Build a simple level gauge yourself

There are several methods to measure the level of a water cistern. In hydrostatic measurement, an inserted probe determines the water pressure and calculates the water level. A pump determines the level pneumatically and ultrasonic measuring devices use the duration of reflecting sound waves. To build a level indicator yourself, we recommend a mechanical method.

Functioning and costs

If you want to measure the level of the cistern water very precisely, you can build a level indicator with auxiliary devices. Probes for hydrostatic measurement cost from 200 euros and are easy to assemble. Ultrasound gauges need to be adjusted precisely and are available from prices of one hundred euros. Pneumatically functioning assemblies must be adjusted and cost from about sixty euros.

The cheapest is a level indicator, which works mechanically and determines the water level by a float. Prefabricated sets are available from twenty euros and home designs can be made with material for single-digit euro amounts. Most crucial for the effort is the later desired display or reading of the level.

Mechanical with or without display module

Commercially available display modules or tank watches are available. A thread connects the "counter" of the module with a float on the surface of the cistern water. Depending on the design of the pointer is triggered by winding and unwinding of the thread or controlled or controlled by a spring mechanism.

If you have a little creative talent, you can build a level indicator without a separate measuring and reading device. Simple constructions triggered by floats can be integrated in the self-construction of a cistern or in a ready-made cistern.

How to build a simple level indicator yourself

  • Empty plastic bottle with a lid
  • Plastic pipe or balsa wood stick
  • duct tape
  • annular collar
  • Waterproof pen

1. Build the dipstick

Attach the empty and screwed plastic drinking bottle, ideally 0.5 liter, with waterproof tape to one end of the plastic tube or balsa wood stick. At the lowest possible level of the cistern, the dipstick must protrude at least ten centimeters beyond the cistern lid.

2. Fasten guide sleeve

Insert the guide sleeve, whose inside diameter matches the outside diameter of the dipstick, at the top of the cistern.

3. Mark dipstick

On the top of the cistern, mark the "zero point" when the cistern is empty when the float is lying on the ground.

Tips & Tricks

Depending on the desired accuracy, you can divide the dipstick above the zero point with markings. So you can always read the level at a glance.

Video Board: Simple water level indicator