An ancient Japanese tradition, rain chains offer a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional, clunky drainpipes. Both perform the mundane task of routing roof water during a downpour, but a rain chain does it with a Zen-like attitude.
Decorative cup rain chains are typically composed of a series of vertically stacked metal cups or funnels, each with a hole in the bottom. Each cup is attached to an inner chain, and the chain is mounted to existing rain gutter holes on homes. This eliminates the need for the ugly downspout entirely. Water flows from the gutter hole, down the chain, passing through each funnel, to a water collector below. Rain chains can be made of aluminum, brass, and plastic, but a copper rain chain is the most popular choice.
When shopping for rain chains, look for cups that have adequately sized holes in the bottom for proper draining. The rain chain cups will vary in size and design. A nice alternative to those old metal downspouts, you'll enjoy how a rain chain lets you watch the water flowing from your roof. Water movment is relaxing and mesmerizing. You're sure to find yourself sitting on your porch during a hard rain just to watch your rain chain at work.
Decorative rain chains, which create the appearance of a column of water, sound as lovely as they look. When water passes through the chain's funnels, it creates a soft, lulling, melodious sound. Beyond their aesthetic value, decorative rain chains work to conserve water. If you place a bucket or rain barrel below the chain, you can use the collected water to care for garden and yard plants. Rain chains can also direct water away from your house, saving your outside walls from unsightly drip lines, discoloring, or splashes of wet mud and sand. Rain chains also keep you, your family and guests drier by channeling water away from walkways, decks, driveways, basements and patios. By directing and collecting runoff you will also prevent landscape erosion (or decorative concrete or stone slabs sinking), so you can plan and plant with ease - and relax on rainy days.
How to Install a Rain Chain
Now that you've read all about the benefits of rain chains, it's time to see one in action. Click on the video below to see how easy it really is to install your rain chain and begin enjoying it right away.