Additional Information

How the SIPHON-AID Gray Water System Works


  1. Bring one end of your garden hose in through the bathroom window.
    Tip:  Tie a string around the garden hose so that it will be easy to pull in the next time. Make certain that the hose is completely empty of any standing water.
  2. Attach the garden hose to the Siphon-Aid™.
  3. Hold the wide end of the Siphon-Aid up to the bathtub faucet.
  4. While holding the Siphon-Aidfirmly up to the faucet slowly and gradually turn on the water.
  5. The faucet water will be moving though the Siphon-Aid™ attached to the garden hose and up and over the window to the outside. This will take 2-5 seconds.
  6. Now quickly drop the funnel end of the Siphon-Aid™ into your tub of bathwater. TURN OFF THE FAUCET. You have automatically created a siphon action that is now taking your bath water outside to your thirsty plants.
  7. You can disconnect the Siphon-Aid™ from the garden hose anytime after the siphon action has started as long as the garden hose is kept below the surface of the water so as to not break the siphon action.

There are two critical elements to the art of siphoning.  1. Get water going through the hose from the faucet to outside. This is done w/ the aid of your SiphonAid.  However you have to do it for your particular faucet – get some faucet water running to the outside. 2. Don’t lose your hydrostatic pressure.  In the SiphonAid video we see how fast the water runs out of the straw when the finger is removed. To avoid losing your hydrostatic pressure – keep a few feet of hose in the bottom of the bathtub. When you are ready to quickly move the SiphonAid to the bottom of the bathtub (you’ll know because you have water on the ground outside) the extra few feet of hose with water in it in the bottom of the bathtub – is that “finger” holding the downside water in the hose. The fraction of a second it takes to thrust the SiphonAid end of hose into the tub water will not disrupt the siphon action.

Helpful Tip. The SiphonAid™ is designed to fit most tub faucets. However the short necked, squared faucet (the stubby) may not accommodate the wide mouth of the SiphonAid™. Users report that trimming the first two ridges off the SiphonAid ™ allows for a better seal to the tub faucet.
Note: while priming the SiphonAid at the tub faucet some water many come up through the diversion valve pull up handle. It may be necessary to drape a cloth over it while priming.

Siphon – si-phon (‘saifзn) . 1. draw liquid through tube transitive verb to transfer liquid from one container to another through a tube using atmospheric pressure to make it flow.

Because Siphon-Aid uses gravity and atmospheric pressure to move bath water outside it is necessary to have outside landscape at lower elevation than bottom of the bathtub. The SiphonAid is an merely Aid to help you Siphon. The operation of the SiphonAid may take a bit of practice to learn how to create a siphon.

    “We usually let the water go down the drain but when the plants and bushes get dry then we save our shower water in the tub and use the SiphonAid to water them.  We used to use buckets but this is a just a handy gadget to have on hand.”  Anne J. from Fresno

The Zen of the Siphon

“Siphon, a bent tube used to move a liquid over an obstruction to a lower level without pumping.”

In this case your garden hose is the bent tube. The goal is to move your bath/shower water outside to thirsty plants and the goal is to save water. Siphoning is a commonly used method for removing a liquid from its container (bathtub). Here the siphon (garden) hose is bent over the edge of the window and tub, with one end in the bathwater attached to your SiphonAid™ and the other outside end at a lower level than the surface of the water in the bathtub.

To start the siphon action, hold the SiphonAid™ up to the faucet tightly. Turn on the water and let it run long enough to fill the hose with water until there is enough water in the hose that it is below the level of the bath water. When the weight of that water is sufficient quickly drop the end of the hose into the bathwater.

Siphons operate by atmospheric pressure. The tub from which the water is siphoned must therefore be open to the air. When the hose is filled via the SiphonAid™ end of the hose, the liquid will run out of the lower end. The greater weight of the water in the section of hose outside the bathtub determines the direction of flow of the water. As the water starts to flow, the fluid pressure at the top of the hose is lowered. A liquid always flows from an area under higher pressure to an area of lower pressure. The water in the bathtub (under atmospheric pressure) flows up into the hose (an area of lowered pressure). The water in turn will flow out the outside end of the hose.
Once the gentle flow of your siphoning has begun, it will continue if undisturbed as long as the inside end of the hose remains below the surface of the bathwater. After each bath siphoning the outside end of the hose can be moved to another mulched (at least 2”) plant or tree area. Do not use water softened w/ salt or any harmful materials.

More Information on Gray Water

Is it safe to use gray water on plants? Kitchen gray water should not be reused because the food particles in the water decay. The bacteria causing the decay could affect the plants’ growth. Gray water from the washing machine should not be reused if it is contaminated by soiled diapers or clothes, materials used by people with infectious diseases, or materials used in poultry or wild game preparation. The health risks from gray water are considered minimal if you handle and apply it properly. The Siphon-Aid is intended only for bath water. Some basic precautions when using gray water are:
  1. Use gray water the same day it’s collected.
  2. Don’t apply water where people will be in contact with it.
  3. Don’t use it to water food crops.
  4. Don’t let it puddle or stand. (Make sure it is absorbed quickly.)
  5. Don’t spray or sprinkle water in any way. Instead, pour it.
  6. Whenever you handle gray water or equipment that’s in contact with it, wear rubber gloves.
  7. Place a few inches of mulch around the plants you intend to water. This will help prevent any contact with the water and the mulch helps the soil retain moisture.
  8. Be aware of salt buildup in the soil from the use of water softener functions.
  9. Use in accordance w/ applicable codes and regulations.

What is the Gray Water Code and How Do I Meet Compliance?

Under the 2010 California Plumbing Code (California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 5, Chapter 16A) the requirements below must be followed:
  • The gray water system shall not be connected to any potable water system without an air gap or other physical device which prevents backflow and shall not cause the ponding or runoff of gray water.
  • No gray water system or part thereof shall be located on any lot other than the lot that is the site of the building or structure that discharges the gray water, nor shall any gray water system or part thereof be located at any point having less than the minimum distances indicated in Table 16A-1.
  • Water used to wash diapers or similarly soiled or infectious garments or other prohibited contents shall be diverted by the user to the building sewer.
  • Gray water shall not be used in spray irrigation, allowed to pond or runoff and shall not be discharged directly into or reach any storm sewer system or any surface body of water.
  • Human contact with gray water or the soil irrigated by gray water shall be minimized and avoided, except as required to maintain the gray water system. The discharge point of any gray water irrigation or disposal field shall be covered by at least (2) inches of mulch, rock or soil, or a solid shield to minimize the possibility of human contact.
  • Gray water shall not be used to irrigate root crops or edible parts of food crops that touch the soil.
Text of gray water regulations:


Laundry to Landscape

information about Grey Water

The Use of Grey Water



    Customers have been telling us that they use their SiphonAid for uses other than siphoning bath water to their trees and bushes.  Draining fish tanks or other water containers such as kiddie pools.  People have used the SiphonAid for campers and RV’s and for draining rain barrels.  There are no doubt other uses for this handy tool.  Household devices like the SiphonAid will have applications no one has thought of yet.  What could you use a SiphonAid for?

    NOTE:  Siphoning works because of atmospheric pressure.  That means the drain end of the siphon must be lower than the higher end (where the water is coming from).  Create a siphon and then let the physics of atmospheric pressure work for you.

    CAUTION:  Siphoning any water from one place to another must always be in accordance with local codes and regulations.
Siphon doesn’t work?
Some people report that their SiphonAid doesn’t work or that they cannot achieve a siphon action.  Bear in mind that all bathrooms, bathtubs and bath faucets are different and ultimately what you really want to do is siphon the bath water outside.  The SiphonAid is a tool to assist in that process.  The usual difficulty is that there is not enough water in the hose on the outside of the wall to pull the rest of the water out of the tub.  To achieve this squeeze the SiphonAid as best as possible around your faucet forcing the water into the hose – up and out.  Again every situation is a little different  – but you CAN siphon water.  This short video shows how siphoning is done for farm irrigation.  Let your SiphonAid help you. –