Rain barrel has frozen water

Nancy Martin
by Nancy Martin
Apparently I did not drain my rain barrel early enough and it now has ice what with the polar vortex that gripped SE Michigan recently. Even with temps in the 40s the next few days I'm sure it won't thaw completely. Is there anything I can do so the rain barrel won't get ruined this coming winter?
  7 answers
  • Don Goldwyn Don Goldwyn on Nov 23, 2014
    cover it over with an old blanket or similar
  • Dorothy Dorothy on Nov 23, 2014
    If it is located in a sunny spot consider painting it black to help absorb heat. Insulate the side not exposed to the sun. Heat water in the house and pour into the barrel to melt what is in there. Open drain at the bottom (assuming that's where the drain is) so that what does melt is drained out and doesn't refreeze during cold nights.
  • Patty Patty on Nov 23, 2014
    I ruined one the same way a few winters ago. Now I drain it and turn it upside down. I agree with Dorothy try melting the water, I'm afraid if you don't thaw it out it's going to crack
  • BONNIE J BONNIE J on Nov 23, 2014
  • Sheila Lynn Sheila Lynn on Nov 24, 2014
    I keep a soaker hose hooked to mine in the winter. As the water melts it goes into the yard and keeps my trees happy. I've never had a barrel ruined by it.
  • Nancy Martin Nancy Martin on Nov 30, 2014
    Thanks everyone! 2 days of above freezing weather, plus warm tap from inside, plus rain...and it is all melted! I've now drained it and put in the garage until spring. I've learned my lesson....drain long before the first frost!
  • Sue Ellen Mobley Sue Ellen Mobley on Nov 09, 2019

    Frozen Rain Barrel Hack: Pond Heater! We fed a 300 gal. plastic pond from the rain barrel and to gal. jugs for other outside watering needs. Pond gave up the 12 year fight against gravity. We live on a large mound of whatever they took out of a coal mine 120 years ago. Everything up here wants to settle down there. Over time enough has moved to cause the Pond to fold in half, upon itself. Pond cracked, fish came in for the winter. The barrel is the last thing we put away off the deck. When the awning was up everything was fine, water was wet. Last thing I did two days ago was roll away the awning. Yesterday water barrel frozen-SOLiD! Today I put the pound heater on the ice and watched it melt through the ice. 1.5 hrs. later and we have good drips out the spigot. Hose was brought in the house to warm up and it will drain off the deck. Hope you got a water bowl or bucket heater, under $20.00 Tractor Supply. Good luck.