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Old 16-05-2015, 06:26   #1
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Water tank gauge recommendations?

I'm presently working on patching up tank #3 of our four tank, 200 gallon fresh water holding system. These are custom made stainless tanks developing problems, but I'm trying to get a few more years out of them before replacing with plastic.

The water level gauge sensors on these tanks are completely eaten away. I'm looking for replacements, and see that there are some options to the Moeller universal tank float things that were in there.

I've been looking at these:
http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?...307&id=1638065

http://www.wemausa.com/sensors/level...l#.VVc6eflViko

Can anyone with these sensors in their boat recommend them, or some better technology to a moving float arm and exposed potentiometer? I need two sensors, with a tank depth of 22". I think plastic would be a better choice for an in-tank sensor housing than adding another grade of stainless, for starters.
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Old 16-05-2015, 06:36   #2
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Re: Water tank gauge recommendations?

don't laugh, but I have sight tubes for water and fuel tanks, and couldn't be happier. Simple, simple, simple.
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Old 16-05-2015, 07:19   #3
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Re: Water tank gauge recommendations?

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Originally Posted by jaybird1111 View Post
don't laugh, but I have sight tubes for water and fuel tanks, and couldn't be happier. Simple, simple, simple.

I use a stick with graduations of five gallons.


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Old 16-05-2015, 07:38   #4
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Re: Water tank gauge recommendations?

Check out Hart Systems - Home The only thing in the tank is a plastic tube. I have used them for 18 years. Very accurate, no maintenance, and reliable.
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Old 16-05-2015, 08:29   #5
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Re: Water tank gauge recommendations?

Not laughing at all. I love simple simple simple. I have learned to embrace simple. Technology is fun, but it becomes a full time job and it's expensive. And lets face it, eventually it stops working. Every time. I'm using calibrated bamboo sticks to measure fuel tank levels, but those are easily accessible from deck fittings directly over the tanks. The fresh water system is down in the bilges, under the decks.

But your approach has me re-thinking this, already. Thanks.
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Old 16-05-2015, 08:33   #6
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Water tank gauge recommendations?

I just installed 4 tank gauges and sensors , 2 diesel and 2 water , all Wema , that are 316 stainless and are very simple. time will tell if they last , if they don't they are very easy to pop in a new sender unit . I love checking all my levels at a glance and not having to lift floor boards .


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Old 16-05-2015, 08:34   #7
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Re: Water tank gauge recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Elsewhere View Post
Check out Hart Systems - Home The only thing in the tank is a plastic tube. I have used them for 18 years. Very accurate, no maintenance, and reliable.
Ah, so someone does make one. I am very familiar with this technique. I used to install what we called "bubbler" tide guages in remote locations around the world. Wind up clock mechanism for the stripchart recorder, and a SCUBA tank for the air pressure. No power needed, but we had to visit once a week to wind the clock, check the pens, ink, paper feed, clean the verticle orifice in the water, etc.

I agree, from experience, this is reliable and simple. It's also over $ 500 plus our import fees. Makes it pretty pricey.
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Old 16-05-2015, 08:43   #8
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Re: Water tank gauge recommendations?

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I just installed 4 tank gauges and sensors , 2 diesel and 2 water , all Wema , that are 316 stainless and are very simple. time will tell if they last , if they don't they are very easy to pop in a new sender unit . I love checking all my levels at a glance and not having to lift floor boards .
Well that's the ideal, but out of four tank gauge systems on this old boat, zero are working, and in every case the problem is a corroded sender. And they were all stainless steel. And I see these are 316 while I know the old tanks are 304. So...which is going to go first? The old tank with brittle welds or the new $150 sensors?

So far, it seems the sensors are failing quicker than the tanks, but I like the idea of no other alloys in there, too. For whatever reason, "fresh" water ate at least four of them that I know of.
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Old 16-05-2015, 08:45   #9
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Re: Water tank gauge recommendations?

Check out Moeller marine direct read fuel guages I have replaced my electric fuel guages with these I dont see why they would not work for water?
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Old 16-05-2015, 09:03   #10
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Re: Water tank gauge recommendations?

I agree with St. Elsewhere. I suspect that the Hart Tank Tender has been on this boat for most of it's 34 years. Monitoring two diesel tanks, one water tank and one waste tank. Simple concept which goes back to very early days of instrumentation.
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Old 16-05-2015, 09:13   #11
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Re: Water tank gauge recommendations?

i used the wema system with my tanks and was impressed with them. i like the gauges especially with the backlights and mounted them on the instrument panel. one of the sensors was retrofitted in the SS water tank with no problems.
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Old 16-05-2015, 09:32   #12
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Water tank gauge recommendations?

Maretron has sonar measuring system that can be calibrated by volume for irregular tanks. Works on water, waste and diesel.
No moving parts.
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Old 16-05-2015, 10:17   #13
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Re: Water tank gauge recommendations?

If you needed some electrical monitoring as well, I'd highly recommend the Blue Sea Systems Vessel System Monitor. It's capable of dealing with odd shaped tanks, and it also have the normal amps, volts, AH readings. There stuff is bullet-proof.

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Old 16-05-2015, 10:40   #14
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Re: Water tank gauge recommendations?

We have the Wema on our water tank and the US Marine unit on our fuel tank. I hate the Wema, and the US Marine one is adequate. We originally had Centroid senders on both tanks and they worked perfectly. Until they didn't. After replacing them ($$) twice over 5 years, I changed to the present ones.

The problem with the reed switch senders is that they do not show continuous volume - rather, they "jump" from one level to the next as each reed switch is activated. Our tanks are only 11" tall, so we only have a few reed switches in the senders. The Wema seems to only have 4-5, so we jump 1/4 tank at a time. This is annoying - particularly when filling the tanks or when on 1/4 tank, where you don't know how close to the top or bottom you actually are. The US Marine seems to have 7-8 switches, which is much better.

The Centroid was a smooth, continuous, accurate reading - right down to the last drop.

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Old 16-05-2015, 10:41   #15
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Re: Water tank gauge recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybird1111 View Post
don't laugh, but I have sight tubes for water and fuel tanks, and couldn't be happier. Simple, simple, simple.
LOL. I did the same thing... I think I posted some pictures on my blog.
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