Rain chains

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swimmer_spe

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While on a "hot trip" to the DR, my wife and I saw how instead of downspouts they have rain chains. Now we are in our forever home, we want to install some around our home. One spot, the downspout currently follows the side of the house and then under the deck, which then flows into a plastic flexible pipe that flows away from the house. My plan would be to find a way that during the spring, we pull out the downspout, hang a rain chain, have it land in a nice looking pool that is dog safe that will drain down to the same pipe to continue to direct the water away.

Anyone do this? Are there ones to avoid?
 

Snoonyb

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An architectural element. just make sure the gutter is supported.
 

Eddie_T

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I made one to try the concept. I don't have gutters and have three valleys one being near my front entrance. I cut a hole in the bottom of a Dollar Tree plastic bucket, mounted it in the corner and hung a chain from the bucket into a clay pot. The only problem is that the hole in the bucket easily clogs with leaves and twigs due the piece of wire across the hole to hold the chain. It might work better if I put a funnel shape in the bucket to avoid the flat bottom and hang the chain somehow from the top of the bucket. It looks good with the water following the chain into the pot.

I think I will paint the bucket with brass paint and hope it will turn verdigris. It's within easy reach (using a stepladder) if I could but remember to clean it before it rains.
 
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Eddie_T

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BTW I haven't tried a fancy chain, I just used a leftover from a swag light or maybe a plant hanger.
 

Flyover

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We have a nature center at a park in my town that has rain chains on each corner of the building. The whole building is visually striking (very modern) and the chains are no exception. Real pretty in the winter as they form the center of a huge braided icicle. The chains terminate in decorative gravel beds (presumably leading to French drains...?). I never paid much attention to how the chains were supported and what kept the leaves off, but now I'm curious so I'll have to take a closer look next time I'm there.
 

kok328

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wondering how well they work in a downpour?
 

Eddie_T

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wondering how well they work in a downpour?
The reason I wanted the chain was that in an inch/hour rain the valley would shoot the water to the center of my walkway. When the leaderhead (bucket) is not blocked it still works well even in an inch/hour rain. It will continue to work with some blockage and most of the leaderhead overflow still finds the chain.
 

swimmer_spe

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Eddie it nailed it, leaves will be an issue due to the chain support.
You can get eavestrough covers for leaves. I am thinking of doing that to reduce the need to climb a ladder to clean mine.

Not well, ornimential more than function. A lot of weight hanging under ice load.

"Rain Chains - Garden Decor - The Home Depot" Rain Chains - Garden Decor - The Home Depot
I'd be removing mine and putting the downspout back in the fall.
 

Eddie_T

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You prolly don't even need a leaderhead so just hang a cheap chain to see if it does what you want. If you like it then get a nice ornamental chain. Part of the bucket experiment was to see if the capture diameter would work, and it has worked well. Since I need the leaderhead I may keep an eye out for an ornamental plastic flower pot to replace the bucket. A flower pot might be strong enough that I could hang it with keyholes making it easy to take down and clean. MIne has survived two winters as is. I just never got motivated to move on.

In chains I like copper with circular links. I haven't compared prices but it might be cheaper to purchase copper ground wire and form my own chain links. The chain in the picture is rusted steel, the brass plating being long gone.


0419211053.jpg
 

Eddie_T

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Downpour with leaves in the leader head (bucket) .0503211024.jpg
 

Eddie_T

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I modified my leader head hopefully so it will gather less trash and be easier to clean, I purchased a Betty Crocker colander at the Dollar Tree cut off the tab, cut a hole in the bottom and dropped it in the leader head. I also reshaped the wire holding the chain so the vee is below the hole. Sorry about the mis focus it apparently focused on the chain.

0525211628.jpg
 
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Jeff Handy

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Rain chains are a useless new age fufu joke, unless all you get are gentle drizzles.
You need gutters and downspouts.
 

Eddie_T

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I don't like the appearance or cleaning of gutters and downspouts so I have a French drain around my periphery. The chain works as long as I remember to clean the leaves out. Living in the woods is nice but leaves are a constant problem.
 

BvilleBound

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While on a "hot trip" to the DR, my wife and I saw how instead of downspouts they have rain chains. Now we are in our forever home, we want to install some around our home. One spot, the downspout currently follows the side of the house and then under the deck, which then flows into a plastic flexible pipe that flows away from the house. My plan would be to find a way that during the spring, we pull out the downspout, hang a rain chain, have it land in a nice looking pool that is dog safe that will drain down to the same pipe to continue to direct the water away.

Anyone do this? Are there ones to avoid?
Yes, rain chains are both decorative and can solve drainage problem. Our home along the shore has gutters -- but we needed a way to direct the runoff to a drain in front, and off a deck in back. I bought some solid copper rain chains online; one from a company that specializes in them, and the other from a vendor on Amazon. We needed solid copper due to the marine environment, plus copper ages nicely and develops a nice patina.

I attached the one in the front to the drain port from the gutter. This gutter handles runoff from a major valley from the roof, and I wanted to direct it to a drain and dry well under the lawn. Without a rain chain, this would have required an ugly downspout dangling off the side of our porch roof. I hung the rain chain from the drain port with the extra wire that came with it, and attached the last cup at the end to the top of the drain grate with a zip tie. It works great, and handles all of the water that gushes off the roof. In the winter icicles form -- but don't add too much weight because the rain chain moves a bit in the wind and they break off.

In the back, I wanted to direct a downspout away from our new deck and off the side. Like the front, this would have required running an ugly gutter downspout over the trim and along a post. The rain chain solved this problem. I drilled two small holes in the end of the gutter downspout, and inserted the wire there. The end of the rain chain simply hangs off the edge of the deck.

Our neighbors also thought they looked nice and asked where we bought them. Photos are attached below, showing the one in front and the other in back.

I hope this is helpful.

Mark
 

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BuzzLOL

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Does the plastic chain they sell in various colors work?
 

Eddie_T

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Gutters can merge in architecturally or be concealed but downspouts not so much. I take that back I have seen some rather good looking copper systems.
 
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