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Old 11-06-2015, 03:01 PM   #1
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Sanitizing lines?

We camp at sites with city water and have only used the FW tank once in 2 seasons. This spring I sanitized my FW tank and water lines using the diluted bleach method for our trip where we needed the FW tank. I found the sanitizing process a bit time consuming and it used a great deal of water.

It occurred to me when I was winterizing that I could sanitize my lines using the same procedures as winterizing. Can you simply dilute some bleach in a bottle and suck that into the lines using the winterization valve instead of filling the FW tank with solution? Obviously the FW tank would not get sanitized but you only need less than two gallons of solution to sanitize (not including the HW tank) lines. Does anyone sanitize this way?
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Old 11-06-2015, 03:23 PM   #2
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For safety's sake, sanitize your fresh water system just before you start using it.

Winterizing is getting the drinkable water out of your water system so that things don't break when the RV is exposed to below freezing temperatures.

So, I would expect with very different goals, trying to combine processes will yield unsuitable results.
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Old 11-06-2015, 03:24 PM   #3
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Mike I don't think he's talking about combining the process, just using the same process to sanitize in the spring as we do to winterize in the fall.

I don't see why not. All you are really doing is pumping a solution through the same plumbing system using the same pump.

We really haven't used the FW tank either, but to this is a maintenance item. Sometime I might need it and I want it clean. So for me I would not do it this way.
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Old 11-06-2015, 03:30 PM   #4
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Even if you sanitize in the fall, if the fresh water system sits unused for 3 months, it will have to be re-sanitized when they go to use it.


If antifreeze was used to protect the system, the whole system will have to be flushed. Then sanitized.


If the lines were blown out, the whole system will have to be sanitized.


No gains to be had.
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:28 PM   #5
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Sorry I did not clarify but Chuck is correct, I'd sanitize in the spring. Sanitizing the FW tank would be a must if I knew we needed it. Filling and dumping 90 gallons of water twice is not a lot of fun and not very efficient.
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:30 PM   #6
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Great idea! You would need to do a bit of math to get the right concentration of bleach in the jug (ppm of chlorine) but I don't see why it can't be done. I actually use IOSAN to do my system, an iodine based solution used on farms for sanitizing dairy equipment, although I learned about it through winemaking actually. Not as toxic as chlorine, and a bit safer to use.


You want about 200 ppm of chlorine per gallon jug (1 tbsp), and should NOT use laundry bleach - it has additives. You should use Food Grade Chlorine only. Good article on this from OKState: http://ucfoodsafety.ucdavis.edu/files/26437.pdf
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bankr63 View Post
I learned about it through winemaking actually. Not as toxic as chlorine, and a bit safer to use.
There's also a product called Star San that is used to sanitize beer bottles for home brewers that might be a consideration. Probably a lot safer than bleach.
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