float valve to keep it from overflowing. You can see in the picture below that it is at least 8 inches lower than my other barrels.
There is a solution. It's called a check valve. It's a valve that only allows the water to travel in one direction. The next problem? Finding a check valve with a low cracking pressure. That's the amount of pressure needed to open the valve so the water can flow. All of the check valves sold at Lowes and Home Depot had a cracking pressure of 2 psi. Using gravity you get 0.433 psi per foot of elevation. My short barrel is about 3' high. So when it's full I'd get 1.29 psi. When it gets low it'd be less.
Luckily we have the Internet. I was able to find a low cracking pressure (0.25 psi) check valve at zorotools. It wasn't cheap. I paid ~$15 for including shipping.
|It was a lot larger than I expected it to be.|
|I ended up swapping out the straight fitting for an elbow.|
plumbed together. The irrigation tubing connecting them intersects under my deck.
rain barrels get higher than the overflow barrel they will fill it until it's full and the float valve closes. As I drain the barrels the overflow barrel will drain as well. This gives the whole system more capacity while keeping the overflow barrel of the way and out of site.
I have plenty of room under my deck. I'm going to see how this works and then probably add a few more barrels under there.