What is a Rain Chain and How Do They Work

How does a rain chain work and what is it?

Simply put a Rain Chain is nothing more than a decorative alternative to the “old hum drum” gutter downspout that we are used to. When you exchange your regular down downspout for one of these Rain Chains you’re opening up a whole new world.

Turn ordinary downspout into a decorative one

The first time I heard about Rain Chains was when a friend and I were talking about me putting gutters on my home. You see I live in Florida and for whatever reason when houses are built they do not have gutters on them. What’s crazy is that only one side of my home has gutters and a downspout while the rest of the house has nothing.

So this friend was telling me about these rain chains that she has all around her house and when it rains she feels like she is in a spa because it sounds like a waterfall. Of course, depending on what style of rain chains you have will determine the sound you will hear from it. The style she had was the cup rain chains.

Still not comprehending what is a rain chain I asked her to explain a little further. After hearing all about the rain chains and seeing pictures of them I just had to research them further.

The History Behind Rain Chains

Rain Chains, or better known as “kusari-doi” which mean “chain gutter” in Japanese, have been used in Japan for several hundred years, as decorative downspouts to gardens, homes, and temples adding character and functionality. The Japanese also used these chains to guide the water from their roofs into a rain barrel to use for the household.

They turned rushing rainwater into a calming, peaceful waterfall that would make any homeowner pray for rain all the time. Ok, maybe only this homeowner because I LOVE the sound of rain. 🙂

Of course, the use of these decorative downspouts grew widely in the United States after the 1998 Winter Olympics that were hosted in Nagano, Japan. Have to admit I’m super glad that Japan hosted those Olympics because now we get to experience these beautiful, calming rain chains around our homes and gardens. 😉

How do Rain Chains work

They actually work the same exact way as a downspout does except they are more aesthetically appealing, functional and definitely sets the mood for tranquility.
Unlike the normal downspouts where the rainwater usually enters the gutter and drifts down the downspout to a splash block or maybe even a downspout extension, rain chains allow the water to flow down either a chain or into cups that can be caught by a rain basin or even a rain barrel.

Watch the video below so you can at least experience what a rain chain is…

Can you see why I fell in love with these rain chains? Makes you want to kick your feet up with a cup of coffee or tea while reading a really good book, doesn’t it?

If you’re looking to replace your old downspout and replace it with some Rain Chains then be sure to check out the different styles that are offered and while you’re checking that out you should probably look into the rain basins as well.


Disclosure: “If you decide to make a purchase through links on this site, Amazon or other Brands will pay us a small commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. but this allows us to keep the rest of our content free, so thank you!”

Leave a Comment

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