There are many ways of making gauge levels for water tanks as well as a few commercially available options. Here is a very simple and effective DIY method of making a low cost water level checker for your above-ground water tank or water reservoir:
The water tank level indicator basically consists of some type of floating object such as a polystyrene ball or air-filled plastic float valve ball and a lightweight rod that is fixed into the float ball. The rod can be an aluminium tube, thin pvc pipe or even a straight wooden dowel – just ensure the float ball can support its weight without sinking.
Depending on the size and height of your water tank, choose the length of the rod accordingly. The rod and ball can be placed inside the tank via the manhole and a small hole of the same diameter of the rod can be cut into the top of the water tank, through which the rod is threaded. A tube or support can also be fixed at the hole entrance to prevent the rod from tilting. Now, if desired, the rod can be marked with calibrations depending on the water level of the water tank, e.g. full (rod will be seen high up in the air), half-full (rod half-way above the tank) and empty (rod only just visible above the tank). The top of the float road can be painted red or yellow or perhaps a highly visible object can be placed on top of the rod so that the water tank’s level can be gauged at a glance from a distance.
Knowing the level of a water tank is important in many cases where water is manually pumped to the tank. Even where the water tank level is controlled automatically, knowing the tank’s level can be useful in the event of a power failure or pump malfunction.
Commercial water tank level gauges are also available; in South Africa, JoJo Tanks manufacture the JoJo Tank Alert – see more info here.
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