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Old 12-14-2021, 06:08 PM   #1
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Holding Tank Monitor

Installing a new tholding ank that has one side exposed to view. Peggy suggested the Scad monitoring system. Great product, but trying to avoid wiring up anything.

Site glass will probably foul. Or not? Other thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-14-2021, 06:11 PM   #2
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site glass will 100% foul... Think about what "goo" you will have floating in there!!! Depending on how long you can wait, I spoke w/ the owner of Scad a while back (2-3 months ago) and he mentioned working/looking into a N2K version of their current device... So you would be able to connect that into your N2K network and get the tank displays.
Another option is Maretron, still gotta run cables, but N2K cables aren't too terrible to run and connect.
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Old 12-14-2021, 06:40 PM   #3
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When it's empty it may be empty

When it won't hold any more it may be full
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Old 12-14-2021, 06:47 PM   #4
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If its a plastic tank and easily accessed, holding a flashlight along the back side of the tank lets you easily see the level in the tank. Works great in my application.
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Old 12-14-2021, 10:06 PM   #5
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I have tried several "sonic" units and they all fail as gunk loads up the walls of thew holding tank.

Switched to a KUS holding tank level sensor and a gauge.

Works perfect.
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Old 12-14-2021, 11:03 PM   #6
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Another option would be a tank tender. This just uses the weight of the water so no electronics. Might be an option.
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Old 12-15-2021, 01:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
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site glass will 100% foul... Think about what "goo" you will have floating in there!!! Depending on how long you can wait, I spoke w/ the owner of Scad a while back (2-3 months ago) and he mentioned working/looking into a N2K version of their current device... So you would be able to connect that into your N2K network and get the tank displays.
Another option is Maretron, still gotta run cables, but N2K cables aren't too terrible to run and connect.
You can buy the external (non fouling) sensor that Scad uses for about $40 directly from the people that make it (tankedge.com). I hooked this directly to a Victron Cherbo with the 140 tank sensor, seems to work pretty well. You can get this forwarded to N2K as well.
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Old 12-15-2021, 01:48 AM   #8
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I have a tank tender for my holding tank that was failed before I bought the boat. Shining a flashlight through the plastic tank clearly shows the level and the rate of fill is slow enough for pump out every 7-10 days.
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Old 12-15-2021, 12:48 PM   #9
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Another option would be a tank tender. This just uses the weight of the water so no electronics. Might be an option.


I have used the tank tender on a previous boat and found the tube in the holding tank to clog often. I ended up blowing it out with compressed air
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Old 12-15-2021, 12:59 PM   #10
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My Wema gauge is okay, but the sensor fouls and requires periodic cleaning.
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Old 12-15-2021, 01:13 PM   #11
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DDW-
Can you explain that a bit more? I found the sensors, but not sure about the "140". Do you need the Cerbo to read it? Or could that data be connected/sent directly with the "140" to the N2K network? Looking at the 140, I didn't see any N2K connection points...

Very interested in this, especially if I don't need the Cerbo to make it happen. I have everything else running w/ Maretron gear. But wasn't too impressed with the reviews on their stuff for holding tanks...
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Old 12-15-2021, 02:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
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You can buy the external (non fouling) sensor that Scad uses for about $40 directly from the people that make it (tankedge.com). I hooked this directly to a Victron Cherbo with the 140 tank sensor, seems to work pretty well. You can get this forwarded to N2K as well.
When I recently installed my KUS gauge I seriously thought about connecting it to my Victron Cerbo, and then use the relay outputs to trigger the waste treatment system.

My only challenge, and the driver for using the stand alone analog gauge was that I could not get the CERBO to display the tank level on the main graphics display.
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Old 12-20-2021, 03:59 PM   #13
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This product might do the trick.

https://marinesan.com/gobius-pro-level-indicator/
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Old 12-20-2021, 04:06 PM   #14
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I am using tank tender on one vessel, now for about three years, have port and starboard water, fuel, and black water on one panel, like it enough I am considering retrofitting another boat.
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Old 12-20-2021, 04:14 PM   #15
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I have had good luck so far using tank tender for the last 3 years. I have had one down tube plug but other than that it is great. Use it for diesel, fresh water too.
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Old 12-20-2021, 05:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osprey69 View Post
Installing a new tholding ank that has one side exposed to view. Peggy suggested the Scad monitoring system. Great product, but trying to avoid wiring up anything.

Site glass will probably foul. Or not? Other thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
Why would sight glasses foul (unless your tank is full of crud which will need access port and proper cleaning anyway)?
Guess Im biased since I have them on all 4 tanks and both water tanks also. Pretty simple & effective. Actually mine are just food grade, 1/2 tubing, no actual glass. Best practice is to close the lower valve unless checking fuel level - sometimes I remember.
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Old 12-20-2021, 05:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Scottwb96 View Post
DDW-
Can you explain that a bit more? I found the sensors, but not sure about the "140". Do you need the Cerbo to read it? Or could that data be connected/sent directly with the "140" to the N2K network? Looking at the 140, I didn't see any N2K connection points...

Very interested in this, especially if I don't need the Cerbo to make it happen. I have everything else running w/ Maretron gear. But wasn't too impressed with the reviews on their stuff for holding tanks...
Not a good fit unless you already have Victron in the house or are headed that way. The Cerbo works great with other Victron equipment (inverter/chargers, solar, battery monitor, etc.). I can also monitor my boat from 2000 miles away. But it is sort of an ecosystem you have to buy into. The GX Tank 140 is an accessory that plugs into the Cerbo (or I think any Venus OS device) and has a set of I/O including tank inputs. The Cherbo will also put this on N2K.

The TankEdge capacitative gage is an oddball, putting out somewhere around 0 - 4V, depending on length of the foil, spacing, thickness of tank, etc. Most gages are resistive, some are 4-20ma gages, a few are a voltage source. The GX140 will read this and can be calibrated for the installation. If you want to go directly from the TankEdge to N2K, you need a gage interface that has the ability to read a voltage source gage, that can be calibrated for the 0-4V range, and also supply 10-12V regulated power signal.

The reason to use the TankEdge is it seems to one of very few sending units that will not foul in a holding tank, being outside of and not in contact with the contents. And it is inexpensive.
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Old 12-20-2021, 05:30 PM   #18
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Using a flashlight to examine fluid level in a plastic waste tank is ok until you end up on a boat with tanks that have not been regularly flushed. Hard to see through coated tanks. I have the WEMA/KUS style float-on-a-stainless tube arrangement, and it reads out on an analog gauge in the head. I have no illusions about its capacity to get fouled if the tank is not regularly well flushed. For now, it's been 100% reliable. I have been shipmates with the SCAD and watched as the boat owner was briefed by the installer only to have it misbehave with false data once I got underway for the delivery. I had to reinitialized it a time or two and never trusted it for the next 30 days. Cannot say I'd care for sight gauge on this system unless it had an easily connected blow-down system.
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Old 12-20-2021, 05:40 PM   #19
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Bought the SCAD with the external strip. New tank so should be able to calibrate accurately. Thank you Head Mistress and other posters.
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Old 12-20-2021, 05:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatswing View Post
Why would sight glasses foul (unless your tank is full of crud which will need access port and proper cleaning anyway)?
Guess Im biased since I have them on all 4 tanks and both water tanks also. Pretty simple & effective. Actually mine are just food grade, 1/2 tubing, no actual glass. Best practice is to close the lower valve unless checking fuel level - sometimes I remember.

You may have missed it, but the OP is talking about his black waste holding tank.
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