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How to Hang a Rain Chain

A rain chain is a centuries-old practice of channeling rainwater from roofs along suspended chains into catch basins and stone pots. The process originated in Japan, according to the Rainchain.com website, where users combined the device's functionality with the soothing sight and sound of cascading waters to create an aesthetically pleasing point of architecture. Commercially manufactured rain chains are available at many garden centers, but it's easy and inexpensive to make and install your own rain chains and water collection systems.


Braided lengths of chain can create visually pleasing rain chains.
  1. Dismantle the vertical downspout where you plan to hang your rain chain. Leave the horizontal gutter in place.
  2. Clear the molded vertical opening that connected the gutter to the downspout. Use heavy-duty work gloves to clear debris that may have accumulated.
  3. Run a garden hose along the gutter. Turn on the tap. Water should run clear through the gutter and out through the drain hole in the gutter.
  4. Install a sturdy metal rod across the opening horizontally. Be sure the rod extends several inches on both sides of the drain hole or opening.
  5. Attach a large S-hook to the rod where it crosses the drain hole. Secure the S-hook with florist's wire wrapped around the hook at its point of contact with the rod.
  6. Slip the top links of three chains through the end of the S-hook. Allow the chains to hang down in place of the downspout.
  7. Braid the chains together until about 6 inches of unbraided chain hangs from the bottom. Tie the bottom together with florist's wire.

Things You Will Need

  • Ladder
  • Work gloves
  • Garden hose
  • Metal rod
  • S-hook
  • Florist's wire
  • 3 lengths of copper or stainless steel chain
  • Collection device

Tip

  • Place a copper pot, stone crock, rain barrel or other water-collection device below the rain chain. Use the run-off water for laundry or gardening.

Warning

  • To prevent flooded basements or seepage, always collect your rain chain water or re-direct it away from your structure's foundation.

About the Author

Kate Sheridan is a freelance writer, researcher, blogger, reporter and photographer whose work has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines and trade publications for over 35 years. She attended Oakland University and The University of Michigan, beginning her journalism career as an intern at the "Rochester Eccentric." She's received honors from the Michigan Press Association, American Marketing Association and the State of Michigan Department of Commerce.

Photo Credits