DIY Water Tank Level Gauge

Determining how much water there is in a water tank can be a real chore (what with having to climb the tower in order to peer through the tank’s manhole). The answer? A simple sight gauge which uses the compression of air in a length of clear plastic tubing as an indication of water pressure … which in turn, is nothing but a reflection of the water tank’s water level.

water tank level gaugeThe above diagram will give you an idea of how the system is set up. As you can see, there’s nothing complex about the gauge’s construction (built in two hours at a total parts cost of less than ten dollars). About the only slightly thorny part of the whole project is the calibration of the sight-tube … and even that’s a snap when you know how.

  • [1] First of all—with the plug removed from the top of the transparent plastic tube—open the shut-off valve just a crack, until the water level is visible near the bottom of the sight gauge. Close the valve, replace the plug, and tighten the top hosing clamp until air will no longer escape past the end plug. (Hint: Some air loss is virtually inevitable, but you can cut that loss to an absolute minimum by giving the tubing plug a light coat of very thick grease prior to installing it for the last time.)
  • [2] Drain the water tank … but not the service pipe. Now open the shut-off valve and you’ll see the water level rise in the plastic tube as a result of the head pressure created by the water remaining in the service pipe. Mark the position of the meniscus, or water level, on the plywood backboard and label this spot “TANK EMPTY”. (Leave the shut-off valve open from now on.)
  • [3] Next, fill the water tank brim full. Then mark the position of the meniscus on the backboard and label the spot “TANK FULL”.
  • [4] Find the midpoint between the “TANK FULL” and “TANK EMPTY” lines and mark this locus -1/2 FULL”. Make as many other subdivisions of the scale as you feel necessary. That’s all!

Live in the USA and need rainwater harvesting equipment?  Click HERE!

The usefulness of this gauge is not limited to water tank systems alone. It can also be used to measure city water pressure, and—by acting as a pressure-overload damper—can even cure water hammer problems.

In addition, if you have your own water pump, the makeshift pressure indicator can help you detect pump failures, line breaks, or even a drop in the water table (should this affect your pump’s pressure output).

Source: Mother Earth News (by JIM AMDAL)

A simple and effective solution to keeping an eye on your water tank’s level!  For those who do not have time or are not diy-inclined, JoJo Tanks manufactures a digital water tank level gauge; click here for more information.

JoJo Tanks South Africa offer a wide range of plastic water tanks and chemical tanks to suit every household, business or agricultural need, including silo tanks and silo tank stands.  See JoJo Tanks VERTICAL TANKS, HORIZONTAL TANKS (transporter tanks), STEEL TANK STANDS and OTHER JOJO PRODUCTS. Also see JoJo Tanks’ NEW 6000 LITRE UNDERGROUND TANKS. Also see our FAQ and WATER TANK PRICES.

JoJo’s superior polyethylene plastic water tanks and steel water tank stands make JoJo Tanks the leaders in plastic water tank technology and the quality, affordability and guarantee on these water tanks make JoJo products the best choice in South Africa.  JoJo’s water tanks and chemical tanks come standard with a number of features that are often lacking on cheaper/inferior plastic tanks made by other companies in South Africa.

We are authorised JoJo Tanks dealers in South Africa and dispatch orders directly from JoJo Tank depots to save on transport costs. Full range of JoJo Tanks products and JoJo water tanks for sale.  CONTACT US for a quote on the right JoJo water tank or other JoJo product for you.  Special discounts are available on multiple orders of chemical tanks and water tanks and to our commercial and government customers.


(15000 litre and 20000 litre JoJo vertical water tanks also available on order)

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,