Profit Tips: Equipment - Siphon increases water capacity

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Connecting multiple water tanks with a siphon can greatly increase the capacity of available drinking water for your cattle. Rancher John Allan used the principle of a siphon to connect water tanks to maintain an equal water level in all tanks. The water flow to the tanks is regulated with a float valve, and the siphon drains water to secondary tanks without cutting holes in the tanks to connect a pipe between them at the bottom. Allan used 2-inch PVC pipe cemented together in an upside-down “U” configuration, with the ability to cap off the open ends. The siphon pipe is primed by submerging under water to remove the air and capping off both ends while under water. The pipe can then be placed in the operating position, one end in each tank with both ends below the highest water level, and remove the caps. Water will flow between the two tanks until the water levels are equalized. As the cattle drink from either tank the water levels will constantly equalize between the two tanks. “The trick is,” Allan says, “you have to have the top of the tanks level with one another so water doesn’t flow over the side anyplace, and the inflow float will still work. Occasionally you have to re-prime the siphon pipe, but a single prime usually lasts three weeks or more. We quickly fastened our siphon pipe to a post between the two tanks with some plumber’s strap. That way it can be easily removed for re-priming, and the cattle will be less likely to nudge it out of position. You can vary the lengths of pipe used depending on your individual circumstance as long as you hold true to the ‘natural law’ of siphoning.”



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