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Why Does RV Fresh Water Tank Read Empty When Full?

Why Does RV Fresh Water Tank Read Empty When Full?

RVs contain the fresh water tank and supply the water to the sink, showers, and toilets. Many people complain that it shows the empty reading on the screen while these are full of water. It is a confusing situation for people and makes them worried during the trips.

Why Does RV Fresh Water Tank Read Empty When Full? RV fresh water tank reads empty when full because of the broken sensor, contamination on sensors, leakages in pipes, loose connections, poor calibration, faulty wiring, bad control panel unit, loose ground, and blocking elements on sensors.

It is necessary to tackle the situation quickly because it can make passengers panic when they think of the empty water tank.

Causes Solutions
Broken tank sensors Replace sensors
Contamination on sensors Use cleaning agents for cleaning
Leakages in pipes Use plumber tape to seal cracks in pipes
Loose connections Call a professional to fix loose connections
Calibration issues Calibrate sensor
Faulty wiring and control panel unit Inspect loose and corroded connections of ground wires
Something blocking sensor Remove algae by treating the tank with chlorine

Broken tank sensors

RV fresh water tank contains sensors that tell the level inside and make people aware when levels become low. Sometimes these show incorrect readings while these are full of water.

The false reading issue comes from faulty or broken sensors that do not give the correct information to the electronic control unit of the RVs.

These do not read the correct levels when they are broken. These are mounted inside and on the side walls of the large plastic tanks. The mounting method depends on the design and type of these small devices.

Wear and tear in electronic components are common because of their age. Moreover, the chances of breaking increase when these are mounted outside and on the side walls.

These can break when heavy things hit them and produce cracks in the system. You cannot repair the broken sensor because of the system’s complexity.

Install the new sensors of the same type and size and remove the broken ones.

Contamination on sensors

The contamination on RV fresh water tank sensors is common when these are mounted inside the tank. This is because the contaminants can come on their surface, and these cannot read the correct reading.

It gives a warning sign to people by showing that these are empty but full of water. Exposure to contaminants occurs when you do not clean the tanks for longer.

These are made of plasticizers, which can come in contact with water when old. In addition, the white residues can accumulate on the sensors and make them faulty.

In addition, the issue also comes when you do not have fresh and pure water for their refilling.

Moreover, the issue also comes when you use hard water in them. The hard type contains high minerals, which can make sediments on these sensors, and these cannot detect the correct levels.

Emptying the tanks while storing the RV is necessary to prevent contamination in plastic containers. However, I prefer to replace them every 5 to 10 years, depending on their quality, so plasticizers cannot seep inside.

You can use the enzymatic cleaner and other agents to clean the sensors and remove the impurities and sediment buildup from their surface.

Leakages in pipes

The plumbing pipes are connected to these RV fresh water tanks to water the various fixtures, including sinks, showers, and toilet tanks.

Sometimes there is leakage in the plumbing lines, and these can detect the tanks empty because of leakages. The leakage in the plumbing lines comes from their poor installation and incorrect fixing.

Moreover, the connections also become loose, which can cause water to drip from these areas. You can see leakages at the junction points, which occur due to high pressure and failure of the supply valve.

The issue also comes from cracked pipes made of metal or plastic material. Corrosion causes the cracking of metal pipes, while plastic ones can develop cracks when they become old.

Inspect the water lines and tighten the loose connections of the pipes. Use the plumber tap to secure the cracked plastic pipes.

Loose connections

The sensors are often not installed inside or outside the water tanks properly. The incorrect installation can make them loose, and these cannot give the correct readings to the control panel.

The loose attachments can make them wobbly, and these cannot correctly measure the water levels in the tanks. In addition, the unusual movement increases when you are moving on poor and unpaved roads.

The loose sensor connection issue comes because of a manufacturing fault, and they cannot mount them correctly for their proper functioning. As a result, the tank reading will say empty even when it is full.

Moreover, these can also become loose when you use RVs for frequent trips and refill water in them more often. You can call the professionals to access their loose connections and fix them.

Avoid dealing with these devices because they are small, delicate, and malfunction easily.

Calibration issues

These are electronic devices and need calibration for their correct functioning. These cannot function and read the water tank empty when these are full because of the poor calibration.

The stored data overload their system, and these cannot respond properly. Moreover, excessive use can also make them faulty, and these do not transfer information correctly.

Sometimes calibration is necessary when you use the RV after a long term, and these are in stored conditions. The calibration can revive their memory, and these can function perfectly without showing erratic behavior.

The calibration process is difficult; you cannot do this at home. Hire the expert so he can access the control panel of the different tanks and calibrate their sensors.

Faulty wiring and control panel unit 

RV fresh water tank shows an incorrect reading because of the faulty electric wiring and the bad control panels. The wires transfer the information to the control panel to show the correct reading on the screen.

Sometimes the wires become faulty and cannot transmit the correct signals to the control panel. For example, the wires become faulty when the insulation layer gets damaged.

Moreover, the wear and tear in the electric wires produce malfunctioning components, and it can read as empty, but in reality, the tank is full. The wires become bad because of their loose connections and short circuits.

Sometimes the control panel becomes faulty and cannot receive signals via wires. These can malfunction because of software issues and glitches in the electric system.

Many people complain that you can face the problem because of loose connections of the ground wires. However, the ground wires can also corrode and not signal the electric control unit.

Check the ground wire connection and replace them if these are completely corroded. You can also use the scanner tools to check the malfunctioning of the control panel.

Something is blocking the sensor

RV fresh water tank sensors show incorrect readings when something from the tank is blocking them. You can see it says empty, but it is full. This is because the mineral residues come on them and hinder their functioning.

The algae also grow inside when you do not refill them with clean water. Moreover, the chances of fungal growth increase because of a damp environment all the time.

Regular cleaning and disinfection decrease the risk of bacterial and fungal growth. However, I prefer to treat them with chlorine because it is safe for water and cannot cause toxic effects.

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