Are rain chains functional in the Pacific NW?

Home improvement Q&A, pictures and news fro Mid Century Modern Homes and Houses(NOT for Real Estate)

Moderators: I_LUV_POWER!!!!, Joe, Adriene, moderns-r-us, Tony, Futura Girl, nichols, Java

[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
scandimod
Modern Socialite
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:30 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Are rain chains functional in the Pacific NW?

Postby scandimod » Sat Aug 09, 2008 5:18 pm

Does anyone know whether rain chains can effectively handle the amount of rain we get in the Pacific Northwest? In my case, steady rain in Vancouver, BC for a large part of the year.

I've looked at a few websites that sell them, and they're a bit vague on performance, although it sounds like the funnel type is best for heavier rainfall.

Conventional metal or plastic downspouts are ugly to begin with, but mine are also interfering with/detracting from a row of clerestory windows, exposed beam ends and the main entrance.

User avatar
SDR
Lotta Living FANatic
Posts: 4783
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 8:11 pm
Location: San Francisco
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Postby SDR » Sat Aug 09, 2008 6:16 pm

I would imagine a "steady rain" would not be a problem; you'd want to design the system for the maximum downpour and the surface area of the roof served by the chain(s). More water per minute = larger gutter and scupper, larger chain and bigger catchment basin ?

I wonder if Jerry Gropp would know -- I can't recall if his houses sported rain chains as part of their equipment. . .


SDR
"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

User avatar
Izzy
Modern Master
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 8:28 am
Location: 15 min. South of Seattle
Contact:

Postby Izzy » Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:38 am

i believe there was an earlier thread on this or some discussion of it....
search "rainchains"?

greenmod
Modern Socialite
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:00 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Postby greenmod » Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:42 am

Yes, they work fine here, depending on your roof. We have lots of neighbors and some businesses with them.

We had one gutterless downspout where the previous owners meant to put a rain chain. After research, we put a downspout there as we would have needed one giant chain to handle the amount of rain we get in our downspouts. Since we have a MCM roof that all slopes one way, our downspouts must handle 2600 square feet of drainage and the one they left without a downspout was the one with the most flow.

User avatar
Joe
Lotta Living Host
Lotta Living Host
Posts: 4624
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 10:10 am
Location: sunny Eugene, Oregon
Contact:

Postby Joe » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:32 am

yes

scandimod
Modern Socialite
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:30 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Postby scandimod » Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:26 am

The roof area served by the 3 drains in question is about 900 square feet. My concern is that there inevitably will be some splashing action during downpours, and perhaps my approx. 2’ soffit isn’t deep enough to avoid splashing the siding. It looks like the roof drain openings are only about a foot away from the siding right now. There are no externally mounted gutters; just holes and metal inserts through the torch-on roof membrane and cedar soffit.

greenmod, are the ones you see in your area mainly the chain type or the funnel/cup type?

User avatar
SDR
Lotta Living FANatic
Posts: 4783
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 8:11 pm
Location: San Francisco
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Postby SDR » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:32 pm

Wouldn't most of the splashing come from where the water hits whatever is at the bottom of the chain ? I imagine the most splash-proof design would have the chain drop into a small drained "well" receptacle at least a foot deep -- filled with, say, pea stone. . .?

There must be a landscape book somewhere that deals with this.

SDR

http://www.rainchainsdirect.com/moreabo ... hains.html

http://www.instructables.com/id/Copper-Rain-Chain/
"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

scandimod
Modern Socialite
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:30 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Postby scandimod » Sun Aug 10, 2008 1:33 pm

Thanks for those websites, SDR.

This site mentions the tendency of link styles to splash more, and discusses the bottom receptacle:

http://www.rainchains.com/aboutrainchains.html

Their home page has a video showing them in action. I have contacted them to get more info.

They do look great; I wonder why we don't see more of them.

User avatar
SDR
Lotta Living FANatic
Posts: 4783
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 8:11 pm
Location: San Francisco
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Postby SDR » Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:23 pm

This discussion provides me an excuse to post some old photos of a favorite building. I took these in late 1982, of the almost-new Woodson Building in San Rafael, adjacent to the 101 freeway in the center of this central-Marin County seat. I had observed the construction of this extensively "wooded," quasi-Japanese/Arts and Crafts structure, the business home of a local financial-management magnate (who reportedly was building a personal residence at the same time -- wish I could have seen that ! ).

The rain chains were replaced during the construction; the earlier ones had much smaller links. Another change was made, too: the first-floor window bays were clad below the sash with hammered-copper panels. Ether the client or the designer -- or both -- apparently found these items to be unsatisfactory, presumably on aesthetic grounds alone.


Image


Image


Image


A labor of love ? The owner eventually sold the building, before, during or after being faced with charges of some sort of business malfeasance. Lo how the mighty are fallen. The building survives in almost original form, however, though the exterior woodwork has been painted -- of course. The heavy tile roof has artistically deflected the long span of the open second-floor porch on the south side (first photo), already visible in these early photos.

Not seen in these daytime shots, the light-colored interior ceilings at the second level are handsomely wood-framed, and are held inboard from the glass to reveal the paired-rafter roof structure above. Quite nice. . .

A rather pedestrian copy of this structure, of a similar size and with painted metal windows and roof, was subsequently build on an adjacent site. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery ?


SDR

scandimod
Modern Socialite
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:30 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Postby scandimod » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:10 pm

Okay SDR I'm straying OT here, but given your affinity for wood, you will probably like these pictures of modern west coast architecture on the Pacific Northwest Regional Architecture site, if you haven't seen them already:

http://www.pnwra.com/

Many of these structures are here in Vancouver. Check out the Buildings category as well.

User avatar
SDR
Lotta Living FANatic
Posts: 4783
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 8:11 pm
Location: San Francisco
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Postby SDR » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:21 pm

Thanks, scandimod. Nice collection of buildngs. Our resident architects J Gropp and moderns-r-us will be interested, the former because of the locale and the latter because of a former association with one of the architects. MRU has a deep feeling for fine exposed-timber work.

I'm surprised that a number of those buildings, very nicely photographed, are presented without credit to their designers. . .


SDR
"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

scandimod
Modern Socialite
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:30 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Postby scandimod » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:59 pm

So I just added a new post with photos of a modern home tour I went on last month, and what do I see in the last few photos but ... a rain chain. I obviously need to pay closer attention to my own pictures :roll:

I guess that at least partly answers my question. That particular house does have very deep overhangs though.

User avatar
jesgord
Modern Master
Posts: 487
Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2006 8:04 am
Location: New York
Contact:

Postby jesgord » Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:42 am

I considered using rain chain on my home on Eastern Long Island. The greates concern for us, was not their ability to handle the rain, but how they would work in windy conditions. We are right on the L.I. sound and get lots of heavy wind from Nor-easters and the occasional hurricane. We were concerned about the water blowing of the chains against the house and even more so, the chains banging against the house itself. Ultimately, we had custom rectangular downspouts/leaders made from galvalume. I'll see if I can post some pics of the finished product. Although more expensive than the chains, I am very happy with the final result.

greenmod
Modern Socialite
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:00 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Postby greenmod » Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:13 am


User avatar
Izzy
Modern Master
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 8:28 am
Location: 15 min. South of Seattle
Contact:

Postby Izzy » Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:42 pm

We have rainchains on our house here just south of seattle. no problems with it other than maybe a little splashy with a hard rain. most of the rain we get is a slight drizzle anyway. no drainage problems.
at the bottom of the chain are cement runner things that go along the ground leading water away from the house. our one chain on the back of the house has turned a little green with mossy stuff, i too would like one of those cool copper ones.

scandimod
Modern Socialite
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:30 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Postby scandimod » Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:56 am

Here is a better photo than mine of the West Vancouver MCM house I saw last month with rain chains (that I didn't notice at the time):

http://bp2.blogger.com/_UvTitGq-8pc/SH2 ... h/st10.jpg

confusa
Modern Groupie
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:10 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Postby confusa » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:43 pm


User avatar
Joe
Lotta Living Host
Lotta Living Host
Posts: 4624
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 10:10 am
Location: sunny Eugene, Oregon
Contact:

Postby Joe » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:09 pm

I going rain chains on all my down spouts after I get my custom gutter produced.

cadman
Modern Socialite
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 11:55 pm
Location: Central Iowa
Contact:

French Drain?

Postby cadman » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:53 pm

With all the chat about downspouts and chains I haven't heard any mention French Drains. (oh great, I'm rhyming)

The place I'm building has a 52' long shed roof with a 2' overhang, 19' off the ground and I really detest gutters. Splashback on any type of siding is never a good thing. I trenched in a 24" wide french drain for the length of the roof, filled with fine river rock and a meshed tile hidden beneath that eventually leads to daylight a couple hundred feet away. Lining is landscape cloth and the border is trex decking on edge sunk into the earth. This summer I'll top it with crushed marble chips for appearance. Works great if you don't mind some hard work.

User avatar
SDR
Lotta Living FANatic
Posts: 4783
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 8:11 pm
Location: San Francisco
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Postby SDR » Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:05 pm

Sound fine -- though I wonder if there won't be splashback when the roof runoff hits the crushed rock. Anybody know what to expect here ?

The point of rain chains, suspended below openings in a gutter, is that they are meant to conduct the runoff as well as downspouts do, without the ugly appearance -- and potential clogging -- of downspouts.


SDR
"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

scandimod
Modern Socialite
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:30 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Postby scandimod » Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:51 pm

I wasn't able to make up my mind about downspouts/rainchains before winter arrived, and this was the result as of Christmas Eve. This December we had extremely unusual winter conditions in Vancouver - bitter cold and up to 3 feet of snow:

Image

Another option I have looked at is Lindab steel downspouts, made in Sweden. A bit better looking, much stronger and considerably better quality than the standard rectangular aluminum corrugated downspout, but a lot more expensive as well:

http://www.lindabprofile.com/dokumenter ... ration.pdf


[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Return to “Mid Century Modern Houses and Homes”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 5 guests