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Waste Tank Sensor Access

(Russ asks...)

If I wanted to run a new tank sensor line to my monitor on the wall, how do I run it behind the paneled wall? Will I have to rip the panel to run the wire? Same for the ceiling. Can I replace the seam strip and not damage it?

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Comments for Waste Tank Sensor Access

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Accessing Tank Monitor Wires
by: Coleen, the RVing editor

Bob's the handyman and mechanic in our household, so I asked him what he'd do if he was replacing the sensor line.

It depends on the wall construction and how the wires are run. This isn't a sure thing, just some comments he had about how he might try doing it if he needed to.

He said he'd try gently removing the seam batten strips. Then, gently pry the paneling up. He also said it may be better to sacrifice the batten strips and concentrate on saving the paneling because it may be impossible to save both.

If you do reuse the batten strips, it may be necessary to put the nails in different places. You could fill the old nail holes with some nail putty.

When the cover of the monitor unit is off, there's probably a small hole about the size of a dime with the wires. Bob said if he was doing it, he'd probably cut a bigger hole (about 2 ½ inch diameter) in the wall in a cabinet below the monitor. Then, he'd try to pull the wire down to the bigger hole and work on it there. He said it may be possible to attach the new wire to the old and pull it through. Finally, he'd patch that hidden hole.

As a side note, RV tank sensors are notorious for not working. It's my understanding that the wires leading to the monitor box are seldom the problem. It is more likely a problem with the probes.

Tank Wiring
by: RVwarrior

I agree that the wiring rarely goes bad, unless a mouse got to them! Most likely the monitor or the sensors.

The wiring might be easy to get to, mine is behind the cabinets! Pulled out all the drawers and there they were, not pulled through the walls as I feared.

The sensors are most likely the problem, and easy to replace. The good aftermarket ones are stainless steel bolts and coated to resist "stuff" sticking to them, and they are mounted in 3/8" round rubber plugs. Just drill new 3/8" holes next to the old sensors in the tanks, install the new ones, tighten to seal, and move the wires from the old to the new. Done.

Check ebay for these "tank level sensors", several businesses have them listed.

Very easy! Good luck!

Use Outside-The-Tank Sensors
by: Barb

My husband remedied a holding tank sensor problem a few years ago by installing new outside-the-tank sensors. I can't remember the brand, but it was purchased at Camping World and cost around $100 (I think!).

My husband did the installation himself, but if you're not handy with repairs, etc., you could probably have them installed by Camping World or any other RV repair center. The tanks do not have to be opened, and he put a new monitor panel in the bathroom in a handy place for viewing.

The others are right, most sensor problems are not from wiring but from materials sticking to the sensors inside both the black and gray water tanks. No matter how often you empty/clean your holding tanks, the problem continues with the regular monitors always signaling full or empty.

Once he put the outside-the-tank sensors on, we never had a problem with knowing the fluid levels in our fifth wheel.

Cleaning Out an RV Toilet Plugged with TP
by: Mike c

We had a frozen/cold winter in Arizona. Having built my own system, and not luxury of a sensor, could not understand the accumulating smell since we're hooked up to a septic tank. I flushed and deodorized to no avail.

What happened is the toilet paper had frozen during winter and become paper mache. It kept building and building, until my entire tank was one big square wad of TP.

My recommendation (this is nasty, but necessary) is to pull off the hose, open the valve, get a 10 foot pipe and run the water first and start poking the heck out of the tank inside it. Wear gloves and mask. We took out so much impacted TP from 2 years worth of full time use. Tank is clean now and smell free.

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