Can You Determine Which of the 3 Taps Drains the Fastest? Only Experts Can Solve This

December 15, 2020 Updated: February 19, 2021

Anyone who’s tried to save a few bucks by not hiring a plumber may know what a headache pipe troubles can be.

No headaches here, we promise—this one’s just for fun. But this puzzle may have you scratching your head nonetheless, trying to solve the mystery of which of the three taps drains the fastest.

In this puzzle, there are three different plumbing situations; all three taps flow at a normal rate (like your average bathroom sink), and all flow at the same rate.

The only difference is how the pipes are plumbed under the sink—the pipes are different, and that will affect the drainage.

Here’s the challenge: Can you tell which of the three taps drains the fastest?

Epoch Times Photo

Study the puzzle carefully, and when you think you know the answer, scroll down below to check the correct solution.

Need a hint? 

The shortest pipe is not necessarily the fastest to drain.

Pay attention to the direction in which each pipe flows as well. Unless pushed, water will tend to flow downward from high to low, caused by gravity. As we’re dealing with regular bathroom plumbing, there is no pressure besides this.

Epoch Times Photo

Epoch Times Photo

Answer: Tap 3 drains the fastest.

Although tap 3 is plumbed with the longest quantity of pipe, as it turns out, the way it’s plumbed is what’s key here. Plumbers and engineers might have realized that a thing called hydrodynamics is at work.

As pipes 1 and 2 require the water to flow vertically, there isn’t enough pressure to pump the water through, and the pipes end up filling up with water until the water level breaks over the impasse.

Pipe #3, on the other hand, only has horizontal and downward directions, allowing the water to flow unobstructed, thus draining the fastest, despite the longer distance.

If you were able to solve this without a plumbing ticket or engineering degree, you might want to rethink your career path! You’re a natural, an EXPERT! (Or maybe you’re just really good at playing Super Mario.)

If you found this fun, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family members to test their plumbing skills.

All illustrations by The Epoch Times