Precision Water Level (PWL)

Priced under $2,000 for a standard 8-cup kit, the PWL-2 is a must-have in any millwright’s toolkit. It is an easy-to-use tool for measuring the level or flatness of a solid surface or of large machinery either in setup or as a maintenance procedure. Unlike past water levels, our patented design, system, and method give you the ability to do so quickly and with amazingly high accuracy and repeatability.

Specifically, the PWL can reduce the time you need to measure level and flatness on larger projects by 80% or more, without line of sight, and with an accuracy of +/- 0.0001 inches at up to 200 feet (+/- 2.5 µm at up to 61m), which is the equivalent of .02 arc seconds at that distance. If you’d like to purchase a PWL or if you have questions, please contact us or view the PWL Brochure.

Most of our customers have machinist levels and many have laser trackers. They purchased PWLs to save time on projects that don’t have line of sight, that require the alignment of multiple surfaces, or that are larger, for which they often find that the time-savings results in the PWL paying for itself on the first use. PWLs are also more accurate than 10 arc second machinist levels, exceed the accuracy of 1 and 2 arc second laser trackers even at short distances, and exceed the range of both.

PWLs consist of small water cups connected with tubing and partially filled with water, which allows the water to settle to a virtual plane. Measuring the relative depth of this water reveals the level or flatness of the surface(s). Some advantages of this method are that it allows for more accurate measurements at long distances and the system can stay in place while you level the surface or align the surfaces, saving considerable time. While using water and gravity has been around for a long time, our patented design, system, and method are what give the PWL its accuracy and ease-of-use.

Despite the high accuracy, our customers love the PWL for its speed. You can take accurate measurements quickly and leave the PWL in place while you make adjustments, allowing you to check the effect of the adjustments you made shortly after making them. For example, let’s say you need to level a 20′ by 100′ piece of equipment with 40 adjustment points (load levelers) to a tolerance of 0.001 inches. You would place one PWL water cup over each adjustment point (40 total) connected with ~240 feet of tubing. After setup, take all 40 measurements using the PWL’s modified micrometer (~60 minutes), compare them to each other factoring in the curvature of the earth using the table provided (~20 minutes), make all of your adjustments, let the water settle (~15 minutes), and take your measurements again. In other words, the time between making adjustments across the entire surface is less than 1.5 hours versus days or a week with other measurement methods. In addition, mistakes are not costly; if you find you need to retake a set of measurements, you’ve added less than 1.5 hours to your project time in this example.

Additional benefits are that the PWL:

  • Is relatively inexpensive (our 8-cup kit is less than $2,000, resulting in a rapid return on investment – often on the first use)
  • Requires minimal training (approximately 30 minutes)
  • Is durable
  • Does not require line of sight and includes its own power and lighting
  • Is quick to setup (less than one hour in most cases) and stays in place throughout the leveling process
  • Is portable (an 8-cup kit is the size of a carry-on bag and weighs less than 20 pounds)
  • Can be used to measure a movable surface (the level or flatness of the surface and its overall elevation drop at different locations)
  • Is intuitive (users quickly grasp the concept and can easily test the system)

For more information, please contact us.