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How to Clean RV Tank Sensors

If you own an RV, you know that proper maintenance is essential to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.

One of the crucial aspects of RV maintenance is keeping the tank sensors clean.

These sensors play a vital role in monitoring the levels of waste and freshwater in your RV tanks.

However, over time, they can become dirty and inaccurate, leading to incorrect readings and inconvenience.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore effective methods and techniques on how to clean RV tank sensors.

We’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions, tips, and valuable insights to help you maintain accurate readings and enjoy a worry-free RV experience.

How to Clean RV Tank Sensors?

Cleaning your RV tank sensors may sound like a daunting task, but with the right approach and tools, it becomes a manageable process.

Here, we’ll outline a simple and effective method to clean your RV tank sensors:

1. Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials

Before getting started, make sure you have the following tools and materials ready:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • A cleaning brush or sponge
  • Mild dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Plastic wrap
  • Hot water

2. Empty and Rinse the Tanks

The first step in cleaning RV tank sensors is to empty and rinse your tanks.

This ensures that you start with a clean slate and removes any loose debris or residue.

Follow these steps:

  1. Locate the tank release valve and open it to empty the tanks into a designated dumping station.
  2. After emptying, close the valve and fill the tanks with freshwater.
  3. Open the valve again to drain the freshwater, thoroughly rinsing the tanks.

3. Prepare a Cleaning Solution

To create an effective cleaning solution for your RV tank sensors, follow these instructions:

  1. Fill a bucket with warm water and add a small amount of mild dish soap.
  2. Stir the mixture until it forms a soapy solution.
  3. In a separate container, mix equal parts white vinegar and water.

4. Clean the Sensors

Now it’s time to clean the RV tank sensors using the cleaning solution you prepared.

Follow these steps:

  1. Put on rubber gloves and safety goggles to protect yourself during the cleaning process.
  2. Dip the cleaning brush or sponge into the soapy solution and gently scrub the sensors.
  3. Pay special attention to the sensor probes, ensuring they are thoroughly cleaned.
  4. Rinse the sensors with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  5. For stubborn deposits, create a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the sensors.
  6. Cover the sensors with plastic wrap and let the paste sit for a few hours.
  7. Remove the plastic wrap and scrub the sensors again with the cleaning brush or sponge.
  8. Rinse the sensors thoroughly to remove any residue.

5. Test the Sensors

After cleaning the RV tank sensors, it’s essential to test them to ensure their accuracy.

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Fill the freshwater tank to a known level.
  2. Monitor the readings on your RV control panel or sensor monitor.
  3. Compare the readings with the actual level of water in the tank.
  4. Repeat the process for the waste tanks to check their accuracy as well.


How often should I clean my RV tank sensors?

It is recommended to clean your RV tank sensors at least once every three to six months, depending on your usage. Regular cleaning helps maintain accurate readings and prevents sensor malfunctions.

Can I use bleach to clean RV tank sensors?

No, it is not advisable to use bleach to clean RV tank sensors. Bleach is a harsh chemical that can damage the sensors and corrode the metal probes. Stick to mild dish soap, white vinegar, and baking soda for safe and effective cleaning.

Are there any alternative methods to clean RV tank sensors?

Yes, besides the method described in this guide, there are alternative methods you can try. Some RVers recommend using specialized sensor cleaning solutions or installing external tank cleaning systems. However, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines.

My tank sensors are still not accurate after cleaning. What should I do?

If your RV tank sensors remain inaccurate even after cleaning, there might be an underlying issue. It is advisable to consult a professional RV technician who can diagnose and repair any sensor or wiring problems.

Can I prevent sensor buildup in the first place?

Yes, there are steps you can take to minimize sensor buildup. Avoid using excessive amounts of toilet paper or harsh chemicals in your tanks. Additionally, using tank treatments specifically designed to break down waste can help prevent sensor buildup.

Are there any external devices that can help monitor tank levels?

Yes, there are various aftermarket devices available that can provide more accurate and reliable tank level monitoring. These devices use ultrasonic or pressure sensor technology to give you real-time readings on your smartphone or RV control panel.


Maintaining clean and accurate RV tank sensors is crucial for a stress-free RVing experience.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively clean your RV tank sensors and ensure they provide accurate readings.

Remember to clean your sensors regularly, use the appropriate cleaning solutions, and seek professional help if needed.

With well-maintained tank sensors, you can enjoy worry-free RV travels and have peace of mind knowing that your tank levels are accurately monitored.