It is beneficial to have a spirit level (sometimes called a bubble level) on hand for any home renovation project, even one as simple as hanging a picture on the wall because having one guarantees that the task will be carried out precisely.
A spirit level is a simple tool that may aid you in establishing whether or not the thing you are working on is plumb and level.
It is not difficult to learn how to use the level tool and to comprehend the levels it shows.
The phrase “spirit level” comes from the mineral spirit solution inside of a spirit level. When placed on a flat surface, the bubble levels itself in between the line level.
Here is everything that you need to know about spirit levels so that you can use this tool properly.
What Is A Spirit Level?
A bubble level also called a spirit level, is an instrument that is long and thin and features several vials along its length that are filled with liquid.
This liquid is typically an alcohol, which has a wider liquid temperature range than other liquids. The vials are spaced evenly down the length of the instrument.
There is a bubble located inside of each vial, and the location of the bubble within the vial is what defines whether or not everything is plumb or level.
The liquid is often dyed a color that is halfway between yellow and green so that it is easier to identify the bubble and acquire an accurate reading.
On almost every spirit level, there is a selection of vials that may be utilized to measure a variety of different items. This includes both the level in the vertical vial, and linear spirit level in the horizontal plane.
It is usual for there to be tubes in the center that aid with checking for level surfaces, and for there to be vials on either end that assist with testing to determine whether your vertical surface is plumb.
Repeat the same process for horizontal measurements.
If you need to locate the level at an angle of 45 degrees, some of the variations are equipped with slanted vials.
Spirit levels are available in a number of lengths, ranging from those that are short enough to fit in your pocket and be used for activities that are more easily managed to those that are considerably longer and be used for projects that involve more substantial objects.
The vial bodies of a spirit level can be shaped like a rectangular block, barrel, or curved and banana-shaped in order to measure slope in fractions per foot of pitch.
Instead of glass, which was the material of choice in the past, these vial bodies are commonly manufactured of acrylic these days.
How Many Degrees Is A Full Bubble On A Level?
The most accurate spirit level has a tolerance of plus or minus 0.5 millimeters per meter when the bubble is in the center of the level, which translates to 0.005 inches per inch or.029 degrees.
This is the same as saying the level can be off by plus or minus 0.005 inches per inch. The next level of accuracy that will be discussed is 0.75mm/m, which translates to.043 degrees.
Uses For A Spirit Level
You may use a spirit level to verify that the projects you’re working on are plumb and level while you work on them.
When we say that a structure or an object is plumb, we mean that it is totally vertical. This means that it makes a right angle with the ground and is, as a result, exactly vertical from the top down.
When we say that something is level, we mean that it is aligned horizontally or laterally without any tilt, regardless of whatever direction we are talking about.
How To Use A Spirit Level
Positioning The Spirit Level
In order to obtain the most precise reading possible from your level, the bottom edge of the instrument has to be directly placed up to the surface that is being inspected.
If you want to be absolutely certain that something is completely plumb, you should hold the level vertically and press the bottom edge of the level up against the structure.
The bubble will be able to collapse and settle if you keep the level consistent. As soon as it stops moving, you’ll be able to take a correct reading.
Reading A Spirit Level
In order to establish the location of the air bubble, you should examine the bubble while staring at it from eye level. Is it positioned such that it exactly straddles the center of the two lines?
If this is the case, it suggests that the construction you are working on is level. If the bubble has a tendency to settle more closely to one of the lines as opposed to the other, then the surface is not level and likely features a slight upward curve.
There will be moments when the bubble is slightly longer than the distance between the two lines, and there will be other instances when the bubble will be somewhat shorter than the distance between the two lines.
In these circumstances, you will need to pay close attention to the placement of the bubble in order to ensure that it is centered.
You will know that the surface is not perfectly level if, for instance, a smaller bubble is placed considerably closer to one line than it is to the other.
On several of the levels, there are not one but two distinct groups of line segments. Following the inside lines is the most important step if you want to finish with a level surface.
On the other hand, if your project needs a modest slope for drainages, such as gutters or a sidewalk, you want the bubble to touch one of the outer lines on the vial.
These lines indicate the needed grade of two percent for these kinds of structures.
How To Make Sure That The Reading Is Accurate
You shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that your assessment of the level is accurate right away.
If you place the spirit level down on any sort of surface that is flat and observe where the bubble forms, you will be able to tell whether or not it is plumb.
Turning it over and confirming that the bubble is still in the same place as before is a good way to determine whether or not this reading can be trusted.
While there are a few different types of spirit levels out there (including line levels and post levels), they all work in the same way.
When the bubble is in the center of the level in between the two lines, this means that your surface is plumb and level.
A spirit level is a vital piece of equipment to have in any tool kit, whether you are a professional builder/tradesman, or if you do DIY projects in your home.
It can help you make sure that things that you mount on walls, including floating shelves, TVs, or pictures are level, making your home look a lot nicer and put together.