Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: sanitizing fresh tanks - basic question
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CA Traveler

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Posted: 08/10/22 09:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Using treated city water when available and occasional RV tank treatement does the job for the last 30 years. Mostly summer travel.


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nickthehunter

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Posted: 08/10/22 10:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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Lwiddis

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Posted: 08/10/22 10:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bleach is your friend. Use it liberally and flush at least twice.


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ktmrfs

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Posted: 08/10/22 11:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

while bleach is a good and quick way to sanitize, getting the bleach smell and taste out of the system, especially since some of the materials absorb the bleach to some degree, I don't use bleach. I use Camco "spring fresh" basically an alcohol solution, still takes a couple of rinses but smell and taste don't linger.

Use it in the spring before the first campout, then good to go for the rest of the camping season.


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shum02

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Posted: 08/10/22 11:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ktmrfs wrote:

while bleach is a good and quick way to sanitize, getting the bleach smell and taste out of the system, especially since some of the materials absorb the bleach to some degree, I don't use bleach.


I'll fill the fresh water tank of approx. 35 gallons, add a cup of regular white vinegar, let sit for an hour or so then run it through the lines. Bleach smell and taste is gone and the vinegar only last for a little while then disappears.


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toedtoes

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Posted: 08/10/22 01:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with the time frame being overdone. You only need it to sit an hour or two at max.

Chlorinating liquid is usually used at a level of 52-100 ounces per 10,000 gallons in pools and is added every 24 hours. More than that can damage liners, etc. I personally wouldn't use more than an ounce or two for an 80 gallon tank. In that concentration, it will clean up any growth in the tank as well as it does in the pool.

And, by using a lesser amount, you won't have to rinse the tank to get rid of the excess chlorine.

Also, the rinsing of the tank is done mostly to get rid of the bad taste that is added to household bleach. When using pool chlorine, that bad taste is not added, so you don't need to eliminate it. After draining the tank of the chlorine, any chlorine left should be within safe drinking water level. You can always use a pool test strip to verify.


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Posted: 08/10/22 01:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don’t measure. I just pour the bleach in (whatever method works) then fill the tank. I have a 40 gallon fresh tank. I’m sure I use more than a cup. But I know it’s sanitized! Then you need to flush it with fresh water to reduce the chlorine/bleach smell.
Has worked great for me for many years.


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JimK-NY

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Posted: 08/10/22 03:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

toedtoes wrote:

I agree with the time frame being overdone. You only need it to sit an hour or two at max.

Chlorinating liquid is usually used at a level of 52-100 ounces per 10,000 gallons in pools and is added every 24 hours. More than that can damage liners, etc. I personally wouldn't use more than an ounce or two for an 80 gallon tank. In that concentration, it will clean up any growth in the tank as well as it does in the pool.


I think you need to compare shock treatment for a pool, not routine chlorine use. Shock treatments are usually in the range of 2 or more gallons/10000 gallons of pool water. Pool chlorinating solution is typically about 12.5%. That works out to about 4 or more gallons of household bleach; i.e., 512 ounces per 10,000 gallons or roughly 4 ounces (1/2 cup) for an 80 gallon RV water tank. That would be the minimum I would want to use. As with the more is better for soak time, I would guess you are right and the amount of chlorine actually needed is about a fourth of the amount normally recommended.

toedtoes

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Posted: 08/10/22 03:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Unless you already have extensive algae growth in the tank, you don't need to shock it. You just need enough to kill what few spores are there. And as the tanks are not subject to sunlight, algae growth shouldn't be a big issue.

Also, if you fill your tank with chlorinated city water, then you already are killing bacteria. It's only if you leave the tank filled for months at a time that you really need to sanitize.

JimK-NY

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Posted: 08/10/22 04:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am not at all concerned about algae growth. The concerns are mold and bacteria. They can grow amazingly quickly in the dark. Once growth starts, regular chlorinated water is not sufficient. Growth can become rapid in unchlorinated water and in previously chlorinated water. The chlorine dissipates pretty quickly even in a mostly sealed RV water tank. As I remember the half life is only a week or so.

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