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# Compute time to Drain or Empty a Tank, Pond, or Reservoir. Equation,...

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## Time to Empty or Drain a

Tank, Pond, Reservoir
Containing Water or other
Liquid

http://www.lmnoeng.com/Tank/TankTime.php

## Compute time to empty (or lower)

water or other liquid. Also can solve for
discharge coefficient, orifice diameter
(or area), tank diameter (or area),
initial liquid depth, final liquid depth.

## Register to enable "Calculate" button.

Tank time calculation is mobile-device-friendly as of August 26, 2014

## 2014 LMNO Engineering,

Research, and Software, Ltd.

## Select orifice geometry:

Select tank geometry:
Select computation:

To:
LMNO
Engineering
(more
calculations)

## Not registered user

Discharge Coefficient, C:
Orifice Diameter, d:
Orifice Area, a: Will be computed
Tank Diameter, D:
Tank Area, A: Will be computed
Initial Depth, Hi:

http://www.LMNOeng.com

## Final Depth, Hf:

Time, t: Will be computed
Units: cm=centimeter, ft=foot, hr=hour, m=meter, min=minute, sec=second.

Discharge
from a tank
Bernoulli
calculator
Orifice flow
meter in pipe
(D<5cm)

Orifice flow
Tank (or pond or reservoir) is open to the atmosphere. The tank can be cylindrical or other
meter in pipe
cross-section but must have the same cross-section for its entire height. The orifice can be
(D>5cm)
circular or non-circular. If tank or orifice is non-circular, enter their area into our calculation.
Hi , Hf , and h are measured vertically from the centerline of the orifice.
Unit
Conversions
Calculator

Other
information:
Trouble
printing?
Register

Introduction

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## Compute time to Drain or Empty a Tank, Pond, or Reservoir. Equation,...

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http://www.lmnoeng.com/Tank/TankTime.php

Water (or other liquid) draining out of a tank, reservoir, or pond is a common situation. Our
calculation allows you to compute the time needed to lower the water from one depth to a
lower depth or to empty the tank. Alternatively, the user can input a time and choose another
variable to be computed - orifice coefficient, orifice diameter or orifice area, tank diameter or
tank area, initial liquid depth, or final liquid depth.
Equations
If a tank and orifice are both at atmospheric pressure and the liquid is above the top of the
orifice, the discharge (flow rate) out of the orifice is (Streeter et al., 1998, p. 467; Daugherty
et al., 1985, p. 413):

Note: The above equation is valid if both the tank and orifice are at the same pressure, even if
the pressure is not atmospheric
For a tank with a constant cross-sectional geometry A in the plan view (i.e. as you look down
on it), substitute:

Integrate h from Hi to Hf and integrate t from 0 to t, then solve for time t, which is the time
required for the liquid to fall from Hi to Hf:

## If the orifice is circular:

Our calculation allows you to solve for any of the variables: C, d, a, D, A, Hi, Hf , or t. The
orifice and tank can be either circular or non-circular. If non-circular, then the diameter
dimension is not used in the calculation.
Validity
If h drops below the top of the orifice (for instance if Hf is below the top of the orifice), the
method will give shorter emptying times than in reality. The program assumes that liquid is
flowing out through the entire orifice area. However, when the liquid drops below the top of
the orifice, flow is out of an area less than the full orifice area.
The tank and orifice discharge are assumed to be at the same pressure.
The tank is assumed to be of sufficiently larger area than the orifice so that friction effects
from the tank wall are negligible; that is, A>10a as a rule of thumb suggested by LMNO

04/05/2015 13:58

## Compute time to Drain or Empty a Tank, Pond, or Reservoir. Equation,...

http://www.lmnoeng.com/Tank/TankTime.php

Engineering.
Orifice Discharge Coefficient
Our steady state discharge from a tank page lists discharge coefficients for some orifice
shapes (for water and similar liquids) from Dally et al. (1993), and they are repeated here.
Similar values are shown in Daugherty et al. (1985, p. 415).

Type: Rounded
C:
0.98

Sharp-edged
0.61

Short tube
0.8

Borda
0.51

The short tube value is valid for L ~ 2.5d. Borda is also known as "re-entrant" since it juts
into the tank.
Variables
The units shown for the variables are SI (International System of Units); however, the
equations above are valid for any consistent set of units. Our calculation allows a variety of
units; all unit conversions are accomplished internally.
a = Orifice cross-sectional area (m2).
A = Tank cross-sectional area (m2).
C = Orifice discharge coefficient 0 < C < 1.0. C depends on the orifice geometry and in
some cases the type of liquid.
d = Orifice diameter (m).
D = Tank diameter (looking down on it), (m).
g = Acceleration due to gravity, 9.8066 m/s2.
h = Vertical distance from centerline of orifice to liquid surface (m).
Hf = Final vertical distance from centerline of orifice to liquid surface (m).
Hi = Initial vertical distance from centerline of orifice to liquid surface (m).
Q = Discharge (flowrate) at any depth, h (m3/s).
t = Time for liquid in tank to change from a depth of Hi to a depth of Hf (seconds).
Error Messages given by calculation
"Need C > 0", "Need d > 0", "Need a > 0", "Need D > 0", "Need A > 0", "Need Hi > 0",
"Need Hf 0", "Need Time > 0". These are initial checks. Discharge coefficient, orifice
diameter (if circular), orifice area, tank diameter (if circular), initial liquid depth, and final
liquid depth must be positive numbers.
"Need Hi > Hf". Initial depth must be larger than final depth.
"Best if A 10a". To ensure that tank friction is negligible, should have tank area much larger
than orifice area.
"Need 0 < C 1". Discharge coefficient must be greater than 0.0 and less than or equal to
1.0. Typical value is 0.6 for water flowing through square-edged orifice.
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## Compute time to Drain or Empty a Tank, Pond, or Reservoir. Equation,...

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http://www.lmnoeng.com/Tank/TankTime.php

"Infeasible input". This message can occur if the final depth is being computed and Hi0.5 < [t
a C (g/2)0.5] / A
References
Dally, J. W., W. F. Riley, and K. G. McConnell. 1993. Instrumentation for Engineering
Measurements. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 2ed.
Daugherty, R. L., J. B. Franzini, and E. J. Finnemore. 1985. Fluid Mechanics with
Engineering Applications. McGraw-Hill, Inc. 8ed.
Streeter, V. L., E. B. Wylie, and K. W. Bedford. 1998. Fluid Mechanics. McGraw-Hill, Inc.
9ed.

reserved.