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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > RV Fresh Water System Sanitized Using Vinegar & Water Heater

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valhalla360

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Posted: 05/18/21 03:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jimh425 wrote:

I don’t know how much grows in one, but I can see my tank if I open the front. It always seems really clear. I do drain the tank for winter though.


When we lived on the boat, we had full access to the tanks including 6" inspection ports. There was never any visible signs of growth. The inspection ports made it easy to put the shop vac in at the end of the season and get all the water out.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 05/18/21 03:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

specta wrote:

The east coast has the worst water in the country and Utah has some of the if not the best water. I was told that in a class I attended when I had a water license and managed a small water company.


That makes no sense as water quality is highly variable depending on source and treatment.

Also most of what people think of as water quality is taste not safety.

JimK-NY

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Posted: 05/18/21 08:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli wrote:



Does anybody really know how much "Stuff" actually grows in an RV fresh water tank? Typically, it's full of or has water in it and is somewhat sealed from the outside. It's always dark in it's compartment which to algae means no light to produce food and grow. There are trace amounts of nutrients for stuff to grow from. The RV fresh water tank is really an inhospitable place for life.


Don't count on it being inhospitable. I have done a lot of trace metals lab research requiring ultrapure water. It is quite amazing how fast even ultrapure water can become contaminated and show bacterial growth. Pseudomonas is one of the most common. When the overgrowth is advanced you can feel a slime on the sides of the container and eventually you can see a pink discoloration. Fortunately pseudomonas is generally relatively harmless.

E coli contamination is also ubiquitous. One of my concerns is Legionella. Fortunately many people tolerate exposure quite well but not always. I had a friend who became very ill with it an was hospitalized for several weeks. Legionella loves heat and does quite well in RV hot water tanks:
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/criid/2013/286347/

Here is an additional study showing prevalence of bacterial growth:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5896965/

specta

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Posted: 05/19/21 10:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

specta wrote:

The east coast has the worst water in the country and Utah has some of the if not the best water. I was told that in a class I attended when I had a water license and managed a small water company.


That makes no sense as water quality is highly variable depending on source and treatment.

Also most of what people think of as water quality is taste not safety.


pre-treatment


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Stephen111

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Posted: 06/13/21 01:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sanitizing your RV tank effectively will require a bleach solution. You’ll need to add a ¼ cup of bleach for every 16 gallons of water within your freshwater RV tank. This measurement will equal one ounce of bleach per eight gallons. But please don’t add the bleach right into your freshwater tank. It needs to be diluted first with a gallon of water for each ¼ cup of bleach. The bleach will be a little too potent and render your freshwater tank unusable without it. Experts recommend sanitizing your RV’s water tank at least every six months.

wintersun

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Posted: 06/24/21 05:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The problem with bleach is that people use too much. Per FEMA to sanitize a 5 gallon tank of water it only takes 1 teaspoon of household bleach (which is alread diluted by 92%). That is only 1 ounce of bleach for a 20 gallon freshwater tank and a fraction of what most actually use.

With bacteria growing in a hot water tank I would double the concentration and use 2 teaspoons of bleach in 5 gallons of water.

I carry a small 8 ounce bottle of bleach and and add it at the 1 oz per 20 gallons of freshwater to the camper.

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