Fresh water tank quantity indicating - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 16 Old 11-23-2013 Thread Starter
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Fresh water tank quantity indicating

Hi All,

I have a 50 gal fresh water tank under the V berth. There is no room to get to any side of the tank and there is maybe an inch between the top and the V berth hard board access panels. The feed line is at the bottom with a shutoff valve in another little access in the V berth area down at the floor level. I have no quantity indicating provisions. Some might say I don't need it... I'd like to have it. Without major modifications, the only thing I've seen is an in-line sender unit (measures static pressure- weight of the water pushing down) that is sold in the UK. Looks like it would work.

Anyway, I'm here to pick your brains... what would you do, use, try, etc.. Thanks.

Dave
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post #2 of 16 Old 11-23-2013
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Re: Fresh water tank quantity indicating

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Originally Posted by Dave_E View Post
Hi All,

I have a 50 gal fresh water tank under the V berth. There is no room to get to any side of the tank and there is maybe an inch between the top and the V berth hard board access panels. The feed line is at the bottom with a shutoff valve in another little access in the V berth area down at the floor level. I have no quantity indicating provisions. Some might say I don't need it... I'd like to have it. Without major modifications, the only thing I've seen is an in-line sender unit (measures static pressure- weight of the water pushing down) that is sold in the UK. Looks like it would work.

Anyway, I'm here to pick your brains... what would you do, use, try, etc.. Thanks.

Dave
David--

Just add a clear "level tube" to your feed line, installed somewhere it will be protected. You only need a 1/4" tube or so, tee'd into the feed line and supported vertically against a bulkhead, say in the head, with a plug in the end with a graduated scale behind it. When you want to check the level, just loosen the plug a little and the water will rise to the level in the tank. You can calibrate the scale by starting with an empty tank and marking the water level at each point (say five gallons) as you add water to the tank. It works. (BTDT)

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post #3 of 16 Old 11-23-2013
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Re: Fresh water tank quantity indicating

No access whatsoever to any side? That makes it tough.. A friend has had success with an external mounted foil sensor, but it needs to be on the side of the tank. Also cannot be a metal tank..

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We're using a system similar to Sealand float switch, you only need top access, an inch of clearance would do, but you'll need to cut a hole for the sensor mount.

http://www.dometic.com/c5115637-c3d5...373d47e9.fodoc

If you have access to the outlet pipe nearby, you could do as you described and measure the head/height of the water in the tank with a gauge.. If you don't need anything fancy, a low pressure gauge (scaled in "inches water column" at least the height of your tank) would work

It's nice to have a warning when you're out there that your water is running low.

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David--

Just add a clear "level tube" to your feed line, installed somewhere it will be protected. You only need a 1/4" tube or so, tee'd into the feed line and supported vertically against a bulkhead, say in the head, with a plug in the end with a graduated scale behind it. When you want to check the level, just loosen the plug a little and the water will rise to the level in the tank. You can calibrate the scale by starting with an empty tank and marking the water level at each point (say five gallons) as you add water to the tank. It works. (BTDT)
Same idea as my "wc gauge that won't need you to mess with the plug! If you ran another tube from the top of the 'level tube' back to the top of the tank would be another way to seal the deal.
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Last edited by Faster; 11-23-2013 at 11:01 AM.
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post #4 of 16 Old 11-23-2013
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Re: Fresh water tank quantity indicating

oooh Im interested in this too...Ive always had stainless tanks before that are easy to tap

on my "new" boat they are integral glass tanks...which I need to retab btw

access is very bad...a clear tube would be great
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post #5 of 16 Old 11-23-2013
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Re: Fresh water tank quantity indicating

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
David--

Just add a clear "level tube" to your feed line, installed somewhere it will be protected. You only need a 1/4" tube or so, tee'd into the feed line and supported vertically against a bulkhead, say in the head, with a plug in the end with a graduated scale behind it. When you want to check the level, just loosen the plug a little and the water will rise to the level in the tank. You can calibrate the scale by starting with an empty tank and marking the water level at each point (say five gallons) as you add water to the tank. It works. (BTDT)
Yup thats what I have as well and it works, no electrickery and nothing to go kaput.
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post #6 of 16 Old 11-23-2013
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Re: Fresh water tank quantity indicating

ive done this on motorcycle tanks but not on any boat

anybody have pics or tips to do this...its the access thats bad on my boat too
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post #7 of 16 Old 11-23-2013
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Re: Fresh water tank quantity indicating

Wema is your friend.

We use 3 on board. Installed them back in 03 or so and they have been working GREAT ever since. Including full time live aboard and cruising. We have one gauge in the cockpit for fuel. We have one gauge in the head that gives an indication on both fresh water tanks. I select which tank to view with a three way switch.

You can see the site at;
Liquid Sensors - Marine Diesel, Fuel, or Water Level Sensor



I think you have plenty of room above the tank and below the bunk board for the sender.

Greg

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post #8 of 16 Old 11-23-2013
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Re: Fresh water tank quantity indicating

I like Greg's set up , I'm going to look into that . My big water tank is on the starboard side, so when it's empty I list to port .
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Re: Fresh water tank quantity indicating

how do those work for water? I always found that for fuel no gauge ever lasted me enough...

having metal tanks I always tapped away to find the level but for water that would be nice if they lasted say 5-10 years?
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Re: Fresh water tank quantity indicating

We've had our boat nearly 10 years, it came with the Sealand Tankwatch III system, it's a multi float point level sensor and a panel with 3 LEDs.. Green for full, yellow for mid or more, flashing red for the last 5 gals.

It's worked flawlessly in the time we've had it, no idea how old it actually is but the boat's an '84. They can be programmed to 'flash' when full for holding tanks.
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