Rain chains, which are believed to have originated in Japan, are now widely used as alternatives for waterspouts. Though rain chains were intended to be used for garden decor, copper ones are sometimes found as an attachment to rainwater storage devices. They come in a wide range of designs and patterns, like a chain of interlinked copper rings, which is hung vertically in place of waterspouts. Some are like a series of copper funnels, bells or cups with holes in the bottom, and connected with strings or chains. Apart from enhancing the décor, a rain chain produces a pleasant sound, as rainwater trickles through it.
You can always replace a waterspout in your home with a rain chain. Different types of rain chains are available in the market. You may also make one at home. In order to make a rain chain, you need a fair amount of patience and sufficient time. A basic knowledge about soldering will be advantageous. Given below are some tips for making a simple rain chain on your own.
- The materials needed for making a basic rain chain model are copper tubing, a PVC pipe, a rotary cutting tool, and soldering supplies. 50 feet of ¼-inch copper tubing is sufficient for making an average rain chain, but you can change the sizes as per your needs. The width of the PVC pipe should be the same as the width of the copper rings (that form the rain chain). A pipe with a width of two to three inches is considered the best.
- Cut and remove a 10 to 12-inch piece of copper tubing and keep it aside. This piece will be used to hang the rain chain from the hole of the gutter.
- Wrap the remaining copper tubing around the PVC pipe in a tight manner. You should do this carefully, in order to avoid formation of rings that are not uniform in shape.
- Once the wrapping task is complete, remove the tubing from the PVC pipe. The copper tubing will look like a spring, which has to be cut straight through one side. This can be done with the help of a rotary cutting tool. Once the copper spring is cut, you will get copper rings.
- The ends of individual copper rings should be soldered, so as to form a chain. Solder the ends of a copper ring and insert another ring into it. Join the open ends of the latter. Continue this process and you will get a copper chain.
- As the copper chain is ready, the next step is to hang it in place of the waterspout. Remove the waterspout from the gutter. Take the copper tubing piece that was kept aside at the beginning. Slip the tubing piece through the top ring of the chain. Insert this piece through the hole of the gutter and keep it flat across the waterspout. This positioning ensures that the rainwater passes through the rain chain only.