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Open Roads Forum  >  Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)

 > What's wrong with my holding tank indicator?

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stormbytes

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Posted: 06/19/12 04:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is a '94 Winnebago with a single (combined) holding tank. I drained the tank completely, drove it around for half a day with a bleach solution just to clean it out. I can see/reach the electrodes from the drain valve. They appear to be clean, I think? Anyhow... when the tank is filled with water the indicator works exactly as expected. I filled it gradually and saw the lights come on in succession, 1/3.. then 2/3.. then full. When I drained the tank (also bit by bit) I saw the lights come off in the same way.

Once there's solid waste in there, everything goes haywire! The second the level hits the 1/3 mark all the lights come on (4 lights, full).

What's wrong with this thing?

The electrodes are in an L configuration

* This post was edited 06/19/12 07:28am by an administrator/moderator *

frank-2

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Posted: 06/19/12 04:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As far as I'm concerned. They never work right

edatlanta

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Posted: 06/19/12 04:58am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I empty when the tank burps at me. I look at my idiot lights occasionally and they are always wrong.


Ed

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gbopp

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Posted: 06/19/12 05:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As you have learned so far, the holding tank indicators are not very accurate. Don't worry about it.
Some use The Geo Method to keep their tanks relatively clean. Try it, maybe it will work for you.

dupreet

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Posted: 06/19/12 06:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As mentioned, they don't work the vast majority of the time. Mine were way off last summer...actually behaving so far this year!

With one tank, my concern would be your shower drain is probably the 'low spot' in the system. With it on a grey water tank, mine just burps dish water. With yours, I imagine it would burp far worse!

Good Luck!

Todd


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Johnworth914

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Posted: 06/19/12 07:16am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nothing is wrong with it.. It just does not work--like 90 percent of all tank monitors.


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WyoTraveler

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Posted: 06/19/12 07:58am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I read through that article of the Geo Method. Seems like it may help. Don't think it could hurt anything.

I have been camping since the early 60s. The tank gauges have gotten better but there are still some problems with the gauges.

I use chemicals in my black tank. When empty I add about a gal of water and the chemical. The chemicals break down the waste. Before I dump I add lots of water by flushing. Of course dump the black water first and when it is flushing I hold that toilet lever down, adding more water. Then I flush the grey tank, leaving both valves open. Hold that valve down some more. When I pick up my sewer hose it is quite clean.

Walmart has a device you can stick down into the toilet and it spins and does do some washing of the tank. Yup, I'm old fashioned and drag that hose into bathroom. I might add it is a special hose. I use a different color than my fresh water hose and NEVER store that hose with my fresh water hose. Although I bought and used the Walmart device I still prefer my old one that I built back in the 60s. I used a 1/2 inch copper pipe about 3 ft long. Ball valve and hose connection on one end, and a copper pipe cap on the other end. I drilled 4 holes on the side of the cap 90 degrees apart. I've used that device for over 50 years and it works for me. Works a lot better for cleaning than the one at Walmart. It just doesn't spin by itself. You have to turn it.

I made a test of toilet tissue. When I was full timing and bored I put some high priced RV toilet tissue in a glass of water and some Costco Kirkland toilet tissue in another glass of water. The Costco toilet paper actually broke down faster and better, and almost disappeared. The RV toilet tissue, although breaking down, stayed in little clumps. Amazing! I'm sure that some RV toilet tissue is better than others but I've been real happy using the Costco brand.

If you meet me in a RV park and ask me about the chemicals I use I will deny using them. I agree with the article Geo Method, it is my business what I use and how I flush.

My black water gauge works most of the time. If not, out comes the hose i.e. more chemicals. Every time I shop I buy different brands of chemicals. So far they all seem to be about the same.

I also use chemicals in my grey water tank during hot summer months.

I figure my park fee covers the cost of them pumping out when I use chemicals. I have a septic at home and pumping out is not that expensive.


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hershey

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Posted: 06/19/12 08:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The level controls on gray and black tanks were designed and built by an evil mind. An evil mind that gets great satisfaction in watching people devote a lot of time and money in their quest to actually get them to work. Once you understand that, the solution is easy.
Just develop a memory as to how long you can go on the average before you need to dump the tanks.
The black tank......it never fills up when boondocking.
The gray.....yup, its going to fill up but once you know that from experience you can go 3 days or 6 days or two weeks before it fills, you just establish that as the measure.
We fulltime and it has been years since I've looked at the "perceived level" on our gauge. Good luck.


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steelpony5555

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Posted: 06/19/12 08:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On my old Alpenlite they worked perfectly, in fact they had adjustments on them to fine tune them. Got the Montana and they have not worked right from day one. So back to using the burp method for the black tank and when the water backs up in the sink for the gray.


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doughere

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Posted: 06/19/12 12:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can hold 120 gallons of fresh water, 105 gray, and 40 black. If I don't have sewer hook-ups, I fill fresh water when arriving, and as long as I have fresh water, I'm OK.

The gages never worked correctly, the black always shows full. After replacing the fresh and gray tanks, I didn't even bother wiring up the gages.

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