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Author Topic: Alladin System / Erratic Black tank levels  (Read 452 times)

Darrell Terry

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Alladin System / Erratic Black tank levels
« on: June 14, 2019, 04:58:09 PM »
The black tank levels displayed in the Alladin system were totally erratic and each time I adjusted to correct it would go off the charts again.
I purchased a new tank sensor and nothing changed. I found that the circuit board for Grey/Black/Fresh/LP was corroded.
I was able to locate used board online and replaced.  The system worked fine for about 2-3 months and then display keep going higher and higher each time I dumped Black tank.  I have now replaced my Black tank sensor 4 times in a year with same results.
It works fine for several months and then begins to increase in tank values. I replaced sensor 2 months ago and it was working fine, yesterday after dumping and flushing tank it shows  37 gallons and 61% remaining when tank empty.
Any adjustments / repairs I can do to correct this or is it time to install new tank level system. All other levels are fine ( Grey/Fresh/LP)
Only the Black tank is erratic.
Thanks in advance
2004 Monterey

Steve Huber Co-Admin

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Re: Alladin System / Erratic Black tank levels
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2019, 05:15:50 PM »
Darrell,
IMHO you are fighting a build-up on the walls of the black tank. Replacing the sensor enables it to work until the build-up grows over the new sensor. Solution is to remove the buildup. The most straight forward and quickest way is to have the tank cleaned. There are a number so outfits that offer this service. Most use a power washer on a flexible hose and a camera to be sure they get all the stuff off the tank walls. Another, slower way is to use a probiotic in the tank that "eats" the build-up. However, my experience is that it takes weeks in a tank filled with water to be effective. However, I would recommend using it as a regular practice after having the tank cleaned to keep it clean. (I use Tank Tech).
The other solution is to install a See-Level system. Its sensors are on the outside of the tank and not subject to fouling. I think they used to have an Aladdin interface, but not sure if they still offer it.
Steve
Steve
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David T. Richelderfer

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Re: Alladin System / Erratic Black tank levels
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2019, 07:48:55 PM »
An RV tech told me to try RV Digest-It to dissolve the buildup of solids on the walls and floor of the black tank.  Also, a couple of bags of ice flushed down the toilet just before you drive the coach may help scrub the walls and floor as it sloshes back and forth on the hills and corners.
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Bill Lampkin

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Re: Alladin System / Erratic Black tank levels
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2019, 08:05:34 PM »
As far as I know, Catcon tank level sensors, as used in our Patriot, are pressure sensors and should be unaffected by any 'build up' of poop. And if there are 'probiotics' that 'eat' poop, then why do you still have to pay the septage pumper to pump your septic tank at home every so often?
I've just finished up my latest go round with the wet bay and while I was working, I pulled the phone plug from the black and grey tank level sensors and reinserted a few times. Tanks are both now reading zero.
I can vouch for the SeeLevel monitoring system. I installed same in my TT several years ago. Works great.

Might be worth it to call Catcon and see what they say (I for one, would be very interested!).
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Mike Shumack

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Re: Alladin System / Erratic Black tank levels
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2019, 08:17:37 PM »
Darrell, how much do you use your coach (are you a full timer)? You said you said you changed the Black sensor four times in one year.  Are you filling/dumping the tank several times between failures - or does the tank sit with material in it for a long time?

There is a possibility that the circuit board (Tank Interface Module) is acting up again (internal resistance building) - and causing the Black tank reading to drift.

You could try switching the Black tank and Grey tank wires at the Tank Module to see if the incorrect reading stays with the Black tank or if the Grey tank then reads incorrect (i.e. if the Black tank continues to read incorrectly when reading off the Grey tank sensor that would indicate the module is the problem).

There is a calibration procedure (it's too large for me to attach here, and I think it is in the Coach Assist section too) - but once your system is calibrated it should not change again (in the software).

What year coach do you have?
The Aladdin Troubleshooting manual says the tank sensors are different for the 2003 and the 2004-2005 model years.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 08:29:36 PM by Mike Shumack »
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Darrell Terry

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Re: Alladin System / Erratic Black tank levels
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2019, 05:59:35 PM »
Thanks for responses,
RV is 2004 Monterey and we have been full-timing since 2014.
I just reversed the Grey tank and Black tank wires. The readings remained the same , just switched positions on the Aladdin screen.
Yesterday I used the rotary flexible Tank cleaning tool from Camping World,  but no change.
I also filled and flushed tank 3 times with fresh water, still no help.
We are headed back to Keizer,OR from Bend next Thursday and I will pour ice into Black tank to see if that helps.
I also ordered a bottle of Tank Tech RX from Amazon.

I think it's electrical but not sure what to check. Stopped in at BCS parts yesterday but no one seemed to have any ideas.
There is one BCS guy who is supposed to be more knowledgeable about Aladdin but he wasn't there.

Still looking for an answer.
2004 Monterey

Mike Shumack

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Re: Alladin System / Erratic Black tank levels
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2019, 08:59:28 PM »
Since you switched the black and grey sensor wires at the module and faulty reading stayed with the sensor - that tells us the module is okay.

Could be the wire (telephone-like cable) that goes from the black sensor to the module has a problem (internal resistance or a corroded plug). You could try running a new (temporary) cable from black sensor to tank interface module to see if that helps. After that, I think the only thing left is to replace the sensor again.

If you had a good spare sensor you could try plugging it in (without installing it) to verify the tank reads empty.
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder 525, Vicksburg, CAT C13, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift
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Bill Lampkin

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Re: Alladin System / Erratic Black tank levels
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2019, 09:27:36 PM »
Darrell, I think you should try the calibration procedure. Its somewhere here in the files section, as has been posted. Its not hard, you just enter the calib screen on the aladdin, using a default code. With the tank empty, you will see a value on the screen, that's the empty tank value. The numbers don't mean anything, its just a number the aladdin computer uses. Then you fill the tank and you will see another number, you enter this number and that is the 'full' tank value. I did see somewhere that you can use some value per mm of tank depth, rather than filling the tank. Easy enough and worth a try.
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Bill Lampkin

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Re: Alladin System / Erratic Black tank levels
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2019, 09:32:54 PM »
One other observation, you have replaced your tank sensors several times and the problem persists, so I think that rules out any type of 'build up' problem on your sensors. The sensors aren't fouled or bad, you have another problem. Running the calibration procedure would be the easiest thing to do at this point.
2005 Patriot Thunder Lexington, 3 slides
40' tag axle (short wheelbase)
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Richard Davis

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Re: Alladin System / Erratic Black tank levels
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2019, 09:52:39 PM »
Darrell

I had the same issues you are having when I replaced the sensors on my tanks.  I installed the sensors and did the calibration routine on the Alladin.  As I traveled, filling and emptying the tanks, the readings were incorrect.  I calibrated the tanks again, this time the numbers were a little different.  Again, as I filled and emptied the tanks, the readings were incorrect.  I did the calibration routine a half dozen times over the next few weeks.  Each time, the resulting readings were a little more accurate.  The sensors have now stabilized and provide accurate results.  It was a bit of a frustrating experience, but all is now good.  It seems that those sensors have to stabilize a bit as to the pressure values they are transmitting on the communication cable.  So, bottom line, keep trying the calibration routine and see if it doesn't improve with use as mine did.

Good luck.

Richard   
06 Monterey Ventura IV, C9 400 hp

Bob Bulot

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Re: Alladin System / Erratic Black tank levels
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2019, 04:08:35 PM »
Let me add my vote for the SeeLevel system.  Had it installed in Gillette last year and it is accurate and convenient. I get a readout on my iPhone as well as the replacement display in the bay.  Love it.
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