I saw one of these rain chains in a display garden a few years ago and fell in love with the concept. What’s not to like? Instead of a length of non-descript pipe, you get an interesting water feature during rain showers.
These are copper chains and bells and while they start out looking bright and shiny will turn a copper-green with age (I’m looking forward to that actually as it will match the house nicely)
There are several issues with installing one of these units.
First – where do you put it? I wanted it on the front of the house but the downspout would have put it into the edge of the front steps (the downspout comes off the overhanging roof and curves to avoid the steps). Chains do not “curve” easily and need to hang straight down.
Solution: Put it on the back of the house in the brand new garden area and make it part of the features of this garden. As the porches are turned into 3-season rooms, this will make it easily seen and heard during rain showers from this area.
A no-brainer. It took me longer to get the ladder from the garage (and put it away) than it did to get this up and working.
Once the downspout is removed, the end of the chain goes through the downspout hole in the gutter, the triangle wire is spread and that’s about it. No screws, bolts or other fastening systems are needed. Pretty slick actually.
Part of the issue we had in this area was the placement of the downspout. The natural slope of the land is steeply away from the house but the foundation is carved out of bedroock. We don’t want to let water slip down between the house foundation and the excavations in the rock as it might have no better place to go than our basement.
The established solution was a drainage pipe the old downspout ran into.
Again, rain chains don’t curve so we needed to run the chain into a holding-tank of some kind. Then plumb that holding tank into the drain-pipe.
If you were saving your water for use in the garden, this would be a perfect spot to place the water-saving barrel.
Love it. I’ve had it through a few showers now and I have to say the sound of the water running down the copper bells is a welcome addition to a gentle rain.
June 2011 -We live out on Lake Ontario and the winds can be quite winter-vicious. I’ve moved the rain chain because of high winds. The chain had begun “circling” even when I weighted the end (or tied) the end down. This circling motion caused the middle of the chain to repeatedly strike our vinyl siding. And while I don’t think the strikes were hard enough to break the vinyl immediately, repeated bangings can’t be good for it. Not only that but it was quite distracting to listen to this constant wall banging.
October 2016: As I repost this after out big site move, I realized I’d taken the Rain Chain down and it sits in the garden shed. It turns out that no matter where we placed it in our house, the movement of the light copper banged up against the siding.
Bottom line: I like the look and sound it generates but our reality is that a bit of wind gets it moving and hitting the house. If you live in a windless location, you’ll be fine. Otherwise, I’d save your money for good plants.
I do review other products and plants and you can find the links here on my garden blog page.
You can check out rain chains here for pricing on Amazon.
Disclaimer: This rain chain was provided for evaluation purposes by Rain Chains Direct – the manufacturer of this product. no other promises were made or expected other than an honest evaluation.