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How to Use a Garden Hose as a Syphon

If you need to transfer liquid from one place to another, a simple garden-hose syphon may be the solution. Syphoning works on the principle of hydrostatic pressure. A vacuum is created inside the hose, pulling liquid from the higher end of the hose toward the lower end. Follow these easy steps to set up your own garden-hose syphon without having to manually suck the liquid through the hose to get the flow started.


  1. Set up the item you wish to drain so that it sits higher than the place where you will be pumping the water out. A garden-hose syphon works best with standalone items like a fish tank or an above-ground swimming pool. Built-in swimming pools may sit too low to be syphoned without a pump.
  2. Place one end of the garden hose in the item to be drained. That end of the hose must be completely submerged in the liquid.
  3. Hold the other end of the garden hose under a sink faucet or other water source. Be sure this is near an open drain because the water will be coming back out of this end once the syphon is started.
  4. Run the sink's water into the hose until it begins coming out the other end. As soon as you see the water running into the item to be drained, pull the garden hose away from the sink faucet and set it down by the drain. The hydrostatic pressure in the hose will keep the water flowing as long as the output end is lower than the water source.

Things You Will Need

  • Garden hose
  • Sink or other water source
  • Drainage area

Tip

  • It is also possible to start the syphoning process by sucking the water through the hose with your mouth. This should not be done with gasoline or other dangerous chemicals because the liquid can accidentally be ingested once it begins to flow through the hose.

About the Author

Denise Sullivan has been writing professionally for more than five years after a long career in business. She has been published on Yahoo! Voices and other publications. Her areas of expertise are business, law, gaming, home renovations, gardening, sports and exercise.