I created a rain barrel using an old plastic 55 gallon barrel and a brass spigot. I drilled a half-inch hole in the side of the barrel for the spigot, wrapped some plumbers tape around the threads, and screwed it into the hole. Only one problem, the spigot leaks...a very slow drip at the base. How do I prevent it from leaking?

Rain barrel Close-up of spigot

  • What size nut and gasket did you use and what size is the hole. I have the exact problem deb – Debbie Mar 31 '17 at 0:33

I used hydraulic (marine) epoxy to seal the hardware to the plastic barrel. Hasn't leaked in about 8 years.

| improve this answer | |
  • I ended up redoing my spigot with marine epoxy. It works great! The gasket/washer/nut method was fine...but, for barrels that were curved at the bottom it only worked if the spigot was above the curved area which left about 6 inches of water my spigot could never drain. – Shane Mar 13 '12 at 21:24

I don't think the threads have enough to make a water tight seal against the rain barrel. Teflon tape is good when you have many threads making a connection between two joints. Instead, I'd make the hole larger, put a nut, washer, and rubber gasket on each side with the rain barrel in the middle so you can compress the rubber washer against the rain barrel for a water tight seal. Here is it in the ever so descriptive ascii art:

        ||| * |||  
| +-----+++---+++--
+-+     |||   |||       
| | +---+++---+++--
  | |   ||| * |||
  ^^^       *  ^
faucet   ^  ^  +--- gasket, washer, nut
         |  +-- rain barrel
         +-- nut, washer, gasket
| improve this answer | |
  • The spigot screws into the two nuts, and then the nuts tighten the gasket and washer against the rain barrel? – Shane Oct 15 '11 at 20:33
  • Ok, that worked. I had to buy galvanized conduit nuts and washers...I slipped on a rubber o-ring on each side. It sealed up nicely! – Shane Oct 15 '11 at 21:32
  • Oh, by the way...nice ASCII art. :) – Shane Oct 15 '11 at 21:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.