Easy, Illustrated Instructions on How to Siphon Gas out of your Tank or Drain Water out of a Fishtank

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A tidy way to move water (or other liquid) is by creating a siphon with a hose or tubing. The trick to siphoning is getting all of the air out of the hose.

We had a redwood hot tub in our backyard when I was a kid, and I got plenty of practice draping garden hoses over the edge and onto our lawn. The tub had a drain at the bottom, but pulling the plug usually meant jumping into the stale water or fishing around with a hook on a stick. It was easier to just drop a hose in from the top, get the water going and siphon the water out. Using a long hose also meant that we could direct the 800 gallons of water on our garden or trees instead of letting it dump out onto the walk and patio.

Use a tube or hose. Ideally, the hose will be transparent, so you can see what is going on, but it isn't necessary.

Prepare a bucket, gas can or other vessel to catch the water. This bucket (or gas can or the lawn) must be positioned lower than the tank you are draining.

Insert one end of the tube into the water source.

Start with the dry end of the tube higher than the water source, and suck water into the hose. Fill as much of the hose as you dare with water. Even with an opaque hose, you should feel the water (or gasoline) approaching your mouth and have plenty of time to stop before you get a mouthful.

In these photos, I'm using a hose which is too long, and that is introducing a small problem - an air bubble.

The extra hose is looping down, so the liquid will pour over interior bends in the hose an leave air pockets behind. (I started over for the next photos)

To avoid bubbles from forming, keep the hose flat or running up towards your mouth, like a drinking straw.

Hose full of water, no air bubbles. Ready to siphon.

Maintaining mouth suction on the liquid, crimp the hose or slip your thumb into your mouth over the (lips) end of the hose. You are trying to prevent air from getting back into the hose and ruining your hose-full of water.

Next, drop this (lips) end of the hose into your target bucket, gas can or front lawn. Release the crimp (or your thumb) and water should immediately start flowing out of the hose.

 

Please continue reading page 2 of Easy, Illustrated instructions on how to siphon.

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