If you leave a barrel of water in your summer cottage for the winter, then in the spring an extremely unpleasant surprise may await the owners - a useful vessel will most likely burst. The barrel will simply be broken by ice, which will inevitably form in it already at the very first frost. In order for the container to become unusable, the water in the barrel does not even have to freeze completely. It will be enough for only the upper layer of the liquid to freeze.
Barrels of water burst in frost for a completely simple and obvious reason. In its solid state of aggregation, water occupies a much larger volume than in a liquid state. As a result, the material from which the barrel is made simply cannot withstand expansion. Most often, the walls of the vessel are damaged. The bottom bursts much less often. However, this does not matter, since in either of the two cases the household vessel will become unusable for further use and even repair.
If you want to have ready water for irrigation from the first day of spring, then you need to do something to prevent the barrel from bursting in severe frost. Namely, several empty plastic air bottles should be drowned in the barrel. In order for them not to float, a weight must be attached to each bottle. You can simply put some sand or earth into plastic containers. It is also recommended to put a wooden stick in the barrel so that it protrudes from the water by 20-30 cm.
All this will protect the barrel from freezing. A stick and empty bottles at the bottom will provide the missing expansion volume. The ice will compress the wood and the air in the bottles, without thus pressing on the sides of the barrel. Of course, the simplest and most reliable way to save a container useful in a summer cottage is the usual drainage of liquid during frosts.
Continuing the topic, you can read about what to do so that the water in the barrel on the site does not bloom: 3 simple and effective rules.