How to Install a Gutter Chain

What You'll Need
Gutter Chain

The gutter chain, or the rain chain, is an alternative to using a down spout to collect water from the gutters. While both still achieve primarily the same function, gutter chains can be used as a decorative item. However, gutter chains aren’t able to collect as much water as down spouts do. Another different feature is the water from the gutter chain flows into a water collecting device rather than into a drain. This is really a great way to save water, and the water can be used to water potted plants or other plants in the garden. Most  gutter chains are made of copper, and a waterfall effect can be observed.

1. Remove the Downspout

If a new rain gutter is being installed, then there will be no need for this step. The first step in removing a downspout is to find all the connection points. The spouts will be connected at the elbow. The longer types will definitely have a connection point connecting two downspout sections. Remove the downspout piece by piece first. Start with the elbow piece. Unscrew all the nails or drill out the rivets that connect the elbow to the downspout. Position the drill at the center of the rivet and drill completely through the rivet. Remove all the rivets from each side and remove the elbow from the down spout. Remove the lower part of the downspout by unscrewing all the screws of the lower part. Remove the metal strap that connects the downspout to the wall. Disconnect the lower downspout. Using a stepladder, look out for any rivets that connect the upper elbow and the downspout. Take out all the rivets. Remove any holding straps. Remove the upper downspout.

2. Connecting the Rain Gutter

Once the downspout is removed, it is time to install the gutter chain. Find the expandable gutter attachment which comes together with the rain chain. Connect the gutter attachment to the end of the gutter chain. This end is to be connected to the rain gutter.

3. Connect Cutter Chain to Rain Gutter

To connect the chain to the rain gutter, locate the rain gutter’s drain hole. Once the hole is located, position the gutter chain from the bottom of the hole and push the gutter attachment hangar. A bigger hole needs to be created if the drain hole is too small. Release the chain and let it hang from the gutter.

4. Attach Gutter Chain to the Ground

Using a metal hanger, bend the bottom end of it into a v shape. A landscape pin can also be used for this step. Attach the landscape pin at the last chain link. Mark a spot on the ground using chalk right below the gutter chain. Using a hammer, hammer the gutter chain to the ground.

Additional Tips

  • Remember to buy a U.S style gutter chain. Japanese ones usually don’t fit into American rain gutters.
  • When removing the downspout, be careful and wear protective gloves. Downspouts, especially rusted ones, are extremely sharp on the corners.