Sunday, July 03, 2011

Rain Chains Installed!

Today I worked on the plumbing to hook up the rain chains to the 300 gallon rain tote and the drain that goes to the pond. It took about 4 hours to cut into the deck and install two simulated (fiberglass) concrete urns into the deck and drain. I used these urns because I could used an 3.5 inch hole saw to cut the hole into the bottom of the urn.

This photo was a test using the garden hose to see what the rain chains look like with water going down them. This is the tear drop cup rain chain, I really like the tear drop chain links on these. FYI all the chain links have been soldered together, these are nice quality rain chains from India.
This is the hammered cup rain chain, it has more cups that the other rain chain, they are closer together.. This side I hooked up to a drain that goes to our pond. The gutter man still has to install the gutters for us, the chains were just hung from a screw to line up the drains. It is cheaper to have the gutter guy make the gutters custom than my buying gutters at the big box store(bronze gutters are no longer available either) and installing them myself. Gutters and downspouts run $3 a foot installed around here. We used to line up 5 gallon buckets here to collect rain water.

Here is an update: The hammered cup rain chain is a complete failure in a heavy rain. I have a video of it during a downpour, the holes in the cups are too small making the water exit the first few cups, I have a video here.
This rain chain goes to the rain tote. A lot of water comes down here, half the screened porch, and one quarter of the living room roof drains here. We have had problems with water splashing on the door and seeping through the 2 piece threshold(never buy exterior doors at Lowes!). This was the first time in 35 years of construction I've seen an exterior door with a crappy threshold like this.  Please excuse the mess in the porch.
Here is a close up of the hammered cup rain chain.

This is the drain system under the deck that goes to the rain tote.

In case your wondering how the urns attached to the drain. I used a male adapter to attach the urn to the PVC pipe and cut the threads off a female adapter to make a threaded nut for the male adapter. I siliconed the male adapter to the urn and then screwed down the home made nut to hold it together securely.
Here is the 300 gallon rain tote under the screened porch. I still need to hook up the over flow pipe out of 2" PVC pipe.
The cost of creating this system FYI:

2 rain chains with shipping $200
2 urns  $75
1 300 gallon rain tote and delivery $95
3 inch PVC piping and fittings  $80
We spent $450 on this. My fees as a handyman installing the rain tote and running the plumbing would have been around $400 so unless your handy this could cost you around $850 to do. That is if you could get the deal we got on the rain tote and had a reasonable handyman.

We still have another 300 gallon rain tote to install under the work shop. This one will be built on a platform to raise it up a bit. The rain tote full of water will weight 2400 pounds so it will be strong and set on concrete pads.

On the recycling front, Meg found a computer desk and really nice barely used sled today curbside in front of some rich folks house while running down a deal from Craigslist.  The sled is like a Flexible Flyer, but not that brand, here in NC we might could use it ever few years, with the snows we get.

Today the brand new hose I purchased 3 weeks ago was left on at the house spigot and shut off with a timer at the other end. The hose burst partially next to the spigot and now needs a replacement female end..... The upper 90s here can mess up a hose pretty quick.


Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

What a great system. I like the look of the rain chains on your deck,

NotSoAngryRedHead said...

That's a very classy setup you got!

Too bad about the hose. Kinda ironic though considering you just fixed the female connector on the landfill hose find. One of my fears is finding a burst hose and water going everywhere.

Congrats on the other finds!

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Cool rain chains. Thanks for showing the set up.
Happy 4th!

Kelly said...

Interesting! I've never heard of a rain chain!

Shady Gardener said...

YOUOUOU are awesome! You two should really enjoy this... plus with all the other creative things happening over there - look out world! :-)

Karen said...

The rain chain and water system looks wonderful. What a great idea and it sure beats my four 50 gallon drums sitting under the eaves of the garage.

Those rain chains are beautiful, in use or not.

Rock rose said...

I have often wondered how well those rain chains work. You seem to have demonstrated that. When it rains here in Texas it really puts down a massive amount(if it ever rains again) and I know we should have done something before about collecting it. Maybe this post will spur me on. Do post action pictures when the gutters are up and it rains again.

Carol said...

You are so clever Randy! I was thinking how lovely your placed looks and cozy at the same time. Great ideas and beautifully done. What an inspiration!

Dave@TheHomeGarden said...

Awesome idea! I really like how disguised the whole system is. Using the urn as a receptical then diverting it to the under the deck rain barrel was a great idea!

Larry said...

This looks great! Larry

Beth at PlantPostings said...

Nice! Thanks for the detailed instructions, too. My husband likes to work with copper, so maybe I can talk him into making the chains, themselves. They look beautiful, too.

greggo said...

when I live in san antoino quite a few commercial buildings like pro shops would use real log chains for rain chains. actually looked pretty cool. you know the industrial look.

Andrea said...

Great ideas Randy! How i wish we have someone like you here, we need that system badly too. I like to keep those rainwater for the dry season. However, those tote tanks are not available here, we normally construct cement tanks in lieu of that, but it is permanent and expensive too!

Skeeter said...

Your rain chains looks wonderful and serve such a purpose as well as looking pretty. I would love to hear the sound of the rain falling down them...

Your bees look mighty happy and those poor goats. Gee, why dont they change the fence? Grrrrrr.

We deal with noisy parrots from next door. They do not get out so I dont find them on my roof or in the feeders. But boy do they squawk up a chatter during the day. We are pretty use to their sounds now but luckily, they sleep at night (unlike the peafowl) so we can have our windows open without them bothering us.

Your insect and butterfly pics are beautiful as always!

How is that Bottle Wall coming along?

Kevin said...

I have been thinking of doing something similar. How did you go about finding a 300 gallon tote for that amount. I have checked at our Tractor Supply Company and their prices are crazy high for water barrels of any size.

Victoria Williams said...

Nice job! Very impressive!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Very well done! I'm hoping to get a rainwater storage system installed in the garden soon. It's handy that your rain tote fits so neatly under your porch!

N Ainsworth said...

Love most of your posts (except the spider ones) and really enjoy the flowers you show. You have sparked my interest in Dragonflys and I found a beautiful green specimen at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA. I was hoping I could email you a picture so that you could identify it for me. Is that possible?

Gail said...

Marvelous~I need to check around for finds like these! I could use a water storage system. gail

sweetbay said...

I love the look of those rain chains. Beautiful.

Q said...

I do love the rain chains. I have thought of making some......
Your rain tote is wonderful. I do love re-use, recycle and craig's list!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I love your rain chains! What a cool setup!

Benjamin Vogt said...

Pretty gosh darn cool there! I love rain chains, to boot. Nice install with all that. Come to my house.

Heather said...

The rain chain is just beautiful. I love it. Must be very pretty in action. I wonder if we could install one? Our gutters are pretty high up there.

I love the storage for the rain water. I have often seen these setups in garden supply catalogs.

In Colorado, water has turned into liquid gold. Law requires us to send so much of it to other states. And Colorado water law is very complicated. Any moisture received from mother nature is owned by someone, therefore we cannot use these devices here. I think they were looking at changing the law for residential purposes-to make it legal for one rain barrel. Not sure if this happened.

Rain Chains said...

Great Ideas, looks beautiful.

Unknown said...

beautiful. Would love to feature this rain chain picture in a magazine. Pls get in touch at

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I really like having a rain chain.

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