How to Siphon Water with a Garden Hose?


Making a siphon out of a garden hose is a great way to move water from one place to another without using a pump. Only a few materials are needed to make it in a few minutes. With a garden hose, you can easily move water from a lower level to a higher level, or from one container to another. This chapter will provide detailed instructions to teach you how to make a siphon with a garden hose.

How Does Siphoning Work?

how siphon works

Siphoning works based on the principles of atmospheric pressure and gravity. The following is an explanation of how siphoning works:

Creation of a Partial Vacuum:

You begin the siphoning process by filling a tube or hose with liquid (in this case, water). Submerging the entire length of the tube in liquid removes the air, resulting in a continuous column of water.

Sealing the Tube:

After filling the tube with water, seal one end to prevent air from entering. Typically, this is accomplished by covering the end of the tube with your thumb or another item.

Gravity and Atmospheric Pressure:

Gravity plays a crucial role in siphoning. When the sealed end of the tube is lower than the liquid level in the source, gravity pulls the liquid downward. Simultaneously, atmospheric pressure exerts force on the liquid in the source.

Lowering the Tube:

By lowering the unsealed end of the tube to a point lower than the liquid level in the source, you create a height difference. This height difference, combined with the force of gravity, sets the siphon into motion.

Fluid Flow:

The liquid flows through the tube due to the force of gravity, as well as the difference in height and ambient pressure. The liquid moves from the higher point (source) to the lower point (destination) because of the pressure differential.

Continuous Flow:

Once the siphon is started, the liquid will flow as long as the end of the tube is lower than the liquid level in the source. The process is self-sustaining, relying on gravity’s constant pull and the pressure difference.

Breaking the Siphon:

To stop the siphoning process, you introduce air into the system. This can be done by raising the unsealed end of the tube above the liquid level in the source, allowing air to enter the tube and break the continuous column of liquid.

Key Factors:

Height Difference: The effectiveness of siphoning is directly influenced by the height difference between the liquid source and the destination. A greater height difference results in a stronger siphon.

Sealing and Air Ingress: Proper sealing of the tube and prevention of air ingress are essential for maintaining the siphoning process. Introducing air into the system disrupts the continuous column of liquid.

Gravity and Atmospheric Pressure: The combined forces of gravity dragging the liquid downhill and atmospheric pressure pushing on the liquid in the source produce the necessary circumstances for siphoning.

To summarize, siphoning uses gravity and atmospheric pressure to create a continuous flow of liquid from a higher point to a lower position. The sealed tube, height difference, and the absence of air in the system are critical elements that sustain the siphoning process.

Materials Needed:

garden hose

  • Garden hose: Ensure it’s clean, without kinks or damage.
  • Water source: The place where you want to siphon water from.
  • Container (to collect siphoned water): A receptacle to collect the siphoned water.
  • Source of elevation (higher than the destination): The point where you’ll position thecontainer, ideally higher than the water source.


Prepare the Garden Hose:

Make sure the garden hose is free of kinks and debris, and that it is clean. If the hose has recently been used for something else, flush it with clean water.

Submerge the Hose:

Immerse the entire length of the garden hose in the water source from which you want to siphon. Make sure the hose is entirely full with water.

Create a Seal:

While the hose is submerged, cover one end with your thumb or the palm of your hand to create a seal. Keep the end submerged to prevent air from entering the hose.

Move to a Lower Point:

Get to a lower level than the water source. This can be a container or another location where the water will be siphoned off.

Release the Seal:

Remove your thumb or hand from the end of the hose while keeping it lower than the water source. Gravity will force the water to flow down the hose.

Wait for Siphoning:

Allow water to freely flow through the hose. The siphoning process will continue as long as the hose’s end is lower than the source of water.

Monitor the Flow:

Keep an eye on the water flow to ensure it continues without interruptions. If the flow stops, it may indicate that air has entered the hose. Repeat the process to restart the siphon.

Adjust the Hose:

If you need to control the flow or redirect the water, adjust the position of the hose accordingly. Tilt it slightly to control the direction of the siphoned water.

Stop the Siphon:

Lift the hose’s end above the source’s water level to halt the siphon. This allows air to enter the hose, breaking the siphon effect.


Elevation Difference:

The elevation difference between the source and the destination determines the efficiency of siphoning. The stronger the siphon, the larger the height differential.

Avoid Ingesting Water:

Be cautious not to ingest water while creating the initial seal or adjusting the hose. This is particularly important if the water source is not clean.

Practice Safety:

Be aware of the surroundings, especially if siphoning potentially hazardous liquids. Ensure proper ventilation and take necessary safety precautions.


Siphoning water with a garden hose is a simple yet effective method of moving liquids that does not require any additional equipment. Throughout the procedure, keep safety and environmental concerns in mind.


How To Use A Hose As A Siphon, By Turner Tomlinson

How to Siphon Water with a Hose?

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