home-made one-person water level?

I need a water level. It seems you can make a one-person water level by hooking one end into a reservoir. If anyone has done this, I'd be interested in what they used for parts.
TIA, George
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Usually some clear vinyl tubing about 3/8" in diameter will do. Get a tight cap for each end. Fill the tubing with water and keep it in a bucket.
I've seen Home Depot sell a model with an alarm at one end. It buzzes when you've reached your mark.
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What are you talking about? If you want to maintain a level in a pool for example: ____ l l l l l l l l l l__l l l l_______________________l
Make a sideways S and hook it over the edge. The outside end determines the level. The inside end must stay underwater.
Use a flexible hose and insert a bendable wire into it to facilitate the desired bends.
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On Sat, 29 Dec 2007 12:27:49 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

I like that idea, esp the wire. I wasn't sure if a siphon would work like that. Thanks.
G
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I have never used a reservoir type, single ended tube water level. Here are the directions: http://www.factsfacts.com/MyHomeRepair/WaterLevel.htm
I have used the more conventional double ended, single hose type. http://watrlevel.com/waterlevels.htm ______________________________ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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Thanks. That's what I want to do ... only, I was hoping to see what fitting(s) he used to connect the hose to the bucket.
A quick scan at the local hardware store didn't find a "bucket-to-tubing adapter" - ideally, something with a flange, one end threaded, and the other end a tubing nipple.
G
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a simple siphon over the edge of the bucket will do, if you secure it.
s
also any basic barbed fitting with a threaded end can be screwed into a plastic bucket with some silicone sealer.
wrote:

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Use a "bulkhead adapter" to fasten to the bucket. But those are pricey (or unobtanium) at my local shops, so I go over to the electrical aisle.
On the electrical aisle I find a PVC conduit to male thread adapter (for outside the bucket) and a female threaded part to mate with it (for inside the bucket). On the plumbing aisle I find some rubber sheets about 5x8 inches, used to cut out some gaskets. Also pick up the necessary bits to go from the PVC in the bucket to a hose barb. Drill hole in the side of the bucket (down low), assemble.
Oh, the reason I start with the electrical aisle, is the threads there are straight, not tapered, so they tighten up on the bucket better to squeeze the gasket, ensuring a water-tight connection. You can find similar threaded parts in the plumbing aisle, but you will probably need 1/8" to 1/4" of shim or gasket to make it water tight. Or else a big gob of caulk and wait for it to cure.
sdb
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On Sun, 6 Jan 2008 17:39:13 -0700, sylvan butler

Yes!
Oren --
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I use a 5 gallon plastic bucket and install a hose fitting near the bottom. I place the bucket in a convenient location and attach a garden hose to it. I attach a short whip made out of vinyl tubing to the garden hose. Then I fill the bucket with a garden hose and let it run through my hose until I am sure all the air bubbles are out. I keep the 5 gallon bucket brimful during use. Mostly use this setup for leveling under a house.

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George wrote:

Do you mean one like this ??
http://www.diyinfo.org/wiki/How_To_Build_A_Simple_But_Effective_Water_Level
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I've done the vinyl tube in a bucket thing once. Accuracy was about +/- 1/2 inch due to surface tension acting on the inner surface of the vinyl. A teaspoon or two of dish soap in the water improved it a bit.
Honestly, I did just as good with a 6ft bubble level going around the room and didnt have to worry about getting the water all over the place

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George wrote:

punch a hole in the bottom of a clear milk jug, seal the tubing with a little caulk, Kool-aid for the fluid, it's easier to see.
m
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I prefer just the clear tubing with enough lengh to to reach all parts plus several feet left over. Eliminates the need for the clumsy bucket if you have to move the set up around much.
Used one a lot on remodel of two houses, 18x30 addition, 30x50 pole barn, etc.
Put up your datum point Post in the middle is best, mark the reference line, a couple nails spaced so the hose will slide easily but snugly between them.
Fill hose with water leaving a couple feet at each end empty.
With helper: He holds tube on post to be marked, you slide hose at datum post up/down until leve matches line, he holds his end in position while you wander over an mark the post. Or let him mark it if you trust his work.
By yourself: Two nails on each post to be marked just like the datum.
WARNING about use:
1. Make sure there are no bubbles in the line. 2. Make sure that there is no big variation in temperature for the entire length. It will be inaccurate if 1/2 is in shade and 1/2 in sun for example.
Harry K
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For me, the bucket never moves. Once set in an out of the way spot, bubbles purged, etc- a notation of "+/-??inches to grade" is written on the side of the bucket so I don't forget it.
Then just the tubing moves from stake to stake. The advantage of the bucket is that I don't have to worry about lifting the end of the tubing a bit high and losing a bit of liquid.
Jim
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Ooops, forgot. My "no bucket" setup is more accurate. Any slight variation in water height is obvious. The bucket version has a huge area compard to the tubing and thus can't be as sensitive to level change. Takes more of a change to be visible or noticed.
Harry K
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Hi George,

I built and used a water level extensively for laying out the foundations of our garage and house.
I constructed mine from an old wine bottle and about 50' of 3/8" clear tubing (available at any home center or hardware store). I stuck one end of the tube into the bottle, then secured it in place with a plastic zip tie so it couldn't fall out or shift positions. You want to tighten the tie enough that it keeps the hose from moving, but not so much that you compress the hose.
Then fill your bottle about 2/3 with water, and set it in the middle of your work area. I recommend setting it on a block of some kind so it's higher than the items you're trying to level. Make sure the end of the hose is well below the water level in the bottle, as the water will flow in and out of the hose as you move around.
Then lower the open end of the hose so the water can flow out. Let it flow until all the air bubbles are out, then raise it up until the water level balances about 4 to 6 inches from the end of the hose. Mark that spot on the end of the hose with a pen (I used another zip tie to mark the level spot, as it allowed me to move it and recalibrate each day).
Be sure to hold your finger over the end of the tube as you move around to prevent water from coming out. If you lose water, the level will change, and you'll need to recalibrate again. Release your finger when you take the measurement so the water can level out again (start higher than you need, then slowly lower the hose end. If you start too low, water will rush out the end of the tube, and you'll need to recalibrate again.)
Then go to the spot you want to level, raise or lower the end of the tube until the water level lines up with the mark on your tube. Then measure down from the mark to the height you want. You can then continue around your area, measuring down that same distance at each location.
I recommend going back around and double-checking your level marks after you finish, since the level can potentially change in warm sunlight and whatnot.
I used this technique to level our 40'x40' house foundation, with lots of internal footings. The accuracy was quite good, typically under 1/4" all the way around. Not bad considering the 40' distance.
The nice thing about a water level is it can work around corners, in different rooms, or around other obstructions. This would be a lot more difficult using a 4' level, or even a transit.
Just make your level marks, go back and recheck, and it should all work well.
Have fun,
Anthony
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I wanted a simple water level to check the sump water level and comapare to street elevation. couldnt see one from the other.
unplugged sump pump
bought a ball valve that screwed on the garden hose at the outside outlet.
opened ball valve, turned on water let it run till the sump had a good bit of water in it, garden hose weighted down a bottom with a brick.
turned off ball valve
turned off water faucet
this left garden hose filled with water
unscrewed garden hose with ball valve from faucet.
walked 90 feet to street
lifited hose hanging down above my head. opened ball valve
lowered hose quickly till water in hose just lapped at top of ball valve.
duplicated several times there was 28 inch drop from sump water level to street
decided more than enough drop for sump overflow line to street. although for unknown reasons the home buyer decided he didnt want the drain.
during home sale process we had 100 year flood and a foot of water in basement after power failure.....
the buyers home had 6 feet in the living room, basement full 9 feet of water so maybe he thought it minor inconvenience.
whenever possible sumps should have a gravity drain or at least overflow
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