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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tin Buckets Home-Made Rain Chain Downspout

Do you think about conserving the precious water when it rains? 

Do you love the sound of trickling water like in a water fountain ??? then you will love a Rain Chain or Chain downspout. 

Some years ago when I went to the Doctors office where my daughter-in-law worked, there were chain down spouts on the gutters. They were heavy chains connected to the gutter opening and then mounted to the ground. The rain would trickle down the chain in and was very enjoyable to watch. I liked the idea and said “I can do that” … so I did this …

I had a tall, not-so-big-around can that would work perfectly. I guess I wanted it more for the beauty and enjoyment more that for actually collecting water but I saw an advantage to water the trees.

At the craft store, I found these cute little tin buckets with stars; 4” tall and 4” across the top. I drilled a 2” hole in the bottom of each one for a watercourse for the rain. The plan was for the bucket to slow the water flow down so it would trickle down the chain.

I disconnected one end of the wire handle on the bucket and laced it through the chain then connected it back. I placed the buckets about ten to twelve inches apart … . I chose a chain that was pretty lightweight, like maybe a dog chain and connected a weight to the bottom so the wind would not blow it around too much while inside the bucket.

We cut a 2” drain hole in the gutter and put a short piece of PVC pipe that had a nut type piece on one end to hold it in place. The chain was put up through this hole and secured with a nail through one loop and laid across the opening. (hope I am remembering that is what we did) … anyway, just attach the chain at the top of the hole.

This gusher came down when I cleared the drain hole ... still a pretty sight and sound.

Trickling down ...
Taken in summer two years earlier when everything was green.
When it rains you will enjoy the soothing sound of water gushing down or sometimes just trickling.

 This is a picture of our back porch taken about two years earlier in late summer or early fall when everything was green. The chain downspout is on the left. Plants are used to enhance that area.

We installed a hose bib connection to the bottom of the bucket and attached a 100’ garden hose to it and directed the water to different trees in the yard. 

With our drought this summer (2011), we did not have any days to enjoy trickling or gushing rain water and our trees were suffering and our grass was dead.  So ....

to be able to water some of our trees during our drought, I took this can in my laundry room; attached the drain on my washing machine to the bucket and hosed the gray water to some trees when I washed. You would be amazed at the gallons of water a washing machine will use, especially these water-saver models.  LOL

This was not a fun task to attach this chore to my wash day,
but it made our trees smile.

Conserve ...
We also have an 20,000 gallon underground cistern and a 300 gallon above-ground water catchment tank but no rain to re-fill those tanks so they were empty during our long summer drought.

Most of these pictures were taken long before I ever thought about blogging, but they were all that I had available right now.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
Questions ... please feel free to ask.

good one


  1. Really glad you took those pictures long ago and wrote about them today. Always a pleasure to read your posts.

    1. Thanks Joy ... hoping for rain so I can take some more. Thanks for stopping by. Blessing. Audrey

  2. Audrey! You're adorable! Thanks for stopping by Bees Knees Bungalow.
    I'm one of 7 children too!
    Keep it up, you are one creative gal.
    xoxo Jeanne.

  3. I love the rain spout fountain! Must try someday!

  4. Another fantastic idea!! This one is for sure going on my project list! I've already got the materials to do it!! Hopefully spring gets here soon!! Thanks Audrey!

  5. That looks so cool. As a child my grandmother had big tubs that collected rain water & then they would do the wash with that rainwater. Clothes came out so soft. And, it was a ringer washer! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Very interesting! We may just have to try this at my house. :)

  7. Audrey, this is soooo cool! I want one! I'd bet it sounds incredible!

    Shared on FJI Facebook and pinned for SNS 117. :)


  8. Oh wow ...I have a porch similar to yours but with no gutter, we just let it run onto the lawn...but this is inspiring! I am going to look into this for our porch! WE are now on water restrictions in the summer! Thanks for sharing!...Colleen from B.C. Canada!

  9. What an amazing thing you built here...I just LOVE it. Maybe Mr. Sweet will make us one. I will give him your instructions..and maybe he can start it after he finishes
    patio pergola...
    my potting bench...
    cutting the dead tree down for the neighbor...
    making the set of 8 steak knives, using deer antlers for the handles for a dear friend...
    and the list goes on, bless his heart.
    xo bj

  10. "I admire the blogger's ability to take complex subjects and break them down into easily digestible chunks. It makes learning a joyous experience!"

  11. "The creativity and originality displayed in each post set this blog apart from the rest. It's evident that the blogger takes risks and dares to be different."
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