copper cup rain chain installed on home
copper cup rain chain installed on home

Now, if you aren’t familiar with rain chains you might be a little confused. You might even want to give me a “V8 smack” on the forehead and remind me that this is the “Downspout of the Week” post. But I want to assure you that rain chains can be used in place of downspouts! So please, no hitting.

First, some basics. Downspouts serve the purpose of providing a little discipline for that unruly rain water. If it was allowed to just come gushing to the ground out of a hole in the gutter, the water would cause damage to the home and create erosion on the ground. Basically, you get stuff like foundation problems, flooded basements and ruined siding. Okay, so you get it. Downspouts are a necessity. Moving on.

I’m here to tell you that rain chains will achieve the same outcome as a traditional downspout. They just have a little more style. You can get a plain ol’ link chain (which is what I’d bet you first pictured when you read “rain chains.” I’m right, aren’t I? Mhmm.). But don’t be quick to judge because the links are fully capable of looking awesome. The chains are also available in a “cup” style and this is where you’ll see a little more creativity. As you can see from the pictures, there are many different designs available out there. Here’s the thing, whether you go with a link or cup style chain, you’ll get the same effectiveness as a downspout. The chain will break up the flow of water as it makes its way to the ground thus lessening the impact at the bottom. And boom. You’ve got the same results a downspout would give you.

So there you have it. Rain chains are a fun and aesthetically pleasing alternative to a traditional downspout. Plus they’re cool to watch when they’re doing their thing. But I’m easily amused so maybe that’s just me.

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7 years ago

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Roger Diggle
Roger Diggle
7 years ago

One nice thing about Rain Chains that you didn’t mention: no splashing noises! Occasionally, even better than the traditional downspout – which can get pretty loud when a drip falls two stories, in air, to the foot of the downspout … and lands on the tin with a thunk. At least, that’s the thought I thunk …

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