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Posted: 9/30/2014 5:13:51 PM EST
I built these in the Spring and used them for my garden this summer. They worked great! Do I need to drain them completely before an Ohio winter?

Link Posted: 9/30/2014 5:25:33 PM EST
I would. The pipes will most likely crack if filled with water. The barrels, not sure. but it won't be good for them, that's for sure.


read this on a rain barrel system some company sells. like yours.

During the winter months, take your barrel out of operation. Prior to winter, disconnect
and drain your rain barrel to avoid freezing and cracking over the winter. Simply turn it
upside down or store it inside. Remember to reconnect your rain spout in order to direct
water away from your foundation when the rain barrel is not in use.
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Link Posted: 9/30/2014 6:47:19 PM EST
Definitely. Freezing water will bulge their bottoms if you don't drain them.

I turn mine upside down in the winter. I learned my lesson.
Link Posted: 9/30/2014 6:55:43 PM EST
Thanks for the replies. I wasn't sure if I needed to drain them all the way of just some to allow for expansion.
Link Posted: 10/1/2014 3:43:01 PM EST
You can mess with them or just empty them early.

If they are someplace the sun will hit them that blue should help melt the surface ice that will form some nights. It will take a lot of cold over several days to freeze, this is my concept considering that cold gradually comes along and a few nights in the 20s with days in the 40s will not be freezing 55 gallons of water.

You can't just leave some room at the top for expansion most likely. I would expect it to seriously stress the sides out but you can probably run some searches on freezing drums of liquids and see what you find. I would expect it to not burst but to weaken them and you would find the common whitish areas in plastic where it is common for a crack to start.

That pipe will freeze before the barrel.

And at the same time, dripping water is slower to freeze due to movement but I think it would build ice up in the pipe.

Someone who wants to mess with math can figure out what temp it would take over x hours to freeze that much water.

If it caught a lot of sun early in the morning and you don't really have that harsh a winter due to being near the river in ohio I might let things slide really really far. But being lazy and not checking it might find a really big ice cube and I don't have a mug to handle that much ice and anything.

I am the fella who leaves the zip out windows out of the jeep for a really long time. One window died this spring so it might be all winter this year.

Depending on how you want to do things this sort of thing might work or it might not be worth the hassle.

And if you just have say 5 gallons of water in there it will freeze up quicker than 40 gallons.

Actually I would stick a 5 gallon bucket of water out and use it as my "give a care" bucket. If the 5 gallons is not frozen I don't even care what the drums did.
Link Posted: 10/1/2014 3:53:19 PM EST
drain dry.

I lost a barrel last winter...(the bottom cracked)

I'll be pulling all of them from gutters and figuring something else out...
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 7:04:15 AM EST
We had one split from freezing the first year we had them, learned the hard way. I just disconnet the downspout from the barrels and let them drain out some time before it gets really cold, and then hook them back up in early Spring when the risk of a hard freeze is past.
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