How to Make Your Own Liquid Level

by Nick Gromicko, CMI®
A liquid level is one of the most accurate ways of determining the levelness of points that are far apart or where the line of sight between the points is blocked.  
Liquid levels are especially useful when inspecting new-construction footings and foundations.

 Here are the materials you'll need:
  • 1-inch clear tubing; 
  • 3/4-inch pipe stubs;
  • hose clamps;
  • two ball valves;
  • Teflon™ tape;
  • food coloring; and
  • a bucket.
InterNACHI's Dayna Jones 
Clear tubing is often sold at hardware stores in 25-foot lengths. If you want a longer liquid level, you can connect pieces using a section of plastic pipe and hose clamps. 

Scientific supply houses may sell longer lengths. 

Using the Teflon™ tape, tape one end of two pipe stubs.

Connect the ball valves to the pipe stubs.
InterNACHI's Dayna Jones
Connect the pipe stub to the tubing with a hose clamp.
Fill the tube with water.  A bucket can be used to bleed the air bubbles out of the tubing.  The bucket can also be used as a kink-free case for your liquid level.
Add red food coloring.  It makes the level line more visible.
Remember to open both valves when checking for level.  Remember to close both valves before storing.
InterNACHI's Dayna Jones 
 Happy level checking!