How to Clean Your RV Holding Tank Sensors


The holding tank sensors on your RV are one of the most-important pieces of equipment on the entire rig. When these sensors work properly, they inform you when the tanks are getting full so you can drain them and clean them out as necessary. Of course, is the sensors are not functioning properly, you will struggle to know when the tanks are reaching capacity – and that is a problem that no RV owners wants to deal with while on vacation.

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Rural asphalt road near fields in springtime. Calm polish countrysideSo, considering the importance of these sensors, it only makes sense to keep them clean in order to allow them to do their job properly. Follow the basic steps below and you should be able to keep this helpful piece of equipment working accurately for years to come.

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Drain the Tank

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Logically, this process starts by draining both your gray and black water tanks completely. Drain them out as you would any other time, making sure that they are fully drained before moving on to other steps. Even if you think they are mostly empty to begin with, go ahead and allow them to drain out as fully as possible in order to make this process work nicely.

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Refilling Time

Now that the tanks are empty, you are going to refill them about a third of the way. However, you are going to be filling them only with clean water. This water is going to be part of what winds up cleaning off the sensors, so it is important that you use clean water straight from a tap (or another source).

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Introducing the Soap

Obviously, you aren’t going to be able to climb into the tanks to clean the sensors yourself, so you are going to have to send some soap in for you to do the job. Add a small amount of dish detergent to both your toilet and to the kitchen sink. Somewhere around a half a cup of detergent should do the job. To send the soap into the tanks, dump another gallon of clean water down the sink and the toilet to carry the soap on through. When it arrives, the soapy water will mix with the water already in the tank to create a cleaning solution.

Wait It Out

To allow the soapy water that you have created to do its job, you are going to need to wait a couple hours. It is a great idea to perform this cleaning procedure right before you hit the road, as driving along will help to agitate the water and achieve a better clean. Once you reach your new destination, go ahead and drain the tanks again to complete the process.

Hopefully, you will now be left with clean holding tank sensors that can help you keep an accurate eye on the levels inside both your gray and black water tanks. In addition to the benefit of washing the sensors, this cleaning process will simply help you to clean the overall tanks as a whole as well – which is always a good thing.

 

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Comments 7

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  1. what about adding a couple bags of ice to this mixture? I have heard that water and ice will clean them but adding soap makes more sense.

    1. The ice treatment is hit or miss. I have tried it a number of times with limited success.
      The article said to use a cup of liquid soap in the sink and toilet-is that one cup each?

  2. I have heard of ice cubes as well, but not for cleaning the sensors. Put ice cubes in an empty tank just befor you hit the road. The ice will scrape the bottom of the black tank and clean any debrey on the bottom of the tank. I put in through the toilet.

  3. What about using your black water rinse valve with the “black & gray” valves closed to fill your tanks to 1/3 full? Then add the soap inside the toilet and sink. Is this the same as adding the water inside? Thanks

  4. This reminds me of cleaning the coffee pot. For years I scrubbed the coffee pot out with regular liquid dish soap, then one day I used a little liquid dishwashing machine detergent, man what difference, this stuff acts like a cleaning acid, no scrubbing or anything just swish and rinse. I suppose that would work as well. No foamy bubble either.

  5. One cup of RidX septic tank cleaner works great for cleaning black tanks. Dump it in with about 3 gallons of water before you leave. The sloshing action does the trick.

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