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Old 15-08-2015, 10:53   #1
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Want to add water tank gauges

We have a 38' Horstman Trimaran with 2 50 gallon stainless water tanks. We want to add tank gauges. Are there newer remote sensors that we can put on the outside of the tank? Or drill the tank and add a internal sensors?
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Old 15-08-2015, 11:07   #2
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Re: Want to add water tank gauges

Raritan makes an external monitor. I have one but not sure if I'll use it yet.

RARITAN 12V Tank Monitor | West Marine

Would have to check to see if it will work on stainless tanks. Little bit spendy though.
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Old 15-08-2015, 11:16   #3
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Re: Want to add water tank gauges

Can't go wrong with the Tank Tender. Low tech, no power needs, accurate, easy install.
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Old 15-08-2015, 12:21   #4
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Re: Want to add water tank gauges

The system I'm familiar with is from WEMA: analog gauge and a stainless sensor/float system that works on resistance readings. Works well enough, except the display is only semi-accurate.


I'd prefer digital gauge displays (see CruzPro tank gauges, for example), but haven't looked into their senders (if they offer some). OTOH, the CruzPro gauges are said to work with any senders.


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Old 15-08-2015, 13:18   #5
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Re: Want to add water tank gauges

If you are looking for a cheap but highly reliable method of seeing your tank levels, put a Tee in the outlet line and attach a section of clear poly tubing long enough to reach the top of the tank to the tee as a standpipe. You can mark the tubing at however many levels you want. A more sophisticated configuration could include a 3-way valve on the tank outlet and a stop valve at the end of the tubing. We have been using a similar setup on our boat for years since the electric guage failed.
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Old 15-08-2015, 16:43   #6
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Re: Want to add water tank gauges

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Can't go wrong with the Tank Tender. Low tech, no power needs, accurate, easy install.
Excellent product. Little to go wrong so very reliable. Not cheap, but at least its a one time expense...mine is about 20 years old now, I've used on two boats, and its still working fine.
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Old 15-08-2015, 20:14   #7
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Re: Want to add water tank gauges

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Originally Posted by knottybuoyz View Post
Raritan makes an external monitor. I have one but not sure if I'll use it yet.

RARITAN 12V Tank Monitor | West Marine

Would have to check to see if it will work on stainless tanks. Little bit spendy though.
It won't. Practical Sailor rated the SCAD systems Scad Tank Monitors the best a couple years ago. Their external senders can't read through metal either, but they put an internal sender inside a PVC tube that goes inside the tank...the beauty of it is, the sender never comes in contact with the tank contents, so it can't get clogged up (waste tanks) or corrode (water tanks).
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Old 16-08-2015, 05:57   #8
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Re: Want to add water tank gauges

For that price, I would go the bit extra and do the Tank Tender and dispense with the electronics.
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Old 16-08-2015, 06:10   #9
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Re: Want to add water tank gauges

You need some type of transducer. My tanks are fitted with a floating (adjustable) sender. It requires a maybe 2" hole in the tank and 5 hold drilled and tapped to screw the sender in. The data is transmitted by duplex wire to VDO analog gauges. We have identical sized port and starboard tanks which are plumbed together so when half full and heeled over one tank will read empty and the other full.

My tanks are stainless steel and the Raritan is only for non conductive tank materials

The install is easy once the holes are drilled.
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Old 16-08-2015, 08:42   #10
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Re: Want to add water tank gauges

Contact Dennis Ferriello atdennis@ferriellosales.com He sells tank monitors and is very technically proficient.
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Old 16-08-2015, 10:09   #11
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Re: Want to add water tank gauges

I recently added four WEMA tank senders in my SS water & aluminum fuel tanks and a Wema systems multi-tank level indicator (gauge). I have been quite happy with their accuracy. Cost was less then most other systems. If cost was not a concern, I would have gone with the Tank Tender.
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Old 16-08-2015, 10:44   #12
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Re: Want to add water tank gauges

We have two water tanks as well. We use a two valve system. When one tank is empty we switch tanks and then fill the empty one. Simple, cheap, reliable!
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Old 16-08-2015, 12:41   #13
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Re: Want to add water tank gauges

On poly tanks you can see the water level right through the tank. Sometimes a back-light is needed (can be a flashlight).
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Old 16-08-2015, 23:36   #14
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Re: Want to add water tank gauges

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Originally Posted by Dreaming Yachtsman View Post
If you are looking for a cheap but highly reliable method of seeing your tank levels, put a Tee in the outlet line and attach a section of clear poly tubing long enough to reach the top of the tank to the tee as a standpipe...
That's what I use.
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Old 17-08-2015, 10:07   #15
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Re: Want to add water tank gauges

We do the same thing now, but are taking longer trips with grandkids and my wife wants to know where we are so she can not feel guilty about taking a shower. And yes we have sun showers. (keep the wife happy the boat is happy)
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