Fresh water tank and algae - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-29-2007, 03:24 AM   #1
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So far I have had to pull out our fresh water tank twice and power wash the inside to get rid of the algae growing. It dosen't take very long to get the job done, but if I could not have to do it again it would not break my heart. The first time I pulled it I had left some water in it for quite some time and it turned itself into a botanical garden. The second time there was not a lot of water in it at all but still it created enough vegetation to make the fresh water I put in taste like an old salad. I really hate to use bleach to try and stop the algae, I can't stand the taste of it. But I got to thinking that when we used to have a pickup camper I left water in the tank any number of times and it never did get any algae in it or taste bad. The only difference I could think of is the pickup camper tank was completely enclosed where no light would ever shine on it. The Escape tank hangs down out the back of the camper a bit and is subjected to a certain amount of light . So I'm thinking if I remove the tank and make a cover for it it would end the algae problem?? Any one have any thoughts on this before I do this job. Thanks Jerry.
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:12 AM   #2
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Hi: I don't think you can do it any easier than add Bleach and water and take it out for a good tow over some uneven pavement then home for a drain, rince, drain cycle; then keep it full till next spring!!! Besides "SALAD" is good for you
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:59 AM   #3
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Can you paint the outside of the tank to stop light from getting in?

Tom Trostel
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Old 11-29-2007, 08:21 AM   #4
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Definitely stopping the light will stop the algae growth, but algae is just a visible sign that the water isn't 100% clean. (Algae has to grow on something.) You may not get algal growth the next time but you might be growing bugs in there that you cannot see. I'd use the chlorine if you use the water for drinking.


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Old 11-29-2007, 08:57 AM   #5
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Jerry,

If I were you, I'd just bite the bullet and put some concentrated bleach water into the tank, let it set for 24 hours and then attach a small diameter tube to the end of a garden hose and just flush the tank until there's no bleach odor or taste. Alge is going to grow if it has something onto which to attach.
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:14 PM   #6
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Hi jerry
Yes bleach it. I never leave the trailer with standing water in the tank. I keep it as dry as I can when not in use and each spring I add some bleach, fil the tank, leave it stand for a day then trippple flush before using it for the camping season. [If I don't, the wife says she can taste it.] If it's really bad, use some CLR and make sure to flush well before using. My tank is under the trailer with a full panel suporting it and being shaded by the trailer, I really don't think that light is a problem. Standing water in a warm inviroment, I think, would be worse. But that's me.
Jim
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Old 11-30-2007, 02:08 AM   #7
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The first time I got algae in tank we had returned from camping and there was about 1 or 2 inches of water left in the tank but rather than draining it I left it in because we were going back camping the next weekend. Bad decision , our plans changed and the water sat in there for I'd guess 3 to 4 months. The next time we went I just filled it up and when I tasted the water It was like yukkk!! After I cleaned it it was fine for about a year then I didn't get it all out again as the drain is not in the bottom but near the bottom on the side of the tank. This time it wasn't near as bad, but still tasted bad, so out it came to get cleaned again. Now its OK. Our town is small about 450 people and we have good water here but it is not clorinated or treated with anything. Plus I sometimes use the water that flows in a creek next to where we camp, so I'm looking for a natural solution to the algae problem. I had thought about painting the tank but nixed that idea because if I get the algae in it again the light that shines through the tank is an aid in the cleaning of the inside of the tank. I really hate to use bleach, so I'll use it only as a last resort.
Thanks for the advise or words of wisdom. My wife trys to get me to eat more salad but even she wouldn't eat this. and then there's the salad in the coffee and in the dish water and on and on.
Once again thanks Jerry
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Old 11-30-2007, 04:49 AM   #8
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Here's what I have done. Every few months I drain and flush the tank. Fill with "filtered" water and add a bit of bleach. Let that sit for a few hours. Then drain and flush several times until the smell and taste is gone. I never put any water into the tank that hasn't been filtered.
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Old 11-30-2007, 09:26 AM   #9
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One thing I do is drain the tank after each outing by opening the drain provided for just this.

I am aware this sometimes wastes water, but I also have paid attention over the years to how much I typically use in a weekend etc and try not to FILL the whole tank if it won't be needed. I usually guess pretty well and often run out of water on my last rinse or flush. (I have a couple gallons in jugs for this and other emergencies)

If your tank has no drain, I can't help ya
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Old 11-30-2007, 04:59 PM   #10
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Koi ponds are expensive.
I'd throw a couple of goldfish in there and you'd have quite an attraction when camping.
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:39 PM   #11
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Koi ponds are expensive.
I'd throw a couple of goldfish in there and you'd have quite an attraction when camping.
They're good but they're hard to fillet and you need quite a few of them.
cheers
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:01 PM   #12
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They're good but they're hard to fillet and you need quite a few of them.
cheers
Ian
Quote:
but still it created enough vegetation to make the fresh water I put in taste like an old salad.
Everyone knows that you need a Steak to go with salad...
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Old 12-01-2007, 09:20 AM   #13
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Reading this thread got me to thinking about our little hot water heater. We have only had this unit for 9 months, so I don't have any experience with long-term storage yet. I did drain it for the winter, but is it still susceptible to algae growth if any water remains? It is stored outside in northern Illinois, so perhaps freezing is preventative enough. How about for the 2 to 3 weeks between uses in the summer? Does anyone do anything special for their water heaters (mine is a 2.5 gallon underseat unit)?
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Old 12-02-2007, 12:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Reading this thread go me to thinking about our little hot water heater. We have only had this unit for 9 months, so I don't have any experience with long-term storage yet. I did drain it for the winter, but is it still susceptible to algae growth if any water remains? It is stored outside in northern Illinois, so perhaps freezing is preventative enough. How about for the 2 to 3 weeks between uses in the summer? Does anyone do anything special for their water heaters (mine is a 2.5 gallon underseat unit)?
I think that sometimes new trailer owners read some of these threads and worry needlessly.
I think that algae is a very rare problem. I have never had algae growth in any of my trailers, slide in campers or motor homes in 40 years. For the last 20 years I have lived in the very hot Central Valley of California.
On the way home from a camping trip I open the fresh water drain tank valve.
I give the fresh water system a bleach treatment bleach once or twice a year which seems to eliminate any problems.

John
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