Water Preasure Please answer

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In summary, the pressure at the lower end of the pipe will be higher than the pressure rating for the fittings.
  • #1
Water Preasure Please answer...


I'm from the uk, I am a complete novice (no physics PHDs) Please don't Flame me..., I just registered on the site to get an answer to a question that my mates are arguing about. I'm sorry if its trivial or posted in the wrong forum.

My question is,

If I filled a glass of water and inverted it and held it above the surface of the tank of water, the water stays in the glass. Now, if you were to imagine a miniature submarine that started at the top of the glass and descended down what would the pressure gauge read as it traveled down the glass?

And then the pressure at the bottom of the glass level with the surface water of the tank?

I would then expect the reading to increase in pressure as it descends into the tank as normal.

If anyone can settle this argument much appreciated...

adam a physics newbie.
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  • #2

At the surface the pressure is equal to atmospheric pressure(H).As you descend into the water the pressure increase is given by...hdg(h=depth d=water density g=acceleration due to gravity).This gives a total pressure of H+hdg.If you ascend into the glass the pressure decreases by hdg(here h stands for the height above the surface)and the total pressure is H-hdg.
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  • #3

Adam - You've made a barometer. When you invert the glass of water and expose it to the tank, some of the water will escape into the tank - enough to allow a partial vacuum to form at the 'bottom' of the inverted glass. The air pressure between the glass and water will be lower than the ambient air pressure (recall how a mercury or alcohol barometer works) - just enough to 'hold' the remaining water in the glass above the tank level. The pressure gradient from the surface of the glass water to the bottom of the tank is continuous as indicated in Dadface's post.

The submarine will see a pressure lower than ambient air at the surface in the glass and then as it decends see the pressure increase at ~0.5 psi/ft (it will see ambient pressure at the tank water level as Dadface pointed out).
  • #4

I too am a novice on this site and am trying to find an answer to a similar question which is: I filled a tube 48" x 1.5" with water, sealing one end and then inverted it - I expected the water to remain due to the vacuum but it did not. Is there a certain ratio of ht. to dia. required to keep the water in the tube? I would appreciate any imput, guidance or direction on this...Thank you!
  • #5

Try again but make sure the tube is completely filled with water.Hold your hand or something suitable over the open end and don't remove it until it is completely immersed under water.Atmospheric pressure is capable of supporting a column of water about 10 meters high so it should support a column of the length you have.The height to diameter ratio does not matter unless the tube has a tiny diameter in which case surface tension effects become more appreciable.
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  • #6

ralph - if you are simply "turning your pipe upside down" chances are the water will just pour out (especially with a pipe as big as 1.5 inch diameter). The key is to keep the open end of the pipe underwater. If you could hold the filled pipe underwater (say while standing in a swimming pool), and then raise it up to a vertical position from below the water, you'd probably have better luck. Also, you need to be sure the closed end is well closed - if air can leak in there it will ruin the effect by allowing the pipe to drain.
  • #7

Well this seems to be a good site for me as I too am a novice from Canada with a problem. I need a "simple" formula to determine water pressure.

I have installed a 2 inch high density polyetholine pipe underground for a distance of 2km. The grade on the pipe is between 0.7% and 0.9%. I have estimated I will require about 6.6 ton of water to fill the pipe. How do I determine how much water pressure will be at the lower end of the pipe? The OD of the pipe is 2 inches while the ID is 1.75 inches.

I have installed valves at both ends of the pipe so I feel confident that I can control the flow of water, but I am worried that when I open the upper valve the pressure will exceed the pressure rating for the fittings at the lower end.
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  • #8

It's just p=mgh. Do you know what the actual height difference is between the two ends of the pipe?
  • #9

Yes. The top end is 37 ft asl and the bottom end is 2 ft asl. The exact distance between the two points is 5,284 ft.
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  • #10

Well, p=mgh. Since the weight density of water is 62.4 lb/cu ft, p=62.4*35= 2184 lb/sq ft or 15.2psi.

Often, though, in English units we just use the height as a unit of pressure: that's 35 ft of static head pressure.

1. What is water pressure and how is it measured?

Water pressure is the force exerted by water molecules on the walls of a container or through a pipe. It is measured in units of pressure, such as pounds per square inch (psi) or kilopascals (kPa).

2. How does water pressure affect plumbing systems?

High water pressure can cause damage to pipes, fixtures, and appliances, leading to leaks and bursts. Low water pressure can result in reduced water flow and difficulty in performing daily tasks such as showering and washing dishes.

3. What factors can affect water pressure?

Water pressure can be affected by the elevation of a building, the size and condition of pipes, and the amount of water being used in a system. Changes in temperature and weather can also impact water pressure.

4. How can water pressure be regulated?

Water pressure can be regulated through the use of pressure-reducing valves, which are installed in the main water supply line. These valves help to maintain a consistent and safe pressure throughout a plumbing system.

5. What are the consequences of high or low water pressure?

High water pressure can lead to increased energy and water bills, as well as damage to plumbing and appliances. Low water pressure can result in poor water flow and difficulty in performing daily tasks. Both high and low water pressure can also indicate potential issues in a plumbing system that may need to be addressed.

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