What’s the Deal with Rain Chains?

The little break we’ve had from the rain is a welcome for us Southern Californians, indeed. But if you look a little further into the forecast, more wet weather is to come. In fact, higher rainfall in SoCal tends to hit from February to April — remember the term, “April Showers?” So although it’s been a long while since we’ve experienced a downpour of precipitation here in San Diego, it’s good to note that early spring is historically known to also bring about rainy days. Perhaps this year more than usual.

As we like to remain a highly prepared bunch here at North County Plumbing, we’re sticking with the rain theme to focus this post on a decorative, yet useful item called a rain chain. Plus we’re a little hyper-focused on all things water related in and around your home, so this topic isn’t too far off base for us. But we digress. For those who may not have heard of a rain chain, you may be more familiar with them than you think as many homes have them decoratively displayed, like so…

Rain chain hanging on outside of home

So, how do rain chains work?

In short, rain chains are a decorative alternative to the traditional gutter downspout. They are considered a functional, and often beautiful, type of water feature. When it rains, the water from your rooftop is guided visibly down the chain. Rain chains can be installed strategically around your home’s rain gutters, or by themselves in areas where one prefers heavy rainfall to be directed in some fashion. However, the most functional installation of a rain chain is in conjunction with a rain gutter system to ensure the rainfall is guided directly to the chain for maximum water flow efficiency.

Can a rain chain be used with my rain barrels?

Yes, they can! A few weeks ago we wrote about the benefits of rain barrels — seriously, they’re pretty awesome and you should get one/some! Rain chains are actually quite complimentary to rain barrels. Instead of having a traditional downspout from the rain gutters, you can opt to have rain chains installed. The rain water will still be directed into the rain barrel but in a much prettier and more tranquil fashion.

Rain chain draining into rain barrel

Image credit: Chang Gang – upcycled rain chains

Are there different types of decorative rain chains?

If gutter downspouts don’t exactly gel with your inner-outdoor-home-decor-style fashionista, you’ll delight in the stunning array of rain chains that are available on the market. There’s quite a variety of styles to choose from to suit any architectural home style. And if you’re not able to find exactly what you’re looking for, you can also have them custom made. The possibilities are endless.

Rain chain square cups

Image credit: RainChains.com

Double loop style rain chain

Image credit: RainChain.com

Watering can style rain chain

Image credit: RainChains.com

Where can I purchase rain chains?

Rain chains can be purchased from your regular local hardware store to a specialty shop that specializes in rain chains, either locally or online like RainChains.com.


How do I install rain chains?

Many rain chains come with an installation kit, but if you’re not the handy type, seek out a qualified construction specialist to help you properly install them.

Do you have rain chains? Share your experience with us on our Facebook page. We’d love to see photo’s too!

North County Plumbing is located in Vista, California and has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services including leak detection and drain service in northern San Diego County. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services… with no overtime charges!

If you found this blog helpful, you may want to check out our post “Rain Barrels: Common Questions and Benefits.”


About North County Plumbing Experts

Comments are closed.