Rain Recycler, for under $10

Many of our plants cannot handle tap water such as our Nepenthes, a tropical pitcher plant.  Distilled water over time is not cheap, and I still cannot fathom shipping water from anywhere.  Time to build a rain catcher now that the rainy season is starting in San Francisco.

Rain Catcher working hard.

The basic idea came to me from my time spent sailing on Ladybug and their need to catch drinking water.  Essentially, they would use their bimini to catch water, it ran through a tube, and into a container.  You probably have most if not all of this laying around the house.

You need:

  • bucket or bowl
  • 3-6′ of non toxic tubing (I used 1/4 diam. non toxic tubing)
  • drill (or nail if no drill)
  • mesh (optional..but will keep debris out of your tube)
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun

Steps

  1. In your bucket, make a hole a little smaller than the outer diameter of your tubing.  If you do not have a drill, you can heat up a nail and melt a hole.  Make the hold close to the bottom of the bucket, but allowing the bucket to sit flat on a surface.
  2. Push tube through hole.
  3. Hot glue the tube into place.  I set the tube 1/4″ through the hole.  Hot glue often feels cool, before it is completely set…so after you think it is cool, wait another 2 minutes or run it under cold water.  The hot glue not only keeps the tube in place, it also fills in any gaps that may leak.
  4. Cut out a piece of mesh.  I molded it with my fingers to make a little bubble to allow it to freely cover the tubing.
  5. Hot glue mesh into place.  If you cooled the hot glue with water, dry the area first.
  6. You are ready to catch water.  You can either put the tube into the final container, or put the tubing into the bucket so that it does leak out until you are ready to store it.

Push tube through hole

Showing tube going through the bucket

Showing tube going through the bucket

Mesh covering tube and hole

Mesh covering tube and hole

Done. Keep the tube in the bucket until ready to pour into final storage

Done. Keep the tube in the bucket until ready to pour into final storage

NOTES

  • Bucket…the larger the opening , the more rain you can catch.  I picked up a 21″ plastic bowl in Chinatown for $5
  • Tubing…good rule of thumb, if it smell plasticy, your plants probably will not like the water.  Again, I picked up 6′ in Chinatown for $3
  • All the rest of the materials /tools I had laying around the house.

When ready, pour into final contain.  I reuse the old distilled gal. containers

When ready, pour into final contain. I reuse the old distilled gal. containers

–Far Out Flora

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