Choosing And Installing Rain Chains

Many people enjoy listening to and watching the rain. If you are one of these people, you may spend time sitting on the back porch during summer rains. While natural rainfall brings its own joy, you can enhance the experience by installing rain chains to direct the rainfall and create the delightful sound of dripping, running, or rushing water. But there are some things you should know before installing a rain chain.

Where is the best place to install a rain chain?

Rain chains are designed to funnel water from the roof to the ground. They may be used above rain barrels or basins to collect the water to use for garden veggies and flowers, but they can also be placed above a drain or the water can simply flow onto the ground. Many people install rain chains under the downspout of the gutter system. If your primary reason for a rain chain is to enjoy its beauty and to listen to the rain, make sure it is located in an area where you can both see and hear it. The eaves at the corners or your porch are good locations, but if that isn't an option, try installing them near a window where you can observe from inside.

Do you need a gutter system to use a rain chain?

Rain chains work best with the flow of water from the gutters, but you do not need a gutter system to install rain chains. Choose a location where water flows naturally from your roof, such as the corner of the house or the junction between two sections of your home. Walk around your home and observe the water flow during a rainstorm to determine the best location for your rain chain.

Do you need to take the rain chain down during the winter?

In areas with severe winter weather, you may want to remove your rain chains during the winter; however, moderate snow and ice during the winter should not pose and issue. In fact, when ice and snow melts during the day and drips or flows through the rain chain and then refreezes in the night, they often create intricate and unique designs of ice. If you intend to leave your rain chain up all winter, make sure to install it with a kit designed to hold additional weight, as ice and snow can increase the weight of the chain significantly.

Are rain chains hard to install?

Installing a rain chain is not difficult. They typically come with an installation kit with directions for using all the included parts. If you have a gutter system, installation will involve removing the downspout and using the included hardware to attach the rain chain to the gutters. If you do not have a gutter system, the rain chain can be installed with a hook. The bottom of the rain chain can be left hanging freely or be tethered with a rod or basin to prevent movement.

Which style rain chain is the best?

Rain chains come in a variety of styles from simple chains to chains with elaborate knots and even as a series of cups. Cups are designed with a hole in the bottom to funnel the water downward. Your choice of a rain chain style depends in part on where the chain will be located. If your rain chain will be near walkways or paths, choose one that keeps splashing to the minimum. However, if your goal is to hear the sound of water as it tumbles and splashes, avoid rain chains that curtail splashing. Traditional chains tend to allow water to splash about as it rushes downward, while cups tend to create a serene flow that remains inside the cups. Consider both the appearance and intended location of the rain chain when choosing a style.

Adding a rain chain near your back porch will give you hours of enjoyment during summer rains and will enhance the appearance of your backyard, too.