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Alternative for Rain Gutters

by Darren Dobier last modified Jul 19, 2013 10:00 AM
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Alternative for Rain Gutters

Posted by Darren Dobier at May 18. 2005

Does anyone have ideas of what I can use to take the place of traditional gutters on my home? I looked at the RainHandler system but I don't think it will work in my situation. I don't mind the look of a traditional gutter across the soffet but hate the traditional downspout. There have to be other systems but I can't seem to track them down. Thanks in advance.

Re: Alternative for Rain Gutters

Posted by jbArch at May 18. 2005

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If it is just the downspout you despise, then you might consider using a rain chain instead.
I found some cheesy ones [url href=http://www.rainchains.com/index.html]here[/url]but you get the idea... a more industrial chain with larger links would work just the same.
This is a detail I see on a lot of homes from the 70's and 80's, but if done well can still look good today. I've seen some that terminate in a nice bed of river rock or pebbles, which probably leads to an underground drain or drywell.

Here's one more example:

If you are in a fairly dry climate, you could even consider eliminating the gutters downspouts completely. A hardsurface or bed of gravel up against the house is required to protect the ground and provide adequate drainage away from the house.


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Re: Alternative for Rain Gutters (pic)

Posted by Jona Decker at May 18. 2005

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I'll second the recommendation for rain chains. One of my co-workers designed and built a prairie modern rain chain to test the concept in a northern environment. I admit, it took a bit for the chain to grow on me...but it's very soothing to watch during the rain, and can be fascinating during freeze/thaws. I think it's been in place for three or four years now and seems to be doing the job without any intervention. I have photographed with both rain and ice...here's a recent shot just after rain.

J


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Re: Alternative for Rain Gutters (2nd pic)

Posted by Jona Decker at May 19. 2005

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In answer to a question...the chain acts as a downspout because of the adhesive quality of water...but it's a kinder, gentler way for the water to get where it's going. This one ends in a well-drained planter.


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Re: Alternative for Rain Gutters

Posted by uncleho at May 22. 2005

That's too bad you cannot use the RainHandler. I used it on my first home and it was easy to install, worked great (deflects water really well into a broad band that doesn't erode in a single line in your yard... also no worry about leaves in the gutter), and was rather invisible... when compared to normal gutters.

After using it I wonder why the gutter/spout combo is still so prolific. I can't see any PRO with the spouts/gutters unless you want to collect water for conservation or cool water chains like the above. That's kind of neat!

Re: Alternative for Rain Gutters

Posted by f1rstborn at May 24. 2005

what material did your friend use? does it run all the way to the ground?

Re: Alternative for Rain Gutters

Posted by Archie Ferguson at May 24. 2005

I'm building a lake house in north western NJ with flat roofs and one of the things i've have been puzzling over is gutters and down spouts. What is RainHandler and does anyone have a link or web address? And regarding the down spout, would a cable or braided or twisted work in place of a chain? Bolted at the bottom could look kinda cool, maybe more current.

Re: Alternative for Rain Gutters

Posted by Steve Schafer at May 24. 2005

(The automatic URL links don't seem to be working correctly, so I've re-entered the URLs as plain text. )

Here is the Rainhandler web site: http://www.rainhandler.com/

I used Rainhandlers on our house in central Oklahoma. They were inexpensive, easy to install, and worked well except when a big thunderstorm would drop rain at the rate of an inch per hour, and the runoff would come shooting down the roof valleys and out about four feet by the time it hit the ground. Rainhandlers are made of a fairly light gauge aluminum, so you have to be a bit careful handling and installing them, but other than that I had no problems. They can also be snapped out of their tracks so that you can paint the house without them getting in the way.

To the best of my knowledge, rain chains originated in Japan. You can get a variety of commercial rain chains based on traditional and not-so-traditional Japanase designs, usually made of copper. Here is a web site that has a nice recording of the sound of a rain chain in action: http://www.ccrane.com/copper-rain-chain.aspx

A rain cable would work in place of a chain. The only trick is at the top, where you have to feed the water to the chain/cable/whatever. You need to make sure that as the water exits the gutter that it contacts the chain/cable before it gets a chance to go anywhere else.

-Steve

Re: Alternative for Rain Gutters

Posted by Archie Ferguson at May 27. 2005

do you think Rainhandler would work on a flat roof?

Re: Alternative for Rain Gutters

Posted by Steve Schafer at May 27. 2005

It should, as long as the drip edge on the low side of the roof is good and level. (If it's not level, the water is going to tend to move towards the low end, which might overload that portion of the Rainhandler.)

You need to be sure that you have a clean, well-defined drip edge (which you should be able to obtain using conventional off-the-shelf materials), and you need to optimize the position of the Rainhandler with respect to that edge, which may take a bit of trial and error. Ideally, you want to horizontally position the Rainhandler so that its near edge is directly below the drip edge, and vertically position it so that its far edge is far enough out to catch the water that comes shooting off the roof during a heavy rain.

-Steve

Re: Alternative for Rain Gutters (pic)

Posted by jackie rasco at July 01. 2011

Previously Jona Decker wrote:


><br>

I'll second the recommendation for rain chains. One of my co-workers designed and built a prairie modern rain chain to test the concept in a northern environment. I admit, it took a bit for the chain to grow on me...but it's very soothing to watch during the rain, and can be fascinating during freeze/thaws. I think it's been in place for three or four years now and seems to be doing the job without any intervention. I have photographed with both rain and ice...here's a recent shot just after rain.

J


><br>

Re: Alternative for Rain Gutters

Posted by jackie rasco at July 01. 2011

Hi,

I like this rain chain.

Is it for sale?

If not, please let me know how to do it.

Thank you,

Jackie

jacquelinechisholm@hotmail.com5

 

2

Re: Alternative for Rain Gutters

Posted by Vinay Khatri at June 18. 2012

I recently purchased rain chains, from http://www.monarchrainchains.com and all our family members really loved it. They are typically either a series of metal cups, chained together with a hole in the bottom of each, or chain links that span vertically.Rain water run-off gets distributed from a rooftop gutter downward through the rain chain.

 
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