I know there's a way to use a clear hose full of water to level a
building. I'm trying to level a 50 foot long trailer house. Rather
than buying 60 feet of clear hose (at almost a buck a foot), I'll use
a standard 50' garden hose and attach 6 feet of clear hose on each
So once I get the hose and fill it with water, and I know you hold the
ends of the hose up in the air on both ends, and the middle lays on
I got all of that, but how do I "read" it, or what I mean is how does
this water indicate "level"? Should the water be even with the bottom
of the trailer, (on both ends), or what?
Appreciate all help.
If there's a website with pictures that would help too.
On Jul 17, 4:19 pm, email@example.com wrote:
Hold one end up both ends. At one end of trailer mark or note where
the water level is (for example 38 inches below edge of roof).
Go to other end of trailer and noitice where the water level is; lets'
say (for discussion purposes) it's 42 inches below roof. That means
that end is higher .............. got that? By about four inches.
Change level of trailer until it's about 40 inches. Go back to first
end and it should now be about 40 inches also. Fiddle with with the
leveliing until both ends are the same against whatever reference
point you choose to measure from.
Gee this takes more time to write up than it would to level the darn
trailer! As long as the reference points are the same at both ends of
the trailer no matter what is used; e.g. bottom of windows at same
height within the trailer structure.
Can do same thing 'across' the trailer; although we used to use a
glass of water with a ring around it, inside the trailer during quick
1. Hold both ends in air.
2. Put one end where you want to mark a level point.
3. Move the other end to another point.
4. Lower that end until water spills at point #1 . The other end (point
one) of the hose is at the same level as the water in the end you are
It's always best to be as accurate as you can be, so....
Though I doubt the leveling of something as a trailer would matter,
since you can be off, a bit, and it not be so significant, but the
using of any tube for water leveling requires a tube whose inner
diameter is greater than 3/8". When you use a tube of 3/8" or less in
diameter, the accuracy of the level is questionable because of
adhesive forces of/within the small tube, i.e., capillary action. For
best results with your water level, use at least a 1/2" hose,
including the clear extensions you add to it. Any connecting joints,
and more so on a 3/8" or less diameter tube, further throws the
accuracy of levelness off, as well as the effect of any air bubbles
that may in the tube and/or trapped at a joint. Bubbes in the line
add to innaccuracy, also. Once you fill the hose with water, raise
the ends, high, and go along the hose, for a minute or two, and tap it
with a 'stick', as you go... this will help shake-up/make the bubbles
rise to the exits.
I like to connect one end of the hose to a 5 gallon bucket with a hose
fitting installed near the bottom. I set the bucket in some convenient
location. Usually I'll set up a hose to dribble water into the bucket to
keep it full. The level of water overflowing the rim of the bucket becomes
my reference height. It is handy to have this height match the height I am
seeking such as the bottom of the trailer frame. So anywhere I move the
other end of the hose the water level will match the level in the 5 gallon
bucket. If the level of the water in the bucket is not quite the correct
height simply measure up or down a few inches as needed. This way if a
little water is lost out of the hose as you move around under the trailer
accuracy is not affected since any lost water is made up from the bucket.
If I am only checking two locations for level instead of many I'll use the
hose with a see thru whip on each end without the bucket.
I've used a garden hose as a level for digging drainage ditches and
setting underground tiles for a drain field.
I'd keep it simple by skipping the clear hose.
Hang cords at both ends of the trailer, over points on the trailer that
are supposed to be level with each other.
Put a nozzle on the end of your hose and fasten it to a tap. When the
water runs clear, close the nozzle and turn off the tap. Disconnect the
hose and carry it to the trailer with the open end high so the water
won't flow out. With the rest of the hose on the ground, tie the open
end so it is even with a leveling point at one end of the trailer.
Now tie the nozzle end even with the leveling point at the other end of
the trailer and remove the nozzle.
If the water isn't even with either end of the hose, you need to add
water. Pour slowly so the water in the hose won't surge.
If the water is up to one end of the hose but not the other, the other
end is high. If you can't see the water level and need to know how many
inches, use a dipstick. When the water is even with both ends of the
hose, your trailer is level.
I could use small clear tubing for a level, but I'd have to check it for
airlocks. A bubble big enough to block the flow would make the water
level higher at that end.
I had a pop up camper on a pick up truck. To get camper level at camp site
used jacks to level the truck. Had 2 bubble levels mounted on camper. one
horizontal at rear and one on a side. Jacked truck to level both. WW
I use these a lot. Mine is an old windshield washer fluid jug. A rubber
stopper with a hole through it for a brass push-on fitting for the hose.
I hang the jug upside down and cut a hole in the bottom to add water.
I've used it to level floors both from underneath and from on top. Use
3/8" clear line. Fasten the measuring end to a ruler, a 3 foot ruler is
best because a 12" is too difficult to deal with as the water will flow
out the top every time you lower it below the level of the water in the
I use a meteric ruler because it is easier to do the math in even numers
of millimeters than in fractions of an inch.
Set up the jug so that the half-full level is about half-way on the meter
stick. The level in the jug is the same as the level along the meter
stick but it will read different when you move it to a different spot if
the elevation there is different.
To start you could pick any point. Fill the jug to midway and get all the
air out - that's why a garden hose is no good - you can't see if there is
any air left and even a small bubble will ruin your level measurements.
It ruins them by eventually getting out and that changes the volume in
the jug and lowers all the readings aftr the time that the bubble left. A
hose has a lot of volume compared to a jug so the difference can be
Hold the stick at a spot and write down the reading, say 50mm. Move to
another spot and say reading there is 60mm. That means the second spot is
10mm lower - it is lower because the reading number went up. Take as many
readings as you want, wherever the water line will reach. Find the
highest reading of them all and subtract all the other values from that
reading. Those differences will be how much higher those points are than
the reference point.
Two problems can occur while you are working at taking readings - moving
the jug or losing water. These problems can change the base level and
then readings taken later won't compare with readings taken later. I like
to pick a reference point and put a piece of tape on the floor so the
location is accurately fixed. Now and then I'll take a reading on that
spot to make sure all is well. If there has been a change then I have to
start over from last spot that I am sure there was no movement of the jug
or loss of water. If I've done a lot of work and accidentally lower the
end of the stick and lose some water I can correct things by putting the
stick on the reference point and adding water until the reading matches
the original point. That also works if the water line is too short - I
can pick another reference point near the end of the line, move the jug
closer and re-read the second reference point. Raise or lower the jug or
add or drain water until the reading matches, then continue.
Note that you need a jug - just a hose with one end held still would work
in theory but it makes things difficult because when you move the hose
you are causing the water to move back and forth and it will tend to
spill out one end or the other and that ruins everything and you have to
start over. The volume in a jug tends to stabilize the water at that end
and you just need to worry about the stick end. Any quick movement will
cause a quick rise in the water level and you can easily lose some. Move
slowly and keep a close eye on the stick to avoid losing water - happens
in a second!
You need to locate the water level in the jug so it will cover the range
in levels of your floor from highest to lowest. Otherwise a low point
would cause water to spill out the top at the stick or a high point could
have water level below the stick.
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