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Johny London

Vetus waste tank sensor/sender

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Noticed my waste gauge not creeping up as per usual. Did a pump out and went to investigate the tank, found two wires connected to the sender unit so I shorted them out and sure enough the gauge reads full. I took the five screws out and pulled up the sender for inspection (and undid the two screws that hold its body together) - it seems to move freely, but keeping it at the "full" end of travel the gauge still reads empty. Put it all back together thinking to just get another one but having googled, the only place that might have one is Vetus themselves and they wanted all my details before they would think about emailing me back with a quote - so I'm assuming it will be unreasonably expensive (it looks like its just a sealed potentiometer with a bit of coat hanger wire and a ping pong ball on the end, £1.50 surely?).

Any advice regarding the fixability of the existing one or source for a spare? I only looked it over, to get to the nittty gritty I'd have to completely remove and clean somehow, before I could determine further. I couldn't tell if the outer spindle where the dip wire is attached, was moving the inner spindle of the pot, for example. It was a tad yucky.

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Vetus stuff does tend to be a bit on the expensive side. Do some resistance measurements across the terminals of the sender, with it disconnected from the boat wiring. Does the resistance change with float position? If so, then the sender is OK and the fault is elsewhere. If not, then probably new sender time. Can't comment on if repair is possible as I've never seen one.

 

Jen

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies

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12 minutes ago, Johny London said:

Noticed my waste gauge not creeping up as per usual. Did a pump out and went to investigate the tank, found two wires connected to the sender unit so I shorted them out and sure enough the gauge reads full. I took the five screws out and pulled up the sender for inspection (and undid the two screws that hold its body together) - it seems to move freely, but keeping it at the "full" end of travel the gauge still reads empty. Put it all back together thinking to just get another one but having googled, the only place that might have one is Vetus themselves and they wanted all my details before they would think about emailing me back with a quote - so I'm assuming it will be unreasonably expensive (it looks like its just a sealed potentiometer with a bit of coat hanger wire and a ping pong ball on the end, £1.50 surely?).

Any advice regarding the fixability of the existing one or source for a spare? I only looked it over, to get to the nittty gritty I'd have to completely remove and clean somehow, before I could determine further. I couldn't tell if the outer spindle where the dip wire is attached, was moving the inner spindle of the pot, for example. It was a tad yucky.

179 euros https://vetusonline.com/english/toilet-freshwater-systems/wastewater-s.html?p=2&product_list_limit=all

 

or £140  https://www.asap-supplies.com/vetus-waste-water-level-sensor-wwsensora

Edited by ditchcrawler

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My sender is OK but I can't work out which are the wire colours at the back of the gauge itself. There are more tags than there are wires to fit to it!

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Cripes that's even more expensive than I'd imagined, and I most certainly will not be paying that for a pot, a coathanger wire and a bit of cable. Seriously, I'd have gone £25 and that would have been a rip off!

Will have to try very hard to repair it. Will take it out another time and seal the hole up so I can take my time, get it really clean then have a proper look.

Thanks for that.

 

As far as the wiring goes, mine is wired to the two bottom terminals, when viewed in its natural orientation. Obviously one is the wiper of the pot.

 

DSC_0001.JPG

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48 minutes ago, Johny London said:

Obviously one is the wiper of the pot.

Is there a terminal for the other end of the pot? If so then maybe you can get a resistance reading for it. 

 

I had a mate who ran a Fiat X1-9 for a while and he never put more than a quarter tank of petrol in it. He came to me and asked if I could suss out why his fuel gauge had stopped working. A test showed it was the sender at fault and when I dismantled it I discovered it was a strip of plastic with a winding around it and the wiper had literally worn through the winding near the bottom. I bodged it for him by soldering the winding together and then turning the plastic thingy the other way up so that the lump of solder was near the top. He continued to never put much fuel in it so it lasted him until he sold the car!

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2 minutes ago, WotEver said:

I had a mate who ran a Fiat X1-9 for a while and he never put more than a quarter tank of petrol in it.

Likewise, but in Greg's case he was concerned that the fuel tank might be as rusted through as every single body panel, so didn't want to risk wasting fuel :D

 

Edited by TheBiscuits
  • Haha 1

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Johnny, if the Vetus spare is, as expected, silly money, consider replacing the whole thing with one from MSC.  No moving parts, sender and analogue gauge about a hundred quid, about a tenner more for digital.

  • Greenie 1

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11 hours ago, Sea Dog said:

Johnny, if the Vetus spare is, as expected, silly money, consider replacing the whole thing with one from MSC.  No moving parts, sender and analogue gauge about a hundred quid, about a tenner more for digital.

 

Easy to fit as well. All MCS need is the depth of the tank, then you cut a hole for the sender and fit it in a rubber grommet. Then cut a hole somewhere for the gauge, wire it up and bobs yet father's brother.

 

I used mine to supplement the tank full indicator. It showed that lights up at 50% full, so the gauge has paid for itself in the reduced number of pump outs.

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I've got the digital msc fresh water gauge on my fresh water tank - and that doesn't work properly either (it's the next job down on my list and I was going to post to see if anyone has had luck trying to service them!).

Tell you what though - I wouldn't mind the diesel fuel gauge.,

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2 hours ago, Johny London said:

 Tell you what though - I wouldn't mind the diesel fuel gauge.,

You can have a look at my dipstick if it helps... ;)

 

My fuel tank is a linear shape, so it was dead straightforward to mark the full level as 100% and divide the rest up in 10% divisions.  Mind I do get some old fashioned looks when I say "fill it up - it'll take about xxx litres" and I'm accurate to within a litre! :D

 

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28 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

You can have a look at my dipstick if it helps... ;)

 

 

Mine's a foot long but I don't use it as a rule.   :D

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16 minutes ago, Machpoint005 said:

 

Mine's a foot long but I don't use it as a rule.   :D

You're just naughty and it'll serve you right if it comes out in a dermatitis related rash! :P

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I've made a dipstick, and I can estimate with sufficient accuracy. What I don't appreciate is having to go outside, take the cap off (often with water all around it that risks getting into the tank) dip the stick in, pull it out and drip diesel on the deck and in the canal, put the stick somewhere it doesn't matter, put the cap back on. Rather I would glance at an easily accessible dial to keep an eye on things. I can't believe narrowboats don't tend to have fuel gauges, seems like the most rudimentary thing you would want.

So, the waste tank sender repair is still on the to do list, the water tank sender I'm looking at right now (It looks non serviceable but while it's apart I've squirted some limelights into the sensor hole to try and unsilt it) and the fuel gauge will have to be right down the list on the back burner for now.

 

btw I'm metric so mines a metre.

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1 hour ago, Johny London said:

I've made a dipstick, and I can estimate with sufficient accuracy. What I don't appreciate is having to go outside, take the cap off (often with water all around it that risks getting into the tank) dip the stick in, pull it out and drip diesel on the deck and in the canal, put the stick somewhere it doesn't matter, put the cap back on. Rather I would glance at an easily accessible dial to keep an eye on things. I can't believe narrowboats don't tend to have fuel gauges, seems like the most rudimentary thing you would want.

So, the waste tank sender repair is still on the to do list, the water tank sender I'm looking at right now (It looks non serviceable but while it's apart I've squirted some limelights into the sensor hole to try and unsilt it) and the fuel gauge will have to be right down the list on the back burner for now.

 

btw I'm metric so mines a metre.

 

MCS do gauges for diesel tanks as well as gauges for water and waste tanks.

 

http://mcsboatproducts.co.uk

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2 hours ago, Machpoint005 said:

 

Mine's a foot long but I don't use it as a rule.   :D

Mine’s nine inches if I fold it in half...

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4 minutes ago, WotEver said:

Mine’s nine inches if I fold it in half...

Whyever would you want to do that?

 

There was a young fellow from Kent

Whose **** was incredibly bent

To save himself trouble

He put it in double:

Instead of his coming, he went.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Machpoint005
to improve the scansion

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1 minute ago, Machpoint005 said:

Whyever would you want to do that?

 

There was a young fellow from Kent

Whose **** was incredibly bent

To save himself trouble

He put it in double:

Instead of his coming, he went.

 

 

 

 

As you get older you dont have to worry about that, it will bend its self

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Just now, Johny London said:

You have miss quoted me - I wrote metre not meter.

 

Yes - the quip worked better that way. Call it poetic licence. 

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2 hours ago, Johny London said:

What I don't appreciate is having to go outside, take the cap off (often with water all around it that risks getting into the tank) dip the stick in, pull it out and drip diesel on the deck and in the canal, put the stick somewhere it doesn't matter, put the cap back on. 

Well I'd say you're making a bit of a meal of it then Johny (possibly a pigs ear!) and it's hardly a daily chore! In fact it's only really a weekly job to keep track, even when travelling a few hours every day... unless you've been short changed on the bunkering! ;)

 

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3 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

Well I'd say you're making a bit of a meal of it then Johny (possibly a pigs ear!) and it's hardly a daily chore! In fact it's only really a weekly job to keep track, even when travelling a few hours every day... unless you've been short changed on the bunkering! ;)

 

I find it a right pain.  Perhaps that is why I've run out, twice...

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