holding tank installation several months back and one of the unfinished parts of that project was to install a tank monitor. We did a lot of research on the different types and manufacturers and finally decided on the Solo Tank Monitor made by New Providence Marine/Ferriello Sales LLC. The decision was based on lots of positive feedback from current owners and a recommendation from Miss Peggy Hall, known throughout the boat industry as the "Head Mistress." Peggy has a couple of excellent books on marine sanitation. The installation could not have been more straightforward or easier.
We first needed to decide where to mount the display. It needed to be easy to see and have good access to run the wires from the power source to the tank. A convenient spot on the bulkhead directly behind the head was perfect for us. It began with cutting a hole for the panel. We posted our procedure for doing this in an earlier post, so I won't repeat it again. The power connection was run from our main DC panel and the monitor has its own breaker switch.
Even though it's connected to a breaker, we also installed an in-line fuse per the manufacturer's instructions. All of the in-line fuses on Beach House have a spare fuse taped to the fuse holder, so if it blows, there is no hunting for a replacement and hoping we have the right size. This has made the replacement process quick and easy.
With the panel in place and the power wire run and connected, the next step is to install the sensors on the outside of the tank. We chose the external, non-contact sensor. There is no need to drill holes in the tank, no moving parts to care for or any sensor in the tank that would need cleaning. With our custom made "plastic" tank, this kind of sensor is ideal. The installation of the sensor is extremely easy and only took a few minutes.
The sensor module is wired to the display panel, two self-stick strips of aluminum are attached to the outside of the tank, the self-stick copper patches attached to the module are stuck over the aluminum strips and the module is secured between them via a piece of self-stick tape. And that is all there is to it.
There is one more additional step and that is calibrating the tank both empty and full. This allows the sensor to read and display how much fluid is in the tank. Our tank is opaque and you can see the fluid levels if the drawer next to it is removed. But we prefer a bit easier and more precise way to tell when the tank needs to be pumped out BEFORE it is over full. The first part of the calibration is to pump the tank as empty as possible. Most tanks will still have a small amount in the bottom, but that is okay and preferred during the calibration process. Once empty, the buttons are manipulated according to the installation manual.