Level Calibration

A level instrument is a device that is designed to determine whether a surface is perfectly horizontal or vertical. These levels are one of the most critical instruments used by masons, carpenters, bricklayers, and other workers in the construction and other related industries.

 

Spirit or Bubble Levels

To determine if a surface is level or plumb, a spirit or bubble level is used. Spirit level consists of two or three curved glass vials for each point of view. It is convenient by eye to check the bubble position with graduation marks on the inside or the surface of the glass. The bubble moves inside the vial in proportion to its horizontal degree. When the bubble reaches the midpoint of the benchmarks, it shows the horizontal.

It is an ideal instrument to manually check the horizontal, vertical, or inclination of a surface quite easily with reasonable accuracy. Levels often use alcohol due to its better properties as compared to water. There are also many alternative liquids available such as mineral spirits and ethanol.

 

Torpedo Levels

 

When you are working in tight, cramped quarters and need to measure for true horizontal or vertical you can use a torpedo level. The basic model works well for simple tasks, such as hanging a picture or checking the curtain rail.

The rectangular body of a torpedo level is typically made of aluminum or plastic, which features slightly tapered ends. Its length can vary between 6 and 10 inches. There are two or three vials of liquid.  These vials have two parallel lines drawn around their center and contain a clear liquid and an air bubble.

Some of the torpedo levels have a magnetized top and bottom edge so that you can use them in a hands-free mode. Others even have a laser beam, which helps you to take a reading over longer distances. Some devices have a digital display, which provides you with the exact angle measurement readout. 

 

Automatic Levels

 

The automatic level is an optical instrument used mainly in surveying land. The device is checked in each quadrant so that a full 360-degree rotation can be performed while ensuring that a horizontal plane is accurately maintained. Some levels have bubble level to ensure the accuracy of the measurement.

Automatic levels are designed for outdoor work. They can also work in a rainy or dusty environment and are quite rugged and weatherproof.

The difference between a manual level and an automatic level lies in how to make fine adjustments. In the case of a standard manual device, you have to make manual adjustments by turning the leveling screws until the device becomes horizontal. In an automatic level, these adjustments are done by the device itself, without any manual intervention. Automatic levels also have an internal swinging prism. This prism acts as an internal compensator mechanism, which allows for very high precision.

 

Digital Levels

 

Digital leveling systems for surveying use a laser beam to scan a level staff with heightmarkings. This type of level minimizes human error as the readings are made electronically to ensure accurate readings. This device is very useful when you need quick and accurate height determinations.

An upside to digital levels is the potential for data integration. A surveyor can store readings in the internal memory and refer to them later, or transfer the data to a computer for further analysis and record.

 

Laser Levels

 

The laser level device is fixed to a tripod, leveled, and then rotated to determine the horizontal plane. The laser beam projector is comprised of a rotating head with a mirror. You can read the level measurement in the vials and adjust the leveling screws to achieve good results.

Plumb or Dot Lasers

These laser devices produce single or multiple dots of reference on the wall or work surface. They work much like a reference point, or a laser plumb bob. Another type of device emits a level marker on the wall in a single line or like a cross-hair. These are typically used indoors and are usually small hand-held devices.

 

Rotary Level Lasers

A rotary laser generates a level line for surface leveling. They typically emit a level line around the entire room by rotating by 360 degrees. Rotary Lasers are larger than plumb devices and are mounted on sturdy professional surveying tripods. Some rotary laser levels can be laid over on their side that allows them to project on a vertical plane. The rotation of a single laser dot makes the human eye think it is seeing a line on the surface.

Most rotary lasers work well indoors, but outside on a sunny day, it is too bright for a human eye to see the line and then you will have to use a laser receiver to detect the line.

 

Self-Leveling Devices

 

A self-leveling laser finds the horizontal level automatically and maintains it in that position. Some automatic devices have a bubble vial as well so that you perform initial leveling manually and then let the device take over for fine leveling.

Many auto-leveling laser levels will maintain their level position even if the surveying tripod is shaken accidentally. However, they may shut themselves off if they get way out of level.

Most self-leveling laser levels have an internal mechanism that does the leveling. Some devices have electronic servo motors that do self-leveling completely automatically.

Using Smartphone as a Level Device

You can use your smartphone as a leveling device. There are level apps that may come in handy when you need to check the level of a wall hanging. A level app can cleverly help you adjust any flat surface that is otherwise tilted. These apps can be used in home remodeling, carpentry, or photography. There are a lot of cool features that are available with these apps. Besides the ability to check the level, you can read data in different units, and even take photos while measuring. That way, you can easily send measurement details to anyone by your phone.

 

 

e2b calibration is an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited calibration and repair laboratory providing a full scope of services that are traceable to NIST. We provide calibration services of your level instruments in a climate-controlled, state-of-the-art ISO 17025 laboratory. Contact e2b calibration about our on-site.

 

IN-HOUSE VS. OUTSOURCED CALIBRATION

Should you be calibrating your instruments in-house or outsourced?