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Old 03-08-2005, 04:18 AM   #1
4sandy
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Tank Sensors

Our sensors for our holding tanks have never been accurate. Any suggestions? I have emptied the black water tank,checked the sensors and it still reads full! I have tried many products that you add to the tank but nothing has helped. I would appreciate any help or suggestions.
Thank you very much,
Richard
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Old 03-08-2005, 04:27 AM   #2
CountryGuy
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4sandy

First welcome to the forum!!!

Next, since 1984 when we purchased our first used TT, we have never had a RV that has tank sensors that work. Clean the tanks well, learn how much they hold with your useage, learn the sounds of "full", then go dump.

The Search engine here has LOTS of threads on this very subject, go to the top of the page and try the Search button.

Some have suggested a tank sensor that mounts from the outside, stating these are remarkably accurate. For now, I think Al and I will save the $$ and just go by the experience and the sounds!

May you have many happy days in your rig!

Carol

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Old 03-08-2005, 07:03 AM   #3
Jeff Heiser
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4Sandy,
Welcome. We have a 2005 327RKS TT and ever since we first used it our black tank sensor has read 2/3 to full. Well, this past weekend I think I fixed it. On the suggestion of a past post (not sure by who or where) that stated to empty the tank then fill the tank with water after you dump and then dump it again. With the tank showing 2/3 full, I dumped the tank at which time it showed 1/3 full. I filled the tank with water until I knew by looking down the commode that the tank was full. I then dumped it again. After this dump, the tank sensor on the wall showed empty which is the first time since we bought it. Up to this point we had tried a lot of different things and products none of which worked. So maybe this might be something that will work for you. You never know until you try.

Jeff Heiser
Merritt Island Florida
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:23 AM   #4
sreigle
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Like the others have said, this seems to be a common problem. In our four fifthwheels, none have reported correctly for any length of time. Like Carol and Al we've learned to tell when the tanks are getting full and we've learned to know about how long we can go before they're full. When the black tank flush water (the clear flushing water) starts to plop a bit we know the black tank is about full. For the two of us that's usually 7 days. On rare occasions, 6 days.

From our experience, flushing with the black water flush until the water runs clear helps for awhile. If you don't have the black water flush, then filling the tank with clean water and flushing it repeatedly as Jeff suggested also helps. Using a little calgon in the tank along with dishwashing soap (just a little) also helps. But, in the end, about the only thing that truly helps is to replace the sensors with aftermarket sensors that mount on the outside of the tank, as Carol mentioned. I rarely bother to check the gauge any more.
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:38 AM   #5
stiles watson
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My grey and black water tanks gauges seem to work sometimes. My problem is with the galley tank. It always reads full. This is interesting because, when I park, I keep the grey and galley valves open until the night before I am going to dump the black water.

As others have said, I rely on my expeience and sound to let me know where I am. Oh, by-the-way, If you have a washer, be sure to open the grey water valve before washing or you may end up with a geyser in your lavatory (experience speaking).
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Old 03-08-2005, 11:18 AM   #6
sreigle
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by stiles watson

Oh, by-the-way, If you have a washer, be sure to open the grey water valve before washing or you may end up with a geyser in your lavatory (experience speaking).
LOL, me, too, Stiles! Twice even.
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Old 03-08-2005, 12:02 PM   #7
CountryGuy
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Stiles,

This has been mentioned here before, I think (you know that ole brain )

We have always been told and practice the following: You should always KEEP all valves shut, even the gray water (except for that washer situation). By leaving them open, the debris and soap scum collect on your sensors, dry and turn to a concrete like crust.

Now, if you do have the washer/dryer, you gotta do what you gotta do to not flood Montana. So, the keep the valves CLOSED rule would be for any time other than when you are running the washer.

We go 2 or 3 days, then dump the gray and the galley tanks. Now, if I am grooming dogs, after I do two of them, I have Al pull the valves, empty, shut and I do two more.

Like Steve, we just kinda know after all these years how often to dump the gray and galley, but, that said, the other day I did manage to fill up the galley, but I had washed dogs and he forgot to pull the valve. I had to wash a few dishes over again, not a big deal, eh???

I cannot remember the last time we even looked at those little red lights on the command post, oh, are they still red???? or are they yellow????

Carol
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Old 03-08-2005, 02:22 PM   #8
sreigle
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Carol, I'm having a little trouble figuring out how the sensors get covered when the valve is open since all the water immediately runs out the dump pipe. I wouldn't think the water could get high enough to cover even the lowest sensor. Am I missing something? I usually keep the gray valves open when we're attached to sewer. Then a couple of days before i want to dump the black tank I close them to accumulate water. I guess either way will work. I'm not sure anything really keeps the internal sensors from getting mucked up short of cleaning out the tank frequently. But I'm not an expert on this by any stretch.
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Old 03-08-2005, 02:39 PM   #9
CountryGuy
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Steve

Not sure how to explain, hmmmmm, lets see.

We fill the tanks sometimes, there is soap scum and gunk in the tank with this water, it floats around, but some of it does attach to the walls and floor of the tank.

Sometimes we leave the valve open, what was wet now has a pretty good chance to dry into nice concrete stuff.

When we let the tank fill again, the stuff is so dry and stuck to the walls and floor that it may not rinse out.

We now add a little more, well, you get the idea - - -

The bad part is that when the tanks are open, valve open, that there is not enough water pressure to clean out any particles and soap scum that accumulate at the bottom of the tank. When we allow the tanks to fill up, the volume of the water makes a great deal of water pressure which really helps rinse out particles of stuff in the tanks.

We worry more about the stuff that is stuck at the bottom of the tank than what might be stuck to the sides and the sensors. Since we don't use the sensors anyway, we are more worried about accumlated "stuff".

Just a thought here, we hope that the Calgon water softener trick will loosen up any of this gunk and wash it away.

Carol
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Old 03-08-2005, 03:40 PM   #10
William H. Collier
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I guess I have been lucky, mine work fine, the only excepition is the galley which sometimes reads 1/3 but when you hold the button in for several seconds the little "red" light on 1/3 goes out.
Bill
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Old 03-09-2005, 08:52 AM   #11
Montana_70
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Like others have said. You can flush your black tank multiple times and get an empty reading. But it does not last. Their suggestion to just "know" when they are full is your best bet.

The only time I take notice of the sensor on the wall is to check my battery. The only time I bother with the "tank indicators" is when I'm bored and want to amuse myself.
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Old 03-09-2005, 01:26 PM   #12
sreigle
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Carol, I see what you are saying. Leaving the tanks empty for extended periods allows the particles to solidify, making them difficult to remove. Makes sense. Since we live in ours, the gray tanks are empty for no more than four to five days at a stretch so it's probably not as big a deal for us as for those who weekend/vacation.
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Old 03-09-2005, 01:45 PM   #13
CountryGuy
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Right Steve,

Also take into consideration, temperatures. If it is REALLLLLLLY hot and you happen to be sitting on a black top site, that black top is gonna COOK ya from the bottom up, even with our Artic Pack.

Take into consideration, do you really use a lot of soap at the bathroom sink, like when you shave, etc. Soap makes scum. Other personal care products do too, maybe face cleanser for the gals, that might add some oily stuff to the mix.

Take into consideration, do you scrape your plates REALLY clean BEFORE you wash them, the more food that goes down that galley the more problems you are gonna have, or maybe have. Scraping plates almost clean was a habit we got into during all those years of Michigan State Park camping. Electric only, water on board, so you had to conserve, so you had more particles per million. Well, you get the idea.

We each form our own little habits and have our own little tricks, keeping the gray and galley tanks closed till they fill is just one of ours. It has worked real well for us over the years, so we just keeping doing it that way, and we probably will just keep doing it that way, old habits and all that stuff!

Carol

P.S. Enjoy Charleston!
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Old 03-09-2005, 03:42 PM   #14
sreigle
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You got it, Carol. It would be interesting to put a remote camera in the tanks to see just what is going on in there. But I probably don't wanna know!

We are back on the road in the morning and will likely have email only for a few weeks. Unless one of the parks we've planned has wi-fi or instant phone and didn't tell me.
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Old 03-10-2005, 02:04 PM   #15
tollmann
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Sandy
I learned a trick that seems to work from a long time RV'r. Before you pull your rv from your campsite dump a 10lb bag of ice down the toilet. The ice will rattle around in the tank and knock the crud loose from the sidewalls and bottom. Flush out the tank at your next dump site. It worked for me. For the first time since we bought this unit my black tank actually read empty.
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Old 03-10-2005, 03:56 PM   #16
Montana_1574
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WE HAD SEVERAL RIGS BEFORE OUR MONTANA, ALL OF THEM HAVE HAD THIS PROBLEM. SINCE WE'RE FULL TIME IN FL. I'VE LEAVE THE GALLEY AND GRAY TANKS OPENED AND EMPTIED THE BLACK TANK ON A DAILY BASIS. FLUSHING ALL THE SYSTEMS ONCE OR TWICE A MONTH SEEMS TO KEEP EVERYTHING CLEAN AND WE'VE NOT HAD ANY ODERS IN THE RIG.
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Old 03-16-2005, 03:29 PM   #17
Montana_2957
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My sensors have always worked accurately. However when my trailer was new (2003) I went under the trailer and while checking for problems, I found all the little brass nuts connecting wires to the tank sensors were only finger tight. I tightened and locked the nuts - this to me was an intermittent problem waiting to happen. Could this be responsible for some of the sensor problems? I also found the tank handles loose and ready to fall off and missed the main battery cable running from the battery to the inverter crimped between the frame and floor at the time of installation - it became apparent dramatically at 2000 miles, but that is another story.
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