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Many old-timers are familiar with the water level, though it has grown out of favor of late. It has gained an undeserved reputation for being slow and prone to inaccuracies. However, a water level has some distinct advantages that have served me well in my 24 years in the trade. Namely, a water level can be used around a corner and is highly affordable. I use it when building decks, shoring up sagging sills and floors, leveling ceilings, building handrails and steps, leveling drains, and sloping grades. A water level is accurate and easy to operate, but getting consistent results requires understanding how it works. Simple Systems There are two types of water levels. One I call a "simple