Are you a contractor? Get exclusive pricing & discounts | Learn More

What Are Rain Chains and How Do They Work?

Have you ever looked at the exterior of your home and thought about different ways to make it look more original and unique? If so, you are certainly not alone. Many homeowners are making the transition from traditional downspouts to rain chains, an ancient Japanese alternative that offers as much beauty as functionality. If you choose to go this route after learning more about them, you can browse the huge selection of rain chains at

Rain Chains Explained

Your gutter system is comprised of tubes or half-tubes that capture rainwater from your roof, move it to the corners of your home, and then allow it to fall to the ground and away from your home via vertical attachments called downspouts. Though there is a huge selection of gutter colors, styles, and materials, more homeowners than ever before are moving away from traditional downspouts in favor of more decorative rain chains. Because they come in so many materials and styles, homeowners are sure to find a product that suits their individual needs and preferences. Some look much like traditional linked chains, but others are made of “cups” strung together on a chain, instead.

How Rain Chains Work

As the rainwater moves along your gutter system, rather than falling into a downspout, it will collect instead at the top of a chain that will give the rainwater a surface to trickle down as it heads toward the ground. Rain chains work best in light to moderate rains and may not be as effective in high wind conditions or when the rainfall is torrential. Homeowners can choose to extend the rain chains out into their yards, into a drain, or into a decorative container at the end of each chain. For homeowners who choose to have the chains reach out into the yard, they must be staked in order to be functional.

Installing Rain Chains

Installing rain chains is as simple as removing the downspouts from your gutter system, then using a simple strap to hang the chain from the end of the gutter. The chain will then hang down to the ground, and from here, you can choose whether to collect the water or allow it to flow out into the yard away from your home. Though rain chains do work best when used alongside traditional gutters, they can also be used alone if you install them in locations where rain naturally flows from a roof or awning.

Rain Chain Options

The most basic rain chains – and often the most affordable – are aluminum variations that resemble decorative versions of standard linked chains. Many models are copper, however, and while they are heavier and more expensive than their aluminum counterparts, they will last for years. Homeowners often opt for copper thanks to its incredible patina, which only gets better with age and provides a beautiful lived-in appearance.

Rain chains are an excellent tool for adding a personal touch to your home’s exterior. You might opt to use them only near the front entry of your home for true visual appeal, or you might choose to use them in place of all your home’s downspouts. When properly installed and used in the right locations, they are just as effective as downspouts, but offer more interest and curb appeal.

Author: Mike Milliman

Mike is managing partner at Gutter Supply Inc. and has over 20 years of experience in the industry. His expertise and vast knowledge of the industry, along with his priority on customer service, has contributed to the continued success of Gutter Supply, it’s contractor customers and homeowner DIY’s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Blog Posts

Need Help? Please call us at: (888) 909-RAIN
Follow Us