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Background: This is for a science project I'm creating where I use an airpump connected to a sealed 5gal pail bucket to create a vacuum. That vacuum is then connected to water source to "suck" liquid into the bucket.

Problem: After I shut the airpump off, liquid continues to flow from the water source to the vacuum due to siphoning. Any lowcost ideas on how to prevent the siphoning from happening when I shut down the airpump? Preferably would like a passive solution, but if it has to be electronic, so be it. TIA!

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enter image description here

Figure 1. The solution is to ensure that the pail fill pipe is above the maximum liquid level.

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I'm assuming you mean the air pump is connected to the sealed bucket seperately from the tube you use to suck water into the bucket? if so, maybe just glueing a rubber disc infront of the tube sucking the water (bucket end) should do the trick. When there's vacuum inside the bucket, water shouldn't have any trouble pushing the rubber flap open, but when pressure equalises, the rubber would seat back over the tube, stopping the water flow. Can't say i've tried anything like this, just a theory.

edit- again with the rubber flaps idea, if you drill a hole in the top of the bucket and glue another flap on the top of it, when you turn the pump off just lift the flap and that'll equalise pressure double quick!

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks!, but we're trying to make this an automated system without having any manual processes to it. The valve idea is intriguing, but we would like the water to stop flowing into the bucket when the instant the airpump is turned off. $\endgroup$ – jangooni Jul 18 '17 at 1:18
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You don't show a diagram of the setup, but change the pipe entry point to the tank - put it at the bottom then you should prevent the syphon effect. The depression you create with the pump will still cause the water to get into the tank and, while the depression holds the water will stay in the tank as long as it is sealed...

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Just add a valve (manual or solenoid valve) at water suction line. When you want to stop syphoning, just close the valve.

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