How to Make a Homemade Siphon

Written by allan robinson
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A siphon is a device that moves a liquid from a reservoir to a receptacle at a lower level. The primary difference between a siphon and a drain is that the siphon has an intermediate section that's higher than the reservoir. A siphon doesn't require a pump after it has been primed, and relies solely on the difference in hydrostatic pressure between the two containers. A siphon typically consists of a plastic tube and may be primed by a variety of methods.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Plastic tubing
  • Reservoir with fluid
  • Receptacle

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  1. 1

    Obtain a plastic tube long enough to reach from the reservoir to the receptacle. If you simply wish to get rid of a certain amount of fluid, the receptacle may be a sink. Otherwise, the receptacle will be another container.

  2. 2

    Position the receptacle. The receptacle must be lower than the reservoir. Place one end of the tubing in the reservoir from which you wish to remove fluid. This end of the siphon must be below the surface level of the fluid.

  3. 3

    Obtain a quantity of an appropriate fluid sufficient to fill the siphon hose. If the fluid is water, you may be able to use tap water. If the fluid has a more specific composition such as aquarium water, you may need to use the fluid in the reservoir.

  4. 4

    Prime the siphon with additional fluid. Pour the fluid collected in step 3 down the free end of the siphon until it reaches the fluid in the reservoir and quickly move the free end of the siphon over the receptacle.

  5. 5

    Allow the fluid to siphon from the reservoir into the receptacle. Once the siphoning process begins, it should continue until the fluid levels in the two containers are equal or the fluid level in the reservoir drops below the end of the siphon in the reservoir.

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