While many gardeners are familiar with the concept using rain barrels to save water, saving rain or grey water in a 5-gallon pail may suffice for a container, courtyard or other small garden. Adding a male-threaded spigot to a 5-gallon bucket and setting it on a stand or table provides you with a convenient method of disbursing water, gray water or compost tea through a garden or soaker hose. The moisture will slowly soak into the soil around the plants, providing much needed moisture and nutrients to the tender roots.
Things You'll Need
How to Put a Garden Hose Spigot on a 5-Gallon Pail
Step 1: Mark the Spot
Place the 5-gallon pail on a sturdy table or workbench. Measure 2 inches up from the bottom of the pail, and mark the spot with a permanent marker.
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Step 2: Put on Protective Gear
Put on heavy gloves and safety glasses to protect your hands and eyes.
Step 3: Cut the Hole
Cut a 1-inch diameter hole in the side of the pail, using an electric drill and 1-inch hole or spade bit. Center the hole on the marked spot. If you prefer, instead of a spigot you can attach a bulkhead connector, to which you connect a spigot or hose.
Step 4: Prepare the Spigot
Place a rubber washer onto the faucet's threaded inlet pipe. Then wind plumber's tape clockwise onto the faucet's threads to help prevent leaks. An additional bead of silicon sealant or roll of plumbers caulk under the faucet's flange, on the outside of the pail, will also help prevent leaks.
Step 5: Insert the Faucet
Push the faucet's inlet pipe through the hole in the bucket. Place the second rubber washer onto the pipe, inside the pail, and then add the locknut. Twist the spigot so it is aligned properly on the bucket, with the handle on top.
Step 6: Tighten the Locknut
Twist the locknut (on the inside of the pail) clockwise onto the inlet pipe to tighten it. Once the locknut is hand tight, hold onto the faucet with one wrench to maintain its position while using a second wrench to turn the locknut an additional one-quarter to one-half turn to firmly secure it to the faucet inlet. Do not overtighten the nut onto the faucet inlet; you may damage the faucet or crack the pail.
Step 7: Position the Bucket
Place the bucket on a table or sturdy stand so gravity carries the water through the hose and into the garden. Remember, water is heavy, so the supporting structure should be able to support 40 to 50 pounds. If the pail will be sitting on the ground, move the faucet up an additional 2 to 3 inches to allow sufficient space to attach a garden hose.
Step 8: Cover the Bucket
Cover the bucket with a lid or window screening to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the water. If storing water or brewing compost tea in the bucket, keep it covered to prevent a drowning or tipping hazard. Keep it out of reach of children and pets.
All supplies are available in the plumbing department of a home improvement center.