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Old 10-26-2014, 07:44 AM   #1
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Angry Black tank level sensor shows full all the time

Good Morning
Just bought a 1979 Ambassador and checking all the systems out.
The black tank level sensor on the dispal panel shows full all the time even though we dumped it twice with clear results the last time.
Any ideas?
Thanks
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Old 10-26-2014, 08:09 AM   #2
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Sensors get clogged with 'grunge'. I worried about mine for the longest time, until I realized I can actually see/hear the level when I flush if I pay attention. Does your commode sit right over the black tank? If so, sensors not really necessary. A flashlight is all you need. There are products that might help clean them, but not worth the expense when you can see at a glance. Best is to get on and enjoy your Ambassador! Welcome to the Forums!
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Old 10-26-2014, 08:12 AM   #3
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Thanks so much Phillip. Great advice
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Old 10-26-2014, 05:38 PM   #4
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Yep, the water level sensors of old are notorious for false readings or no readings. You might try adding 10 pounds of ice cubes and then filling your black tank with water about 90% full and adding some cleaner (I use dish soap). Then go for a nice hour long drive with your Airstream in tow to slosh around the ice and soapy water. There is a small chance it will clean the upper most sensor. Pick a curvey, bumpy road.

The good news is you can add the Garnett SeeLevel tank monitoring system to your trailer with quite a bit of work. These sensors adhere to the outside of the tank and are wired to the display unit. I installed them on my 66 Trade Wind with good results, and I think they will be quite reliable through the years.

Or you can use the less expensive flashlight and worry about something else.

David
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Old 10-26-2014, 06:35 PM   #5
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MY sensor does not work properly for the black tank. It will read empty until it starts getting close to full. One adjustment attempt did not work. I don't worry too much about it based on our experience in how often we need to dump the black tank.
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Old 10-27-2014, 11:10 AM   #6
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Yea, the flashlight "sensor" works great too. We did have an interesting experience one time. Sensor light was green. My wife gets up at night to use the facility and she comes back and taps me on the shoulder. "I think we have a problem" Checked toilet and it was full to just below the valve. Sensor light is now reading bright red. So, the lesson is that we do need to do a visual check fairly often.
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Old 10-27-2014, 01:39 PM   #7
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I'm on my second Airstream, a 2010 Sport. The sensor on our brand new Sport worked for about a month, then stopped working. The sensor on our older AS Land Yacht motorhome never did work! Our dealer told us that broken sensors is not at all unusual.
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Old 10-27-2014, 02:28 PM   #8
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The Garnett SeeLevel is a more modern way to sense fluid levels. I think some models of newer Airstreams have this system.

Here is a photo of my 86 sensors, well at least the wires to them, and a photo of the SeeLevel being installed on tanks for my 66. My new tanks came with old style sensors molded into them. You can see the 4 buttons on the left side. I opted for the SeeLevel just to see how well it worked.

David
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Old 10-27-2014, 04:11 PM   #9
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I think the notion of working level sensors in our trailers is just an effort of the RV Industry to mess with our heads ......

A few trips under your belt will give you all the knowledge you need about how long it takes to fill both the black and grey water tanks. The flashlight simply becomes reassurance and fine tuning .....

Jay
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Old 10-27-2014, 04:14 PM   #10
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Ranger Jay you are dead on IMO
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Old 10-27-2014, 04:21 PM   #11
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Yah but, it's 9pm and we wonder if we have enough room in the gray tank for a shower. Accurate information is handy at times. And the Trade Wind has just 25 gallons of gray capacity.

David
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Old 10-27-2014, 04:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Yah but, it's 9pm and we wonder if we have enough room in the gray tank for a shower. Accurate information is handy at times. And the Trade Wind has just 25 gallons of gray capacity.

David
Over the years we've ended up landing on water "units" - i.e. a sinkload of dishwater is a single "unit" and a military shower is another "unit" - and we know pretty much exactly how many units it takes to fill the grey tank - so - at any time we will know what we will have left ..... sounds silly ..... but it works ..... haven't overflowed the tank in years ..... course we don't have grandchildren or teenage daughters ...... think that might screw the system up royally.


Jay
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