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Kelkara 09-03-2017 14:41

Holding tank monitoring options?
 
3 Attachment(s)
My holding tank is almost inaccessible, it is built into the fiberglass of the V-berth, with the top of the tank being the fiberglass bed of the V-berth.

I managed to get a picture of it by stuffing a camera down into the bilge through the anchor locker. The fittings are accessible through some holes cut in a bulkhead in the portside V-berth locker ... but otherwise I have no access to this tank at all - I think it's about 20 gallons size.

At the moment I have no real way of telling how much liquid is in it. I pushed an endoscope down the pump-out hose and it encountered a surprisingly clear liquid eventually, so the tank currently isn't totally empty.

Given the inaccessibility of this tank, does anyone have any ideas for how I can properly monitor the tank fill without putting a fitting right in the middle of the V-berth? ... or is simply counting flushing pumps the best way?

peghall 09-03-2017 15:26

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
If you have access to the end of it--and from your photos it looks like you do--you can use a tank level monitor that has a sender which goes on the outside of the tank wall.

This one was top rated by Practical Sailor: Scad Tank Monitors However, it's just a private label label of the Profile System Profile Tank Monitors made by Ferriello Sales, which you can buy direct from them for a lower price. Check out the Solo model. If you have questions, Dennis Ferriello will be glad to answer 'em and give you all the help you need to install one. I've known him for 20+ years...he's one of the good guys.

"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't completely understand it yourself." --Albert Einstein
https://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-Bo...dp/1892399784/

Kelkara 09-03-2017 16:36

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Thanks Peggy - that's a really good suggestion I'll look into it further.

Unfortunately "access" to the end of the tank is one arm elbow deep through a hole at the bottom of the anchor locker ... so if the sensors can be installed one-handed and blind there may be hope.

However that wall of the tank at the bow end is only the top 5" of the tank which is about 15" deep at the aft end - but it would at least allow monitoring when the tank is approaching full.

The other possible issue is that the installation instructions say to install away from large metal objects ... this will necessarily be within about 1ft of the anchor chain ... I will contact Dennis and see what he thinks.

thanks.

OldGreyB 09-03-2017 21:45

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Another product that I have seen people in this forum recommend is “Tank Tender” Hart Systems - Home . Ofcourse none boating specific priced devices are available in the industrial market such as Afriso Unitel Pneumatic Tank Gauge .
Both these installation details shows the capillary tube into the top of the tank ( which you do not want) However you could install it via a tee the pump outlet line of the waste tank (if from bottom) but would have to valve off upstream on the outlet line when you want to obtain the level of the tank, so the pneumatic pressure signal goes to the tank (level) not venting overboard . If you are DYI guy then you can build yourself something similar with a squeeze bulb pump, 1/4 “ check valve, 2” pressure gauge from a trade shop and some nylon tubing. All work on the principal that the pressure created by the pump is equal to the liquid head pressure in the tank. Due to your tank configuration, to calibrate any of the above you would need to fill the tank to get the 100% reading , empty for the 0%m then mark your gauge accordingly 25%, 50 % ,75% based on the number of flushes required from 0 to 100%.

mottseng 10-03-2017 08:14

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
On Peggy's advise I purchased the SCAD single tank monitor and it works perfectly. For me it eliminated the worry and not knowing how full I was.

Regards

captstu 10-03-2017 09:20

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
I purchased a SCAD about a year ago. Installed it as directed and it worked PERFECTLY for one complete cycle - I set the high and low levels and pumpped out at about 3/4th full.

Then the readout panel went blank.

I contacted the manufacturer - shipped it back - then the problems started. They said the returned unit worked perfectly and complained about having to spend $6 or so to send it back. I offered them the $6, but they declined.

The returned unit still didn't work in my boat.

I checked for 12 volts at the feed, it read 13.2 v (on charge) at the two leads, 9 volts at the switch, and zero at the output of the switch - duh, the switch was bad.

More phone calls, more nonsense until I finally bought another readout since I had cut a hole in the boat to mount the unit and competing brands were a different size.

As you would expect, the second one read perfectly.

So, if you want a nice head monitor backed by an "attitude" - this is the device.

If you want a busted one, drop me a not and I'll ship it to you.

The mess cost me an extra hundred bucks - maybe I should just dump overboard?

zboss 10-03-2017 10:43

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by OldGreyB (Post 2343502)
Another product that I have seen people in this forum recommend is “Tank Tender” Hart Systems - Home . Ofcourse none boating specific priced devices are available in the industrial market such as Afriso Unitel Pneumatic Tank Gauge .
Both these installation details shows the capillary tube into the top of the tank ( which you do not want) However you could install it via a tee the pump outlet line of the waste tank (if from bottom) but would have to valve off upstream on the outlet line when you want to obtain the level of the tank, so the pneumatic pressure signal goes to the tank (level) not venting overboard . If you are DYI guy then you can build yourself something similar with a squeeze bulb pump, 1/4 “ check valve, 2” pressure gauge from a trade shop and some nylon tubing. All work on the principal that the pressure created by the pump is equal to the liquid head pressure in the tank. Due to your tank configuration, to calibrate any of the above you would need to fill the tank to get the 100% reading , empty for the 0%m then mark your gauge accordingly 25%, 50 % ,75% based on the number of flushes required from 0 to 100%.

2nd the tank tender. Its put in through the top but you can drill a small 1/2" hole through the top of your bunk to gain access to the top of the tank. Then, its only a 1/8" tapped hole in the top of the black water tank to screw in the sensor with a little bit of sealant. The tubing is only about 1/8" polypropylene so its easy to run.

Why bother with another electrical system when a perfectly good mechanical system works so well? No wires to run and nothing to corrode.

rwidman 10-03-2017 11:04

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
I'll tell you my story even though it might not be much of a help. I purchased and installed one of the systems that relies on three sensors stuck to the outside of the tank. I don't remember the name, that's why my story might not help but if I were at the boat, I would have the name.


It's a dual system, meant to read the level in two tanks. The side for the potable water works fine although just having full, half full and empty isn't quite as useful as I would like.


The holding tank monitoring only works if I manually clean the tank walls on the inside of the tank. Once the tank is filled, sewage clings to the inside walls of the tank and the monitor reads full all the time.


No doubt there are systems out there that actually work, but at this point, it's easier to lift up the floor panel and look at the tank than buying and installing a different system.

peghall 10-03-2017 11:28

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
I contacted the manufacturer - shipped it back - then the problems started.

If you contacted SCAD, they aren't the mfr...they just sell a private label branded version of the Profile tank monitors. You'd have gotten the help you needed had you known that and SCAD should have given you their contact info. If you still want to salvage it you'll find a link to the Profile site in my previous reply (post #2).

Peggie
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't completely understand it yourself." --Albert Einstein
https://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-Bo...dp/1892399784/

Dave22q 10-03-2017 11:32

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by peghall (Post 2343240)
If you have access to the end of it--and from your photos it looks like you do--you can use a tank level monitor that has a sender which goes on the outside of the tank wall.

This one was top rated by Practical Sailor: Scad Tank Monitors However, it's just a private label label of the Profile System Profile Tank Monitors made by Ferriello Sales, which you can buy direct from them for a lower price. Check out the Solo model. If you have questions, Dennis Ferriello will be glad to answer 'em and give you all the help you need to install one. I've known him for 20+ years...he's one of the good guys.

"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't completely understand it yourself." --Albert Einstein
https://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-Bo...dp/1892399784/

Dennis will do whatever it takes to keep you happy. Go to his site.

Kelkara 10-03-2017 12:14

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zboss (Post 2343829)
2nd the tank tender. Its put in through the top but you can drill a small 1/2" hole through the top of your bunk to gain access to the top of the tank. Then, its only a 1/8" tapped hole in the top of the black water tank to screw in the sensor with a little bit of sealant. The tubing is only about 1/8" polypropylene so its easy to run.

Why bother with another electrical system when a perfectly good mechanical system works so well? No wires to run and nothing to corrode.

The nothing to corrode is an important issue, although I don't think it will get "wet" very often, but since the anchor locker drains into the bilge here it is a very humid environment.

The pneumatic sensors sound attractive, the problem is that, as far as I can tell, the top of the bunk IS the top of the tank, so that fitting will be sticking up into the cushions ... and if it ever even drips, bedding and sewage are not a good combo!!! Installing something down the pump-out hose is an intriguing idea though.

canyonbat 10-03-2017 14:11

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
We have the SCAD Solo external tank sensor. Nice when it works but very unreliable. Often shows full or 3/4 when tank is empty. I could say the same thing about the electronic sensors inside our RV holding tank (different brand I think). I never know when to trust them. Like a broken clock, they are probably right at some point in the cycle.

ottow 10-03-2017 14:14

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kelkara (Post 2343899)
The nothing to corrode is an important issue, although I don't think it will get "wet" very often, but since the anchor locker drains into the bilge here it is a very humid environment.

The pneumatic sensors sound attractive, the problem is that, as far as I can tell, the top of the bunk IS the top of the tank, so that fitting will be sticking up into the cushions ... and if it ever even drips, bedding and sewage are not a good combo!!! Installing something down the pump-out hose is an intriguing idea though.

Not sure if these can be sourced where you are at, but it offers a solution that does not require any drilling of holes and could possibly be mounted one-handed since the sensor(s) simply glue on to the side of a tank:
Tankmätare för båt och fritidshus

peghall 10-03-2017 15:04

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
We have the SCAD Solo external tank sensor. Nice when it works but very unreliable. Often shows full or 3/4 when tank is empty.

Try recalibrating it.

I could say the same thing about the electronic sensors inside our RV holding tank (different brand I think). I never know when to trust them.

They aren't really electronic, they're float switches that turn on a light when the level in the tank gets high enough to push each one up enough make contact with its "brother." The problem with ALL internal senders is that they become coated with the animal fats in waste...the contacts can't make contact or maybe so clogged up they can't move. The only cure: pull out the senders and soak 'em in a STRONG solution of detergent degreaser to dissolve as much as it can, then finish the job manually with a brush. Which explains the growing popularity of systems that use external senders.

SaltyMetals 11-03-2017 05:02

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Peg, i think you are the recognised guru when it comes to this subject ( I have read some of your stuff before elsewhere). I need a unit (plastic holding tank in a Jeanneau 43ds) and like the idea of the Gobius (Tankmätare för båt och fritidshus) which requires no holes in the tank with the sensors being attached on the outside. As posted by OttowW yesterday. You have not commented on this unit so far. Nobody else seems to have commented on this unit either.

do any of you guys out there have experience of the Gobius?

SaltyMetals 11-03-2017 05:14

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Peg, i think you are the recognised guru when it comes to this subject ( I have read some of your stuff before elsewhere). I need a unit (plastic holding tank in a Jeanneau 43ds) and like the idea of the Gobius (Tankmätare för båt och fritidshus) which requires no holes in the tank with the sensors being attached on the outside. As posted by OttowW yesterday. You have not commented on this unit so far. Nobody else seems to have commented on this unit either.

do any of you guys out there have experience of the Gobius?

rwidman 11-03-2017 07:35

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by canyonbat (Post 2343971)
We have the SCAD Solo external tank sensor. Nice when it works but very unreliable. Often shows full or 3/4 when tank is empty. I could say the same thing about the electronic sensors inside our RV holding tank (different brand I think). I never know when to trust them. Like a broken clock, they are probably right at some point in the cycle.

You might not have read my post (#8) above, but that's my problem and it's caused by sewage sticking to the inside wall of the tank. Even though the tank may be empty, there's enough poop on the wall that the sensor senses it and thinks the tank is full.

How do I know that's the problem? If I manually clean the inside of the tank wall, the system works and shows the correct level.

LeaseOnLife 11-03-2017 08:17

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zboss (Post 2343829)
2nd the tank tender. Its put in through the top but you can drill a small 1/2" hole through the top of your bunk to gain access to the top of the tank. Then, its only a 1/8" tapped hole in the top of the black water tank to screw in the sensor with a little bit of sealant. The tubing is only about 1/8" polypropylene so its easy to run.

Why bother with another electrical system when a perfectly good mechanical system works so well? No wires to run and nothing to corrode.

I have the tank tender for fuel and water tanks, it works great. But I am hesitant to recommend or use it for a waste tank. One first has to clear the capillary tube in the tank by pumping air in to it. Then the fluid creeps up the capillary tube, creates a little back pressure which in turn is shown on the pressure gauge. I cannot imagine this could work reliably with poo and bits of paper blocking the capillary tube.

Does someone have first hand experience with the tank tender for waste tanks? As said, I like the system for any other fluid.

Dirk

Pizzazz 11-03-2017 08:26

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
One unorthodox solution in your case will be to install a T in your discharge tube then connect a vertical PVC tube (those semi-transparent ones used for sink drains) then connect it to the vent line. You will be able to read off the level directly off the PVC tube (you can even mark it with a scale). Depending on how creative you want to get with the hoses you can position the PVC tube where you could easily see it.

In my case (I have a very similar holding tank arrangement) I just drilled a hole through the V-berth.

peghall 11-03-2017 08:33

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
I strongly suspect that cleaning the tank manually may also clean the senders at least enough to let them work again.

If the tank walls require cleaning very often, try flushing a cupful of strong detergent (engine degreasers are good for this) anywhere from daily to weekly depending on how long between pumpouts. It won't interfere with any tank product, and should reduce the fats buildup on the senders and the tank walls. It'll also reduce fat buildup in the toilet discharge hose, helping to slow the buildup of sea water minerals.

zboss 11-03-2017 08:44

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LeaseOnLife (Post 2344441)
I have the tank tender for fuel and water tanks, it works great. But I am hesitant to recommend or use it for a waste tank. One first has to clear the capillary tube in the tank by pumping air in to it. Then the fluid creeps up the capillary tube, creates a little back pressure which in turn is shown on the pressure gauge. I cannot imagine this could work reliably with poo and bits of paper blocking the capillary tube.

Does someone have first hand experience with the tank tender for waste tanks? As said, I like the system for any other fluid.

Dirk



We have been using ours flawlessly in the black water tank for over a year with zero problems. If you are really concerned you could simply unscrew the 1/4" top off the tank, pull the poly tube out and clean it... but never had an issue.

It's the most reliable thing on our boat.

peghall 11-03-2017 08:44

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
I wouldn't tee any line that carries sewage into your tank vent line... repeated overflows into the vent line--which can happen when heeled--can result in a blockage in the vent line.

I like your suggestion to drill a hole in the v-berth to gain access to the top or end of the tank. I cut out the whole cover in two pieces and installed furring strips around the edges of each side for the covers to sit flush on the opening when I put it back.

LeaseOnLife 11-03-2017 08:53

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zboss (Post 2344463)
We have been using ours flawlessly in the black water tank for over a year with zero problems. If you are really concerned you could simply unscrew the 1/4" top off the tank, pull the poly tube out and clean it... but never had an issue.

It's the most reliable thing on our boat.

Interesting, Thank You

Dockhead 11-03-2017 09:44

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Another voice for the Tank Tender. This is going to be the easiest device for you to install, because it requires only one tiny hole anywhere in the top of the tank. You will only need a small hole in your v-berth to get enough access.

This is a brilliant device -- extremely simple and totally reliable, just about immune to any kind of clogging. Uses no electrical power. Unfortunately you pay a lot for this elegant simplicity -- it's expensive.

I use a Maretron ultrasonic sensor, which is pretty good and pretty resistant to clogging. It connects to the N2K network so no separate display is needed and wiring is simple. It's a decent solution, but requires a standard size inspection port in the top which might not work for you.

I would go with Tank Tender if I were you. I hate holding tanks and feel sympathy for your situation. One of the single best things about moving from cruising in U.S. waters to the European Atlantic coasts, is pumping straight out almost all the time and not futzing with holding tanks much.

ottow 11-03-2017 16:20

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SaltyMetals (Post 2344337)
Peg, i think you are the recognised guru when it comes to this subject ( I have read some of your stuff before elsewhere). I need a unit (plastic holding tank in a Jeanneau 43ds) and like the idea of the Gobius (Tankmätare för båt och fritidshus) which requires no holes in the tank with the sensors being attached on the outside. As posted by OttowW yesterday. You have not commented on this unit so far. Nobody else seems to have commented on this unit either.

do any of you guys out there have experience of the Gobius?


Have not tried them myself, but these are pretty common here in the Nordics and get excellent reviews by most ppl and magazines. Sure beats drilling into your tank...

OldGreyB 11-03-2017 23:55

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Kelkara,
Looking at your port side photo again, I have a suggestion if you go the pneumatic route.
Where the apparent vent line is exiting the tank at the top. Cut and install a hose T there. Then add a short length of hose, connect a barbed hose to male thread fitting. At the male thread end , use a female socket union and then connect the male packing gland that will hold the ¼” or 1/8” pneumatic hose. If the supplied sensor does not have a good weight on it, to ensure the sensor hose lays on the bottom of the tank, drill slightly oversized hole in a oblong fishing sinker, two pot epoxy the hose into that and drill the tube pressure outlet hole above that. Slide the whole sensor lot though short hose, then via the long part of the tee and tank inlet into the tank. Tighten the coupling and packing gland when sufficient sensor length has installed.
What ever you do, happy sensing.
:biggrin:

captstu 14-03-2017 16:41

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
I've been dealing with Dennis Forrrielo for the past year. He sold me the replacement that works fine. I am shipping the old one back to be tested, and he wants to charge me a repair and replacement fee if it's broken.

peghall 14-03-2017 18:04

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Methinks there may be more to this story, 'cuz that doesn't sound like the Dennis I've known for more than 20 yrs.

Dockhead 15-03-2017 04:08

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LeaseOnLife (Post 2344441)
I have the tank tender for fuel and water tanks, it works great. But I am hesitant to recommend or use it for a waste tank. One first has to clear the capillary tube in the tank by pumping air in to it. Then the fluid creeps up the capillary tube, creates a little back pressure which in turn is shown on the pressure gauge. I cannot imagine this could work reliably with poo and bits of paper blocking the capillary tube.

Does someone have first hand experience with the tank tender for waste tanks? As said, I like the system for any other fluid.

Dirk

Tank Tender works great with black water tanks. NO FLUID needs to be inside the tube -- it doesn't work the way you describe. The pressure is sensed in the AIR when the pump is activated, not fluid. It automatically cleans itself.

The only other type of sensor which really works reliably, in my experience, is ultrasonic INSIDE the tank, with a baffle to keep solids away from it.

The mechanical float type also works more or less OK provided it has be proper baffled tube, but subject to clogging sometimes and also subject to mechanical failure like all mechanical sensors.

Kelkara 15-03-2017 11:16

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Thanks for the good ideas everyone. My current thinking is ...

SCAD system - very difficult to install in the restricted space, and will only monitor the top few inches of the tank, so not much better than a "3/4 full" warning.

Gobius - easier to install, but only gives a "3/4 full" warning.

Tank Tender - simple and reliable, but still requires a small fitting in the V-berth, but that can probably be protected ... also very expensive. Home-made alternative? am I that brave when it comes to playing with sewage?

Mechanical sender - if I ever need to access the inside of the tank it will require cutting an inspection hatch into the V-berth, and so installing a sender at the same time would make sense ... but the tank ain't broke yet.

I've got some thinking to do ... but thanks again for the ideas.

bletso 15-03-2017 11:24

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Yet another vote for the Tank Tender.

peghall 15-03-2017 11:48

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
SCAD system - very difficult to install in the restricted space, and will only monitor the top few inches of the tank, so not much better than a "3/4 full" warning.

I suspect that it won't be easy to install any system. The SCAD/Profile system just has to be calibrated for the tank it's installed on. As long as the sender is placed where it needs to be (on a vertical wall at deepest end of the tank), it will monitor the entire tank contents once that's done.

Kelkara 15-03-2017 12:08

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by peghall (Post 2348060)
I suspect that it won't be easy to install any system. The SCAD/Profile system just has to be calibrated for the tank it's installed on. As long as the sender is placed where it needs to be (on a vertical wall at deepest end of the tank), it will monitor the entire tank contents once that's done.

That is a big part of the problem ... the deep end of the tank is not accessible without cutting away a lot of fiberglass.

wsmurdoch 15-03-2017 12:33

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kelkara (Post 2348022)
Tank Tender - simple and reliable, but still requires a small fitting in the V-berth, but that can probably be protected ... also very expensive. Home-made alternative? am I that brave when it comes to playing with sewage?

If you are game to putting a dip tube into the top of the tank reaching almost to the bottom for a Tank Tender, perhaps before you bought the Tank Tender, you could...

Buy a blood pressure cuff with a rubber squeeze bulb and gauge (aneroid sphygmomanometer). Cut off and discard the cuff itself. Connect the rubber hose that previously went to the cuff to the dip tube. Pump the bulb until the pressure stabilizes as air bubbles out the bottom of the dip tube. Read the gauge pressure in mmHg and convert it to inches of water remembering that 1 mmHg is about a half an inch of water. And, if the dip tube plugs, you can always go up to 300 mmHg (about 5 psi) to blow the s__t out.

https://www.amazon.com/MDF-Calibra-A...9&sr=1-16&th=1

peghall 15-03-2017 12:34

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
So cut it! Sooner or later you'll have to replace the hoses--they may even be way past due already, 'cuz 10 years is the average working life of any hose...You'll need that access to do it.

Ding Duck 19-03-2017 02:59

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
This should do the trick as well. You can use a Capacitive Prox sensor mounted on the outside of the tank. This particular one has a M18 thread, so if you can glue a M18 plastic (non Metallic) socket to the outside and screw this in. It will 'see' through the fiberglass and as the liquid rises, will change the capacitance and then switch. (this example is Normally Closed but should be able to get a N/O ). Just mount it at the 'high level' you require. Will sense up to 10mm
Connect +ve and -ve to 12Vdc and the 3rd wire to a LED Indicator etc. At $10 each, can't go too far wrong?
This style of sensor is also used in a lot of Industrial applictions where you need Non Contact due to nature of product being sensed.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MCEK8PE?psc=1

Dockhead 19-03-2017 03:44

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ding Duck (Post 2350831)
This should do the trick as well. You can use a Capacitive Prox sensor mounted on the outside of the tank. This particular one has a M18 thread, so if you can glue a M18 plastic (non Metallic) socket to the outside and screw this in. It will 'see' through the fiberglass and as the liquid rises, will change the capacitance and then switch. (this example is Normally Closed but should be able to get a N/O ). Just mount it at the 'high level' you require. Will sense up to 10mm
Connect +ve and -ve to 12Vdc and the 3rd wire to a LED Indicator etc. At $10 each, can't go too far wrong?
This style of sensor is also used in a lot of Industrial applictions where you need Non Contact due to nature of product being sensed.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MCEK8PE?psc=1

Check the thickness of your tanks before splashing out on these. Mine are 10mm (Tek Tanks). The maximum detection distance of 10mm of these is for an ideal material -- grounded metal. Detecting water will only work at less distance than that.

LeaseOnLife 19-03-2017 05:25

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dockhead (Post 2347656)
Tank Tender works great with black water tanks. NO FLUID needs to be inside the tube -- it doesn't work the way you describe. The pressure is sensed in the AIR when the pump is activated, not fluid. It automatically cleans itself.


OK, got it, no fluid in the tube while pumping and reading the gauge. Looking around Hart Systems - Home there seem to be pther ways to clog the tube in waste tanks:

Quote:

Occasionally, after filling a tank the additional head from the fill pipe will force a little liquid up into the "bubble tube" causing an unusually high reading. Should this be the case, pump very slowly to force the fluid out of the "bubble tube" and thus obtain an accurate reading.
For waste tanks the manufacturer recommends a purge valve:
Quote:

OPTIONAL: Purge Valve operation for holding (waste) tank -Flip toggle to "purge" prior to reading a holding tank; air will bypass gauge and purge TPF tube, if clogged; then flip back to "read" release valve button, repress and pump again for tank level reading. Do not pump beyond gauge capacity.
Since the user reports are all positive on tank-tenders with waste tanks, I plan on expanding my tank tender to also read waste tanks.

A multi position selector valve should do? This looks promising, 6 positions with 10-32 UNF thread for 1/8" tubing adapters:
https://www.pneumadyne.com/position-...dyaWQiO2k6MDt9

Dirk

captstu 29-03-2017 12:46

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
Peggy, You posted above several positive comments about the SCAD/Profile tank monitor.

I've had extensive correspondence with Dennis - shipped my back to be tested, no problem found even though the switch tested defective when Dennis returned the unit to me.

I finally got tired of the hole in my head (truly, not a metaphor) and contacted Dennis who sold me a new one. Like the original, it worked a few times - not it works intermittently and sometimes just blinks without working. Contacted Dennis who explained the new one wasn't under warranty (I paid about $100 for just the readout end). Now I'm nearly $300 into the SCAD and he said the one I shipped back the second time was busted - and he would not warranty that one either.

He offered to ship me a third one (actually 4th counting returns), for the discounted price of about $42.

I guess I will just use the holding tank until it fills - or (as I do now), estimate the usage and periodically pump it out.

I suggest you recommend this device only with the caution that it is very sensitive to humidity - I've had two of the switches fail according to my ohm meter - and that it should not be installed on a boat - or at least not in the head compartment.

The device has no sealing at all - the circuit board and three push button switches are open to the humidity and are not a protected metal.

It may work for you - but for the majority of us who locate their heads on their boat, there is no chance.

Dennis is truly a nice person to deal with. He is polite, reasonable about the problem, but doesn't have a workable product and the warranty is only for devices that do not fail.

peghall 29-03-2017 14:25

Re: Holding tank monitoring options?
 
First story like yours I've ever heard. I definitely want to talk to Dennis about it.


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