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Old 11-26-2018, 08:18 PM   #1
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Holding tank level backup

Discovered an easy way to verify our holding tank level. We have cameras in the ER with IR. Without lights on in the ER you can easily see the level in the holding tank. If you go down and look at the tank you can not see level. With a bright flashlite against the tank you can find the level with a little persistence. If you don't trust the level floats, this is a good backup.Click image for larger version

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Old 11-26-2018, 09:12 PM   #2
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Looks like you are about due for a pump out. Unfortunately my tank is below the deck and not visible.
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Old 11-28-2018, 01:28 PM   #3
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I made my own tank out of fiberglass, Nytex and epoxy. For years I was able to shine a strong flashlight on the side and see the level. NOt so much anymore as staining has blurred the image. The tank is not in quite as easily accessed an area either which likely has an effect.
I do clean the tank but the stain seems to be set.

Maybe the poly will be less prone to staining for you, hope so.
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Old 11-28-2018, 02:49 PM   #4
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I made my own tank out of fiberglass, Nytex and epoxy. For years I was able to shine a strong flashlight on the side and see the level. NOt so much anymore as staining has blurred the image. The tank is not in quite as easily accessed an area either which likely has an effect.
I do clean the tank but the stain seems to be set.

Maybe the poly will be less prone to staining for you, hope so.
I pulled the tank and cleaned it during my fuel lank replacement. It soaked in detergent for a few weeks. Most of the scale came off the sides. I don't think it matters how crusty the tank is. The IR lights on the camera show the fluid level. That picture was taken in a pitch black ER, no lights.
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Old 11-28-2018, 02:50 PM   #5
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Why have a system you can't trust...which unfortunately is true of all tank level monitors that use internal senders because the senders become clogged with the animal fats in waste (the same animal fats that build up on your tank walls)...requiring removal and cleaning manually with a strong solution of deteregent and water and a scrub brush.

Replace your system with one that uses external senders. The SCAD Scad Tank Monitors system was top rated by Practical Sailor...if your current system is a Dometic/SeaLand TankWatch, you can use the same wiring.

There'd have to be years of buildup on the tank walls to interfere with the senders. A power washer and strong detergent will clean the tank walls.


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Old 11-28-2018, 03:41 PM   #6
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I finally followed Peggie’s advice that did that this fall. It was cheap and easy enough that even I was able to do it.
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Old 11-28-2018, 07:56 PM   #7
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A scan of the side of the tank with a cheap thermal gun from Harbor Freight will also detect the demarcation between fluid and air in the tank.
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Old 11-28-2018, 08:32 PM   #8
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So every time you want to know how much is in the tank, you only have to find the gun, then crawl into the space where the holding tank is and take a reading. That's SO much easier than just touching a button on a display panel in the head!


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Old 11-28-2018, 08:39 PM   #9
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A scan of the side of the tank with a cheap thermal gun from Harbor Freight will also detect the demarcation between fluid and air in the tank.

I'd forgotten about this suggestion. I will try it when we recommission next spring and start using the boat. I have the meter, just didn't think about this use.


My tank is sealed. I would have to cut it open to access the interior so untill a greater need presses me I won''t do that. I will do it if need be and I have thought about it, when building it, if ever a serious need arises. Closing the hole will not be a big deal for me, just a lot of work to get at it.

Maybe I should try the camera also or instead of.

But I will shoot the tank.
Thank You for the idea.
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Old 11-28-2018, 08:51 PM   #10
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Greetings,
Mr. f. Interesting bonus. On the other hand every time I read the title of this thread, I get this strange feeling. I really don't think the words "holding tank" and "backup" should be used in the same sentence AND most certainly NOT in polite company... It just seems wrong, somehow.



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Old 11-28-2018, 09:05 PM   #11
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My tank is sealed. I would have to cut it open to access the interior so untill a greater need presses me I won''t do that. I will do it if need be and I have thought about it, when building it, if ever a serious need arises. Closing the hole will not be a big deal for me, just a lot of work to get at it.

Why would you need to access the interior of a tank to install senders on the outside of the tank????


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Old 11-28-2018, 09:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C lectric View Post
I made my own tank out of fiberglass, Nytex and epoxy. For years I was able to shine a strong flashlight on the side and see the level. NOt so much anymore as staining has blurred the image. The tank is not in quite as easily accessed an area either which likely has an effect.
I do clean the tank but the stain seems to be set.

Maybe the poly will be less prone to staining for you, hope so.

An external sensor, such as Peggie mentioned, would allow you to read the level in the tank without cutting any holes in the tank.
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Old 11-28-2018, 09:11 PM   #13
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And if you don't happen to have a plastic tank with the sides exposed, this is an interesting option: https://sterling-power.com/products/...tic-tank-guage

Expensive, but seemingly foolproof and not that much more expensive than some in tank systems.
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Old 11-29-2018, 09:52 PM   #14
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I actually have installed the external sensor type. Have not yet gotten it to work.
It's on my list to talk to Dennis Fariello [ not spelled correctly I'm sure} and get one of his units. Just too many other things taking my time.
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Old 11-29-2018, 10:15 PM   #15
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I have been using the “Gobius” external tank measuring system. I use it on my aluminum fresh water tank. I was very skeptical at first but I have been using it for two years and it has been spot on.
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Old 11-30-2018, 05:57 AM   #16
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So every time you want to know how much is in the tank, you only have to find the gun, then crawl into the space where the holding tank is and take a reading. That's SO much easier than just touching a button on a display panel in the head!


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The subject is in regard to a backup. In any case, my tank is easily accessible and I know exactly where the gun is located. I suspect the external system you're "advocating" is thermal sensor based as is the video imager mentioned by the OP....wonder how the cost of a video camera like that stacks up against the cost of the external tank sensor. Depending on the location of the tank, the former obviously performs several functions.
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Old 11-30-2018, 06:05 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Rufus View Post
The subject is in regard to a backup. In any case, my tank is easily accessible and I know exactly where the gun is located. I suspect the external system you're "advocating" is thermal sensor based as is the video imager mentioned by the OP....wonder how the cost of a video camera like that stacks up against the cost of the external tank sensor. Depending on the location of the tank, the former obviously performs several functions.
The camera was $59. You can get them for $39. It is Wifi and controlled by my phone. I took the picture in Maryland when the boats in Florida. Funny how these threads morp. I just wanted to share something I discovered. My tank floats work pretty well. External sensors are probably better.
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:14 AM   #18
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I suspect the external system you're "advocating" is thermal sensor based as is the video imager mentioned by the OP....wonder how the cost of a video camera like that stacks up against the cost of the external tank sensor. Depending on the location of the tank, the former obviously performs several functions.

If you'd bothered to click on the link I provided you'd know you suspect incorrectly.


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Old 11-30-2018, 01:50 PM   #19
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The camera was $59. You can get them for $39. It is Wifi and controlled by my phone. I took the picture in Maryland when the boats in Florida. Funny how these threads morp. I just wanted to share something I discovered. My tank floats work pretty well. External sensors are probably better.
At $39, an IR camera makes a whole lot more sense then any of the tank mounted systems. Beats chopping yet another hole for a panel in the woodwork and stringing more wires. Thanks for the photo...and price info.
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Old 11-30-2018, 05:01 PM   #20
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link

Okay FryeDaze give us a link to the camera
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