Cheap Titrater

Figure 1

Build a titrater for less than seven dollars using only a pocket knife. For parts you will need two 60 CC disposable syringes, four inches of clear vinyl tubing, an old pen and an aquarium air valve.

Parts List

2 - 60 cc syringes
$1.30 ea.
Aquarium air valve (Second Nature, Whisper Air Control System, Single Valve #56001)
$2.75 - $3.50 ea.
4 inches of vinyl or silicon aquarium flexible tubing
Discarded pen

Figure 2

The valve and aquarium tubing can be purchased from most any store which carries aquarium supplies. The syringes can be purchased at agricultural or veterinary supply stores.


Remove the plungers from both syringes and recycle them. Take one syringe body and cut off both ends with the pocket knife or scissors. Be careful to cut away from any of your fingers or other body parts. Scribe one side of the now end-less syringe body from end to end in a straight line. Cut along this scribe line with your knife or scissors. This part is the second part from the left in Figure 2 above. Take this piece and expand it so that you can slip it over the other (intact) syringe body.

Cut the vinyl or silicon aquarium tubing into one 2 inch piece and one 1 inch piece. Find a discarded pen body which is just big enough to fit snugly over this tubing. Cut a 1 1/8 inch section from this discarded pen body and slip it over the 1 inch piece of tubing so that one end of the tubing is flush with one end of the pen body section.

Take the valve which is the third part from the left in Figure 2 and place it flat on a table so it is oriented like in Figure 2. Slip the flush end of the tubing/pen assembly over the upper hose barb as in Figure 2. Slip one end of the 2 inch long tubing over the hose barb on the left in Figure 2.

Take the syringe and push its tip into the open end of the tubing/pen assembly. Slide the outer syringe body down till it rests on the valve. This provides extra stability for the syringe body when it is full of liquid. Your final assembly should look like Figure 3 below.

Figure 3

This titrater is clamped to the rim of your container using the clamp on the valve body. When it is in place it should look something like Figure 4.

Figure 4

To use this titrater, close the valve and add water in the open top of the syringe. Open the valve slowly till you have about the drip rate you desire. Remember that this drip rate will slow as the liquid drains out of the syringe.

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