Today, finding a true level of an area is commonly done by using modern apparatus such as spirit levels or laser levels. These methods actually work quite well but there are more ways to find an accurate level of an area without using expensive and sophisticated equipment.
Years ago, builders would find true levels by employing a very simple technique which only involved materials such as water and tubing. This is more commonly known as a Water Level and is actually still used by builders today as it offers great accuracy.
There are many uses for a water level like, suppose you need to find the level of two separate rooms in different positions of a house, or maybe you’re working on a site where you are setting out and need to establish a datum to work to. A water level will help you achieve all of these things with ease.
For those of you who want to find a cheap and very effective method of establishing true level, read on! Firstly, go and find yourself a good length of plastic tubing. A water hose works absolutely fine for this and you can pick lengths of hose up from any DIY or garden centre for relatively cheap.
Once you have your length of hose, position it on site or wherever you hope to achieve your true level. Make sure one end of the hose is at either side of the two points you want to get your level from. Fill the hose with water but only enough so that you leave about a couple of feet of air at the ends. Hold one end of the hose at the position you want to use as your ‘level reference’ and then with the aid of a helper, get them to hold the other end of the hose up at the other point you want to establish your next reference point. Mark this clearly with chalk or pencil etc.
Here’s the trick to this!
While your helper is holding the hose up at his reference point, move your hose up or down until the level of water in the hose matches the level of the first reference point that is to be transferred. When you have done this task, the line of water in the hose at the second reference point where your helper is will be identical as to where the level is at the first reference point.
Stick with me on this as I know it can be very difficult to visualise this technique without actually seeing a diagram to illustrate it. But trust me when I say this, get this method right and you will always establish true level or datum lines wherever you are working. By the way, for those of you who aren’t sure of what a datum line is; A Datum line is the true level line of reference that all other trades, for lets say on a building site for example, will work to.
This is highly important as without establishing a true datum line, it would be very difficult to establish any form of uniformed level. You can use this method to transfer level to as many points as you wish but for higher accuracy, always be sure to transfer your reference points from the first, original point. This will eliminate any chance of accumulative errors.
So there you have it, a great and very accurate tool to use, and one that is only a fraction of the cost of an expensive, state of the art laser or rotary level. So go build your new water level today for immaculate and accurate workmanship.