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Old 11-05-2012, 12:54 PM   #1
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Tank level on control panel

How reliable is the tank level indicator on the control panel?

Yesterday, we emptied our black & grey tanks at the dumping station on the campground.
Shortly after, when we checked the tank levels on the control panel (just to make sure), it shows that "Tank 1" (which I assume is the black water) is still 2/3 full !?

It took a few minutes to dump the black water, so I assume it's empty. Before I closed the black water hookup during dumping, I made sure nothing was coming out anymore, so could we have a clog or should we not rely on the control panel to give an accurate level?

Thanks,

Jorn


P.S. We have a '95 Sovereign.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:49 PM   #2
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You could have both problems. I would put a bag of ice in the tank and drive around a little before I dumped the next time and then flush it from the inside while still hooked up to the dump. The sensors on that year Airstream are also not totally reliable, so I would drive around with a nice clean tank of water for a while to help clean them up before I dumped again.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:51 PM   #3
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Tank level indicators are notorious for failing/giving erroneous readings.

The sensors inside the tanks can easily get covered with crud.

To verify that your black tank is empty simply look down the toilet with a flashlight. If there is no fluid then it is empty.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:00 PM   #4
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I'm finding the same issue with our '01 Excella. Is there a remedy for this ???? Is it something we can repair ourselves ???
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:23 PM   #5
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Thumbs up Cleaning sensors off.

I ran into the same problem with the sensors not reading the level of both the black and the gray tanks. Late last year after so some research on keeping tanks clean and also the sensors so they work properly,on our first trip of the season I put in each tank 1 cup of powered laundry soap and 2 or 3 cap fulls of fabric softener along with the other chemicals that I always put in. Well after a few weekends when the tanks were full I was so surprised at the amount of black gunk that was flowing out of the gray tank. the rest of the camping season I did it 2 more times. Now when I dump my tanks my gauges read empty and work great. I think the fabric softener creates a protective film over the sensors. Now that the tanks are clean I think that once a year treatment should be enought.
Jim
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi View Post
The sensors on that year Airstream are also not totally reliable,
That is an understatement.....LOL... they work once in a while, if you are lucky, and the moon is blue and the tide is high and it is not raining would be more like it.

Sorry, I just never had any luck with tank sensors on the gray or black water side. Fresh water tank would generally give me a rough idea of level there, but even then there are very few original equipment sensors on any RV's that work well. I guess some after market ones can be ok, but have never had the pleasure of such.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:30 PM   #7
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Oops, I was speaking in general terms, not specific to the original poster's rig.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:18 PM   #8
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My fresh water tank seems to be reliable. We had a 1985 Excella and the gauges were good even after all those years. Now on the newer one they seem to be fouled up. I will try the detergent and fabric softener in Feb. if we take our trip south again. Since they are there I'd like to see them, at least, be somewhat reliable.

Thanks all for the input.
Happy Halloween ( delayed due to hurricane Sandy )
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:18 AM   #9
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Stay tuned all as a different approach to monitoring tank levels will be introduced soon, where the approach utilizes proven techniques used in the sewage treatment industry for years and years. The system went through "numerous" modifications to reduce cost but to make installation as easy as possible, which is a major concern for the DIY's on this site. Sorry for the delayed introduction of the system but I had to "pay the bills" as well as design some high priority products for your market. The system has also included functionality to diagnose and maintain the system to readily identify faults should any occur, although we have not been able to create an actual fault in the system through our testing scenarios. If a fault should ever be detected we strive to provide the support necessary to enable DIY repair of the system. Additionally rather than intentionally design the system for "replacement" with a future system, we shall provide an "update service" to enhance your system with new "features" for which your hardware will be capable of performing rather than "replacing the unit". In effect the sysem is designed to meet the desires of the DIY individual as well as the OEM.

Again, despite making every effort "alpha testing" (hand built final design) revealed some flaws in our "customer requirements" where the initial unit to be introduced was cost optimized, but in reality, DIY individuals preferred the "two module unit" as it was easier to install due to "physical access" issues. Thus some "more repackaging design work", changes to existng designs so say components are used in all system configurations, and of course, now more testing. As they say; "At some point you need to shoot the engineer". So stay tuned as I believe the system will far exceed your expectations of any tank gauging systems and should be available shortly. Since all design decisions consider quality, reliablity and ease of installation first we will soon be posting detailed information of initial units for comments from "real users" for the next versions, where your comments are always given serious consideration and numeorus comments from this web site on existing systems is what motivated the development of this product line. So please, stay tuned as you comment will be appreciated.
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:03 PM   #10
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We have a '95 too, so we probably have the same system.

Our fresh water indicator works fine.

Our gray always indicates (at least) 1/3 full. Our black tank always indicates 2/3rds full (or more, I forget). I suspect the sensors are gummed up.

I've used the tank sprayer with no luck. My next attempt involves some of that "sensor cleaning" chemical. You put it in and let it soak while you drive around with the tanks full, then dump. I have the chemical but haven't gotten the chance to try it yet. I keep meaning to put it in and fill the tanks as prep for a camping trip, but I either forget or am going camping somewhere that doesn't have sewer hookups. And the bottle says you shouldn't use it at less than 70 degrees.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:10 AM   #11
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C5Don I would like to hear more about your new design
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:05 PM   #12
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I would like to hear more about C5Don's new system, too. The MicroPulse system installed on my 2012 is stupid, it's located in a stupid place, and is just begging to be superseded by something that actually works.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:05 AM   #13
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The system in our '97 hasn't worked for years.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:54 AM   #14
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Well, still sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the solution. We'll be heading south in a few weeks and I think I will try the washing detergent and softener as it seems to be the simplest. Hope it works.

See ya'll on the road sometime
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