View Full Version : DIY: Water Level Gauge

07-27-2005, 03:35 PM
Hi Everyone,
In the past, a few people have mentioned difficulty in figuring out levels for components or to estimate their water level. I have a laser level as well, but it is pretty useless during the day due to the low illumination of the laser, so I needed something that could be used during the day. This type of water gauge isn't new to most people on here, but for those that might need a simple tool to verify level here is a desciption of the gauge I made. It came in especially handy when I was digging trenches for my drainage line which were 5 feet deep and bent around corners.

*Edit: the pictures are reversed.

Pic 3* = Various components bought at hardware stores like Home Depot or Lowes. The parts include a container (I re-used a container that contained 2lbs of nuts - you get to eat the snacks first!) with a large opening so you can stick your hand inside, two 1/4" fittings, one for the inside of the container, and a barbed fitting for the outside, Goop marine sealant, a washer for extra support since the container plastic is flimsy and I would be banging this thing around during construction, and 20 foot length of 1/4" tubing. Shown in the pic are some ring clamps and an orange plug that I ended up not needing.

Pic 2 = Drill a hole in the container, insert the maile fitting into hole from inside, slide on washer, and screw into barbed female fitting on the outside. Put liberal amounts of goop everywhere between each component. The Goop sealant is already dry in this pic.

Pic 1* = Attach the tubing on the barbed fitting. I put a little blue art dye that I had lying around in the water to make it easier to see the water level. You could use ring clamps on the tubing, but I found that the tubing holds very well without it.

To Use, place the container so that the water level in the container is at waterever reference height you want -- for example, the water level of the pond. Now you can drag the end of the plastic tubing to any location you want and when the water settles, the water level in the tubing is exactly at the same height as your reference height in the container.

When not using, I bend the tubing and clamp it so the water can't escape. Be sure to take the clamp off when you are using it to measure the level.

- Wayne, has been meaning to post this for a month, but has not had time until today because he took a vacation day to work on the pond, and it has been raining all day... again... making it very unproductive. :mad:

07-28-2005, 07:53 AM
Thanks for this idea!!!

I never like using a regular line level since it fluctuate so much every time you move the tubing. With higher water volume the fluctuating will be less


07-28-2005, 08:05 AM
Blimey that's a posh one but a good idea, if additional pipes were added several places could be leveled simultaneously

07-29-2005, 09:49 AM
Thanks Andy and Sean.

One note I forgot to mention, which might be obvious, but just in case: When using, do not tighten the lid of the container all the way. You don't want it air tight, otherwise, the water in the tube will not flow and adjust as well and may provide a false level. I like to keep the lid on top but loose in case I accidentally knock the container over. The other option, which I will probably do, is to put a small hole in the lid and then tighten the lid all the way.

- Wayne, was going to fill the container with tea but decided he didn't want it to brew into a nasty bio experiment after a few weeks time. :D:

pudge koi
07-29-2005, 12:52 PM
wow thanks for the new idea, i may need to try it in the future

07-29-2005, 09:08 PM
when you fill the jar and hose. make sure all the hose is full of water as well.

if not. diagram 1, diagram 2 would happen. being the more water you move from the container to fill the hose due to draging it out farther. the lower your water mark will be. in both container and your water mark for permeter of pond.

hence fill hose and container complete or diagram 3.

see through hose, is a tad costly $$ pick up a couple feet of see through hose, and a couple garden hose adatpers. and then use a garden hose in the center.
aka diagram 4
red = see through hose
black = garden hose
brown = stake to hold the one end of the hose up were you want it.
green = just water level, just for diagram sakes.

07-30-2005, 08:27 AM
Cool. Good thinking.