DIY

How to Install a Rain Chain

I recently installed a rain chain on the front porch gutter at the flip house. We were originally going to go with a single downspout attached to one of the posts. However, we didn’t like the asymmetry it created. So we opted to go with a rain chain, which turned out to be a great choice. It’s more subtle than the downspout visually, but still adds a little something to create additional interest and curb appeal.

What is a Rain Chain?

A rain chain is a more decorative alternative to a downspout. For this reason, people tend to use them on front porches near the entry of a home. They can be anchored to the ground using a stake, connected to a box drain, or even a decorative pot.

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you the steps I used to install the rain chain.

Tools & Materials

Step 1: Cut Hole

The first thing I did was drill a hole in the bottom of the gutter. The diameter of the gutter outlet was 2″. So I used a 2 1/4″ hole saw to cut the whole. I placed the center of the hole about 3″ from the left end of the gutter in order for the chain to clear the steps below. Hole placement may vary based on your situation.

Step 2: Insert Outlet

After I cut out the hole, I applied a bead of sealant around the edge of the outlet. Then I inserted it through the hole from the top down and rotated it so that the two small holes were on the left and right.

Step 3: Hang the Chain

Once I had the outlet in place, I inserted the pin through one of the small holes on the side, through the first link in the chain, and then through the other small hole. Then I fastened the clasp. I cut off the excess links from the bottom of the chain.

Step 4: Install Anchor Stake

I let the chain hang freely, and marked where it touched the ground below. I installed the anchor stake at this point by twisting it into the ground. Once I had it deep enough, I bent open the connection ring and looped the bottom of the rain chain through it. Then I bent the ring back so that the gap was closed.

And that’s all there is to it. Since the porch roof on the flip house is small there is not much rainwater that will come down the rain chain. For this reason, I used the anchor stake. But if you are hanging a rain chain on a gutter that will carry a lot of water, you should consider a box drain connected to a buried pipe to carry the water away from the house.

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