How to Calibrate a Spirit Level

A man uses a level.
  • 0.5-1
  • Intermediate
  • 10-20
What You'll Need
What You'll Need

A spirit level is a tool that helps you gauge whether an object is level. The glass tube in the level is comprised of a liquid or a spirit like ethanol, which in turn indicates the exact reading. If the spirit creates an imbalance, the level will give out an inaccurate reading. The process of rectifying this error is known as calibrating. Read on to find out how to calibrate a spirit level.

Step 1 - Prep Work

Before you start calibrating the spirit level, make sure you have all the materials handy. First and foremost, you need a sturdy table. You will be using this table as the base to judge the level.

Step 2 - Place

Begin with the process by placing the spirit level on the table. Make sure you place it gently without using swift movements.

Step 3 - Wait

After you place the spirit level on the table, wait for 20 to 25 seconds. This will allow the level of the liquid to stabilize in case a swift motion was applied or too much vibration was generated while moving it. This will also produce a true reading.

Step 4 - Note

The next step is to observe the reading. Note the point where the bubble rests on the spirit level's scale. This scale is printed on the outside of the glass vial.

Step 5 - Turn

The next step is to turn the level a80 degrees. This will result in the ends to trade places. Wait for 20 to 25 seconds to help in settling the vibrations created while the shift was taking place.

Step 6 - Observe

Look at where the bubble is resting and note its position. Now compare it to the position what you had noted in Step 4. If both are the same, then the level has been calibrated.

In case the readings differ, look at which end the bubble is proximal to. Flip the level 180 degrees end for end, and again check which side the bubble is resting. If the bubble in both positions rests on the same side, then it is an indication that the surface of the table is not in a level position.

Step 7 - Fix

Take any material with a flat surface and can be used as a wedge. Place it under the leg of the table. Adjust till the bubble reached the center of the scale.

Step 8 - Flip

To check the legitimacy of the level, flip it around one last time. If the bubble shifts in the direction opposite to the reading, you need to readjust the level.

Step 9 - Locate the Screw

Find the screw on the edge of the glass tube. Not all levels have this screw and therefore cannot be recalibrated.

Step 10 - Calibrate

Place the spirit level on the table. The screw edge should face upward. Turn this screw with a screwdriver. This will adjust the level of the spring. Turn the level's screw until the bubble is centered.