How to Make a Water Level?

Page 1 of 2  
I want to make a water-level out of garden hose for levelling the yard (approx 200' to 300'). I want to make one with a reservoir so as to minimize the effect of the level jumping up and down as the hose is moved and distorted.
Most instructions for a 'reservoir level' have you destroying a bucket by putting a hole in it. Can anybody see a problem with simply letting one end of the hose hang into the top of the bucket or a barrel? Of course, all air must be out of the system, as is the case with any water level. This would be no different than hauling a portion of the hose over a fence etc, in which case I believe the water level still works. Thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I like to fasten a hose fitting to the side of the bucket for the hose to fasten to. I like to rig another hose above the bucket to keep it full and spilling over the top. That way if I spill some moving the hose it doesn't matter.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Cost of bucket < $5. Significantly less if you find one at a yard sale.
Personally, I like the hi-tech ones with the electronic water level sensor (with audible beep). With these, you don't need 2 people just to read the level.
-Tim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That 5 bux is better in my pocket (he he). Also, I can just see a leaky mess when trying to attach the fitting to the bucket. Just dropping it in the bucket sounds easier. I was thinking of using the rain barrel as it is a nice big reservoir.
Actually, with the hose and reservoir, you only need one person. You just walk around with the end of the hose and take your measurements.
As for the electronic gismo, well you know how I feel about 5 bux. Cheers.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

When I was trying to install a drop ceiling I did exactly what you are suggesting. I used 1/4 inch vinyl tubing and a bucket on a ladder. The tubing was just stuck in the bucket and duct taped to prevent it from coming out. The only problem I had was that I would get a different reading depending on which way the water went. IF I took a reading when the water had to drop to be level, it was 1/2 inch off from a reading taken with the water rising to be level. I attributed that to the narrow tubing I used. I just made sure I always took the reading the same way. Maybe a bit of soap added to the water would have improved it but back than I didnt think of that.
Once I had a level line around the room, I then measured up from it to get my ceiling height.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Neat - sounds like it works OK.
Yes, I have heard that you must use a fairly large hose to prevent capillary action. That's why I like garden hose, it's cheap, it's wide, it's available, easy to fill from a spiggot, it has another use when done., etc.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

But how do you see thru the garden hose to mark the waters level?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I bought a kit a long time ago that consists of two clear hoses (each approx 2 feet long). They screw onto the ends of a garden hose. They also have stoppers that you can use when you are walking around to prevent spillage.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Other than being a little clumsy to move around without spilling some water, I don't see any physics reason why it won't work.
Syphons have worked just fine for thousands of years.
I'm not familiar with "reservoir levels", but I see what your about.
How do you compare the level in the bucket or barrel with what you are trying to level to? Do you have a line painted around the inside and outside of the bucket, both at the same height from its bottom, then raise or lower the bucket (or add or subtract water) to get the water level at the inside line and then use the outside line to reference your work to?
Just wondering,
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for the reply.
In answer to your question. You would leave the bucket or barrel in place, and note the level of the water from the gound (for example). Let's say 3 feet. You then walk around the yard with the other end of the hose and take measurements between the water level in the end of the hose, and the ground. Let's say we have 3'5". We then know that we are at a spot on the ground that is 5" lower than then ground at the barrel.
A couple of notes...
You're right, you don't want to spill water as you are moving. The typical kit that attaches to a garden hose has a clear tube with a stopper that can be used when moving.
A while ago, I did some work in the basement and used a water level without a reservoir. Again, I had the clear tubes from the kit on the end of the hose. The bad thing was that the level at BOTH ends of the hose would change as you walked around and distorted the hose. It was a bit of a pain, as I would move the hose, then I would have to measure both ends from the reference line that was at one end of the hose. This is where the reservoir would be nice. The hose would still distort as you move, but it would cause an insignificant change in water volume when compared to the reservoir. Therefore, you don't have to keep checking both ends.
On the end of the hose where you are walking around the yard, it is best to attach it to a stick. You can then put the end of the stick on the ground and stand there for a bit while the level settles. Then take your measurement.
For me, this is a one-time use thing. Plus, I'm really cheap!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you set up the source end of the water-level as a little-bucket inside of a bigger bucket, and hook up a pump to keep moving water from the outer bucket to the inner bucket, then the water level at the source will always be the overflow level of the inner bucket, regardless of how much you spill or squish the hoses.
--Goedjn
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff Wisnia wrote:

You hit the problem with the hang the hose in the bucket. Trying to read the level of the water in bucket is both very awkward and very inaccurate.
I would suspect a true reservoir level would have the reservoir somewhere in the middle of the hose.
I really see no benefit to one anyhow as I have never seen a problem with the level 'jumping up and down' As soon as the moves are done, the level is there, it doesn't 'jump'
A warning about using one in addition to the 'no bubbles'. Make sure that the entire hose is at the same temperature. Part in shade and part in sun will throw the level off.
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'd have no problem measuring the level in the bucket or barrel. In fact, you don't even need to to that. You can simply begin by taking the other end of the hose and placing it anywhere to make a reference mark or measurement. Then all of your other measurements are reference from that point (which is exactly equal to the level in the reservoir anyway).
I should have been a little more clear when I talked about the level "jumping around". I wasn't refering to the bobbing as the level settles. In another post above, I noted that I had once used a water level without a reservoir. As the hose was moved around, the hose gets disorted and its volume changes. This causes the water in both ends to go up and down. I had thought that I could affix one end to the wall, make a reference mark, and then leave it. I then notice that as I moved the hose, the level at the reference mark would change. I got around it by measuring at both ends for each measurement. With the reservoir however, I should be able to walk around and take measurements at one end, with the confidence that the other end is not changing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Sorry but it won't work that way. As you move the hose around you are changing the amount of water in that hose. It goes back into the bucket or more comes out of the bucket. You cannot use a water level by only reading one end unless, as somewone else mentioned, you have an alarm.
My method working by myself: fill the hose getting all air bubbles out.
1. Set a stake for the master and mark the level on it. Put two nails into it such that the hose will slide between them but friction holds it in place.
2. Go to first station, set stake, two nails as above, put end of hose in.
3. Return to master and pull up or push down on hose until water level matches the mark.
4. Return to 1st station and mark stake where the water level is.
This is simpler with two people. One at master adjusts the hose to the mark, other marks stakes.
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not really true.
The bucket has a MUCH more voluminous "column" than the hose does. Water level changes in the hose in the order of several feet will only make a difference of small fractions of an inch in the bucket.
So, the wider the bucket, the more you can treat the level of the water in the bucket as essentially fixed (once the hose is filled with water of course). More than close enough for most purposes.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I think that Chris is right. The whole reason I wanted to use a reservoir is to "buffer" any changes in the hose's volume.
Incidentally, I notice that some people refer to a method where you try and adjust the "reference" end of the hose to match the reference line (for each measurement). When I had used a water level before (without a reservoir) I had found that this method was too time consuming. You would be moving the refence end of the hose up and down while trying to let it settle each time. I found it was better to just leave the reference end alone. When the water settles, just measure the distance between the reference mark and the water level, then just add/subtract that from the measurement at the other end. With either method, you have to run to both ends of the hose, this just eliminates the "playing around" with the reference end.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Or, the cheapest method: Fix the top of the reference end the reference point. When you get to a measurement point, slowly pour some water into the open end, until it overflows at the reference (slow) Alternately, if you have running water at an outdoor site, fix a supply hose above the reference end, with a slow trickle of water dribbling into it. Position the measurement end, wait for the level to rise to it's highest point, and make your mark.. -- Email reply: please remove one letter from each side of "@" Spammers are Scammers. Exterminate them.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I had the same trouble, when I was not using a reservoir.
This has to be the simplest way, and will be dead accurate:
- fill bucket (water and a bit of liquid detergent) - afix one end of hose in bucket with tape. - siphon the hose until it fills. - hold the other hose end up, and put tape on the hose to mark where the water level is. - stroll around, when you want to strike a level, raise or lower the hose end until the water level meets the tape mark. There's your level mark.
As long as the hose doesn't get kinked, or you lose too much water, it'll be dead on.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Chris Lewis wrote:

Now that is just plain brilliant! Thanks, never thought of that.
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

This sounds like a good idea, plus it eliminates problems when the hose heats up in the sun and expands, increasing it's volume. With a good-sized bucket, volume changes in the hose would have little effect on the height at the ends due to the large volume of water in the bucket relative to what's in the hose. If you don't want to cue up the bucket (and install fittings), I'd use the siphon method. You could also use a local, short siphon hose, (over bucket edge, down, below water level, then back up to the top edge.) This one, secured to the side of the bucket, would serve as a sight glass. The larger the bucket, the more accurate it will be. -- Email reply: please remove one letter from each side of "@" Spammers are Scammers. Exterminate them.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.