Wulf's Webden

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Simple Siphon

We had not long had our droughtplug device working (hurrah for an upstairs bathroom) when it failed again. I wonder if something has broken inside the rubber bulb, inhibiting the flow of water and preventing the build up of a sufficient weight of water to create the siphoning action?

However, I have been reading up about siphoning recently in connection with homebrewing (specifically, one of the appendices in The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian) and couldn’t see any reason that the principle shouldn’t work with a plain old hose as long as I could establish a good starting column of water.

I submerged the hose in the bath, weighted one end and then sucked at the other end. You do not have to kiss the hose; you can hold it in one side of your fist and suck on the hole on the other side of the fist. You also do not have to suck until you get a mouthful of water but only until most of the hose is submerged (ie. full of water rather than full of air). I then sealed the end of the hose with one of my motley collection of attachments. A suitably sized cork would probably do but a hozelock spray head, twisted shut, was easier.

The sealed end was lowered out of the window to a waiting bucket. To allow maximum flow, the whole spray head was popped off the end and the water started to flow, pulled down by its own weight. There was a small air gap in the tube as it had not been completely filled but, because there was enough of a drop, the initial column of water created a vacuum behind it into which further water was drawn, creating an unbroken column and a fast and reliable flow. Better, in fact, than we had ever achieved with the droughtplug device.

Maybe I can find another use for that but at least I can credit it with getting me hooked onto the idea of siphoning grey water for re-use on the garden.

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