Tank Monitoring Systems

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New member
Jul 31, 2006
Hello All:
First off, I am a 1st time poster  :). I am looking to gather some information regarding tank monitoring systems. I would love to hear from as many people willing to provide me with information regarding types of systems that they use and the reliability of the system for each tank (water, black, and gray). I am working with an emerging firm who has a patented non-contact level measurement and control sensor that is specifically designed for small tank applications. I am trying to confirm an understanding that many tank monitoring systems cause headaches these days, at least I know my father is constantly having issues with his. Also, would having continuous measurement of the tanks rather than 4 level points (i.e. full, 2/3, 1/3, low) offer any advantages. Finally, how much do you spend in a given year on tank measurement system repairs, accessories, etc. Happy RVing to all and stay cool out on these blazing hot roads.  --DAK
Garnet Technologies may have beat you to the market with their SeeLevel system, which eliminates the woes of the old fashioned, in-tank sensors that get clogged quickly and fail to give any useful reading. SeeLevel The SeeLevel nicely integrates with existing RV monitor panels & swutches as well.

As for spending money on gauges, I don't.  I know our gauges don't work worth a tinker's damn and so inore them. We have a god idea how fast we fill/empty the anks and can easily see what's in the blank tank anyway, so its not an issue to spend money on.
Besides Garnet, see http://www.venaengineering.com/, they make a tank monitor system as well.
Hi DAK and welcome. As others have suggested, the standard in-the-tank sensors almost always quit working after a short period of time because of build-up on the sensors. I also don't spend money on repairing them - when they quit working I switch to the 'guess and worry' method (guess how full the tank is and worry that it's getting full).

I've been looking at the external sensors and procrastinating because of the different types of display and the large difference in price. Four level points would be fine for our use.
As has been said, there are a number of systems on the market at this point.
Winnebago went standard with one in 2005.

I have installed the Winnebago system and just as the internal sensors type of system, it can be fooled by crud building up on the wall of the tank. My black and grey water tanks always read full.
Winnebago tryed to trouble shoot it with no sucess. The manufacturer was not able to help either.
i pressure washed the black water tank and got it working for a while but the crud built back up and it stooped working.

A friend has installed a different brand of non-contact system . His outputs fill as a percentage. It doesn't work properly either. His  black and grey water tanks always read full also.

Both of us full time and neither of us use any chemicals on a regular basis so the crud builds up more heavily than with week-end or occasional  users.

Both systems use a capacitance measurement as the detection method. The problem with that is the change in capacitance due to the liquid level change is quite small as is the total capacitance of the foil strips used.
It appears that the crud build up containing moisture changes the dielectric constant so much that simply checking for delta capacitance is not very effective - it's masked by the crud.
If your system uses some form of differential measurement technique then it might be a winner.

I would love to have a system that does not require clean tank walls. I have no flush systems and no access to the proper place to install them.

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