots with a garden hose: start with the hose on the ground then lift it to the plant; it will have enough pressure to water 2-3 pots. You need to lower the hose to get the pressure back to water additional hanging pots. Do you have warranties on your rain barrels? Yes, our products carry a 1-year warranty on the material and workmanship. The only way this warranty can be voided is if you leave the barrel out during the winter without opening the spigot and linking hose fitting—if the barrel fills with water and freezes, the barrel will crack. What accessories do I need? See the installation instructions in question 2 to help you determine if you need accessories. Can I compost all year? Yes, the time it takes for the compost to finish will lengthen as the days become colder and the nights become longer.