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on October 7, 2010
This rain barrel is ready out of the box, the spigot is already attached, and the overflow valve is at the top. By comparison, the Algreen Cascada, which I also have, requires you to attach the spigot (with Teflon tape), attach a hose to the bottom, and set up the overflow hose yourself (and can't be used at all until you do).

I planned to use the Kyoto as a rain barrel in our garden for food crops, so I was NOT catching water from the roof for this purpose. This barrel has a much better configuration for the purpose for which I intend it. It is also a little cheaper. Cons: the open top does have a "screen" of sorts for bugs, but the holes are too big; I plan to attach actual screen to it, as others have suggested. The screen also attaches to the top with tiny built-in tabs, which don't really hold it; I plan to attach some sort of screw or nail so that the top doesn't pop off.

The biggest concern I have--and I've edited this review to reflect this--is that the rain barrel comes with a warning not ONLY not to consume the water, but to wash one's hands after handling the water. I presumed that the water wouldn't be potable if diverted from a roof, but this warning certainly implies that the water isn't safe for watering plants, and that this is due to the plastic. I assume, then, that this plastic has BPA and that it isn't heat-stable. If that's NOT the case, the warning should be more specific. Whatever the case, I'm quite disappointed.
1010 comments110 of 115 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 27, 2010
For my purpose this 75 gal water barrel rocks! I online shopped many barrels, but I just needed a glorified pretty bucket. At the time of purchase, [..] had these for $179, while amazon's price was $[...]. Neither charged shipping. At that price this one wins on the dollar per gallon count, but it isn't as fancy.
Almost every other barrel out there is based on diverted rain/gutter water. This one has no such system. Just a screen to catch leaves, which I'm going to augment w/ a window screen for bugs (or killer goldfish MUUHAHAHA). I don't have gutters & don't want to pay or take the time to install them just for a rain barrel. . . I just park this one about where all the water comes off the roof & BAM! it works!
I'd love to have a 300 gal water barrel w/ fancy diverter. But I'm not watering the whole yard. I'm just catching some grey/rainwater that'll be used for small stuff. It's also way more attractive than some blue industrial barrel. Just yank it outa the box and you're ready to go. Oh one bad thing.
I had zero choice on the color. It's the brownish and I wanted the off white. I can live w/ that.
Simple idea. Looks pretty. Handles small jobs for a smaller price.
jeeez I sound like a friggin car salesman, but I'm that happy with it.
44 comments86 of 90 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 28, 2011
I did a huge amount of research before buying a rain barrel and decided on the Kyoto 75 for a number of reason.

* It has an overflow.
* It has two bottom drainage openings.
* It has an open top - I do not have a downspout from a gutter system and this was to sit under a converging roof point.
* It doesn't look like a rain barrel.
* It is weather resistant, so I do not have to move it seasonally.
* Its 75 gallons and one of the larger sizes, but measure it before you buy as it is big. The 55 gallon version is the same width, but about a foot shorter.

The barrel came in a huge cardboard box, so there was no damage. It was wrapped in plastic and arrived on time as well.

The opening at the top is semi-covered as there is a plastic center piece and three ribs that extend from it to the rim. This hold the black 'screen' like top in place. That screen works great and lets water in, but the holes in it are round and a little large. I cut out a round window screen and placed it under the black one. Now no little pieces of debris get in. That also ensures no mosquitos either. I also wanted this more for drainage than for water reuse, so I followed what another commenter had written and purchased a Gilmour Full Flow Aluminum Connector AS1FFM. I attached that to the lower drainage opening and used its black cap to screw onto the copper drainage spout. This with a 50 foot Gilmour hose and it is perfect for continuous drainage.
Lastly, I bought 12 pavers from Home Depot for the barrel to sit on which again someone else here already recommended. It sits level and the pavers add a needed finish to the setting.

To recap.
* Added a flow valve that screws directly into the lower drainage opening.
* Connected a hose to the flow valve.
* Cut a round patio screen to sit under the black top.
* Placed 12 pavers under the barrel to finish and level it.

Excellent rain system. Couldn't be happier.
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0Comment27 of 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 8, 2010
I have purchased two of the Kyoto 75-Gallon rain barrels. I recommend this size over the smaller barrel because of its larger capacity. I was surprised at how quickly each barrel can fill up.

* Barrel design and finish resemble expensive pottery.
* No special tubes are needed to hook up the barrel, simply re-route your gutter's downspout.
* Barrel has a metal faucet.
* Barrel has an overflow drain at the top and another drain at the base besides the attractive metal faucet.
* Faucet is just high enough for filling my watering can.
* Amazon delivery was very prompt.

* None at this point.
0Comment37 of 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 17, 2012
Background and Context: I never knew what a rain barrel was until i saw one attached to my neighbor's house. It seemed like a great idea and a good way to be "green" so I decided to get one to save on water for the potted flowers along the patio and in front of the house. Water costs in our area have skyrocketed to pay for "infrastructure improvements" (and possibly to line our wonderful Illinois politician's pockets). On top of that, they charge us a sewer fee for our water use. Because of this, from a psychological perspective, I was definitely going to get a rain barrel. As an added bonus, we got the rain barrel prior to the "Great Drought of 2012" and the purchase has made us feel even better. One final note, I'm not a green freak, I don't live in the pacific northwest, I don't wear Birkenstocks, and I don't drive an old Volvo 240 converted to run on biodiesel. Getting a rain barrel just seemed like a neat thing to do- it's not a way of life.

My requirements for a rain barrel were as follows:
- Functional: device must collect rain water from roof and store it for later use. Again, this water will only be used for flowers and I do not plan on drinking or bathing with the water collected in this barrel.
- Quality: You should expect some quality if you are paying over $100 for a large plastic water container
- Aesthetic: Must look good and it must blend in with the house
- Capacity: Must hold enough water to last between rainfalls
- Easy to set up: It's a rain barrel not Ikea furniture!
- Economical: Should help save on water bills or make you think you are saving water

Results: Using these requirements, here is how the rain barrel scored (i was surprised by the economics):

- Functional: Below Average. Not sure if it is my rain barrel, but the flow from the spigot is slow (not as bad as a 70 yr old man with an enlarged prostate trying to pee but still pretty slow) so it takes some time to fill up a 2 gallon watering can (sorry, i don't have exact metrics- but in the time it takes to fill the can, i can water 8 pots of flowers). The spigot rests high, but that leaves a foot of space underneath of water that you will not be able to use (unless you tip the barrel). Finally, the hole for the overflow is several inches from the top of the lip- resulting in more capacity that you cannot use. I'm sure someone with a lot of time on their hands could calculate the actual available volume- but that person won't be me. I've also had no issues with the bug screen- it seems to work fine.

- Quality: Below Average. My barrel had a slight leak around the faucet as evidenced by the blocks underneath always being wet, and bees knowing where to go to get a drink. The leak was minimal and not a big deal. It's still TBD how this thing will stand up through a midwestern winter.

- Aesthetic: Excellent. Our neighbor complimented us on our rain barrel and people that come over want to get one after seeing ours.

- Capacity: Excellent. It fills up during a good thunderstorm (results will vary based on the the sq footage of your roof feeding a particular downspout) and the water lasts until the next rain (and it's barely rained this summer).

- Easy to Set up: Excellent. Came ready to use out of the box (a giant box at that). I just had to get a ~$3 downspout fitting from the hardware store, some cement blocks to put the rainbarrel on, and a pipe (used a flexible sump pump pipe) for the overflow.

- Economics: Extremely Poor. Here's the math: Illinois water is about $3.23 per 1000 gallons (Per Prairie Research Institute) or $0.003/gallon The current price of the barrel is $128 which is equivalent to purchasing 39,628.5 gallons of water. Therefore you would have to fill up and use my barrel ~528 times in order to break even. In my case: assume that I use 4 gallons a day (two watering cans) for 5 months a year (May to Sept = 123 days) and that i water 80% of the days =98 days(factor in rain days + laziness. Using these assumptions, i would consume 392 gallons a year (or $1.27 worth of water) thereby resulting in a payback period of 101 years on just the price of the rain barrel itself(assuming everything remains constant e.g. price of water). Obviously your results will vary but you get the idea.

Bottom Line: I'd still purchase this again. Looks great, easy to set up, does its job (albeit like a teenager being paid minimum wage), and has some quality issues (which I can live with). Get this for its looks and to make you feel "green" because the economics don't make a lot of sense (at least for me).

Cliff Notes:

Pros: Looks good, good capacity, makes you feel like you are doing something for the environment.

Cons: Quality issues (minor leak around the faucet); mediocre performance (slow outflow from spigot); wasted capacity (bottom of the barrel and from the overflow valve to the top); You really aren't saving that much on your water bill (see Economics).
22 comments21 of 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 1, 2011
The Kyoto looks really nice, much better than most rain barrels. I had my first one out of the box for less than a minute before my neighbor commented on how good it looks. Unfortunately, it had a big, deep scratch in it. Amazon was great about getting a replacement out immediately, and the replacement was in excellent condition. The next one I bought was also in good condition. It's got a small dent in the front that's hardly noticeable and I suspect once the barrel is full and warm from the summer sun the dent will pop out. I ordered 2 more and not only did they both arrive badly scratched, I'm pretty certain one of them was the one I originally returned as damaged! It had the exact same gouge in the exact same place. Even if it's not the same one I had returned, it was obvious that it had been opened previously. It had been clumsily repackaged with the plastic bag taped closed rather than the nice, neat metal twist tie the manufacturer uses on new ones. The replacements for both of those damaged ones were also scratched, but I decided the damage was minimal enough to live with.

I'm using these barrels with rain chains rather than downspouts. There is a fair bit of splash off of the top that would be minimized if the lid were recessed an inch or so. It's not a lot of splash but it's enough to get the house wet with the barrels sitting a foot away from the wall. Also, the lids aren't held on with anything and are very light. They would blow off in a strong wind. I've wired mine down.

Bottom line - I'd give the product 4 stars and the company that makes them and ships them 1 star for shoddy handling at the factory leading to a lot of damage and the fact that they sold as new a barrel that had obviously been previously opened. I don't normally down-rate a product due to poor business practices by the manufacturer, but in this case I think it's warranted.

[Edit] I've had my 4 rain barrels for about 6 months now. I get a lot of comments about how good they look. One of them apparently had an imperceptible scratch on it when I bought it. There's a thin coating on the outside of the barrel and that's flaking off where it's scratched. I'm not happy about that. Otherwise, they're doing their job well. I used 1" vinyl tubing for the overflow port in back. I softened the tubing in hot water and it slipped on easily.

Bottom line - It looks good, it works well, and it's ready to go right out of the box. Just be sure to inspect it thoroughly.
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on May 11, 2011
Purchased seven Kyoto 75 gallon rain barrels to reclaim rain water from gutters surrounding the house. Attractive design. Will put fiberglass screen material under the perforated top to keep debris/dirt from falling in the barrels. Tested all seven barrels to see if the brass spigots leaked. None leaked but the flow of water coming out once spigot was opened was very slow. As a solution, I purchased seven Gilmour brand full-flo metal hose-end shut off devices and attached each to the lowest capped opening. Lowe's SKU # 248107. Used the black plastic cap which was attached to the lowest opening to completely close off the device and keep spiders and other bugs from nesting. With this device in place, water quickly flows from the barrel at the lowest point to completely empty the barrel. Very easy to attach a garden hose to this device. Even if the brass spigot worked better with improved water flow, you would still have to open the lowest capped opening to remove all the water since the spigot is located approx 20 inches off the ground. This solved the problem perfectly.
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on June 25, 2010
This is my first rain barrel to set up and use. I am very pleased with it. Not only is it attractive but it holds a lot of water. I have not yet connected it to a downspout diverter but it filled from the runoff from just one side of a double carport after about 3 good hard rains. The design allows you to just set it in place on a fairly flat surface and easily make minor adjustments under the "feet" to level it. My barrel sits in full sun and it has been very hot recently (90-100). But the water in the barrel only becomes a bit warm and not hot. The faucet seems sturdy and works well. The only thing I might correct about it is the small tabs that hold the top in place. The black top tends to flex from the heat of the direct sun when it is hot and the small tabs that stick out to hold it in place aren't big enough to do the job. I sit something on the lid to make certain it stays flat and remains in place. I also cut out a round of screening to fit under the lid to filter out small debris and keep out bugs and mosquitoes. The holes in the lid are large enough to let some bugs and small debris through. So far, so good but I do use mosquito dunks just in case.
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on November 8, 2010
First of all, I am more than pleased regarding this product. The sandstone color matches the siding on my house perfectly, and the style is very appealing. I bought the Kyoto 75 gallon rain barrel based on other reviews and suggestions regarding size. I am very happy I bought the 75 gallon since it does not take much to fill the barrel - a few hours of light rain and it will be full. The rain barrel is nice and sturdy, though I could easily manage to move it when it wasn't full of water.
I prepared my site by leveling the ground and laying brick pavers in a 2'x2' square. After placing the barrel on the blocks, I cut the downspout approximately 1 foot above the barrel top, and attached an adjustable downspout extender. I cut a rectangular opening in the barrel cover, and slid the extender into the opening, fastening them together. In addition I placed a screen under the barrel cover to catch bugs and debris.
There is an overflow tube that comes out of the top rear of the barrel. I wish it was on the side so it wouldn't be next to the house. To rectify this issue, I added a 5 foot plastic tube to channel any overflow water to the yard and away from the house.
It works great, looks great, and was easy to install! I would definitely suggest this rain barrel to all who are considering buying one.
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on July 2, 2010
Great transaction from Amazon for this 75 gallon rain barrel with super quick shipping and relatively good packaging. This is an upgrade for me as I currently have a 55 gal barrel whose color is bright teracotta and not as easily camoflaged from view as this sandstone is, plus I wanted a little more water without committing to an inground system yet. [one day!] This item is all one piece though it looks like a barrel with a stand. Spigot works fairly well... water comes out a little slow for some reason- though the opening appears to be adequate. The only issue we have with this barrel is the water flows out of the gutter and since there isn't a lip on the opening going into the barrel and is flat in design... the water gushes over the front instead of into the barrel. This could be due to our current diverter from the gutter (save the rain model that you manually open when you want the water to go into the barrel and not down the gutter spout ). If we perhaps purchase the gutter end piece that points down into the barrel instead -this may not be a problem but then I wouldn't have the option of opening and closing the gutter. Not a huge deal as we just remove the top plastic screen and allow the rain into the barrel but then we end up with all of the roof debris. Ah well..... the price, size and appearance makes up for the inconvenience.
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