How To Use A Laser Level For Drainage? 5 Simple Steps

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Unlike household construction work like wall framing, setting up a drainage system by yourself can be a painstaking process. One wrong move in measuring, and the entire project might crumble to nothing. This is where a laser level comes in handy.

Using a laser level for tasks that require extreme precision, like setting drainage, can reduce the complications significantly. However, there’s not much clear information out there on how to use a laser level for drainage systems properly.

In the following article, we’ll take you through a step-by-step guide on how to accurately make measurements with a laser level, so you don’t end up with blocked pipes.

How to Use a Laser Level for Drainage?

how to use a laser level for drainage

Using a laser level for making a DIY drainage system is not as hard as it may seem. Get all your equipment ready, mark the area your project will take place, and follow these 5 simple steps –

Step 1 – Choose a Good Laser Level

If you want the best results you need to go for a good laser level. Since there are a number of different laser levels out there for specific tasks, it’s necessary that you choose one best suited for drainage.

As you’re working on the project outside, we recommend using a green line laser level. This green beam will work through sunlight and maintain a visible line as you work. You will also need the laser level to make a slope, so make sure yours is fit for the task.

Make sure to pick a good tripod as well. You need to make sure the tripod legs are in equal distance from each other for the laser level to stay straight.

Step 2 – Set Up the Laser Level

It’s crucial that your laser level is set on a flat, firm, and dry surface. Any abrupt lows or highs will throw off the measurements of the laser level, resulting in messy pipes.

If you think you might have trouble with this step, we recommend going for a self-leveling laser level. Wait some time for it to self-adjust.

Step 3 – Find the Height of the Leveling Rod

Put the bottom of your grade rod or “leveling rod” at the height you have chosen for the project. You might need a helper for this.

Mark the boundaries you wish the project to be in with wooden stakes and string. Now, use your laser level to take the reading of the inclination points of your drainage system as well as the pitch of the slope.

Adjust the laser detector of your laser level up or down. When the laser detector lets out a “beep” sound, you can move to the next step.

Step 4 – Make Adjustments

Take the reading of the drop from your laser level and secure it. If you find any empty or high spots during your measuring process, fix them accordingly. So, any empty spots should be filled, and raised spots should be flattened/dugout.

Using your laser level’s readings, form a slight slope that will allow the water in your drainage system to fall and flow into a single direction.

Step 5 – Repeat

To make a constant elevation below the invert, you have to repeat steps 2-4. This is basically to ensure that the bedding under the pipes is completely flat and not hindering the system.

If you’re still lingering on a step, refer to this video for a visual guide of what you will need to do.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do you use laser level for drainage?

First, you will have to mark the area with wooden stakes and string. Set up your laser level on firm and flat ground and use a leveling rod to take readings of the inclination and start of slope.

Then, adjust the detector of the laser level until it emits a “beep” sound.

After, estimate the measurement of the drop and secure your laser detector to the reading. Fix any uneven spots on the land where the bottom of the leveling rod touches. Mark this spot, and repeat the steps.

  • How do you set the slope on a laser level?

Your laser level’s remote will have a “down arrow” button for the slope feature. Hold down on it as you move the laser line down and along the grade rod. When you hear a “beep,” secure it.

Yes, most plumbers use laser levels while taking measurements during pipe installation.

  • What are plumb dots on a laser level?

Plumb dots have the same use as plumb bobs. They are used to transfer points of measurement from a wall to another wall or from floor to ceiling.


To summarize, with a steady hand and careful measuring, you can easily learn how to use a laser level for drainage without help from a professional. Again, to achieve the best results, you need to take measurements on level ground and take time with the steps.

Before you start your project, go through our guide once more to fully grasp what you need to do. If you remember these steps, then the chances of messy pipes will be minimal.

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