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Question DetailsAsked on 8/18/2013

Are Rainhandler gutter systems a good investment?

Are the effective in heavy rainfall areas?

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9 Answers


The rainhandler system is similar to mounting mutliple slats on an angle in the place of a gutter. The justification is so you will not have to clean a gutter. I have removed them in the past when owners have found (especially on 2 story homes) that the rain blows back against the home causing basement water problems.

You should also be aware that in most cases there are issues in the lawn when rain is concentrated in a band and on resale your home will probably end up requiring gutters being installed to get financing.

Yes there is no code requirement for gutters, If you do have gutters code does require that they work properly. I sell a pretty maintence free gutter cover system. Check it out at my blogs.

Jim Casper Gutter & Gutter Cover Contractor


Answered 7 years ago by jccasper


I agree with Jim Casper - why would you pay about triple the cost for a system that does nothing to get the water away from your foundation ? All the Rainhandler does is change the concentrated runoff from the roof into a spray of droplets that land within a foot or so of the same area, so they only protect plantings below, and do nothing to eliminate water ponding issues - video here -

Yes it MIGHT reduce the concentrated dripline through plantings and gardens, but the most important issue with eave runoff is to keep it away from the foundation so you do not get moisture proboems inside the basement or crawlspace or through the floor slab, and secondarily to keep mud and water from splashing on and damaging the house siding. Rainhandler does NOTHING to solve this proboem - go with true gutters with or without gutter guards or screening as you prefer, with downspouts (preferably one at each end of each gutter, if that is possible) that direct the runoff water into troughs, pipes, or swales that move the runoff at least 6 and preferably 10 or more feet from the house and to an area where it will not flow back toward the house.

Also, with gutters planting below the eaves, except in blowing rain conditions, can be moisture controlled by your watering schedule, rather than being overwatered every time it rains significantly, and the Rainhandler does nothing to help this issue, either.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


I have had rainhandlers on my log home for 10 years and they work great. You have to plan for water to run off in beds or plantings for the system to work. I have one area that the water comes off on a pathway with pavers and some erosion occurs and I have one area of concrete patio that algae builds up where the water falls, but bleach and a pressure washer take care of that. I have not had a stopped up gutter ever and have not had to clean a gutter in 10 years. Rainhandlers only have shortcomings if you don't plan their use. You also have to plan for a 24" overhang so water does not back up against the foundation. I have never had water issues against my foundation.

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_9086428


I have had them since 2008 with no problems at all. They direct the water far enough away from the house so it doesnt get wet and I have had no problems with the foundation or basement either. In addition, I live in Maine and with regular gutters I had yearly problems with ice dams. Since I switched I havent had a single issue. They were an excellent investment.

Answered 5 years ago by petrov57


I have had Rainhandlers on my house since about 1997. I originally found out about them by an article written by the handyman reporter for the Providence Journal who raved about them from a Consumer Reports study on gutters. My eaves were rotten, caused in part by a large tree in the yard towering over my 3 story house. This was the perfect solution. I would not need to clean out the gutters and it appeared that it would work fine.

Now, 18 years later, the Rainhandlers are still doing their job well. I have also installed them on a second home and am about to install them on my 3rd home after experiencing tremendous ice dams this past winter caused by the gutters ruining my walls and ceilings.

I have found that the Rainhandlers do much more than just eliminate leaves from going into gutters. A lot of people (including others that answered this question) missed the point that a gutter collects all of the surface water of the roof from the ridge line down and then channels the water into a corner downspout, exponentially adding to the water concentrating into the ground at that point. With the Rainhandlers, the only additional water landing near the foundation is that rain from the ridge line to the lip of the roof all along the wall. It is not concentrated. Further, since it kicks out the water in a random pattern, it has the effect of adding a little rain.

In the winter, a gutter collects and freezes the water at the roof line. With freezing and thawing and refreezing the ice builds up in the gutter and backs up under the shingles causing an ice dam. If you live in an area that experiences significant snowfall, you have to ask yourself why would you want to create a large longitudinal ice cube on your roof and risk damaging the inside of your house?

The Rainhandler does not collect the water, there is no downspout, they are practically invisible and they are a DIY project for the average homeowner at a small fraction of the cost of gutters. For all of these reasons I love them.

With that said, there are things to know about their uniqueness. If you have roof valleys you need to add a diverter which they sell, so all of the water does not concentrate in the valley. A "doorbrella", which is a right angle piece of aluminum, glues on the roof over the door to keep you dry. Also, in the winter, the Rainhandlers tend to generate large icecycles when the snow thaws and freezes (because the water is melting off and not freezing along the roof).

Check out their website (link attached) and their You Tube videos which do a good job of showing how they work. Again, for me, I have had it with cleaning debris out of gutters and worrying about ice dams and would never put another gutter on my roof. While perhaps not for everyone, for me, I think there is significantly more to like about Rainhandlers than just not cleaning leaves out of gutters.


Answered 5 years ago by YeWiseOne


The issue raised by previous answers regarding ponding water at foundation walls is a separate issue and is not caused by the rainhandler. As an architect, I always specify that the grade at foundation walls slope down and away from the house for a minimum of 10 feet. If you do not do this, even downspouts will pond water along the foundation wall unless there are horizontal projections from the downspouts that direct the water further away from the foundation wall.

Answered 3 years ago by dayton820


As YeWiseOne and Dayton820 pointed out - there are multiple considerations in designing a gutter system:

1) intercepting the water coming off the roof - which is important in many cases because the roof catchment area is large, so you are concentrating in one strip the rainfall on the house area, which would normally soak into the ground without significant effect in all but prolonged or very heavy rainfall. This concentrated runoff from the roof is a major consideration in foundation deterioration, and of course in wet floors and basements and crawlspaces. it can also cause erosion along the house in fine-grained soils, and cause overwatering or excessive wetness for plantings in that area, which is a consideration for some homeowners - especially with tuber and bulb rooted plants.

Splashing of the falling water on the ground surface can also cause significant appearance and decay effects on siding.

2) handling tree debris and leaves and such coming off the roof with a screen or gutter guard, if desired - though the system needs to do so without clogging up itself and without causing water issues like concentrating rainfall on the ground near the foundation (which is the subject of this question), or causing splash or backup of the water so it causes roof edsge or fascia rot

3) conveying the water in the gutter to the ground - i.e. downspouts or rainchains or such, in an effective manner and with large enough downspouts that they do not back up and cause gutter overflow in high rainfall or due to debris accumulation in the downspout (especially at entrance and bends)

4) the most forgotton factor, as they mentioned - ensuring that the runoff is directed well away from the house - generally 3-6 feet minimum in hard-packed or relatively impervious soils and up to 10 feet or more in very free-draining soils. This can be done by above-ground or underground drain pipe, by swale or hard (impervious) sloping surface (probably the most reliable method), or open trough - though if using a drain pipe provisions should be made for the gutter outflow to still flow away from the house on the surface in the event of pipe blockage or freezeup. This means the downspout should not fit tightly into any drain pipe - there should be an airgap between downspout and drainpipe or an overflow mechanism (commonly a Wye installed in the downspout right above the entry point to the drain pipe) and surface grading/impervious material so the overflowing water will still flow away from the house if the drainpipe is blocked

5) making sure, with berms, swales, drains, or natural slope that the runoff will stay well away from the house and other water sensitive areas once it comes out of the downspout - it does not help if it is directed away by the downspout but then runs back up against the foundation elsewhere on the house perimeter

6) ensuring that the runoff, if not taking a natural drainage course, does not cause damage to neighboring property, undermine drives or walks, flow into a swimming pool, etc

Answered 3 years ago by LCD


I've had them 7 years and I'm still pleased with myself for putting them up. Gutters were a lot worse and I could never seem to keep them cleaned out. They made a mess! Lot of work and at 70, I shouldn't be on ladders anymore. One of THE best investments I've ever made!

Answered 3 years ago by Edog68


Rainhandler from Save Time Corp. isn’t actually a gutter guard per se. In fact, one expert referred to it as a “gutterless gutter”. Even Save Time calls the Rainhandler a “rain dispersal system” instead of referring to it as a gutter guard. One demo of this had the homeowner removing the gutter and then replacing it with this.

What We Like About Rainhandler

    There’s no need for professional installation. If you don’t have any gutters, obviously there won’t be a need for gutter cleaning. You won’t have to clean this either, as it’s self-cleaning. The wind and water wash the debris away. This won’t rust. It’s maintenance-free. In the rare event something gets inside, a high-pressure nozzle on your garden hose can clean it out. These nozzles are available for a couple of dollars. It comes with a 25-year warranty. This works very well in winter, as the 3 brackets for each section can handle 95 pounds of load (such as snow). Put in 5 brackets and this weight goes to 150 pounds. Save Time will actually replace any damaged Rainhandler section if the damage is caused by winter. Such damage is really very rare. It’s practically invisible, without even downspouts to mar the look of your home.


Answered 7 months ago by cindydrncova

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