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 > Trying different method of fresh water tank sanitization

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Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 05/15/21 02:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JimK-NY wrote:

First, vinegar does kill salmonella, E coli and some other bacteria but overall it is not a great disinfectant and certainly no where near as effective as chlorine bleach. Why not just use bleach since it is much more effective.

Hot water tanks can develop quite a bit of scale. Pumping some vinegar into the tank and letting it soak should help, but I would certainly not pump that residue into my fresh water tank or even through the hot water pipes and faucets. Pull the plug and let it drain out of the tank instead.

I have never had an issue removing the bleach from the water system. I drain the tank, add a partial tank of fresh water, drain again, and then fill up.
There are plenty of campers who do not sanitize their fresh water tanks. Most of them do not drink water from the tank. Even so I recommend reconsidering. Sanitizing helps to remove the pink slime (pseudomonas bacteria) that grows in water tanks. It is relatively harmless for most people but can start to clog faucets. I am also concerned about Legionela. I had a friend who was very sick from Legionnaires and that bacteria is often found in RV hot water systems and the shower head. It takes little cost, time or effort to sanitize so I cannot understand why anyone would skip this.


When I've used bleach in the past, the bleach needed several rinsings to get the bleach smell out which is fine. The vinegar may require the same. The vinegar is hands down safer. This is a test don't forget. I plan to put a filter between the faucet and the water fill port. The water system is supposed to be brought up to 130 degrees which is supposed to be the main killing component of this method. The hot water will flow through both hot and cold pipes since it flows out the faucet.


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Hemi Joel

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Posted: 05/15/21 04:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Interesting test, looking forward to the results. I drink my RV water, so I i need it to be safe. It is so convenient just to fill a glass from the faucet, and free. I usually sanitize with bleach every 24 months or so.


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specta

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Posted: 05/15/21 11:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just a whiff of vinegar make me barf. LOL


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specta

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Posted: 05/15/21 11:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hemi Joel wrote:

I drink my RV water, so I i need it to be safe. It is so convenient just to fill a glass from the faucet, and free. I usually sanitize with bleach every 24 months or so.


Ditto.

Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

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Posted: 05/15/21 11:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I figured it would take about 2 hours of continuous water heater operation and recirculation to reach the required temperature of 130 degrees F. 15 minutes per 6 gallons, 35+6=41.I don't have a thermometer to measure that but I figure I'll run the system till the water heater reaches temperature and shuts off. That should be about 2 hours to hit that tempAt the 2 hour point it is Hot to touch. I have a total of 2.5 gallons of vinegar in the system.
I kept the recirculation going about 15 m8 ures after the water heater shut off. It did not restart. I rocked the TC side to side pretty good, loud sloshing sounds, then drained the system completely. I refilled and there is no order of vinegar but there is the slightest vinegar tartness taste in the water. I'm going to leave it sit overnight then drain and refill in the Azm. I expect it to be fine after that.
It seems to have worked well especially due to the hot water recirculation. I'd call it a success. A bit more expensive than bleaching and time consuming but if you don't want nasty chemicals in your system, vinegar and hot recirculation is a great alternative.

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Posted: 05/16/21 05:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli wrote:

I figured it would take about 2 hours of continuous water heater operation and recirculation to reach the required temperature of 130 degrees F. 15 minutes per 6 gallons, 35+6=41.I don't have a thermometer to measure that but I figure I'll run the system till the water heater reaches temperature and shuts off. That should be about 2 hours to hit that tempAt the 2 hour point it is Hot to touch. I have a total of 2.5 gallons of vinegar in the system.
I kept the recirculation going about 15 m8 ures after the water heater shut off. It did not restart. I rocked the TC side to side pretty good, loud sloshing sounds, then drained the system completely. I refilled and there is no order of vinegar but there is the slightest vinegar tartness taste in the water. I'm going to leave it sit overnight then drain and refill in the Azm. I expect it to be fine after that.
It seems to have worked well especially due to the hot water recirculation. I'd call it a success. A bit more expensive than bleaching and time consuming but if you don't want nasty chemicals in your system, vinegar and hot recirculation is a great alternative.


I guess......seems like a solution looking for a problem to me. At least it gives the water heater and on demand pump a good unnecessary workout.

srschang

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Posted: 05/16/21 06:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Will it hurt the pump to run 130 degree water through it? I think it is designed for cold / room temperature water.


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Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

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Posted: 05/16/21 06:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

srschang wrote:

Will it hurt the pump to run 130 degree water through it? I think it is designed for cold / room temperature water.


The pump is working fine. 120 to 130 isn't that hot. I felt the pump and the motor itself never felt hot or even warm. I did rest it a couple times a couple minutes. I've had it since 2007 .

JimK-NY

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Posted: 05/16/21 06:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It takes my water heater about 20 minutes to heat the 6 gallons of water in the tank. So in theory it would take a couple of hours more to heat all of the water in the fresh water tank. Of course, that tank and the lines are not insulated so it is likely that at a certain point the water will cool faster than it can be heated. Next you might want to do some research. 130 degrees is way, way short of the temps that are needed to sanitize. The temp should be closer to boiling and needs to be held there for a while. Depending on the bacteria and viruses, the vinegar may or may not help. You also need to consider the water and slime build up in the supply lines to the fixtures. You would need to open them to get a good flow of scalding hot water and maintain that for a while.

Altogether this seems to be an exceedingly poorly thought out and poorly researched approach. I fail to understand the benefits or the difficulty of using dilute bleach. Nor do I understand how the vinegar taste is going to rinse out of the system faster or better than the bleach. In fact any remaining vinegar is going to remain indefinitely. Chlorine bleach even in a semi-sealed water system will slowly dissipate.

Which of the internet gurus are proposing this and what research did they do to determine the ability of warm vinegar to sanitize a water system? I would think twice before using some internet scheme that has not been thoroughly researched.

Deb and Ed M

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Posted: 05/16/21 07:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm a former Water Technician (owned a pool and spa store). While this hot-water and vinegar *might* work (bacteria can flourish in a 104-degree hot tub without an oxidizer like Chlorine/Bromine/Ozone) - adding some bleach is just such a simple, non-caustic way to keep your water clean.... and it does its work quickly.

I just want to add that you should use "fresh" bleach - it can lose its ability to sanitize if it has been sitting around for months, especially if it's in a warm storage area.

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