# Two barrels, linked at bottom by a hose, with different water heights?

On 6/5/2012 10:22 AM, Steve Barker wrote:

strike that. I am thinking of something else. (don't know what).
--
Steve Barker
remove the "not" from my address to email
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-snip-
Same thing I'm thinking of, most likely. Something to do with gravity & such. We can't both be wrong, can we?
Jim
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Steve Barker wrote:

Neither does anyone else :)
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____________________________
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On Tue, 05 Jun 2012 10:22:08 -0500, Steve Barker

Yes they will. One could be an inch in diameter, and the other 6 feet, and the level in both will be the same if they are connected. Note, it will be the LEVEL, not the distance from either the top or bottom of the container.
The hose from the bottom will be full to the level of the water in the barrel if the valve is left open and the end of the hose is higher than the water level in the barrel.
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http://www.rainbarrelstorage.com/good-ideas-rain-wizard-gallon-rain-barrel-green-rw40-p-7851.html
Water seeks it's own level. The size or shape of the two barrels/buckets doesn't make any difference-----so under normal circumstances the water levels would be at the same height ( the volume of water in each container can be significantly different). One factor that would result in different heights would be if the tops of one of them (or both) are sealed-air tight. Another would be if the connection between the containers is restricted limiting the flow between them--in this case the levels would eventually be equal so long as there is a flow between the containers. If the full container has it's top sealed than the amount of water leaving it would be very small --think finger on the end of a straw Again, if the top is not completely air tight then there will be a transfer of water but at a very slow rate. Overall, the water levels between the two containers would be governed by a force balance---Look up how a manometer works. MLD
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Unless there is a strange restriction the levels WILL be equal in both barrels.
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How different are the water levels?
And how are you measuring it? The barrels are some distance apart, probably one's taller than the other; you sure it's not a trick of the eye?
Chip C Toronto
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wrote:

They are next to each other but I was just using the old eye, and the eye is getting old. At first there was a large difference but it looked much smaller yesterday. When I get home I'm going to stick a ruler and and know for sure.
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From what I remember of school, the water SHOULD reach the same height, in both barrels. The fact it's not, well, who can tell? Do you have the barrels on a slope, so one is lower than the other?
It's too long since I took physics but I thought that the height would be equal. One is an actual rainbarrel, with faucet already installed:
http://www.rainbarrelstorage.com/good-ideas-rain-wizard-gallon-rain-barrel-green-rw40-p-7851.html
I paid a lot less than that but still more than a barrel should cost even though it comes with a faucet already installed. It filled up so fast that I figured I'd add another barrel to double the capacity. I took an old Rubbermaid plastic garbage can, installed a faucet near the bottom, used a Y adapter on each faucet, and a female-female hose to link the two barrels, leaving one tap available on each one for a hose. Both barrels are raised on cinderblocks to the same height.
Once I turned on the connecting hose, the water did flow from the original one to the Rubbermaid, but stopped before the water heights equalized. I checked the connection but there was no blockage. I walked away puzzled.
It rained some yesterday, and both barrels are much fuller, but again, the water heights are not identical.
So I guess the height of water in two dissimilar barrels, connected by a hose, will not be the same but will vary depending on the diameter or width of the barrels? Not what I remember, but that wouldn't be the first time.
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Any chance there might be some kind of anti-backup valve built into the either of these faucets? Unless they're connected with aquarium tubing, they should have equalized quickly and a little air in the hose would not have mattered. How much of a difference is there? Are we talking millimeters or inches?
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On Tue, 5 Jun 2012 17:19:53 -0700 (PDT), Larry Fishel

Inches, but I'll check exactly tonight.
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Be sure, I mean _really_ sure, that the barrels are at the identical height or betyter, put a 2/xv or other straight edge from one to the other and level it, then measure from the straight edge.
Basically if you are positive the level is different in the barrels after measureing from a level item you will be famous. Physicists from all over the coutnry will be pouring into your place.
Harry K
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Many years ago I had a similar problem while using a "water level." Here is the trick to using a water level, and possibly, the reason to your dilemma.
1. Fill a long enough length of clear tubing to successfully conduct the test (probably more than a minimum of 10 feet).
2. Hold both ends up next to a wall and make a mark where the water level is. Both ends will have an equal height.
3. Do not move one end (we'll call that the "fixed" end) from where the mark was made but move the other end (we'll call that the "moveable" end) to another wall (or whatever) where you want to find an equal height to the fixed end.
4. Unless you are extremely lucky where you place the moveable end you will notice the fixed end water level has changed from it's initial location. Move the moveable end of the tube either up or down to "correct" the water level of the fixed end. Once the water level of the fixed end is again even with the initial reference mark the water level at the moveable end will be at the same height.
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On 6/7/2012 3:29 PM, Gordon Shumway wrote:

You can mitigate this problem by putting a reservoir at the stationary end so small changes in volume don't change the level much.
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What?
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On Thu, 7 Jun 2012 22:26:49 -0700 (PDT), Larry Fishel

This is the setup:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27610982@N03/7351261078/in/photostream
I did a simpler test. Since the ground is approximately level and the cinderblocks are the same height, I put a tape measure into each barrel after a brief downpour and the water in each barrel is now 24.5" high which is the max since the overflow hose on the rainbarrel is at that height (can't see it in the photo). There really was a difference when I first hooked it up, as the rainbarrel was full and the Rubbermaid garbage can was empty and the transfer just stopped after maybe 8" had transferred, just about to that line you can see on the Rubbermaid near the bottom. All I can think of was that something was blocking it and subsequently got pushed out.
Note the use of ever popular duct tape holding down the screen over the can. I'll do a neater job but the idea was to keep mosquitos out, not to mention larger critters. The top for that can was lost at least a decade ago.
I would have gotten larger barrels if I had any idea how much water can actually be captured by these things. My water bill is now over \$500 a year so this really isn't a bad idea.
Also, arriving today, is a package of Mosquito Dunks which is apparently some bacteria that kills mosquito larvae but not your pets. It looks like 1/4 of a dunk per barrel will do for a month or so. That means I will have enough for a few years.
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Thanks for the photo. I agree, must have been some gunk in the hose or faucets.
Chip C Toronto
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