Don’t install rain chains before reading this + DIY options

Instead of the conventional boring and noisy gutter downspouts, why not try an artistic downspout alternative for your home? Options like a rain chain are loved by many.

They are excellent alternatives to hideous and noisy gutter downspouts. The device is handy for a variety of reasons. If downspouts are not feasible, you can do these instead in such cases. The most obvious reason is that they are gorgeous and attractive. You can tell the difference between the two just by looking at them.

What are they?

rain chains

A rain chain is a lovely and functional alternative to an average gutter downspout. It is a kind of decorative downspout that connects to your gutter system. This modernistic device has stunning artistic features and characteristics that are said to have originated in Japan. They quickly spread across South America for over a hundred years.

In principle, it (kusari doi in Japanese) is not new. Ancient Japanese people frequently collected rainwater from their roofs, moving it downward with chains. They’d it into big containers for household use. Japanese temples also installed the most aesthetic and exquisite designs to complement their architecture.

They are now regularly utilized in modern homes due to their exquisite and fantastic features and functionality. There are a variety of designs to choose from, ranging from simple to ornate. In general, you may use them for everyday purposes. However, more complex and more significant designs are also visible from the road.

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How do they work?

As the standard gutters usually come down from the side of the house, the rain chains work differently. When it pours, part of the downpour cascades down the chains. It creates gushing waterfalls for you to enjoy. They direct it from your rain gutters down to the ground. And they are pretty noticeable and relaxing to listen to. The quiet tinkling of individual droplets to the tranquil rush of clear water is soothing. It’s a real treat to listen to.

kid sitting in the rain

They connect to the gutter and the downspouts so that the device can utilize the surface tension. When rainfall collects in the gutters and begins to drain, it takes the pathway. It uses the chain all the way to the ground. In this way, the water drops slowly as it loses its energy.

Because they direct water from the gutter to a specific place, most households employ basins. You can also use barrels or channel them to landscaping beds or other urn features. It is always good to consider how the water funneled from them will be used in practice. In such a way, the non-potable rainwater collected in the barrels can be used for most home uses. It includes a watering can. They can make rainy days a lot more fun.

What are the types?

kids jumping in the rain

There are two varieties that include the link style and the cup style.

Link chains or simple ones will splash more because less surface area slows the water down. As a result, they are frequently considered in specific locations like windows and roofed porches. They have the most open, fresh appearance and simplicity. They are ideal for rustic backgrounds and wooden houses.

Cup-style ones outperform link-type ones in terms of performance and efficiency. If surface runoff or soil loss is an issue, try using the cup-style chains to prevent a backsplash. It has an open bottom that serves as a funnel. As the water falls into the first cup, it flows into the second cup. It continues until it reaches its final destination.

In this manner, you can control the flow. The cup style sprinkles very little, even in heavy rain, making it suitable for use everywhere. The great thing about cup styles is that they come in various forms and sizes, making them visually attractive.

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Rain chain vs. downspout: Pros & cons

Gutters are essential in every home. The roof gutter systems protect the roof support and the yard from heavy rainfall. However, some people relied on traditional downspouts when it came to rainfall distribution. Simultaneously, other people chose more visually attractive solutions. Though they serve the same purpose of directing water from the roof to the desired area, how do they compare?

Rain chain

Artistically attractiveThey can’t handle a large volume of precipitation.
They’re easy to install.Less capacity
AffordableIt results in stagnant pools.
It creates soothing sounds.It causes soil to erode if there’s no collection system.
Gorgeous aging 
Little to no maintenance 

Gutter downspouts

High capacityBoring
It endures heavy rainsNoisy
They redirect water to the drainage, leaving nothing standing for long periods.It requires regular maintenance.
 Heavy to install

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DIY: How to make one

Making a homemade solution may be enjoyable for the entire family. They are also just as effective as store-bought products.

The first step in constructing a DIY option is deciding where to place them. Perhaps you’d like it to be hung in front of your house, next to your garage. Then you must decide what to do with the water after it has reached the ground. You may install a barrel or a basin with fountain elements to collect it. Alternatively, anything you choose to make the environment more visually appealing would work.

How to do a DIY decorative cup solution with brass candle holders:

Here are the easy steps in making the cups:

  1. Collect brass candle holders or purchase them from a nearby thrift store.
  2. Drill a few holes before hanging them. With the hole, you may be as creative as you want.
  3. The first hole to make is at the bottom of the cup, through which the chain is threaded.
  4. Use a hole saw with a tooth that is slightly wider than the chain.
  5. Next, drill two holes at the top of each cup to hang them using a drill bit.
  6. Then use a tool file and a grinding bit to smooth out the sharp bores.
  7. Then apply a sealer to cut out surfaces to prevent corrosion.

How to attach the cups:

  1. To begin, you will want a smaller chain. Preferably you want a brass plumber one.
  2. Each small chain should be around six inches long.
  3. After that, cut a two-end link and bend it into a simple hook.
  4. And then, hook each one through the holes you drilled on the top of the cup.

Steps to string the cups all together:

  1. Start by passing the large one through the holes in each cup.
  2. Then, loop the smaller chain through one of the links and connect it to the cup on either side.
  3. Using a plier, crimp the hooks onto the cup’s sides.
  4. Repeat the technique until all of the cups are attached to the chain.

How to install them to the gutter system:

  1. To begin, hang them vertically as you assemble them.
  2. Cut a hole in the gutter to mount it and allow the water to drain.
  3. Because it cannot withstand too much volume, a smaller opening is good. An 11/16 tool saw will suffice.
  4. To install it, cut one link in half to make a hook. Use it to hook it to the upper side of the gutter.
  5. Hold it up to the bottom side of the gutter opening.
  6. On the upper side, loop the half-link through it.
  7. Make sure the link is wider than the opening so that it can keep everything in place.

Your homemade rain chains are now complete. Once it pours, you may watch the water tumble and listen to the sound of soothing waterfalls.

Basins: everything you need to know

How do you catch the water from the chain if there is nothing at the end of it? It will spatter across your lawn, causing erosion. After the rain chain, a basin is the second most significant thing. It is the final stop for the water that travels down the system.

Basins are becoming an increasingly important component of owning this system. The two work together to meet the demands of keeping and preserving your property. Basins are capable in the way that they function by saving rainwater while also providing beauty and serving as a centerpiece.

They come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Some designs are rustic, but most are charming additions to your landscape. It is crucial to finish the look by anchoring or weighing down the basin with large, smooth boulders. It provides attractiveness to the overall aspect and produces a stunning water feature.

A quick reminder. You may need to purchase the two components separately. They must be purchased individually but come with high-quality kits. The most frequent type is the copper-polished catch basin.

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Do rain chains work in heavy downpours?

They cannot handle a large amount of precipitation that you would get with heavy storms. However, there is a solution. You may link your chain to the gutter or downspout.

It does not imply that the gutter or downspout will reach the ground. Nonetheless, they guarantee that the water is correctly transported to the rain chain. It alone may not serve the purpose. Another option is to install a backup downspout because they cannot withstand a heavy downpour.

Can you use rain chains without a gutter?

In some cases, they are hung directly from the roof. If you do this, make sure you get enough water to make it work. A cup-style one can handle more water than a link-style option.

Determine how much rainwater your roof can take based on the climate in your area. This method is inapplicable in places where it heavily rains most of the time.

Is it necessary to remove rain chains in subzero temperatures?

No, it is not essential to drop them in cold weather. The formation of ice on them might increase their attractiveness. The main problem with ice development is the weight. In such cases, bring them indoors to melt before rehanging.

What do you put at the bottom of a rain chain?

To make it easier to collect the rainwater and divert it towards the drain, you can add a basin, French drain, or barrel at the end of the rain chain.

What is the point of a rain chain?

A rain chain is used to redirect the rainwater towards the landscape beds or rain barrels away from the house’s foundation. They make it easier for the rainwater to drain instead of collecting around the drainage system.

Do rain chains need to be copper?

The choice of material for rain chains is not limited to copper since materials like stainless steel and aluminum are also often used. Copper remains a popular choice because of its aesthetic finish, durability, and high corrosion resistance.

Can I use a regular chain for rain chains?

You can string about anything to make your rain chain, including shower rings and key chains. Make sure the material doesn’t rust over time. It’s ideal to use stainless steel, aluminum, or copper. 

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Best materials:

  1. Brass. It’s a solid but workable material that is also corrosion-resistant. It is an appealing option.
  2. Copper. It’s a popular material. It is necessary to polish them regularly to keep their luster.
  3. Aluminum. It’s a corrosion-resistant material with the lowest density of any common metal, making it ideal for use.
  4. Steel. It’s one of the classic metals. Use high tensile steel. When used for these products, paint the device so that it will not rust over time.

Benefits of installing them in your home:

  • They offer a unique and fanciful way to enjoy rainy days.
  • They excite your senses as you watch the water flow down the length of the chain.
  • They act as a pathway for rainwater.
  • They are an excellent reason to upgrade your traditional downspout.
  • They attract people to go outside and enjoy the calming sound of rain falling on the chain.
  • They create a sense of tranquility in your home and ease your sadness away.
  • They save water.

Final words

Conservation is always a worthwhile objective that benefits anyone and everyone. So, where would you start? It all begins with becoming conscious of how you use and misuse it. It is a resource that takes a lot of energy to generate. A lot of it goes to waste.

There are several ways to preserve water in your house. Consider installing one on your property. It is a lovely way to spruce up your home, and it is easy to gather water from. It is valuable to many people. With these, the notion of recycling is swiftly taking hold. They encourage conservation. So have it installed right now!

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