# Does the number of holes in the bottom of a bucket determine the height at which the pull of gravity overcomes the surface tension?

Ok, my colleague and I are having a debate that we need help with. Neither one of us works in this space (chemist and materials scientist) and we understand this should be pretty straight forward intro physics or fluid dynamics, but we are struggling to convince each other that one of us is right.

Here is the scenario, three identical tanks of the same volume with the same volume of liquid initially in them. Tank A has a single hole (size d) that is centered, Tank B has two holes each of which are the same (size d), separated by some distance X1. Tank C has two of the same sized holes, but now they are separated by a smaller distance X2 (X1 > X2).

In the current state, the height of the water isn’t high enough for gravity to overcome the surface tension and pull the liquid through the holes. If we keep adding water to the Tanks, one of us contends that water will begin flowing at three different heights for each tank, while the other contends that water will penetrate all the holes at the same height for all three scenarios. Can someone provide some insight? If you have an equation or a reference you can point out that would be great. Cheers.

• Interesting question. I'm not even sure if more holes should make it easier for the water to flow out (which seems intuitively logical), or harder (since fixed pressure from the water depth is now resisted by multiple regions of surface tension, instead of just one). May 26, 2020 at 17:22