|Rain Chain (Photo: M.Price)|
Rain chains are a great, decorative alternative to traditional downspouts. They are linked chains that visibly transport water from your roof gutter to the ground. They are a beautiful addition to any home or building and can contribute to runoff reduction through evaporation and spillage as well as reduce soil erosion. Rain chains have been used for centuries on homes and temples in Japan to transport and collect water in large barrels or ceramic pots.
There are two main rain chain designs that are commercially available – cup designs and link designs. The cups have open bottoms and act as funnels, draining water from one cup to the next. Cup designs are more efficient than the traditional link designs that tend to splash more in heavy rains. Both links and cups emit pleasing sounds when water cascades down the chains.
Rain chains are easy to install. They hang from the hole in your gutter where the downspout would connect and often come with simple installation guidelines. You can order rain chains online, find them in stores like Lee Valley Tools or you can make your own!