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Rain chains are a very unique alternative to a traditional down spout. Rain chains have been used for quite some time in other countries and are becoming increasingly popular in the United States as decorative way to control rain water. There are countless designs you can choose from in a variety of materials.
The soothing sound of water running down makes them very popular in patio and garden areas where you sit to relax.
These chains are connected to the gutter via funnel or clip. The water will flow out of the gutter and onto the rain chain then cascade from one link to the next until the water is safely on the ground or in your drain. The funnel or cup style chain works the best as the water moving down the chain is controlled with very little splashing. The chain link style seems to have a wider splash area so you would not want to use this style by wood that will rot if wet.
Below are just a few styles you can choose from as examples