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Old 03-09-2009, 09:19 AM   #1
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Disinfecting the water system?

I drained my water system for the first time this winter, including the hot water tank, but left it empty. Since I'm getting close to refilling, what are the steps I should take to disinfect or clean the system before filling?
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:33 AM   #2
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Re: Disinfecting the water system?

I generally follow a procedure like in this link.
http://rveducation101.com/Articles/FreshWater.pdf

Greg
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:06 AM   #3
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Re: Disinfecting the water system?

I agree with Greg. I just fill the tank and add a cup of chlorine. Not the scented kind, but just the basic Chlorox for washing clothes. Run the pump till you smell chlorine coming out and open the drain(s) till you smell chlorine there too. Then I go for a drive on a bumpy road. Let the whole thing sit a couple of hours, go for the bumpy ride again and then drain the tank. Flush it a couple of time till the water doesn't smell or taste of chlorine. Been doing that for many years with no problems. There're other speciality additives on the market, but Chlorox is cheap and, in my humble opinion, the best going.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:10 PM   #4
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Re: Disinfecting the water system?

Here is what I got a couple of years ago:

Water tank maintenance:

Use 1/4 cup per 15 gal but add in small portions. Use a garden sprayer to add to the tank with some fresh water in it. Fill the tank and drive around for a while. Make sure to run the shower and faucets. Drain the tank using the drain, shower and sink. This will help clear the gray tank also. Add a cup of baking soda in the sprayer and use the same procedure as before. Drain the tank then refill and drain again. Test water.


Hi Dave,

Here's my own routine:

Drain the water system.

Remove the fill hose from my house connection and pour about 3 oz.
household bleach (Chlorox) into the hose.

Reconnect the hose and fill the tank.

Drive around to slosh the stuff around the tank.

Be sure to run some through every faucet (except for the purifier
faucet).

Drain the system and refill with plain water and a quarter cup of
baking soda dissolved in water.

Drive around again to slosh the baking soda water around the tank.
Flush the faucets.

Drain and refill with plain water. Flush all faucets again.

Refill the tank.

I do this about two or three times a year, depending on what's been
in the tank and how long. Only if the source water looks or smells
really cruddy would I filter it as I fill the tank. I don't
necessarily want to remove chlorene from the water in the tank,
because it will more likely go bad quicker.

I've installed a sink-top water filter for drinking and cooking
water. The model shown here:


http://www.generalecology.com/naturepure1.htm
Seems to work very well at removing chlorene, odors, tastes, and bad
bugs. Now I can fill the tank anywhere without worrying about water
quality/purity.


I'm sure there are other methods. Some people pump the solution out of the potable water tank into the gray water tank to help clean it also rather than using the petcock drains but its still important to run fresh water through all exit sources like drains and the shower wand if you have one.
Hope this helps.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:19 AM   #5
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Re: Disinfecting the water system?

daveb is using the tried and true recommended process for the cleansing of ABS and Polyethylene fresh water systems . I follow this procedure once a month as I keep my fresh water tank full at all times , I know the extra weight is not fuel efficient but it will prevent air
born and mineral based contaminates from coating the interior of the tank . I have also made it a practice to use one of the commercial water fresheners on every fill up as well as always using a good water filter at my fill coupler on the van . Always use a RV/ Marine (usually white) water hose as they are required by law to be made of a special virgin material that retards algae growth . Your common garden hose can be made out of recycled materials and is
stored in an environment that is conducive to the growth the of various impurities . You should always drain as much of the water out of your RV hose as possible after filling and then
seal up both ends of the hose before storing out of direct sunlight if possible .
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:58 AM   #6
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Re: Disinfecting the water system?

I have a question that will most likely be considered a dumb one. How do you drain your water system? I have 3 drain valves attached to PEX plumbing under the van...1 cold on the driver side and 1 hot, 1 cold on the passenger side for the flat plate. I've drained these each time I've been in freezing weather, but these do not appear to drain the main holding tank. What am I missing here? Thanks.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:11 AM   #7
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Re: Disinfecting the water system?

I don't have hot water in the van, but I just drain my tank the way you said you've tried. I just open the valves on the drivers side of the van.
Take a look around the sides of your tank at the bottom to find the lowest outlet and follow it. Should be a valve on that drain line. You might have a valve on the inside by the tank, there's gotta be one somewhere. Good luck
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:49 AM   #8
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Re: Disinfecting the water system?



My main drain is a petcock that is just out of sight in this photo. You can see the drain line in the center bottom next to the seat frame, looks like a greenish area where it joins the tank.
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:20 PM   #9
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Re: Disinfecting the water system?

Thanks scatter and jage, I will check it out tonight, but that makes complete sense. Especially since I never looked there
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:36 PM   #10
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Re: Disinfecting the water system?

Someone a long time ago told me to drain the water monthly for the reasons stated by Gregdge but also because there is a vent that sucks in air and contaminants. Were the hell is that vent intake? Inside the van? I've never really looked.

Also when I drain my tank, I pump into the sink via the water pump until almost gone then use the other drains. Its PITA and I should be doing it more often but I get lazy especially when its 100+ degrees outside. I have yet to try all the drains and the water pump at the same time if its even possible. Whatever you do don't drain and drive in CA, the cops don't like it especially the CHP.
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