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Old 06-25-2014, 11:00 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
Here's a link to what appears to be installed in our tanks: Tank Sensor Probe, Spin-In, Fresh Water
Good work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
I will likely switch to a set of Horst probes in the near future. It may be possible to twist out the old probes; if not, it would be simple enough to drill new 3/8" holes and start over.
I wouldn't even try removing the originals; it would not likely work, it could leave a hard-to-repair hole, and I don't see any real benefit to getting them out. "Spinning" the originals in is spin-welding. Unwelding just doesn't work.

I agree that drilling new holes is straightforward.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:26 PM   #62
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I've been looking at the SeeLevel tank monitor system. It gets away from the probes completely and can be installed using the existing wiring. Unfortunately, it is more expensive than the Horst probes but does work better.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:31 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
contemplating the virtue of patience.
Yeah, and how long is *that* going to take??!?!

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Old 06-26-2014, 08:43 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Good work.


I wouldn't even try removing the originals; it would not likely work, it could leave a hard-to-repair hole, and I don't see any real benefit to getting them out. "Spinning" the originals in is spin-welding. Unwelding just doesn't work.

I agree that drilling new holes is straightforward.
I like that; "Unwelding just doesn't work." Looking at the picture of the spin-in probe, I was trying to convince myself that the shoulder might be 3/8 and that the thing might be stuck in with some sort of sealant. But, it looks like the whole works is embedded in the wall of the tank to a certain extent.

I ordered a set of four gray water probes last night from Amazon and look forward to installing them. Starting with new holes, I can also probably get a little more distance between the 1/3 and bottom probes, but it shouldn't be that critical now.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:54 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by WestEnder View Post
I've been looking at the SeeLevel tank monitor system. It gets away from the probes completely and can be installed using the existing wiring. Unfortunately, it is more expensive than the Horst probes but does work better.
You may well be right, but installing four new probes through the wall of the tank is about as much effort as I want to invest in this operation. This truly is a First-World problem that I'm addressing mostly for the fun of it. I'm only doing the gray tank as it's pretty obvious when the black tank needs attention, and I don't think it would be any easy conversion at this point. I do want to try to avoid false positives on the gray water as we boon-dock quite a bit, and I'm the chief water hauler.

If you're about to order an Escape, now would be the time to consider the SeeLevel system (or the Horst probes).
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:22 PM   #66
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Aside from the slow draining, which I can live with, the erratic tank level readings make my wife a little nervous. Even when logic says that the readings are wrong.

Just to make sure that I'm not caught with a full grey water tank (and egg on my face after assuring my wife that the tank wasn't really full ) I made a portable drain tank. In a pinch it could also be used to drain off a little of the liquid part of the black water tank.

I know Donna and others have made similar tanks. Mine was made from "available resources", translation, stuff in my junk drawer. The nice thing about this container was that the lid already was threaded for the pipe fitting for the hose bib. The hose is a double ended washer hose, connects to the tank valve and the trailer drain cap.

Ron
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Old 06-26-2014, 02:05 PM   #67
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I'm with you. Sometimes the ability to drain out five gallons to ensure a no-panic shower situation is a really good idea! I have a similar setup now too. While we usually take a big wheeled tote with us, these smaller containers facilitate using regular gray water drains situated around many campgrounds.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:51 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Parker View Post
I like that; "Unwelding just doesn't work." Looking at the picture of the spin-in probe, I was trying to convince myself that the shoulder might be 3/8 and that the thing might be stuck in with some sort of sealant. But, it looks like the whole works is embedded in the wall of the tank to a certain extent.
Yes, the hole through the tank wall might be 3/8" diameter, and there is a shoulder area where the broader flange of the spin-on fitting bears against the outside of the tank wall. This contact isn't stuck with adhesive; instead, when the fitting is spun rapidly against the tank wall both surfaces partially melt due to the heat resulting from friction. The spinning is stopped, the molten plastic fuses and hardens, and the parts are truly welded.

Just like with a piece of steel welded to another piece of steel, if the weld is done properly there is no longer a distinction between the two pieces, so they won't pull apart - something will break if enough force is applied, but it won't likely be cleanly along the original line between them.

Fitting on tanks like this - for sensors or pipe connections - are commonly spin-welded because the material used for these tanks works poorly with adhesives... and spin-welding is fast if you're equipped to do it and practiced.
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Old 06-29-2014, 03:29 PM   #69
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I just installed two Horst probes in our grey water tank. I'm not sure there is any advantage to replacing the original bottom probe, and the top one is going to be really difficult to install without an angle drill; besides, I don't think I've ever had an issue with it. The biggest challenge was getting in between the frame and tank wall with a standard drill. I couldn't use a regular 3/8" twist drill, so I used a step drill that is much shorter and then finished up with a standard twist drill turned by hand for the last little bit through the wall of the tank. The red band is the "do not drill past this line or you will spend a lot of money" marker at 3/8"diameter. We're heading out next weekend, and I'll report back how this works out.
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:52 PM   #70
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I just pumped enough water into the grey tank to get the 1/3 light to come on, drove home from our storage place, and drained it. The light immediately went out, even while the tank was still draining, so I'm declaring good enough on this one. Draining off the side of the tank is never going to be very speedy as the level goes down, but at least I won't have the false indication of still having 1/3 tank left after dumping. After looking at the sensor placement relative to the drain line, it's pretty clear that's always been a false indication anyway.
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