Make Homemade Geyser

Geysers are natural springs which have the property of discharging hot water and steam into the air intermittently. Have you wondered if you could have one of your own? This science fair project is about building a homemade geyser.

Materials needed for the project:

  1. Plumber’s  putty
  2. Boiling flask
  3. One hole rubber stopper
  4. Stopwatch
  5. Glass tube ( 0.5 to 1 meter length)
  6. Plastic container
  7. Hot plate
  8. Ring stand having an adjustable metal ring

Procedure:

  1. On the base of the plastic container, drill as hole such that it just allows the glass to go through.
  2. Put the hot plate close to the base of the ring stand and place the boiling flask filled with water on top.
  3. Insert the glass tube into the one – hole rubber stopper carefully. Slide the glass tube such that it reaches the other end of the stopper.
  4. Cap the flask firmly with the stopper and tube.
  5. Slide the metal ring to the ring stand so as to support the container
  6. Place the end of the tube into the bottom of the container. Set the tube in such a way that it protrudes a few inches above the container and below the rim of the container. To prevent the possibility of leakage seal of the gaps with Plumber’s putty.
  7. Align the center of the ring directly under the plastic container and tighten it firmly
  8. Fill cool water in the container. Pour enough water so that it fills the container by less than two centimeters
  9. Turn the heating element ON and watch.

When the geyser blows it will rest itself automatically by taking the cool water from the container back into the flask. After several eruptions we can find that the temperature difference between the water in the container and flask are negligible. When such as case happen, turn off the heating element and wait for the water in the container to cool.

How does this happen?

The process happens in three phases

1. Heating:

Two main factors determine the duration of heating required to cause the eruption.

  1. The length of the glass tube
  2. The energy output from the heat source

A longer glass tube, more pressure developed in the flask. The increase in pressure required more heat to boil the water and it naturally takes longer time for the geyser to erupt.

2. Erupting:

Steam expands over 1500 times its initial volume and launches water of the geyser. (The pressure decreases as the liquid flows up the tube. This induces rapid conversion to steam from the liquid phase of water)

3. Refilling:

As the eruption slows, a small quantity of cool water in the container flows down to the flask below. This causes the steam in the flask and tube to condense, and decreases the pressure in the apparatus which allows the atmosphere to force more water to the flask from the container.