I originally began this post as Systems and Fixtures
because I thought my monitor panel was malfunctioning and it was sort of, but that was just a switch. My bigger problem, the reason my waste tank sensors were malfunctioning was because the inside of my tanks were gunked up and if you are having sensor problems yours may be as well. I've been able to get my black tank sensors working again, and here is how I did it. I'm still working on my gray sensors, but I'm hopeful they will all be working well soon also.
As I mentioned in my monitor related thread
, I tried cleaning both waste tanks by filling them with clean water treated with enzymes and soaking them for over 48 hours. This did not fix the sensor problem. It's probably a fine way to maintain healthy tanks during use, but I don't think it's aggressive enough, especially for neglected tanks.
Here is how I've managed to get at least my Black Water Sensors back online.
I purchased the Camco Holding Tank Rinser
at Walmart for just $6.50, and used it today on my black tank. It's a very simple and straight forward tool. It's approximately 3' long, 1/2 inch dia. pvc pipe, with a 4 hole spray tip on the business end and a threaded quarter turn shutoff valve where you connect a water hose.
I tested it before I actually took it into my camper and if you buy one, you probably should as well. Become familiar with how it operates. I learned that after I closed the shutoff valve water continued to drip from the tip as water already inside barrel of the Rinser dripped out through the spray holes. I therefore took a bucket in with me and stored it inside the bucket after I closed it and removed it from the toilet, thus containing the dribble from the wand inside the bucket and giving me a safe place to keep it until I had it back outside. I did use a bleach/water solution to soak it in after I'd finished with it.
I'm sure everyone knows this, but just as a reminder, remember to use a different hose than your potable water hose for this procedure. Also make sure you have your sewer hose connected and draining into a proper sewage disposal drain, and your gate valve to the black tank in the open position.
I was very impressed with the pressure emitted from the spray head. The Rinser went onto my water hose tightly and it did not leak around the connection at all. The Rinser's pressure can be easily controlled by the quarter turn shutoff valve. It sprays out evenly through the four holes at the tip, hitting all four sides of your tank at once. Swirling, tipping and rotating your wrist back and forth while lifting and lowering the Rinser inside the tank allows you to do a pretty thorough job. I was correcting a problem so I did it redundantly for at least 30 minutes.
I say this because although I could not see the results inside the tank for obvious reasons, I knew it was working when one by one the lights on my sensors went out, telling me I had flushed off the gunk that was keeping them lit.
When I had all of the sensor lights in the black tank cleared, I closed the gate valve and used the Rinser wand to fill the tank swirling the wand and stirring the water in the tank as it filled. I checked to make sure my lights were lighting as I filled it. When it was full I turned off the Rinser and opened the gate valve. Then quickly turned back on the Rinser and continued flushing as the water rushed onto the sewer. I did this twice. BTW I use a clear
45 degree dump connector so I could see that I was getting pretty clear water running out of my black tank.
Be careful as it will back spray on you if the you lift the sprayer to high and into the toilet throat. I learned this the hard way and found myself wishing I owned a face shield, yuck! Based on that experience, I found that I could use the Rinser to help clean the toilet throat by placing the Rinser in first and then using a round toilet brush to cover the top of the throat above it. This allowed me to spray the throat at full pressure while blocking all back spray. Since I could see into the toilet throat, I was able to clean it thoroughly scrubbing with the brush and rinsing with the Rinser wand.
Since this device can only effectively clean black tanks where there is a straight shot down through the toilet it will not work for everyone, but if this is your situation I highly recommend it. It is very inexpensive and it works.
How I'm hoping to get my Gray Tank Sensors working.
Further using BillTex's (1189641) suggestion
, I'm cleaning my tanks using the GEO Method
. I'm hoping it will solve my gray tank sensor problem, getting them clean as well. At this point I've decided not to use bleach, but I did add 1/2 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax powder to the solution for the gray tank, and I only filled it half way because just the 1/3 full sensor is malfunctioning, but I used hot water, hoping it will aid the process. For sure the GEO Method
should help me maintain both my waste tanks and keep my sensors clean and trouble free. I intend to make "GEO" cleaning part of my regular tank maintenance. I did lots of research on this method. You definitely want to use Calgon Water Softener (do not substitute). I found it in the liquid form at a Walmart Superstore
in the Detergent section of the grocery section. It will be located with the powdered Borax and the Arm and Hammer Baking Soda detergents. Not every store will have it, so check the internet if you can first.
For those that want a fancier tool check out the Camco 40094 RV Swivel Stik Holding Tank Rinser with Shutoff Valve
or if your toilet does has a sloping access to your black tank here is a flexible version, the Camco 40074 RV Flexible Swivel Stik with Shutoff Valve
. I cannot comment on them, but the video on Amazon is impressive. That said I refer back to my initial comments, the Camco Holding Tank Rinser is both inexpensive and simple and in my case it worked great.