Black tank sensors are usually installed on RVs, and they have one main purpose: to show and check the level at which the water in the tank is present.
How Does RV Black Tank Sensor Work? RV black tank sensors come with a knob that is present in the tank at various levels; for example, it is present at the bottom, at the top, at the one-third and two-thirds levels. As the water touches the knob at any particular position, it sends the signal to the sensor and turns the light ON, indicating that the water in the tank has reached a specific level.
Each manufacturer has its design and specifications for these sensors, so it is essential to consult with an expert when replacing parts on your RV.
What is RV Black Tank Sensor?
This sensor is a device that allows the user to sense the level of water in a septic or sewage tank, and it also allows the users to determine whether the tank is empty or full.
They are often used to regulate automatic flushing systems, a critical function that helps keep it clean and free from solids.
On the other hand, a black water tank is a name given to a secondary wastewater holding tank, and you must have one if your RV has a toilet or you are hooked up to campground utilities.
It is the best way to store RV waste when you are in an RV.
It aims to allow human waste to decompose in a secluded environment, keeping it separate from other tanks. You can also find dump stations at gas stations or commercial campgrounds, but the main thing is to be careful about where you dispose of your waste.
They are designed for keeping human waste until you pump it out at an RV dump station or until it can be emptied by pumping into the sewer system of the place where you park for an extended period.
Many people use their bathtubs as holding tanks, but that can be unsanitary because it is difficult to empty them correctly; you should also empty them before using them again so that bacteria do not get into the freshwater supply.
Its size may vary depending on the type of RV you have and how often it is used for traveling, but most people do not know what it is is because they are not familiar with it, and they waste their money buying it without doing proper research.
You should know the difference between black water and grey water tank as they have separate sensors that tell the amount of water present in them.
A grey tank is used to hold wastewater from sinks, bathtubs, showers, and washing machines, and it also includes clean water mixed with soap and chemicals when it comes out of your faucets.
You can use this to irrigate plants around your home or garden after being treated properly through filtration systems.
Working of the RV Black Tank Sensor
A black tank sensor consists of a float switch and a transmitter where a float switch is connected to the bottom of the black one. Usually with a magnet or adhesive to easily move up and down as needed.
It stays on the surface of the liquid and triggers an electrical circuit when it reaches a certain height. Float switches are available at most hardware stores for between $15 and $45.
The purpose of a float switch is to monitor the water level to trigger some action, such as turning on or off the light on the control panel. These are connected to wires that run from the tanks to a control panel, where they can be monitored at all times.
This device uses a float mechanism and magnet that can be installed inside or outside, which tells about the water level. When this float reaches a certain point, an alarm is triggered, alerting operators that it is time to empty their tanks.
Then this data is transmitted wirelessly to a display unit or a control panel where you can monitor its status at any time.
In some RVs, there is a knob that is directly attached to the sensor, and when the water touches the knob, it turns the light ON, showing the water level.
There are generally four switches placed inside the tank at different positions; one is at a full level while the other is at the bottom, and the other two are present at one-third level and two-thirds level of water.
An LED light will flash on your control panel when the water reaches a certain level; for example, if the wastewater in your black water is at one-third level, then the device will turn the bulb of one-third reading on your control panel.
Are RV Black Tank Sensors worth it?
This device aims to ensure that the sludge breaks down thoroughly so that it can be easily removed when you come to drain it. In addition, they are a great tool to help you track what is going on in your tanks and how much waste is being produced.
Without these sensors, you cannot tell when it is full or empty, and it leads to many other problems as black water is the worst. It can be messy, smelly, gross and starts to stink after only a few days of use.
It has such a bad odor that you will have to leave your RV, and you cannot enter your RV again unless you dump all the wastes.
You can either use a small cloth to put it on your nose so that its odor will not disturb you, or you can call the workers to take the waste and dump it.
Your toilet will stop flushing or start producing different noises indicating that it needs to be dumped before it is too late.
Many people do not realize that it can cause a lot of damage to your RV if they are not cleaned regularly. Often, the problem is simply a lack of knowledge about how to keep it clean, and you need to follow a few steps to avoid it from spilling.
Without these devices, water will start leaking from one tank, and moisture will come into contact with your floor and start destroying the material.
If these sensors start malfunctioning, then it will show an empty tank on its panel, but in actual it will be full, and you will not know about this problem unless it starts smelling bad in there.
You need to check the device and clean them regularly; otherwise, you will face severe consequences. After a while, some of the waste could spill over into the grey tank due to lack of space, and as time passes away, it all leaks out on your floor.
If you want to buy a new one for your RV, there are many options from where you can choose. The vital thing is to make sure that it fits properly on your RV and that it has all of the necessary fittings.
How Do You Test Black Tank Sensor?
The best way to ensure that your black tank is working is by testing it regularly; for this purpose, the first step in testing your sensor is to make sure you have power going to it.
It means that you should check all accessible fuses and circuit breakers, as well as any connections between the switch and its power source.
In some cases, an internal wiring harness can fail, causing inaccurate readings; that is why you should have the internal wires checked for continuity before replacing the sensor itself.
Another way you can test your sensor is through its light; for example, if you recently dumped all the waste into a safe place, but when you see the black water sensor, it shows that it is still full.
It means that it is showing a false reading, and you should check it before using it further; otherwise, it will completely stop working.
To fix it, you need to locate the tank, open its screws using a screwdriver, and remove the dirt or any waste material from the knob. In general, the debris gets stuck with the knob, sending false readings and turning the light turn ON.
Where Is Black Tank Sensor Located?
There are different ways you can spot the location of your black tank sensor; for example, typically it is on top of or near your black tank.
It will be labeled as such for easy identification, and in some RVs, it is present just outside your toilet, and you can check the water level before going and after coming from the toilet.
Why is My RV Black Tank Sensor Not working?
The toilet paper might get stuck on its sidewalls, making it hard for the sensor to sense the exact level of water in it. If it is not working, you need to clean it, unlike many people that think it is broken when they first install it.
If it keeps giving you problems, then try removing it and check it in another RV before ordering a replacement.
Cleaning it is the best way to avoid this problem as it is an important thing to do now and then, but many people are unaware of the importance of this process or how to go about it.
Before you begin cleaning it, make sure that you have all of the equipment that you need on hand; you will need a good pair of rubber gloves and a mask.
You can use a tank wand to clean it; you need to connect one end with the direct water source and put it in the toilet to pass and enter the black water.
Start the main water hose and keep the wand moving until it thoroughly cleans the interior of the black water tank, and again check your sensor; it will start working properly.