# ✔ WATER TUBE LEVEL (from Scraps) ✔

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This is a super easy and fast to make tool and it is 100 % recycled.
This water level is really useful for example when you need to paint a room of two different color horizontally, or you need to find the same level of two things far apart from each over, like two shelfs, or two paintings.

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## Step 1: WHAT YOU NEED

You only need two small transparent plastic bottle, a used bike tire (without any holes) and a pair of scissors.

## Step 2: CUT THE BOTTLES

Cut the bottom part of the plastic bottles.

## Step 3: CUT THE INNERTUBE

Cut a piece of the inner tube, long as you need it.

## Step 4: ASSEMBLE IT

Place each open side of the inner tube in each neck of the bottles (like in the photos)

## Step 5: FILL IT WITH WATER

Fill one of the bottle with water, keeping the inner tube without any fold and the over bottle at the same level.

## Step 6: DONE

Is ready!
Is easier to use in two people (or otherwise you need to make an hole in one of the bottle and hang it up on a neil on the wall).

Hold them both FIRM on the wall for few second and mark the water level with a pencil.

The water level is always constant (communicating vessels principle).

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## 27 Discussions

What about air bubbles in the connecting tubes; they can be quite troublesome if the tube dia is small (about 9.5mm) and length large( about 40ft or more) and gives wrong readings

i used the clear tubing version to cut posts to the correct heights on an unlevel surface when building a deck. The deck had to be even with the back door which was 14 or so inches off the ground. Each post was a different height.

Put 1 end in a bucket on the patio table. rubber banded other end to a pole. Placed the pole up against the doorjam such that the bottom of the pole rested where i wanted the top of the deck to rest and marked the water level location on the tube.

Walked the pole/tube to the location of each post. held the pole up until the water level met the mark on the tube. the distance between the bottom of the pole and the ground - that was the length of the post at that spot - minus the thickness of the deck board.

Worked perfectly. Beautifully, elegantly simple. Very inexpensive.

haha, at first i wondert what possible use this could have then i scrolled down, brilliant never would have thought of this my self

1 reply

looks very efficient, very simply made. would it help to put a "lubberline" on the sides of each so that from a small distance, you could see where the water level was in the distant bottle? or a few drops of food colouring?

1 reply

I have an improvement. If you move one of the bottles, you must re-adjust the other (to re-set the level to a witness mark) EACH TIME you move. That's why you need 2 people. For one end, you use a bucket 2/3ths filled with water. Dip into this a relatively small diameter clear hose (1/4th inch inside diameter is about right, weight the end to keep it in place). Start a siphon from the bucket into the hose, until all air bubbles are eliminated. The other end of the hose can be taped, open end up, to a yardstick. With the bucket on a stool, and the yardstick vertical and stationary, add or subtract water from the bucket until the level in the HOSE is even with your witness mark. (This compensates for the meniscus in the hose). Now ONE person can carry the yardstick around, hold it stationary, and apply marks where they are needed. You can show that the level DOES change in theory when you move the hose, but that change is REDUCED by the factor (bucket diameter/hose diameter)squared, which for a 12" bucket and 1/4" hose, is over 2000. I used this technique to survey my yard for 1/4th mile of 1/8th scale railroad. The yardstick allows setting levels either above or below the actual water level. You can put a bubble level on the top of the stick to be assured it's level (only needed when the distance between the water level and the witness mark is large).

For long distances or around corners a garden hose can be used. Just use some repair couplings with 1/2", 3/4" or 5/8" clear vinyl tubing attached to the hose.

I used a water level many years ago when carrying out site surveys. They're excellent and you can anchor one end and go anywhere with the other to establish a corresponding level. You must ensure there are no air bubbles in the tube. A garden hose could be used for a long run. If you aren't able to make one I've seen them on Amazon; about £9.00 for a 10m, £25 for 20m.

My dad used one of these when we were doing some landscaping. The only difference being that we used about 50 feet of 1/8" clear tubing, with nothing attached to the ends, and put water with food-coloring in it in the tube.

Nice application of available materials (assuming you have a used bicycle inner tube nearby; I'd have to go to a bike repair guy I know).

Great principle, but for even occasional use it makes sense to simply buy a length of clear 1/4" or metric equivalent I.D. tubing, which can be as long as you like. It's a regular tool that I saw used by workman in Mexico, and now where I live in South America, and probably in much of the rest of the world as well. I've heard it's more accurate than a laser level.

It's revealing that this should be such a revelation to North Americans (presumably the dominant Instructables audience). While we (North Americans, or at least some North Americans) design and make and sell clever things (that require jumping in the Dodge pickup and heading off to Home Depot with credit card in hand), people in poorer countries are simply more clever.

Necessity is the mother of invention ;-)

A good old tool given a new green slant. I like the use of scrap / junk materials.
This method can also be used to give you levels around corners, something you can't do quickly with a dumpy level or theodolite.

I am going to use a water level to flatten an area of ground 100 feet by 75 feet.
will be made up of garden hose, T-post's, and clear tubing. the two lengths of tubing will have marks every inch. this way i can make the ground have a slight slope for rain run off. the T-Post will be used as support for the tubing. one T-post hammered into the ground, the other mobile, thus one man operation

Funny i have seen this in use 2 Years ago in India close to the gate of india
The workers where fixing an Iron gate to make sure the hinges are in level they used that setup. And funny today at lunch i told my collegue (who is building a house ) about it
simply works

What if you want to place something close to the ceil, for example... 2 cm far from it?
With the bottles it's going to be quite ... hard. A classical solution:

You can use a transparent hose (like used in acuariums or watering. Only that. Then tap an extreme with a finger and fill it with water; only an extreme will be fill until the top (just leave some air in the other extreme). Your water level is ready. The tube needs to be transparet if you want to see where the water level is.
The advantage of using only a tube like this, is you can use it really close to your ceil. It's often used for leveling ceils and walls only few centimetres far from the top of your room (or so close as your finger allows it).

As you said, the easier is being helped by other person. With the only-hose way it's almost a must, unless you attach the hose in some way to the wall that sometimes isn't easy. With your bottles it's much easier.

1 reply

my mom just told me the same things! "why you don't just use a transparent hose?".
But I didn't tough about the tips of the ceil...Thanks!

I like the idea of the vessels attached to the hose. It adds a little extra play room. I also like that this is with found items. That helps make it much more accessible.

Boat builders have used this technique for years to paint a waterline on a boat when it is being built. It involves using a clear hose though.

1 reply

Thanks!
I like the story of the boat builders, I didn't know, but it really make sense they were using this method.