Rainchains are a practical and attractive alternative to the traditional downspout. Although they have been used for thousands of years, they are being used in and around more homes in modern America today than ever before. Rain chains hang from the hole in a gutter where a traditional downspout would be placed and create a unique accent piece for any corner of your home. A rainchain is easy to assemble without any tools and just as easy to install. The most common lengths are 6½ and 9ft but they can be shortened or lengthened without much trouble.
The rainchain works on the same principle as the traditional metal or plastic downspout, which is to guide water from the roof to the ground. The traditional downspout is not very attractive and can cause soil erosion very quickly. The rainchain breaks the falling water and gently guides it to the ground or into a storage receptacle. They are visually appealing and recreate the sound of a water fall in your own back yard.
Usually made of copper, they can also be made from brass or aluminum, and come in a variety of styles. The original chain links are more likely to cause splashing around the chain in a heavy rain, so consider this when deciding where to place them. The cup style chains act like a funnel where the rain falls from the gutter, down the chain, into the cup and through the openings in the bottom of each cup into the next one.
To anchor your chain at the bottom and help stop erosion you can find special basins to fill with rocks and tie the chain to. Any alternative to a store bought basin will work well too, use wire or string and a decorative planter ½ filled with rocks. A rain chain will also flow right into your rain barrel for harvesting the water to use later in your garden.
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