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Old 08-21-2016, 05:00 PM   #1
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Tank level reader operation

Our 2003 FDTS40 Alpine coach 74777 has been giving us much pleasure.
The last trip had a small problem: The grey and maybe the black water tank readouts weren't working.
The 12VDC, fresh water, and propane readouts appear to be close enough...
The grey water didn't come up above the first light with at least 3/4 tank level.
The black didn't come up either but we may be only filled to 1/4?.
I checked the wires on the two tanks the best I could with no change.

I can't find any information on the manufacturer (probably the original 2003)???

Is there a test that I can run?
Is the two wire / level work on changing resistance of the stick on-strip? If so what wouLd the approx. resistances be for empty and full?

I would assume the reader is ok and the problem is either bad connections or the strips on the tanks have gone bad?
Where can I buy new strips if needed?

We are SENIORS enjoying going while we still can
We tow a 2008 Honda CRV
The coach has the 400HP ISL and 3 slide outs.
FMCA 427600
ACA #20121145
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Old 08-21-2016, 06:08 PM   #2
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The whole monitoring system is pretty cheap to begin with. Before trying to fix or replace it, you might try adjusting the small calibration screws underneath the black plugs just below the monitor button for each tank. Easiest way might be to fill both the grey and black tanks to half full [50 gallons from empty] and see if you can recalibrate the indicator lights to that mark--then recheck with tank full [just use tap water for test or non-potable if available]......
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trainstop2 View Post
Our 2003 FDTS40 Alpine coach 74777 has been giving us much pleasure.

The last trip had a small problem: The grey and maybe the black water tank readouts weren't working.

The 12VDC, fresh water, and propane readouts appear to be close enough...

The grey water didn't come up above the first light with at least 3/4 tank level.

The black didn't come up either but we may be only filled to 1/4?.

I checked the wires on the two tanks the best I could with no change.



I can't find any information on the manufacturer (probably the original 2003)???



Is there a test that I can run?

Is the two wire / level work on changing resistance of the stick on-strip? If so what wouLd the approx. resistances be for empty and full?



I would assume the reader is ok and the problem is either bad connections or the strips on the tanks have gone bad?

Where can I buy new strips if needed?



We are SENIORS enjoying going while we still can

We tow a 2008 Honda CRV

The coach has the 400HP ISL and 3 slide outs.

FMCA 427600

ACA #20121145


What happens to both the grey and black is that inside the tank scales up and the gauges are no longer accurate. This along with what Old Scout mentioned, the OEM gauges were not that good to begin with (we replaced ours with SeeLevel gauges from Garnett https://www.garnetinstruments.com/rv-shop/ they are more accurate than the original gauges). Before you install new gauges try this. As suggested fill both tanks with water, add a little Dawn to the tanks to loosen any grease that is in there, let it sit for at least several hours then drain them. Repeat this then see how your gauges work. If they are still not accurate simply add the SeeLevel gauges to you tanks. One other thing, most people do not add enough water when they flush. After you go you should fill the tank then flush. Additionally when I dump the black tank a run the tank flusher for several minutes after the tank is empty then close the dump valve with the flusher running long enough to refill the tank to about 20%, that way I know I have enough water in the tank. I also do not dump the black tank until it is over 60% full and the grey tank is 100%, that way I have enough water to push everything down the stinky slinky.
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Old 08-22-2016, 09:26 AM   #4
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Thank you both of you. The forum has been a huge help to me.
I will do both the next day or two.
I have been flushing with lots of water since I have never "filled" the black tank even on long dry camp trips.
Ray
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Old 08-22-2016, 11:23 AM   #5
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I also changed to the SeeLevel 709-PH gauge, and have been very happy with it. With the old fresh water gauge, even if working perfectly (a big "if"), when that 1/4 full light goes out, you have somewhere between 25 gallons and 0 gallons. That is a huge difference in use! At 20 gallons I will be happy for a day or two. At 5 gallons, I won't be! The SeeLevel gauge gives more resolution, jumping between 3 and 4% increments. (A 100 gallon tank makes the conversion from percent to gallons pretty simple.) And consistent readings. I know how much water I have and trust it.

When I removed the old sensors from my tanks, I found that they were not properly adhering to the tanks. The sensors are looking for capacitance changes with the fluid level, and need to be in consistent contact with the surface. Mine didn't have that contact.

Personally, I would not spend much time trying to troubleshoot/fix the old gauges. I would spend the time putting on the SeeLevel system. They aren't that expensive. You will be much happier. You can use the existing wiring.

Due to the "L" shape of the gray water tank, the water level rise is not linear. It takes the bottom half of the tank a long time to fill, but the top half fills much quicker. The fresh water tank and black tank don't have this shape to consider, and the readings are much more linear as they fill.
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Old 08-22-2016, 12:18 PM   #6
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Ray,

You will also find that the grey tank is somewhat difficult to reach for sensor removal, cleaning, and installation of the new SeeLevel sensors, which by the way requires double sensors due to tank height (Purchase 4 - sensors not just 3). I opted to install the SeeLevel sensors on the PS of the coach requiring the associated wires to be extended via splicing. You just have to open the bolted compartment door to gain access. I think Jim A had suggested it after installing his directly (DS).
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Old 08-22-2016, 02:18 PM   #7
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After 10 yrs of fulltiming, we use them just as a guide - - the grey tank quit working years ago. We normally can go 10-12 days without using w/d or 6 days using w/d. Have never had the black tank FULL to the brim - but when she 'burbs' we know it is time to dump. Grey tank - shower is the signal if we go to long - - and grey tank is always first to fill up. Not worth the time to try fixing.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:35 AM   #8
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Our 01 Alpine the black tank would only use the upper half of the gauge never showed empty once in awhile a a quarter. I was at a rv show and got a free sample of rv digest and have been using it every since Unique Natural Products | Safe Drain Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning and Holding Tank Maintainers . It's a live bacteria that eats everything in your tank the gauge's started working and haven't quit.
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Old 08-25-2016, 07:01 AM   #9
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You might inspect the sensors pads to verify that they are taped securely to the sides of the tanks. Mine worked loose and I reaped them securely.
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