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Old 09-16-2019, 08:47 PM   #1
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Useless grey and black tank level sensors.

Here another niggle with our 2018 Alante 31V


from the beginning (April 2019) the black and grey tank sensors were erratic, e.g. showing 2/3 full when just emptied. They did sometimes show a reasonable level.


I complained about that and the dealership did a warranty repair for the black tank saying it was "shifted" affecting the sensors (not sure what that means).


Anyway, after that the black tank sensor acted somewhat reasonable for a while but now both black and grey tank sensors seem to be stuck at 2/3 full.


Is that just an unreliable thing and another repair attempt may fail just as well? Or do other users have a reliable reading on these LED lights?


Thanks, JB
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:14 PM   #2
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I understand your frustration. You expect a new rig to work properly. Sadly the sensors are very unreliable. You can find lots of discussions on how you can clean off the sensors. Some of them work for awhile. Finally you will be happier if you find old school ways to judge when to empty. Obviously track time and usage and get an idea on how long you go to full. How to know when full? Grey water for bathroom when the water pools around your feet in the shower the grey tank is full. Black? As it gets close to the top of the tank it will struggle to vent and when you have a bowl full of water and it burps a bit when you flush you are likely very near full.

I have found with my 40 gal tanks I can go 4 days on grey and 5 or 6 with the black. Mileage will vary.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:26 PM   #3
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If you have the standard 'button' style sensors, they are inherently troublesome, and inaccurate. Some replacements that were designed to be better are SeeLeveL, and Horst sensors. The latter are through the wall sensors, and the SeeLevel are an external type.

There's a variety of tank cleaners that may clean up your originals, if there's a crud buildup problem.
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:05 AM   #4
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The tank sensors are horrible. The black tends to be the worse. The sensors are like little fingers that poke into the tank, and stiff like TP and grease sticks on them, completing the "circuit".

There is not alot you can do about it. A wand down the toilet, can blast the tank walls clean. What I do, and it seems to help. First I never drain either tank completely. The black tank probably has 5 gallons of water put back into it after dumping. The grey tank a couple gallons. When driving, the tanks slosh, and knock the crude off the tank walls/sensors. If my sensors are acting up, like you described, I mix up about a cup of liquid fabric softener in a 5 gallon bucket with water, and poor some down the toilet and a sink. Others use water softener crystals.

I will do this about 3 time in a row, and my sensors tend to work again.

The water softener, lowers the water's surface tension, and becomes "wetter", hence changes its properties and can soak in deeper and faster.

Works for me.
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagiven View Post
The tank sensors are horrible. The black tends to be the worse. The sensors are like little fingers that poke into the tank, and stiff like TP and grease sticks on them, completing the "circuit".

There is not alot you can do about it. A wand down the toilet, can blast the tank walls clean. What I do, and it seems to help. First I never drain either tank completely. The black tank probably has 5 gallons of water put back into it after dumping. The grey tank a couple gallons. When driving, the tanks slosh, and knock the crude off the tank walls/sensors. If my sensors are acting up, like you described, I mix up about a cup of liquid fabric softener in a 5 gallon bucket with water, and poor some down the toilet and a sink. Others use water softener crystals.

I will do this about 3 time in a row, and my sensors tend to work again.

The water softener, lowers the water's surface tension, and becomes "wetter", hence changes its properties and can soak in deeper and faster.

Works for me.

Great idea. I also pour some ice in the black tank before leaving just in case! But, camp long enough and you want worry about the sensors. You will know when it is time to dump. I camped for 40 years without any sensors so it can be done.
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:32 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by namusmc65 View Post
I camped for 40 years without any sensors so it can be done.
We primarily dry camp, I wished the FW tank sensors are better (same sensors). Based on how full the FW tank is, I can get a good idea how full my waste tanks are.

All 3 tanks (FW, Grey, Black) in our case are all the same size, so if I spread out the FW as it is being used, in theory, our waste tanks never over flow.
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:54 AM   #7
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These sensors need a regular good rinse to keep them operating properly. The sensors in our 2016 are still pretty accurate after 4 seasons.. I always run the BT flush for a good 15 minutes following a tank dump.. I'll also use the BT flush to fill the tank with fresh water and dump again. I'm connected to sewerage all the time so it's an easy task for me. If you don't have the convenience of a regular sewerage connection it can be difficult to thoroughly rinse the tank. So far so good.
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:35 PM   #8
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Thanks All for the recommendations!
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Old 09-28-2019, 08:53 AM   #9
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Mine were so bad I replaced them with Seelevel digital external sensors, works great. I did have to replace one sensor that I had not covered with under coating enough. But now they all work fine and are very accurate. The read out is in % of full.
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Old 09-29-2019, 06:08 AM   #10
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Mine are only accurate after thorough cleaning but then maybe only a day or so. So I don't sorry about them and never use them. Two people in my camper taking showers is about a day and a half til shower starts backing up (when not on sewer) and we dump black once a week. We are 90% on sewers so leave gray valve open with macerator hose connected to sewer. I use black tank flush when dumping black and sometimes a wand for cleaning.
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Old 09-29-2019, 12:33 PM   #11
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I hated the factory system and replaced mine with a Seelevel as well. Did it myself following a youtube video and the install instructions. Used a dremel tool and made it work on the Jayco board where the old one was displayed. It works great. But it was a lot of crawling around under the coach for this old body.

https://www.garnetinstruments.com/pr...onitor-system/
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:58 PM   #12
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Possible cleaning solution

I have had the same problem with the factory indication, so I added 2 gallon of water with a cube of automatic dishwasher detergent to each tank and after driving 6 hours down the rod the 2 grey tanks now show empty after relieving the fluid while the black tank didnít clean up, I am normally not worried about figuring out when I should em them, but it would be nice if it would work as intended.
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:05 PM   #13
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I finally gave up on the sensors of our 1.5 year old Seneca. I switched to SeeLevel and they work great, a little more work putting them in as I had 2 black, 2 gray and the fresh water tanks. Used all of the existing wiring so that makes it a lot easier.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:23 PM   #14
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Show me one that works after a couple months, not a one in 3 5W's worked with the exception on fresh water.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:41 PM   #15
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We were having a terrible time with (mainly) the black tank sensor in our 2017 Eagle. It was all over the place. Showed full when I knew it was empty, and then later the same day (with no usage) it would show 1/3, or 2/3, or empty...then back up the next morning.

Someone in this group suggested trying a mixture of Calgon water softener (one capfull), Dawn (another capfull, using the Calgon cap), and Borax (two capfulls using the Calgon cap). Then at least a few gallons of water. That's in our 32 gallon black tank.

Very easy to do, and it has worked well to clear the sensors on our black tank. We do that every time I dump that tank now, and it seems to stay accurate.

We are super careful about our grey tanks. Never put ANY food waste or rinse into them, and use biodegradable soap, so we can dump grey (with care and consideration) at the campsite if needed. Our grey tanks usually stay pretty accurate with no treatment.

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Old 10-05-2019, 09:00 PM   #16
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Good job from Jayco and others ... these sensors never worked properly since their introduction 1000 years BC .... so its now 2019 AC , so for 3019 years they are installing them, one day i guess they will figure out that there is a flaw in the design .... how pathetic this industry can be ....
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:07 AM   #17
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As others have suggested, I use fabric softener in the tanks when starting out on a trip and it has made a huge difference. After dumping, I add 2-3 gallons of water back to the tanks as well.
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:15 AM   #18
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New sensors

Have replaced the sensors in both black and grey tanks with the Horst sensors in my last 2 TT's and kept the tank clean and have had no problems. I always keep some water in the tank after a dump and some while traveling to slosh around. Recently have found that the Thetford Tank Blaster seems to work really well so I do that cleaning after every trip and have had absolutey no problems. Also use alot of water with each flush to keep things moving well and liquidy in the tank. The Horst sensors were direct replacements for the factory sensors and an easy install. Just takes a bit of time. Good luck
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:00 PM   #19
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Useless grey and black tank level sensors.

Water water water... use lots of water in the black tank..
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Old 10-15-2019, 07:50 PM   #20
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If we all buy a new rv, they may run out of the antique sensors and get one that actually works.
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