A RV Tank sensor is there to notify you when the tanks are full.In this guide I will show you how to clean your sensors and common problems to avoid with your RV Tank Sensors.
5 STEPS How to Clean Your RV Tank Sensors
Step 1: Gather the Necessary Supplies. The required supplies are a hose, cleaner, water, and gloves.
Step 2: Reattach the Sensor to the RV-After replacing the sensor, attach it back to your RV. The sensor should be replaced at least every three years or if you notice that it has been leaking.
Step 3: Clean the Inside of Your Tank with Soap and Water for 5 Minutes-Once you’ve sprayed some soap in your tank fill up it with water and start scrubbing the sides of your RV’s tank with a brush or sponge for about five minutes.
It’s important to use detergent or soap because some types of petroleum can leave residue on the sensors.
Step 4: Spray the Inside of Your Tank with Clean Water for 5 Minutes-After you’ve scrubbed your tank for five minutes, spray it out with clean water until you see that your water runs clear.
The entire process should take at least ten minutes but try to do this every two months or more if you notice that the sensor is leaking.
Step 5: Replace and Calibrate Your Sensor-After cleaning your sensor, replace it and make sure that it’s level so that there’s a zero reading on your monitor and leave it like this overnight so that your system can calibrate itself.
Make sure you readjust your tanks levels as needed.
What are RV holding tank sensors?
An RV holding tank sensor is a device that monitors the levels and wastes in RV holding tanks. RV holding tanks are relatively large and are usually constructed of plastic or metal.
They hold waste from evaporative coolers, toilets, sinks, washing machines, dishwashers, and more. Holding tanks are common in RVs and motorhomes because they require waste to be separated from fresh water tanks.
Holding tank sensors monitor the levels of the waste, alerting you when it’s necessary to empty your RV holding tank or the RV sewage holding tank through a dump station.
Here are some things to know about RV holding tank sensors:
They take many different forms and sizes . Some are simple on/off devices that activate once it is full. Others monitor waste levels on a timed basis with an alarm that sounds when it needs emptying.
RV holding tank sensors do not have any moving parts . Because of this, even minor damages or leaks may result in no power going to them at all. That is why it is important to check that all your holding tank sensors are operating properly.
How To Test A RV Holding Tank Sensor?
Generally, you can test RV holding tank sensors yourself . However, if you suspect there is a problem with the sensor itself or other connections, it is wise to involve an RV repair technician before causing any damage.
Also, if the level of waste in your holding tanks do not change after an empty cycle, then something may be wrong with the sensors themselves.
Why RV holding tank sensors might malfunction
They may have been installed improperly during manufacture . This usually involves the electrical connections, often resulting in a short circuit and possible fire damage if it isn’t corrected immediately. They may require replacement due to age or another reason.
Holding tanks may leak . A damaged seal unable to stop waste from leaking into other parts of the RV could lead to a sensor being activated. They also might need replacement if they are not able to work properly due to size or design flaws.
They may have been damaged by heat or cold . Cold weather can cause the wiring in your RV holding tank sensors to contract, while hot temperatures could expand the wires to their maximum length and damage them beyond repair. Also, improper storage of your campervan / motorhome during these conditions could result in RV holding tanks that remain empty all year round without you even knowing it.
Here are some signs indicating that something is wrong with your RV holding tank sensors:
You’re taking longer than usual to fill up at pump stations . It is recommended that when filling up, you should only take about 20% more than your tank capacity, ensuring the pump activates before you completely drain the water out. If it takes much longer to fill up at a station, then there may be a problem with your holding tanks and their sensors.
RV holding tanks are not filling on when they should . If you have an automated RV holding tank system like one that uses timers or alarms, then this can indicate something is wrong with them. Then again, if your RV sewage holding tank does not fill up automatically after certain numbers of days in storage , something could also be wrong with your sensor wires.
When to have your RV holding tank sensors checked?
Holding tank sensors should be checked every time after you fill up at an RV dump station .
This is to ensure there is no damage from waste getting into other parts of your campervan / motorhome.
Some sensor wires can get damaged from constant contact with liquid waste, so it’s important that they stay functional otherwise serious damage might occur when other systems are activated due to those broken wires.
Tips for preventing RV holding tank sensors from malfunctioning
Holding tank sensors should be repaired or replaced immediately when they are damaged . You may notice small signs of damage that could become serious over time if not detected. Most sensor wires tend to break on just one end, so it is best to take a few minutes to check them out and see how bad they really are.
The best way to recognize problems with your RV holding tank sensors is by checking for gas or fuel leaks . A leak anywhere in the vicinity of your holding tanks can lead to serious repair bills down the road , especially if you continue taking longer at dump stations than usual.
If something breaks due to heat or cold weather conditions during storage, then you will have no choice but to replace it completely before using your camper / motor home again.
How to check RV holding tank sensors
Changing RV holding tanks is one thing, but it’s another when you need to check around the tanks and elsewhere for signs of trouble. The last thing you want is broken wires inside your campervan / motorhome that could lead to a fire, so here are some things you can do to find out if there are problems with them.
They are located several feet from the bottom of the tanks . This is recommended by those who have installed them before so that they stay away from any waste matter which could damage them over time.
It also helps prevent other systems in your RV from being activated unnecessarily due to waste getting into sensor wires. Check their condition . The best way for you to see if there are problems with your RV holding tank sensors is by checking their condition . How do they look like?
Are you seeing signs of corrosion or a damaged insulator near the ends ? If yes , then you should have them repaired or replaced immediately.
Check other wires in your campervan / motorhome . This will allow you to check for any possible damage even if it’s just a single wire that could cause problems later on down the road.
Disconnect them from somewhere safe before doing anything else. Doing this can help determine how well everything works including parts which are beneath the tanks, so make sure this is done first before disconnecting sensor wires.
There are some unique looking holding tank sensors with indicators included for easier checking . This is the best design for them, especially if you need to check those wires several times in a day .
Check sensor wire insulation as soon as possible . If there are signs of damage on just one end , then it could lead to bigger problems down the road.
No matter what, you must replace any damaged holding tanks right away so that nothing else will be affected inside your campervan / motorhome. Check sensor wire insulation for exposure to any waste or other debris which can cause corrosion over time.
What is the difference between an RV fuel gauge and a tank sensor?
The fuel gauge on your RV measures how much fuel has been used. A tank sensor can tell you exactly how much gas is still in your tank.
You could say that the gauge tells you how many miles you have left before running out of gas, while a tank sensor can let you know if googling to stop for gas! 🙂 Fuel gauges are generally mounted on your dashboard, whereas tank sensors are placed closer to the tanks themselves.
These small devices might seem like they would be pretty useless but when it comes to storing big amounts of fuel (like what some RVs come with) being able to measure how much is in each container without having to manually turn off the whole system and open them up is quite helpful, especially if you haven’t been near an RV park or gas station in a while.
A few things to be aware of
There are two types of tank sensors on the market:
One that reads the approximate amount of fuel left in your tank, and another type that measures how much actual fuel is going into each gallon.
If you want to gauge how much gas is being used as opposed to how much fuel remains, then buy a sensor based on volume; if you want to know what’s left, choose one that estimates total gallons. You can also buy both kinds.