How to Install a Rain Chain

Add some charm to your home with a decorative, functional rain chain.

Try a Rain Chain

A rain chain will stylishly replace a traditional downspout and move excess water away from your home.

You Will Need

Rain chain (available in many hardware/department stores or online) / drill and 2-inch hole saw / two 1.5-inch PVC pipes, each 2 feet long / one 1.5-inch PVC elbow / yard stick / handsaw / planter or planter box / soil / plants.

Assemble the Rain Chain

Begin by assembling the rain chain according to the manufacturer's instructions. Hang it out of the way temporarily.

Add a Drain to the Planter

Cut a hole near the bottom of the planter with a hole saw.

Add the PVC Pipe

Next, insert one of the PVC pipes into the hole you just created.

Add a PVC Elbow

Attach one end of the PVC elbow to the PVC pipe on the inside of the planter.

Add the PVC Drain Pipe

Add the other PVC pipe to the open end of the PVC elbow. Using a yard stick as your guide, mark the PVC pipe level with the top of the planter.

Cut Away Excess Pipe

Using a handsaw, cut the PVC pipe on the mark you made. Re-attach the pipe to the PVC elbow with the cut end down, leaving a clean cut at the top.

Add Soil

Add soil to the planter and pack lightly to about 6 inches from the top.


Add your plants and fill in as necessary with additional potting soil. Water thoroughly.

Cut a Hole in the Gutter

Using the hole saw, drill a hole in the gutter where you want the rain chain to hang. If using an existing downspout, remove the downspout from the exterior of the house and paint exposed coupling to match the gutter, if necessary. *Always use extra care when working on a ladder.

Hang the Rain Chain

Place the hanging bracket included in your kit on the inside of the gutter with the hook hanging through the hole. Attach the rain chain to the hook.

Run the Chain Through the PVC Pipe Drain

Place the bottom of the chain inside the drain of the planter.

Test the Rain Chain

Test your rain chain by running a hose in the gutter.

Watch It Work

Your rain chain will protect your home the way a downspout does by keeping excess water away from the home. Some water will splash out, but the majority will end up in the drain.

Rain Chain

Commonly used in Japan, rain chains offer a decorative alternative to guttering downspouts.

Rain Chain

Your rain chain will be a lovely and useful addition to your garden. Rain water drains into a drain discreetly hidden in a planter. Point the drain pipe to existing drainage or away from the home.

Rain Chain

Brighten up a corner of your backyard with a rain chain.