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 come in series of copper funnels, bells or cups with holes in the bottom, connected with strings or chains. Apart from enhancing the décor, a rain chain produces a pleasant sound as rainwater trickles through it.
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.
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.
Here is how you can make one on your own.
- 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 wrapping is done, remove the tubing from the PVC pipe. The copper tubing will look like a spring which has to be cut straight through one side using a rotary cutting tool. Cut the copper spring to get copper rings.
- Solder the ends of a copper ring and insert another ring into it. Join the open ends of the latter. Continue this to get a copper chain.
- Once the copper chain is ready, hang it in place of the waterspout by removing it from the gutter.
- Take the copper tubing that was kept aside at the beginning and slip it through the top ring of the chain.
- Insert it through the hole of the gutter and keep it flat across the waterspout. This positioning ensures the rainwater passes through the rain chain only.
Your rain chain is ready and you can enjoy its jingling. Though making this rain chain is not a difficult task, you have to do it carefully, especially while cutting and soldering the rings.