FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Food-grade virgin Polyethylene. This material Is 100% recyclable and fully UV-protected.
Tijeras Rain Barrels are professional grade rain barrels. Some of our competitors use a common garden hose for an overflow. There is no way a garden hose or two, or even three, can handle the water from a common downspout in a heavy rain. If the excess water is not properly eliminated through a properly-sized overflow, it will overwhelm the barrel inlet and run down the barrel wall to undermine the barrel’s base, or worse, flow into the house!
All of our overflows terminate in a common U.S. Standard 1-1/2″ female pipe thread. From this large professional outlet, your local hardware can supply many options to move the extra water wherever you want it (such as into a vegetable or flower garden). Lay-flat hose is very popular.
The Agua Fria and Cubo models contain a large 1-1/2″ INTERNAL overflow. Notice how the large 1-1/2″ PVC pipe is almost completely invisible from the outside. There’s nothing pretty about PVC pipe and we intended to minimize its appearance. It’s all about moving the excess water AWAY from the barrel as efficiently as possible.
Our Villa Series enjoys the same large 1-1/2″ overflow as our other rain barrels, except they have an EXTERNAL overflow, rather than internal. This is due to their fixed, non-removable tops.
The Barrel Shape, such as a common Whiskey or Wine Barrel, is one of the most recognized and attractive shapes in the world. It is also quite possibly, the worst shape to use for a rain catcher in freezing weather. Once the barrel is half full, the expanding ice will have nowhere to go. For this reason alone, caution should be used before you spend your money. We currently offer no barrel shapes.
Absolutely! Our Agua Fria Series Rain Barrels are one of the strongest rain barrels available in our size range. However, just because we make it strong doesn’t mean it cannot be broken. The following statement exists in our Warranty for the Agua Fria Series only:
“FREEZING CONDITIONS: The Agua Fria Series of rain barrels will be warranted against damage from freezing temperatures providing they are used in an environment where the daytime temperature is above 40 degrees. It is also imperative that all but one of the mechanical fasteners that attach the top to the body are removed to allow for ice expansion.”
The value this product brings to you is peace-of-mind that you can perform the winter maintenance at your convenience because nighttime dips into freezing temperatures will not be a problem. This also means that you can bring your rain barrel back to full function earlier than most others.
If you live in an area where several days of below freezing temperatures could possibly exist, we recommend completely draining the barrel for the winter.
Yes! Give us a call at our toll-free telephone 1-866-793-0376 to discuss our options.
Unfortunately, we do not.
Is the barrel you’re considering safe? Let’s be clear – “safe” can be construed to mean a lot of things. However, “safe” to us means that your rain catcher should provide reasonable measures against intrusion by children and animals.
You should be concerned about animals because many of you live near wild animals and they can smell water. Animals will frequent the areas that provide the easiest source of water. It is best that your house not be known, in the animal world at least, as a source of plentiful, easy to get water. Concerning animal intrusion, barrels must be built well.
Please think about what you are doing. Yes, using a trash can with a cover made of scrap plywood and held down with a rock will certainly capture water. And yes, that cute, and probably cheap, used wooden barrel would also collect rain water. However, think about using them.
Children are naturally curious. If they drop something into the water, the temptation will be to retrieve it. Worse case, a young child can innocently get upside down in the water and cannot get out. Fifty gallons of water weighs over 400 pounds. A full-grown adult might not tip it over. This is every parent’s nightmare.
On our removable-top versions, the tops are mechanically fastened to the main body to present a challenge to young children and animals. Ditto for the hole placement in our screened tops. We offer an exceptional balance between large straining area and animal/child resistance.
Did you know, according to the U.S. Geographical Survey, the average American uses 80-100 gallons of water a day? That means a typical family of 4 could use up to 146,000 gallons of water every year.
We are all aware of our sky-rocketing water consumption along with our changing weather patterns. Finally, after all the years of conspicuous waste, as private individuals and as elected representatives, we recognize that it is in everyone’s best interest to intelligently use our dwindling natural resources, especially water. It is becoming more and more expensive for our cities to provide clean drinkable water to our increasing population.
Collecting, storing, and intelligently using rain water is a great way to do your part in helping to preserve our environment.
We do not screw our high-quality brass valves directly into the barrel wall.
Because the hole cannot be easily fixed if you ever over-tighten the valve, we only use welded (not glued) fittings with integral standard pipe threads to locate valves. These fittings are not only a lot stronger, they allow repair to the threads.
We take your business seriously.
We do not offer one product in a couple of colors and attempt to convince you that it is the perfect one using flowery language and colorful pictures. This is how some companies sell “impulse items”.
Like vehicle manufacturers, we strive to have a large selection of capacities, colors, and capabilities because we all have different needs.
This is an area that, in my opinion, has been misused by several suppliers of rain barrels. Flagrant misrepresentation and very careful wording are rampant in this industry.
The federal government has established very specific rules on what qualifies as food-grade. These rules generally apply to brand new, unused items, not used ones. Even though the item qualified as food-grade when manufactured and sold for first use, it loses its food-grade qualification after first use.
Merely grinding up some used “previously food-grade” plastic and molding it into a rain barrel doesn’t mean the food-grade qualification transfers. It does not. Maybe that empty food-grade container was used to hold used motor oil before it was thrown away. No one knows. Sometimes, you are being mis-lead.
There are exceptions of course. Milk bottle recycling is a good example.
On this subject, please be very, very careful if you ever think you might need to drink the rain barrel water in an emergency. Our rain barrels will not contaminate the water. If in doubt, please ask for a copy of our resin Data Sheet as proof.
Yes, we are. Our top of the line and most popular rain barrel, the Agua Fria Series is made of recyclable virgin resin, FDA approved for contact with potable water. It has a thick, heavy duty seamless wall designed to resist freezing temperatures. Please refer to our Warranty information for further details.
- Keep gutters and downspouts free of debris
- Clean and maintain filters regularly
- Regularly flush debris from the bottom of storage containers
- Keep landscaped holding areas free of debris
- Control and prevent erosion
- Clean and repair if necessary
- Make sure your rain barrels are big enough to hold the amount of water you need
While freight is always going to be a factor in any item’s total cost, there are some general guidelines to help minimize it.
The single most effective way to reduce freight per item is to order as many items as you can. If your order allows, we will “hide” one barrel inside of another to reduce freight charges.
Our website asks our visitors who are considering ordering many items to let us provide a custom freight quote. It is usually cheaper!
Also, any shipment that needs a lift tailgate on the delivery vehicle or is shipped to a residential address will incur added charges.
From the rain barrels perspective, this is very simple.
All our rain barrels only require a flat, level area slightly larger than the barrel bottom. It should not have any protrusions (rocks, etc.) sticking up that could potentially pierce the bottom. The barrel bottom must be completely supported. That’s it!
It is very straight forward. Once you have prepared the site (see above), cut off the downspout and elbow with a common hacksaw at a height that allows the barrel to be slid underneath. Reattach the 45-degree elbow. Some people prefer to also install a short piece of the removed downspout from the elbow to the strainer.
Orient the rain barrel into the desired position and install the valve(s) and strainer. Be sure the valve(s) are in the closed position. You are ready to collect rain water!
While not necessary to collect rain water, this is a good time to consider what to do with the extra overflow water.
This is very user dependent.
The site where your barrel will live could be the determining factor.
Unless a special need exists, new users usually start with smaller ones. Seasoned users generally buy the largest one they can afford.
One (1) Inch of rain on 1,000 square feet equals 620 gallons!
How well your rain catcher stands up under adverse weather conditions depends on the shape of your rain barrel.
Cylindrical with vertical parallel sides is the design utilized on all our rain barrels. Expanding ice MUST be dealt with or it will rupture your rain catcher, no matter what it’s made of.
Vertical parallel sides offer less resistance to expanding ice than constricting shapes. Plus, this shape allows very high hoop strength for the quantity of resin used. This is the reason that all large tanks are round.
Yes, they are. All such requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Yes. Please contact us regarding your needs.
Yes, but it is very dependent on which model and where you intend to use it. Please contact us for a more detailed explanation.
Basically, to offer as wide a variety of rain barrels as possible.
The removeable tops allow us to install internal overflows which offer a “cleaner” looking exterior and are easier to clean the interiors. However, because we have more labor into them, they are a little higher in cost.
The fixed tops are a higher value to some folks because they are lower in cost. Our labor costs are lower. However, they have an external overflow which is more challenging in addressing the overflow water.
Our best is a brass butterfly valve used exclusively on our Agua Fria Series barrels. This valve does not trap freezing water.
Also, on our Agua Fria Series barrels, we use a brass throttling gate-style valve that is very tolerant of freezing temperatures. Internally, we call it the “Bucket-high Valve” because it’s primary use is to refill watering cans for house plants.
Finally, all other models use a quality brass ball-style valve. This style will trap freezing water, so it is important to properly winterize the barrel for a long life.
Yes! We are located at 2401 Phoenix Ave., NE; Albuquerque, NM; 87107. Normal business hours are 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Mon – Fri. You can telephone us toll-free at 1-866-793-0376. Best email address is [email protected].
Possibly, you can. The adhesive industry is in a transition regarding this. For everyday household use, there are manufacturers who claim to have a product that will glue light objects onto Polyethylene. If you are going to buy some, make sure it states useable on “Polyethylene” not just “Poly”. There are several plastics that use “poly” in their names. Polyethylene is one of the most difficult to adhere to.
Commercially, we are not aware of any strong, permanent adhesive usable on Polyethylene.
The short answer is “yes”. Paint will not hurt the Polyethylene. However, please continue reading.
All polyethylene plastic has what is known as a high expansion/contraction ratio compared to other materials such as wood or metal. What this means to the end user is that the winter-to-summer change in physical dimensions of any plastic rain barrel can be easily measured with a common tape measure. This is a huge problem for common paint.
The bottom-line issue is that most of the paints found at the typical hardware store cannot accept this radical fluctuation in size, so they will crack and very soon start the process of falling completely off the rain barrel. Recently, several paint manufacturers have introduced paint that they claim to be acceptable for use on some plastics. Obviously, sooner or later, paint manufacturers will solve the expansion/contraction problem, but for now, be cautious of any paint that claims to be acceptable on polyethylene.
We do not paint our barrels. All Tijeras Rain Barrels are molded using thoroughly colored resins, and our rain barrels are available in 31 colors.
For a permanent attachment, let us weld a threaded fitting into the barrel wall. It doesn’t cost much and is strong. Otherwise, you might try some of the new adhesives at the local hardware.
There are many, many ideas on this subject! I’d do a Google Image search on this. We’ve seen everything from redwood surrounds to tall grasses and flowers to small decorative walls. Let your imagination run wild!