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frequently asked questions

If your question is not answered below, please contact us via our online form or call us toll free at (888) 480-7246. International & Local customers please call us at (818) 347-6455.


Can I use a rain chain if I don't have gutters on my home?

Rain chains can be used without gutters, but they do depend upon a vertical water source to function most efficiently. If water is arching off the roof, the chain may or may not catch or transport all of the water in both light and heavy rainfall conditions.

We have two products for homes without gutters:

Which chains can handle the least/most amount of rainfall?

Link styles can handle a fair amount of rainfall, but in a downpour, some water will leave the chain and splash to the sides and down. Our best link product is the #3130-2 Double Loop.

Cup styles can take more water, since their design directs the water straight downward into the next cup. All of our cup styles have open bottoms.

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How will my rain chain change in appearance as it ages?

This depends a little on where you live, how much rain you get and how acidic the rain is. Brass darkens with age, taking on rich bronzy/brown tones. Copper also darkens with age and tends to take on more of the familiar green patina effect. Aluminum stays silver in color, eventually acquiring small oxidation pits on the surface. None of our chains are finished with lacquer, so they all undergo a natural aging process.

I bought unfinished chains - is there a way to speed up the aging process?

Unfinished chains will age pretty quickly if they get wet a lot. If it's not raining often when you install them, try hosing them down. You can also make up a spray bottle with a light saltwater solution and spray your chains regularly. Patina solutions are available at home improvement stores like Home Depot, if you want to try chemically aging the chains yourself. It's not as good, thick or rich as our commercial patinas, though!

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Are there any problems with ice on the chains?

We have had few reports of damage from ice, but there have been some. Be aware that you may need to account for the extra weight on the chain if the water on it freezes. We recommend using the Installation Kit for longer lengths instead of the V-hook, as it provides a more secure connection to the gutter.

The use of heat tape or a similar anti-icing method will reduce the chance for damage over time.

***RainChains.com does not warranty against damage from ice on chain lengths greater than 12 feet.

Do high winds make the chains swing too much?

We've had very few reports of excessive swinging in windy conditions. Our headquarters in Southern California experiences Santa Ana winds in the fall with 50+ mph gusty winds.

One way to secure your chain at the bottom is to use our Copper Dish (#3145-A) with its brass attachment loop.

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How heavy are rain chains? Can my gutter take the weight?

Our rain chains are supported just fine by a normal gutter. A standard 8.5' length of rain chain ranges from 5-7 pounds, although the water in the chain during rainfall does add a little to that. Long runs (20+ feet) may require some additional gutter reinforcement.

Are rain chains easy to install?

We provide a gutter attachment piece with every chain we sell. The attachment sits in the gutter, over the hole, and helps direct water flow down onto the chain. Installation may require some bending of the attachment so it sits correctly in the gutter.

We also offer our Rain Chain Installation Kit (RCR-1), which offers some advantages over the standard gutter attachment piece.

» Also see our Installation page

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What should rain chains drain into?

Rain chains can drain into a variety of receptacles - basins, bowls, saucers, pebbles, etc. They can pass through a hole in a deck, or just hover above whatever surface is beneath them. The chain's purpose is to break the fall of the water and direct it downward gently, minimizing erosion and splash.

See our Drainage Designs page
» Also see our About Rain Chains page

I received my chain and it's too long - what do I do?

Lotus design (LRC1/LRC2) & Brass/Copper Links: Using two pliers or a vise and pliers, twist a link to open it and remove chain lengths.

Cup styles: Remove the top wire connector that joins the cups together to reduce lengths.

Double Loops: Use heavy snippers or a hack saw to cut links open (it's easier to cut at the weld point).

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Are there issues with aluminum gutters and electrolysis?

We do get calls with concerns about electrolysis between an aluminum gutter and brass or copper attachment pieces. For this to be a valid technical concern, there would need to be good contact between both raw metals. I've had copper against aluminum on my own home for 6 years now, with no noticeable corrosion or degradation at the point of contact. However, here a couple of ways to easily minimize contact:

  1. Spray clear lacquer or paint onto the bottom of the gutter and/or the gutter attachment piece.
  2. Put a piece of plastic on each side of the gutter hole, underneath the gutter attachment piece.

Do rain chains sound good? Our downspouts are noisy.

Rain chains sound much better than traditional downspouts.

From the bell-like tinkle of drops falling from cup to cup, to the soft whitewater sound of a waterfall, rain chains eliminate the disruptive, clunky noise associated with closed downspouts.

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Can rain chains be hung at an angle?

While a few degrees or so with a cup style rain chain will work, any more than that and the water will miss the next cup in the series.

Link style chains don't work well at an angle.



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If your question is not answered above, please contact us via our online form or call us toll free at (888) 480-7246. International & Local customers please call us at (818) 347-6455.

To order call toll free 888-480-RAIN (7246)

© RainChains.com. All Rights Reserved.
8917 Fullbright Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311 USA
phone: (818) 347-6455 fax: (818) 347-6450
email: sales@rainchains.com