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Old 12-19-2011, 03:20 PM   #1
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Freshwater Sensor on a 2012 Intl 27FB?

Brand new Intl (which we love). However, freshwater sensor says we're out of water after running sink for 1 min. I've recalibrated twice to no avail. Can't get a factory repair appointment for a month, and going camping next week. I'm thinking that the freshwater sensor may be on the fritz. Anyone know how hard it is to get to it on this trailer? Threshold of pain is dropping the pan, if I have to do that, I'll wait for Airstream to do it. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:28 PM   #2
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On the classic it's accessible from the interior of the trailer and I would expect the Intl would be similar. Follow the suction line down from the water pump and look for the sensor in the same area where the suction attaches to the tank. They're connected with phone wire.

Usually the freshwater sensors are reasonably reliable at least in comparison to the wastewater tank sensors which are notorious for providing, at best, the occasional erratic reading.
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:31 PM   #3
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Ok, I will ask the dumb question...

Did you fill the tank, and if so how did you know it was full?

Really trying to help, not be a smart%$#......
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z8 hm View Post
Brand new Intl (which we love). However, freshwater sensor says we're out of water after running sink for 1 min. I've recalibrated twice to no avail. Can't get a factory repair appointment for a month, and going camping next week. I'm thinking that the freshwater sensor may be on the fritz. Anyone know how hard it is to get to it on this trailer? Threshold of pain is dropping the pan, if I have to do that, I'll wait for Airstream to do it. Any help would be appreciated.
Did you REALLY recalibrate? Did you empty the tank completely? Did you fill the tank completely? And then did you push the buttons in the correct sequence?

The darn instructions are wore than a Microsoft Instruction manual, and could have been written by the same tech writer.

If you finally get it to work, please let me know, so I can learn how to calibrate correctly.

When all's said and done, I don't really trusted what those sensors do. ;-)
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:55 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses! Here's what I did. Filled tank. Read about problems with air bleeding past regular hose, so got a filler with the soft plastic 10" tip. Filled till it over flowed. Then, with shore power, turned on kitchen and bath faucets. Let it flow for a long time (30 mins), till grey water said it was getting full. Started draining grey water at the same time. Finally water pump was sucking air. (the fact that I filled grey water tank leads me to think the fresh water tank was really full). I figured that I would call "empty" when the water pump could pick up no water.

The calibrate program is a mess, but after a couple of tries, got it to calibrate only the freshwater, did the empty measurement, then filled with my new hose filler and called that full. Finished out the calibration, then turned on the sink again. Within 2 mins, tank was showing empty. Rats! Kept emptying till pump was not happy then repeated calibration. After two times, made an appointment at the dealer, left a message at Catcon Products, joined the A/S forum and posted.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:11 PM   #6
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Sounds as though, yes, you got it full.

I would make the appointment, fill the tank as before, and go camping.

Your method of watching the grey tank is close, but the grey tank is smaller than the freshwater tank.

Wal-Mart and others sell 5-6 gallon water jugs cheap. Buy a couple of them and have them full so if you run out, you have a little backup plan. AS will make it right, just not on a good schedule. If you boondock much the water jugs will be handy anyway.

It sucks to pay a bunch and things not be perfect, I agree. But, it happens.

Enjoy your rig. We do.

Best Regards,
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:19 PM   #7
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I also would like to know how to get a correct reading. I gave up some years ago.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:28 AM   #8
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A couple of weeks ago, we took our Safari over to the JC service center for a floor soft spot problem which I'll post on separately. Since we were leaving it and had the same multiple frustrations with trying to calibrate without success, I asked them to calibrate the system. They said they would do so but can give no guarantee of continued good readings, assuming they can get them in the first place. I had already replaced the fresh water sensor and they will check the others. I was able to get to the fresh water sensor from above by slightly enlarging the opening. Apparently the grey and black sensors have to be replaced from below via a cut-out. The phone wires running to the three sensors are color-coded to make them easier to track.
I feel very comfortable that our baby is in the best of hands but sometimes there just isn't an acceptable solution.
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z8 hm View Post
Thanks for the responses! Here's what I did. Filled tank. Read about problems with air bleeding past regular hose, so got a filler with the soft plastic 10" tip. Filled till it over flowed. Then, with shore power, turned on kitchen and bath faucets. Let it flow for a long time (30 mins), till grey water said it was getting full. Started draining grey water at the same time. Finally water pump was sucking air. (the fact that I filled grey water tank leads me to think the fresh water tank was really full). I figured that I would call "empty" when the water pump could pick up no water.

The calibrate program is a mess, but after a couple of tries, got it to calibrate only the freshwater, did the empty measurement, then filled with my new hose filler and called that full. Finished out the calibration, then turned on the sink again. Within 2 mins, tank was showing empty. Rats! Kept emptying till pump was not happy then repeated calibration. After two times, made an appointment at the dealer, left a message at Catcon Products, joined the A/S forum and posted.
A problem that can occur during calibration is that you can overfill the tank and end up with an artificially high "full" level. That may be what happened. The catcon sensors are pressure based so if the tank is full enough that there is a 24" column of water above it (in the filler hose and vent hose) well then after the first few cups of water drawn out, the tank will read 1/4 full or less. That can happen with any of the tanks if you calibrate with them overflowing.

I would suggest recalibrating the tank, but this time, draw 1/2 gallon of water from the taps before recording the full setting.
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:39 PM   #10
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I also have a new 2012 27FB International with a bad fresh water sensor.

Here's what I did to make sure I was not screwing up with regard to knowing it was full. I filled the tank with a hose attached to the long clear plastic flex fitting till it over flowed. I then went in and saw a solid green light, five minutes later the green turned to red.

Went camping and did not use city water, relied on the fresh water tank. Two days of cooking, cleaning and four long showers and still getting water out of the tank. That was my method of knowing the tank was actually full.

On the way home from Paso Robles dropped the trailer off in Los Banos at Tuscano and let the warranty take care of the problem.
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:12 PM   #11
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f444...sor-84365.html

See My post about using a tube the depth of the tank to calibrate. I have found the tube I made/used. Will post picture and dimensions ,it will be Thursday before I do that though.You should see if Airstream will send You the tank dimensions on your trailer it may be different than My 04 classic.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:02 PM   #12
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The process in post #12 below, finally worked well for my errant readings.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f444...sor-84365.html
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Old 12-22-2011, 04:51 PM   #13
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Here is the calibration tube I made for a 2004 Classic. Disregard the tape reading in the 2nd picture. Tape was just holding up tube to show the pipe threaded adapter , which is 3/4" NPT. From the open end of the Tube to the bottom edge of the elbowed pipe with threaded adapter is 11". Airstream was able to e-mail a pdf of the tank dimensions for My trailer and I used it to construct this. Hope this helps.
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