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Which way does water spin down the drain?


Why does water spin when it goes down the drain? Does it really go one way in the northern hemisphere and the other way in the southern hemisphere?

4489 day(s) ago

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NotEinstein
Some people think the Coriolis force causes all water to spin one way or another. This force, caused by the rotation of the Earth, makes large weather formations like hurricanes spin clockwise in the southern hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere. However, this effect is too weak to act on the water in a sink or toilet.

The direction and amount of spin is caused by the design of the drain. Slight differences in shape can cause angular motion in either direction. When water moves toward the drain the force of the angular motion is concentrated, much like an ice skater pulling in his or her arms during the spin. This makes the water swirl as it goes through the drain opening. If the water is pulled into a large enough drain there is no spin, as seen in this Australian toilet:



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