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Old 04-24-2021, 06:24 PM   #1
BaconLover
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Default How Often Do You Sanitize Your Freshwater Tank?

Newbie question here - but how often do you sanitize your freshwater tank? We bought our TM in February, and I did it back then, and we tested out the tank while it was in our driveway for a couple of weeks.

We emptied it then and haven't used it since, but I'll need to use the freshwater tank for a trip in June, and I'm wondering if I should re-sanitize it before that trip? Or do you normally do it at the start of the season, but is that only if you're using it on a regular basis? What if you sometimes don't use it throughout the months?

I know it's probably safer to just sanitize it, but that 40 gallons of water is a lot to end up wasting, and I live in California where we need to conserve water (although I would just end up watering our plants with it after the chlorine dissipates).
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Old 04-24-2021, 10:21 PM   #2
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Baconlover - I usually store water in the fresh water tank as an earthquake preparedness measure, and I have no qualms over using it if it has sat for 3-4 months. I suspect there's also less risk of stuff growing if the tank is kept full, as well.

Otherwise, I maybe sanitize once a year. Maybe every other year.

Dave
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Old 04-25-2021, 10:49 AM   #3
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Thatís a really good idea SB! I hadnít thought of using it as emergency backup and good to know that it seems ok sitting out for a few months. I was a little worried since it can get really warm in LA, so I didnít know if stuff might start growing in there.
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Old 04-25-2021, 12:05 PM   #4
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I have never sanitized my tank either. A couple years back I put an access cover on the top. I had to clean out the plastic shavings that fell inside the tank. I cleaned it then with just dish soap and water. Rinsing it numerous times till I couldn't see any shavings, bubbles or taste the soap. I dipped a cup inside just before the last draining of the tank. I popped the cover off a couple weeks back and could not see any indication of alge growth.

SB, That is an outstanding idea of using it as a backup in case of an emergency. I've thought of using some of my camping equipment in those evens of power outages. Totally forgot the water. I also keep fresh gallon bottles of water in the bathroom for camping and that's another option when needed.
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Old 04-26-2021, 09:39 AM   #5
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Just realize though that, unless you store your water heater full, you have to use 6 gallons of fresh water to fill it before water will come out of the tap. Or, you could always just put containers under the fresh water tank drain port under the camper to access water, which is was my plan, since I don’t keep the water heater full to minimize corrosion.

And when I do sanitize, I use non-scented chlorine bleach. I can’t remember the concentration, but it isn’t much. Something on the order of 1/4 cup per the 20 gallon tank, then let it sit, and then drain and rinse.

But, that doesn’t get the water heater, or the lines. I’m just assuming nothing ever grows there.

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Old 04-27-2021, 07:05 AM   #6
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I tend to sanitize at the beginning of the season, but I use this method:

http://rvbasics.com/techtips/sanitiz...er-system.html

The link is no longer valid, but I'll paste the relevant text here:

*******************
A friend and fellow full time RVer, Bill Randolph told me how he uses something other than household bleach which works well for him and I also started using it. I think it is worth passing on to you. Before he retired, Bill spent twenty years in the swimming pool business. He's an expert when it comes to sanitizing swimming pools and spas and says the same rules apply to RV fresh water systems.

Bill uses Chlorinating Concentrate (Sodium Dichloro-s-Triazinetricone or Sodium Dichlor for short). Sodium Dichlor contains 62% available chlorine. Compare that to household bleach which has something close to 3%. One pound of Sodium Dichlor is equal to 8 gallons of bleach! Also, household bleach contains other stuff, including a lot of salt, and that salt and other stuff is what causes the bad taste and why you have to flush the fresh water tank so well.

Bill says it takes only 1 teaspoon of the concentrate per 100 gallons of water to initially sanitize the system. Remember to run water through all the faucets. It's okay to use the full teaspoon even on smaller tanks because you will be flushing the tank before adding the water you intend to drink but it seems wasteful.

Like most of us, Bill travels with a near empty tank to reduce weight. So if he arrives at park where he plans to stay and they have well water, he drops a half teaspoon per 100 gallons of the concentrate into the fill tube and fills his water tank. This insures the system will always be sanitized. No, you do not have to flush again. It's the equivalent to drinking chlorinated city water. If you are filling your tank from a source that is already chlorinated then you don't need to add the concentrate.

That said, if you don't like to drink chlorinated water, don't add the concentrate to the water you intend to drink. Assuming, you fill your water tank from a trusted source you should be safe. Or, you can add the concentrate and then filter the water you drink or cook with.

Truth is I almost always seem to be filling the fresh water tank from a chlorinated source (city water supply) so I seldom need to to use the concentrate. And we do filter our drinking water.

This is not a case where more is better. This stuff is concentrated and it's best to use just what Bill recommends.

Because Sodium Dichlor is so highly concentrated you only need to carry a very small container... buy the smallest container available. And it is dry crystals so there is less chance of a spill. However, because it is so concentrated it is highly corrosive so you do have to be careful how you store it and use it. You should be able to find Sodium Dichlor (Chlorinating Concentrate) at any pool supplies or spa store. Bill says there are several brands to choose from but brand should not be a factor in your choice... it's all the same stuff.
*********************

I have a pool, so I had this stuff on hand anyway. I used ~1/4 tsp or less into the tank, filled it, ran the pump to get the water into the water heater and out all the faucets. Refilled the tank so it's full, and then let it sit a few hours or whatever. Doesn't really matter. Then drain and I'm good to go--no need to refill or rinse. This is my main "de-winterizing" step. It may be overkill but it's just not that big a deal doing it this way, and this way I know I'm starting with a clean tank each year.
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Old 03-16-2022, 06:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShrimpBurrito View Post
Baconlover - I usually store water in the fresh water tank as an earthquake preparedness measure, and I have no qualms over using it if it has sat for 3-4 months. I suspect there's also less risk of stuff growing if the tank is kept full, as well.

Otherwise, I maybe sanitize once a year. Maybe every other year.

Dave
We do that too.
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