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Has anyone installed a rain chain?

FireFire Posts: 17,307
edited August 2022 in Tools and techniques
I am plotting to put in a rain chain so that I can water a climbing rose from a shed gutter. Has anyone here installed one? I'm wondering the best way to go about it re the gutter, without wetting up the (wooden) cladding.

The chain would run from the full length of gutter to earth. The eaves are not very deep.  I imagine there is an optimum size of cups and distances etc. I'm not committed to cups, but this iron one is pretty. I'd rather not buy one and then realise it won't work well because the physics are off. I could add a down pipe on the front of the shed, but it would not be much lovely. [I have a water butt that fills from the gutter on the other side of the shed. That hose stays open and feeds my thirsty espal. apple tree.]

I'm thinking that a smaller hole in the gutter would make for more limited water flow and so less splashing about. Video here for more detail on rain chains.

Any thoughts?



  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,459
    The idea seems good, but when it rains round here it is often also very windy. Different situation from you I know, but if you do get strong winds it would slosh the water around everywhere except where you need it to go!
  • Would it not be anchored @Buttercupdays? I love the idea, but it would have to be something pretty.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,459
    The chain might be but the water isn't! The outlet on my greenhouse is directly above my waterbutt with only a short way to fall, but very little makes it into the butt in a high wind :)
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,316
    I’ve seen just a simple chain, no cups, work perfectly well but yes it needs to be anchored. It was a fairly heavy gauge chain and didn’t move.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,307
    Yes, not great for windy areas.
  • We had one going from the garage roof into the pond. It was just chain. It was sheltered from the winds and so the water ran into the pond when it rained. Since then we have had the garage roof repaired and the gutter extended so that is overlaps and the rain goes into the pond from the gutter. With the chain we weren't concerned about it being pretty, just that it did the job we wanted it to do...and it did
  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,717
    It's very windy here and chains are fairly common, but there's no cups and the chains are normally welded so they are rigid. They are pretty large chains as well, but that may or may not be important.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,307
    ooo, very cool. @bertrand-mabel and @Skandi do you have any pics of the ones that work well. Was quantity of water a problem for the chain physics to work? It seems that if there is a huge gush there can be a lot of splashing... I'm wondering about the varying hole sizes in the gutter....  Mine would be sited close to woodwork (claddiing) so am not wanting any splash. Many thanks
  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 9,892
    I saw a really nice setup where they had a vertical planter between the chain and the wall which caught any splashes. Damned if I can find the photo now though. Chains always look best when you have nice wide and low eaves, Japanese garden style, but you can extend the gutter away from the wall a bit.
    The photo below has been a bit of a dream for my garden for a while though but I just don't have the right place for it at the moment.

    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • @Fire if your worried about splashing on fascia I'd would have a proper outfall fitting with the multiple chains (I regularly see them made with 4 chains hanging down) fitted to the inside of this so the water starts down the chains before exiting the gutter. I see them regularly at National trust properties set up like this and the water does seems to follow the chains well
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