Purifying Fresh Water Supply - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-06-2020, 08:29 AM   #1
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Purifying Fresh Water Supply

I've always used a quarter cup of bleach to purify the 20-gallon fresh water tank (bleach in, fill tank, flush through faucets - repeat). This year I bought a bottle of Drinking Water Freshener from Camco to use instead. Does anyone have experience with this product or advice about this subject?
Thanks
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Old 05-06-2020, 09:35 AM   #2
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It's bleach. I have to try everything, so we tried it ourselves. Someone wiser than I will hopefully comment on whether it suffices for equipment sterilization. I did try the quaternary sanitizer they sell, hoping to get away from the long-lasting bleach aroma. It is indeed less aromatic, but must be followed up with a detergent, to wash all the disinfectant off. This resulted (for us) in a bit of strange plastic taste, and I had to rinse the system a couple of times. So back to bleach for us.
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Old 05-06-2020, 09:45 AM   #3
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Bleach may be better....

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Originally Posted by Spongelander View Post
It's bleach. I have to try everything, so we tried it ourselves. Someone wiser than I will hopefully comment on whether it suffices for equipment sterilization. I did try the quaternary sanitizer they sell, hoping to get away from the long-lasting bleach aroma. It is indeed less aromatic, but must be followed up with a detergent, to wash all the disinfectant off. This resulted (for us) in a bit of strange plastic taste, and I had to rinse the system a couple of times. So back to bleach for us.
Thanks for your message. I think I'll error on the side of bleach myself.
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Old 05-06-2020, 11:22 AM   #4
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Not a tank sanitizer

Camco Drinking Water Freshener is not a tank sanitizer. It is meant to help keep water stored in the tank fresh. To sanitize the tank you can use bleach or if you prefer a non-chlorine based product you can use something like this...
https://www.amazon.com/AQUA-SHOCK-H2...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Glenn Wolfe View Post
I've always used a quarter cup of bleach to purify the 20-gallon fresh water tank (bleach in, fill tank, flush through faucets - repeat). This year I bought a bottle of Drinking Water Freshener from Camco to use instead. Does anyone have experience with this product or advice about this subject?
Thanks
Use bleach. I don't think the freshener is a disinfectant. Let bleach water sit in tank and faucets for an hour or so at least. Then drain, refill with clean water, rinse well by driving trailer around to swish water and let sit for 30 minutes or so, drain and use tank. We usually use water from home for drinking for a couple of days while we use the tank water for other stuff then refill tank. By then the tank doesn't taste like bleach. We have also sometimes put baking soda in the tank when we fill it after the bleach by dissolving it in warm water and pouring it into the tank before filling it for the rinse. Then drain and refill. We drink out of our tanks after that all year.
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Old 05-06-2020, 03:02 PM   #6
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I am a retired mechanic of a major airline. During some of the scheduled maintenance checks we would "sanitize" the fresh water system. The same method was used. Fill the water tank with a bleach solution, run this bleach solution through the entire water system, let it rest for about 2 hours, drain and refill 3 times. Smell and taste the water looking for any sign of bleach. If detected drain and fill again, repeat until there is no noticeable bleach smell or taste.
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Old 05-06-2020, 03:25 PM   #7
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You do want to do this where you have continuous water and drainage, like at an RV park. Best not to release the bleach water anywhere but a dump drain.
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Old 05-06-2020, 03:26 PM   #8
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I fill an open jug with tap water in the evening and put it in the fridge. I can often smell the chlorine that's added to the municipal water supply. In the morning, the smell is gone.
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Old 05-06-2020, 03:39 PM   #9
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What you are doing using bleach is cheap and easy, as someone that worked in the manufacture of chlorine for 30 years I can tell you nothing works better. As far as smell or taste rinsing put a little baking soda in that will neutralize it.
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:22 PM   #10
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Chlorine

When I had oversight for municipal pools, we used gas Chlorine and Wallace and Tiernan Chlorinators for adding the chlorine to the water. I grew to dislike the pool season a little more each year when we would haul those 150 lb cylinders from our warehouse to the pools. It was scary handling them even with SCBA equipment and training. My hat is off to you, I know the stresses involved.
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:01 PM   #11
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When I had oversight for municipal pools, we used gas Chlorine and Wallace and Tiernan Chlorinators for adding the chlorine to the water. I grew to dislike the pool season a little more each year when we would haul those 150 lb cylinders from our warehouse to the pools. It was scary handling them even with SCBA equipment and training. My hat is off to you, I know the stresses involved.
Iowa Dave

Hi Dave
Yes it can be a scary thing to deal with many issues on the manufacture side that would be far more than most could imagine ie Hydrogen they don't go well. Training is great but even then I think you make it clear my experience is far more involved as you might understand walking into a green cloud is more unnerving something I've had to do several times. Glad to be retired. We had to burn off a few of those cylinders over the years not much of an issue for us as we had everything we needed at hand to deal with it.
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Old 05-07-2020, 09:32 AM   #12
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You do want to do this where you have continuous water and drainage, like at an RV park. Best not to release the bleach water anywhere but a dump drain.
The amount of bleach used to disinfect the water system in a travel trailer can be dumped on the ground. For that matter, bleach is not harmful to the environment. It will not harm groundwater supplies. At worst, it may kill some beneficial microbes in the first few inches of soil where it is dumped, but bleach outside of its container quickly degrades/breaks down.

Personally, I’m too lazy to go through the process of sanitizing my water system every time we use the trailer, so I generally do it once a year. Whatever water I might put in the fresh water tank is used for toilet flushing only. I like consistent water quality for making coffee so I use bottled water for that and chill some bottles in case someone wants plain water to drink. I prefer barley and hops in my drinking water. And if in a campground, I use city water for cooking and dishwashing.
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Old 05-13-2020, 11:56 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Glenn Wolfe View Post
I've always used a quarter cup of bleach to purify the 20-gallon fresh water tank (bleach in, fill tank, flush through faucets - repeat). This year I bought a bottle of Drinking Water Freshener from Camco to use instead. Does anyone have experience with this product or advice about this subject?
Thanks
Howdy Glenn,

There many products which will do the job, each with pluses and minuses. Bleach, the most common, loses effectiveness after 6 months, or so, often before its been mixed with the water in need of disinfection. A while back, I came across a short article which made me consider powdered/granulated calcium hypochlorite for water disinfection. Readily available, cheap, relatively easy to use, this may meet your needs. The amount needed may be borrowed from a friend with a pool or hot tub. (ie. ⅛ teaspoon disinfects 55 gallons or so.)

The article I found useful was on a prepper site, TheProvidentPrepper.org. Found the charts provided very useful.

An option to consider.

MJ
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Old 05-13-2020, 01:21 PM   #14
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When I buy a new to me trailer I always bleach the freshwater tank. I go overboard and dump about a third of the bottle in, fill it full with water and leave it for several days. I then drain and refill a few times. I don't drink or cook with my freshwater tank water.
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Old 05-13-2020, 06:28 PM   #15
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...I go overboard and dump about a third of the bottle in, fill it full with water and leave it for several days.....
Too strong a solution of sodium hypochlorite can damage various plumbing components. You might want to stick with the concentration levels recommended by the FDA, USDA, CDC etc.
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Old 05-13-2020, 11:41 PM   #16
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Too strong a solution of sodium hypochlorite can damage various plumbing components. You might want to stick with the concentration levels recommended by the FDA, USDA, CDC etc.
Most definitely agree. There are important handling, use and storage considerations with utilizing calcium hypochlorite.

My mention of amounts for 55 gal, was meant as an example of how little one might need, not as a formula. The article I mentioned provides multiple charts, with exact measurements up to thousands of gallons, and considerations of clear vs cloudy water. It also references CDC and military guidelines, as well as warnings to heed due to corrosivity.

Not a magic bullet. Has some positive attributes.

My advice is worth what you pay for it, unless it’s exactly what you need..

Cheers
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Old 05-14-2020, 03:18 PM   #17
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I installed an Acuva Eco 1.5 water purification systems (UV led system) so I worry very little about water quality. No more bottled water. We camp off grid unless we go to a Casita meet that boondocking is not an option.
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:18 PM   #18
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https://www.berkeywater.com/ is a great system. It's touted and shows testing evidence that it does purify your water.

I have a couple of these, a 2.5 gallon one at home and the 1.5 gallon for my camper. BF bought the plastic, individual container but I'd rather fill a bottle.

The stainless is beautiful.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:13 PM   #19
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Camco product is a bleach made of sodium hypochloride. Read the Material Safety Data Sheet for details and warnings: http://s7d9.scene7.com/is/content/Ge...pany/715907pdf
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:03 PM   #20
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Camco product is a bleach made of sodium hypochloride. Read the Material Safety Data Sheet for details and warnings: http://s7d9.scene7.com/is/content/Ge...pany/715907pdf
Sounds like liquid bleach dissolved in some water then put into the tank is a much safer way of doing it.
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