General FAQs

There are many reasons why this program chose Ivy. Most important is the high quality and features of our rain barrel.

Ivy comes with all the components needed to set up and start collecting and reusing rainwater. Secondly, Ivy was designed for ease of use so she can be elevated or sit right on a level solid foundation. Having the access port at the lowest point on the rain barrel allows you to fully drain your rain water. Lastly, Ivy is manufactured right here in the USA and made of 100% recycled material. Ivy is also is BPA free!

Together these features help this program support a sustainable product that will help to conserve water and protect our local water quality.

Our rain barrels are sturdy, stackable, AND easy to get home. It measures 43”H x 22”D and is 16 pounds when empty.

They do nest and we can get 2 to 4 in the backseat of a mid-sized, 4-door sedan.

Most everything that comes with Ivy can be replaced at any home improvement store. If your screen gets damaged we recommend using the screen that you currently have as a template to cut a new one from extra screening you may already have or click the link below to purchase a new screen.

Link for Ivy parts: https://www.rainwatersolutions.com/products/ivycomponents

Link for Moby parts: https://www.rainwatersolutions.com/products/moby-components

Yes. Home improvement stores sell transfer pumps that require an electrical outlet. They work great and can move eight plus gallons of water per minute. Ivy holds 50 gallons of water giving you about eight minutes of watering. This is really helpful when rain is in the forecast and you want to make room for the next rain fall event. It is important to not leave the pump going when Ivy is empty.

We do not recommend using a rain barrel without rain gutters. The gutter and the downspout safely channel the water into the rain barrel away from your foundation.

We do not recommend ever consuming water from our rain barrel or any rain barrel until the water is thoroughly tested. Most homes have asphalt shingles that render the water undrinkable unless filtered and cleaned appropriately. If you wanted to make your water drinkable you would need to set up a water filtration system. But we still recommend you thoroughly test your water.

The short answer is no. When people mention 'use a food grade barrel' they are referring to home made rain barrels. If you are making a rain barrel you need to know what was in the barrel in its previous life. You would never want to use a barrel that contained dangerous chemicals like round up, formaldehyde or a myriad of other liquids that are stored in barrels. Our rain barrels are made from recycled plastics from known sources and the plastic is thoroughly cleaned before being made into a rain barrel that is a brand new product.

Yes! You can water your edible plants with rainwater from your Ivy Rain Barrel. However, you will need to water at the roots or base of your plant. There are many possible contaminates on your roof that the rainwater comes into contact with that could make your harvest unsafe for consumption.

Installation FAQs

Please watch a quick 5 minute video here.

Elevating your rain barrel isn’t required to function. If you choose to elevate be sure to install the blocks on a solid, level foundation with a base that extends the diameter of the rain barrel, we recommend a 24"W x 24"L base.

Your Ivy comes with all the components needed to assemble and start collecting rainwater. Read all instructions prior to assembling.

The screen and screen ring will come pre-installed from the factory.

The ball valve has two different thread patterns. When installed correctly the lever will point away from the rain barrel. You will place your rubber gasket in the threaded port. Hand tighten the ball valve until it will not turn any more. DO NOT USE TOOLS OR OVER TIGHTEN. It is fine if you still see threads and the valve is not in the exact 12 o'clock position when fully seated.

Next, attached the overflow cap and overflow hose. Be sure to direct the overflow hose away from your home's foundation to divert any excess rainwater. Ivy will fill up with less than 1/10th of inch of rain on a 1000 sq ft roof surface.

Now lock the lid using the two releasable zip ties. Ivy will weigh over 420 pounds when full so please make sure you install your rain barrel on a level foundation using sturdy blocks!

The ball valve allows you to attach a ¾” hose to extend where you need the water or to fill a watering can.

Remember gravity feed pressure. Ivy will not have city pressure coming out of the valve, but will have enough pressure when full to extend a long hose with no incline.

After your rain barrel is assembled and ready for installation, place Ivy on the blocks, using the gutter elbow and leaving room between bottom of elbow and lid of the rain barrel mark approximately 2 inches from top of elbow.

Place a piece of cardboard behind the area you will be cutting, using your hacksaw to slowly cut through the downspout. Remove cut pieces and hardware and save for later winterizing.

Next, crimp the four corners of the downspout and attach the gutter elbow. Place Ivy back on blocks and you are ready to start collecting and reusing rainwater.

Choose a downspout on your house or garage that is closest to the plants you water the most.

If you choose to set up a soaker hose or drip emitter, remember Ivy is a gravity-fed system - water must run down hill. Choose a downspout where your rain barrel’s overflow will soak into your lawn or garden.

When full, your 50 gallon rain barrel will weigh 420 lbs.

Ivy is designed with two 1 1/4 inch diameter overflow ports, she comes equipped with one overflow hose and one cap. To double your overflow capacity, attach a second overflow hose to the other port. The overflow hose is sump pump hose and readily available at your home improvement store.

Included is one 6' long x 1 1/4" diameter overflow hose. This hose has a smaller section you will need to cut with scissors or a matte knife. The hose will friction fit onto the ports. Once this smaller section is cut stretch it out and set the rain barrels up so the distance between them is not more than the expanded hose. Once set up the first rain barrel will fill up and overflow into your second rain barrel.

Maintenance FAQs

Ivy requires very little maintenance. Keep the lid locked and the screen clear of debris.

If stagnant water sitting in Ivy develops a foul smell, you may want to drain and clean the inside with a brush and fresh water.

To clean the screen simply pop out the screen ring, carefully lift the dirty screen out and clean. Place screen back onto inlet and snap ring into place. If your screen is damaged use the round screen as a template and cut yourself a new one.

Ivy is equipped with a mosquito-proof screen and screen ring that snaps into the inlet to keep the screen flat and prevent mosquitoes from entering. Make sure the supplied components are installed in their proper positions and you will not have to worry about mosquitoes.

If you're still worried about pests, you can add mosquito dunks or bits to your barrel. It is a safe and non- toxic way to eliminate mosquito larvae.

Drain Ivy before temperatures drop below freezing. Keep a hose attached to the open ball valve making sure it is flowing away from your home, this will keep water from accumulating in Ivy and freezing. Once Ivy is drained, removed the ball valve and let the port dry completely.

Ivy will most likely survive a freeze but she is not designed to go through multiple freeze-thaw cycles. Cooler climates should remove Ivy from the downspout and store in a covered area. Reattach your cut downspout and place elbow at bottom.

Composting FAQs

There are so many great reasons to compost! Not only does it cut down on what ends up in the landfill, it's putting nutrients back into the soil.

Composting has so many benefits for the environment and for you. When food waste ends up in landfills it rots without oxygen which creates methane gas.

For successful compost, you will need four factors: food, shelter, water, and air.

Food is everything that will go into the bin, consisting of greens and browns. Shelter is the compost bin itself. Water keeps the pile moist which is crucial for the matter to break down; it doesn't need to be soaking wet, just moist. Air is when you turn the compost so helpful bacteria stays active.

Meat and dairy should never go into your compost bin, it will attract unwanted pests and smells.

Walnuts contain natural chemicals that are harmful to other plants.

Feces from creatures like dogs, cats and humans, because they eat meat and it creates an unsanitary environment.

Cooking oil, creates a water repellent effect in the pile.