What It Takes to Install a Magnetic Tank Gauge

Installing a magnetic tank gauge can be easy with the right equipmentCall it what you want, a magnetic level sensor, a stem sensor, a float, or even a stick level sensor, when you decide to use one, you need to understand the installation requirements to make things go quickly and smoothly.

The primary concern for installing a magnetic level sensor is the mounting, as wiring is simple and consistent. Mounting can be very easy, even for a sensor with a very long stem, as long as you have the right equipment. For example, a 20 ft. long sensor will likely require a few hands on deck, and perhaps a lift – such as some scissor lifts or a cherry picker.

However, before we dive into the tools necessary, let’s discuss mounting options. Here are the common choices available for magnetic tank gauges:

  • NPT Fitting: An NPT male plug is connected to a female NPT connection on the tank. NPT threads for a seal when tightened as the threads will compress each. Common sizes are 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, and 4 inches.
  • Flange: A flange is used to bolt the sensor to the tank. Four to six bolts are typical. Common sizes are 2, 2.5, 3, and 4 inches.
  • Slide Fitting: This can be used with an NPT or flange. The sensor stem is not welded to mounting. Instead, a compression fitting on the connection allows the stem to move up and down several inches through the connection.

Magnetic tank gauge installed with a slide fitting and a flange mount.The mounting connection chosen must be large enough to accommodate the float size for mounting through the hole. There is one exception – if you have access to the inside of the tank, you can remove the float from the sensor, drop the stem through the hole, and reattach the float inside the tank.

Be sure to use a torque wrench to tighten the mounting connection.  This will spread out the stress on a flange between the several bolts, and avoid damaging threads on an NPT fitting. Thread tape is also important for NPT connections.

Proper installation and mounting will ensure years of reliable service from your new fluid level sensor.

If you have questions about mounting connections, or the tools required for your application, please contact us.


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