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Old 06-13-2022, 06:25 PM   #1
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"Sanitizing solution"

All right! Does anyone follow the owner's manual and empty and "disinfect" their fresh water tank? And what the heck is "sanitizing solution? If you start with a municipal water source your tank is already disinfected. Maybe if you're drawing from an untreated well it might make sense but "drain and disinfect annual seems like busy work.
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Old 06-13-2022, 06:44 PM   #2
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I do sanitize the fresh water tank yearly. Due to camping at various sites and filling the tank there and not knowing the state of their water. Also some water may be left in the tank after draining, left to mold/mildew. I like to start fresh each year.

"disinfect/sanitize" is generally bleach at around 1/4 cup per 15 gallon water. Fill tank with appropriate bleach/water mix, let sit > 4 hours, drain and fill tank to rinse a couple times.
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Old 06-13-2022, 06:47 PM   #3
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Any water tanks/lines sitting for a bit of time could have bacterial growth. It is always a good thing to sanitize your fresh water system at the start of each season.

You can just add bleach to your first tank of water and run it through all the lines, let it sit for a while, then drain it and refill.

There is a chart somewhere that tells you how much bleach per gallon. You can also just buy the sanitizer and run it into the system like antifreeze for winterizing.
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Old 06-13-2022, 06:53 PM   #4
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When I leave on a trip I fill my tank from the house (soft water) that will last us 4 days. After that if on a long trip I will hook up to the campground water supply and use that. Before leaving I will usually put enough water in our tank to get us home.

After returning I will drain the tank, add about 1 1/2 cups of bleach and refill the tank and water heater. After sitting for a day or so I will run the water through all faucets, toilet and shower, both inside and outside, then drain the tank and water heater.

Why?? Because a lot of campground water supplies are fed from a well, and others can be questionable at best. Iíve seen a lot of cloudy, smelly water during past trips and I donít want to chance it. Usually we bring enough bottled water to drink and cook with just to be safe.

Do what you think is best for you and your family. Be safeÖ
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Old 06-14-2022, 05:40 AM   #5
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Municipal water systems operate in a manner where sanitized water is constantly introduced into the distribution system. The sanitizer solution added is kept at a level that will treat the microbes and bacteria in the water supply. These sanitizer levels are likely too low to overcome a buildup of bacteria that may grow in a fresh water tank.

Buildup of bacteria requires a sanitizer shock to effectively remove it. An example to make this point is shocking a swimming pool. Over time, the chlorine dissipates to a low level and bacterial loads increase. The low level of sanitizer becomes ineffective at killing all the bacteria. To restore effectiveness and reduce bacteria, a swimming pool will receive a "shock". The shock for a chlorine pool consists of introducing a stronger chlorine solution.

Additionally, sanitizers can lose efficacy over time due to exposure to heat, air, or other factors. So if you have water from a municipal system in a fresh water tank for an extended period of time, the sanitizer (chlorine) may evaporate, leaving your system vulnerable.

In my case, a few minutes used to sanitize a system for preventative maintenance outweighs the potential health issues that may result.

As noted earlier, do what you think is best for you and your family.
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Old 06-14-2022, 07:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felidoc1 View Post
All right! Does anyone follow the owner's manual and empty and "disinfect" their fresh water tank? And what the heck is "sanitizing solution? If you start with a municipal water source your tank is already disinfected. Maybe if you're drawing from an untreated well it might make sense but "drain and disinfect annual seems like busy work.
John

I wouldn't consider sanitizing your fresh tank "busy work", it's preventative maintenance for your health and anyone else using your RV.

Bacteria, mold, algae and Legionellosis /Legionella pneumophila are some of the things that can be present in your RV's fresh water system.
Also this-(no idea of how this could happen, but---yuck!)

Mine gets bleach at least annually.
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Old 06-14-2022, 08:22 AM   #7
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Big difference between home and RV water system; the RV is an Open system, and the home is a Closed system. A closed system nothing can get into the plumbing system unless it was inject into the water stream, aka disinfectant at the water treatment plant. Even a well is considered a closed system as the water is trapped deep underground. If you are a seasonal camper, and Never unhook from the campground water source, you should be safe and considered a closed system. But if you tend to put water in your FW tank as a backup and use the pump. All bets are off.

An open system like our RVs have a tank open to atmosphere. Dust, dirt, algae can get into your system. Even if you always have full hookups when traveling you are still an open system. The water hose and connections get dirty and can introduce crude into the water system, The hose between trips is open to atmosphere partially wet. (think about wet cloths left in a washer for a few days (icky & stinky).

I sanitize at least once a year. Every spring when I dewinterize. I just fill the tank, and all the lines and let it sit overnight. The next day while cleaning and prepping the TT, I just rinse and rinse the lines. I do keep my grey water tank drain open which dumps into my rain garden.

As for sanitizing solution. Camco makes a solution (I have never used it). I mix up a bleach solution, in a 2 quart jug, and use my onboard pump (winterizing mode) and transfer it into my FW tank. Then fill the tank. Once the tank is full. I run water through each faucet until I can smell a little beach in the water stream. Then I top off my FW tank, and let it sit over night. Recommendation is a minimum of 4 hours.

I did have an issue with my lines tasting of bleach for a few years. I could not figure out why. I found the "new" jug of bleach we had was of a much stronger concentrate that normal. Once I realized, and cut down the amount of bleach I was using.

If you put the water from your RV plumbing in your mouth, I would spend the few minutes and sanitize the lines, better being safe than having spending your vacation on the pottie.
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Old 06-15-2022, 10:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by felidoc1 View Post
All right! Does anyone follow the owner's manual and empty and "disinfect" their fresh water tank? And what the heck is "sanitizing solution?

Yes.


A proper mixture of bleach and water.


Because our fresh tanks are exposed to conditions that my house doesn't experience and because we sometimes fill our tanks with water from campgrounds. I can't always expect the same water quality on the road that I have at home.
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