Water tank cleaning? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-24-2012, 06:09 AM   #1
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Question Water tank cleaning?

About once a year, I drain the water from the storage tank under the rear seat (there's a little valve to open under the trailer near the bumper), and refill it with new water. But I was wondering if this water is potable after a few months? Is there a proper way to "wash out" the tank or sterilize it before putting in fresh water? I thought of adding household bleach, but was afraid to try it. Are there any special additives to add to the filler that would reach the tank to clean it? Living in earthquake prone Caifornia, we keep the trailer fully stocked, and ready to use as an earthquake shelter should our house be uninhabitable after "the big one". We also store cases of bottled water, and the porta potty is always clean too, but I want to make sure the trailer water is clean just in case we run out of the bottled water and have to drink it to survive. Oh, and how many gallons do these tanks normally store? It's a 13 foot Tote n' Tarry. I think I remember my dad telling me 10 gallons? Thanks!
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:53 AM   #2
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There's no answer to tank capacity because there are so many different sizes. You could measure yours and calculate the size. Or maybe someone here will know. As for sanitizing your tank, I pour in a cup of bleach and fill the tank. Then I run the water through the faucets. Then I let it sit overnight, drain, refill, drain, etc until there's no bleach taste or smell.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:18 AM   #3
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Wow - that's a lot of water used to get a tank cleaned!
We haven't ever used our fresh water tanks - have been able to get by just bringing jugs of water or filling up jugs at the campsite as needed.
Fran in NM
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:27 AM   #4
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I have a five gal tank and to flush I put in two table spoons of javex, run around the block and drain. This sanitises and does not leave a javex taste.

RRJR
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:40 AM   #5
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Bleaching

We typically bleach our water system, not just our tank once a year. Flushing the system after a bleach treatment only requires about 10 gallons which the lawn loves.

Generally we fill up our tank with city/tap water before going into a boondock situation. Most of this city water contains bleach/chlorine of some kind.

In reality most of what we use water for is washing, cooking and flushing where the water gets heated anyway and not likely to cause any issues.
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:00 AM   #6
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Hmmm... I bet the stuff I use to sterilize my home-brewing equipment might be the ticket for this. It doesn't leave any after-tastes.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusedlight View Post
Hmmm... I bet the stuff I use to sterilize my home-brewing equipment might be the ticket for this. It doesn't leave any after-tastes.
And the secret ingredient is?
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:52 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
And the secret ingredient is?
I'm hoping he says wine!
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:54 PM   #9
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Deck plate, deck plate, deck plate. The only way to thoroughly clean ANY tank is to be able to clean the inside. Any product, whether bleach or commercial... coats the inside of the tank and if you're lucky actually cleans the inside. You need to thoroughly inspect, clean and dry the tank, especially.... if it's water you plan to ingest: WEST MARINE Screw-in Deck Plate, 6", Smooth, White at West Marine

Although I do like Carol's wine suggestion
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:02 PM   #10
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Years ago a RV Shop owner told me the best way to clean a water tank is. Get a 2ltr of Coke and 3 gallons of water pour all into tank. Take trailer for a ride giving the cleaner coke time to clean. Upon returning drain the tank refill and drain again. It should be ready to go.
Chuck
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:08 PM   #11
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Donna- love the deck plate- I'd never seen one before.

Deb & Chuck - I suppose the phosphoric acid would clean good. I'd be afraid any sugar left in the tank would be happily growing "stuff" you would not want to ingest.

I used bleach on mine last week. Then, got to thinking, why not distilled white vinegar? Cleans, disinfects and leaves no after taste with a good rinse. I'll prolly do that next time.
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:45 PM   #12
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Vinegar is what I used to clean mine. Filled tank half full, poured in a quart or so of vinegar and took the trailer for a little jaunt around the neighborhood. Drained. Filled with plain water. Then drained again before refilling. Seemed to do the trick. Used it to brush my teeth and boil water for coffee. I'm still alive.
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Old 08-25-2012, 11:15 AM   #13
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Donna as much as I would like to hear that wine worked something tells me that your idea of the deck plate is a better one. I currently have the tank area all opened up as I am installing an electrical plug in that area and I'm also redoing the 20 year old water tank plumping before I have a problem in that area. While I have it all apart your idea would be pretty easy to add.

What tool did you use to make the hole in the top of the water tank? when I have cut holes in the fiberglass I play it safe & cut the hole a little smaller than what ever it is I am installing in the hole and then sand down the fiberglass a little for a nice tight fit - just call me a chicken! ;-)) but I suspect a round hole in the plastic tank may be harder to cut correctly than a straight edged hole is.
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Old 08-25-2012, 11:19 AM   #14
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Carol, Rob has a great writeup on the CasitaForum. Hope you can read/see it: http://www.casitaforum.com/invboard/...sh-water-tank/

If you can read the thread, read then entire thing. Rob had a leaker using DAP....
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