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Understanding a Siphon’s Basic Structure

October 28, 2015

One of the many services offered by RG Malabanan is siphoning for your septic tank, which is actually the transfer of liquid through a siphon. In this blog post, we will dive into the roots of how a basic siphon structure works.

The structure of a classic siphon consists of a liquid reservoir with an inverted U-tube that is responsible for transporting liquid from a higher level liquid surface to a lower one. The process is meant to persist continually without the use of any mechanical equipment until it is released into the lower level end of the tube.

How then does the liquid continually flow through the tube when the level of water in the reservoir does not rise and there is no machinery aiding in the process? The answer lies behind the forces of gravity and air pressure.

Before anything else, you will need to get your siphon started by simply taking an air pump to suck liquid into the tube. Once you have taken care of that, your siphon will then be up and running continually.

(Image source: wikipedia.org)

If you will look closely at its structure, you will notice how the reservoir of water is positioned at a higher level than the receiving container. This makes the tube leading to the lower end much heavier than that of the other, and thus gravity is able to take its course in pulling the liquid higher ground into the lower level container. The result of this process may result in either the complete transfer of the liquid or it coming to a stop when the levels of both containers are found to be equal.

If both containers are placed on an equal level, the flow of liquid will then cease. This does however pose another question that is, why doesn’t the liquid in the tube flow in two different directions? This is where air pressure comes in.

When you expand the inverted U-tube, air pressure creates a sort of vacuum in the siphon, pushing the liquid inside back together. If air finds its way into the tube through a hole perhaps, it would break apart the liquid causing it to flow into two opposite directions.

The forces of gravity and air pressure are truly something to marvel at. Of course for a professional plumbing service like Malabanan, state-of-the-art machinery is used when siphoning a septic tank to ensure quality service for their clientele. If you’re looking to avail of this service, get in touch with us today!

Source: Science Online                                                                                                              

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