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RV Holding Tank Sensors: How They Work and How to Clean Them

  • 2 min read

Key Points:

  • Sensors typically misread because they are covered by something other than water/liquid.
  • We have easy instructional steps to help you clean and restore sensors in all types of tanks.

Sensors can cause some unneeded headaches, and in this guide will give you all the resources necessary to understand how they work, why they’re misreading, and how to fix them.

How do RV tank sensors work?

In most cases, an RV tank sensor is mounted on the inside of your tank but some models are mounted on the exterior. Sensors are typically situated in several places on the wall of your tank to indicate holding tank levels by thirds or by quarters. They are made fairly cheaply, which is why they can easily break or begin misreading. 

What Causes RV Holding Tank Sensors To Misread?

The primary reason interior holding tank sensors begin misreading is because something is covering it up, making it seem like the tank is filled to some extent when in fact, it could be completely empty. Sensors can be easily cleaned, which is the best way to determine if they are truly broken; if they are still misreading after several of the best cleaning treatments, they likely just need to be replaced. 

Guide: Why Are My RV Sensors Not Working? How Do I Fix Them?  

If it seems like you’re always struggling to keep your sensor probes functional, you might consider installing exterior-mounted sensors, like SeeLevel RV Tank Sensors . Aftermarket sensors like this are a great option if you want more reliable readings on tank levels.

How to Clean Your RV Holding Tank Sensors

Cleaning black tank sensors to restore them to proper functionality is easy and effective when using Restore-It and even easier using Dawn Ultra to clean gray/galley tank sensors.


We know you might be feeling a little cheated by the limited amount of info we’ve shared in this guide, but the good news is we’ve created a whole series of articles dedicated to understanding how sensors work and why they misread, steps for cleaning them when they misread, and how to prevent them from misreading in the future. 

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Field Guide

Misreading Sensors? We Can Help!

Misreading tank sensors are very common and in most cases pretty simple to fix! We’ve helped thousands of RVers restore their misreading sensors in their RV black and gray tanks, and this Field Guide is going to help you!

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