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Old 02-07-2016, 07:15 PM   #11
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Yes, make sure to distribute the chlorinated water through all the lines, faucets, showers, etc. before letting it sit. Afterwards, open all taps/showers/ - everything - and run it out. It's sanitized water, so I just let it dump (as long as I know my gray tanks were empty before I started the process). It will not hurt grass, nor any of your plumbing.

Pull the plug on your hot water heater and drain separately before starting the rest of the rinsing - it acts as a reservoir trapping several gallons of bleach water, and it takes a long time to flush just by running the taps/shower/etc. Ditto for filters if you have any - although you really should have removed/bypassed them before doing this - the chorine really shortens the usable life of the charcoal in the filter.

The rinse water (after you've run the taps for a few minutes) is below swimming pool concentrations, so is very safe to drink, even if it does have a smell.
I find about 20-30 gal is all I need to rinse with to get rid of the smell. Without separately draining the heater, it can be many times that amount.

I'd advise making sure to drain everything (especially the heater) if it will sit unused in warmer weather for more than a week or two. See all the threads about sulfur smell from the heater - it frequently is caused by bacteria growing in the stagnant water. And then you get to sanitize in camp, where the time it takes is not appreciated....
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:28 PM   #12
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I found this article about using a little different method. I haven't used it but it sounds like something I might give a try.
How to Clean RV Fresh Water Holding Tanks | eHow
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:32 PM   #13
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When I sanitize, after it has sat, I empty the fresh tank using the drain and drain the water heater. Then I run some water in the tank with the drain still open to rinse the tank, then close the drain and fill the tank and go inside and start running water through the lines. I run the water for several minutes at each fixture except the toilet. That's all it takes for us.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:54 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Silverado2500HD View Post
I found this article about using a little different method. I haven't used it but it sounds like something I might give a try.
How to Clean RV Fresh Water Holding Tanks | eHow
I maintain a pool at home, and the Sodium Dichlor works well for that. The active ingredient is...chlorine, or basically bleach! BUT..as noted in the article, it is HIGHLY concentrated. So the risk of overdoing it is very, very high. After all, we're only trying to treat 25-75 gallons, not the 25,000 gallons in a pool! And that would be bad, especially for anyone who accidentally gets a splash in the eyes or drinks it if it didn't quite all get flushed. Carrying a quart of bleach is far safer. You have to work much, much harder to overdo it!
And yes, dichlor will also leave behind a bleach smell/taste if not rinsed out well, which it too must be.

BTW - dicholr is $30 for 5 lbs (enough to last your whole RV lifetime!) Bleach can be found as cheap at $1.50 for a gallon!
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Old 02-08-2016, 04:21 PM   #15
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Not sure why all the talk about the water heater, honestly, the instructions in the manual were pretty clear that should be bypassed during this operation. Previous to this I had used a compressor to remove all water from the system, and since the water heater was drained, compressed air blown through, and then bypassed before all of this, I think it's safe to say the water heater doesn't have anything in it, nor will it until we are ready to use it again.

It took me 6 full rinsings to get the bleach fully out of the system. I do need to find a simpler way in the future. This wastes WAY too much water, it's a 75 gallon tank. That's a waste of 450 gallons of water for anyone counting. Eek!
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Old 02-08-2016, 05:50 PM   #16
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I siphoned 5 gallons of water with 1-1/4 cups of chlorine bleach.
Are you sure that's the right amount of bleach?

Most now-a-days is concentrated. The stuff I uses says 2 teaspoons per gallon of water for a 200ppm solution.

My 23B manual calls for a 50ppm solution if you plan to leave it in for at least 4hrs. Thus, 50ppm = 1/2 teaspoon per gallon.

with a 75gallon tank, you'd want (75 * 0.5) = 37.5 teaspoons = 0.78 cups...if you're going to leave it in overnight.
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Old 02-09-2016, 01:45 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by charles_cincy View Post
Are you sure that's the right amount of bleach?

Most now-a-days is concentrated. The stuff I uses says 2 teaspoons per gallon of water for a 200ppm solution.

My 23B manual calls for a 50ppm solution if you plan to leave it in for at least 4hrs. Thus, 50ppm = 1/2 teaspoon per gallon.

with a 75gallon tank, you'd want (75 * 0.5) = 37.5 teaspoons = 0.78 cups...if you're going to leave it in overnight.
This might be why it took so many rinses, now that I think about it. Yes, I am using concentrated bleach.

And I still just followed the instructions in the manual for 1/4c per every 15 gallons in the tank. Though it does note that you are shooting for a 50ppm solution... I may have overdone it...
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