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Old 09-18-2017, 12:49 AM   #1
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Question Sanitize Fresh Water Tank

Years ago I used to use Chlorine Dioxide instead of smelly household bleach to sanitize my fresh water tank. I don't recall the brand name of the product or even if it's still available. What's the best, easiest, quickest yet effective way to sanitize the tank on my Airstream Interstate? Tank capacity is 32 gallons.
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:17 AM   #2
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Years ago I used to use Chlorine Dioxide instead of smelly household bleach to sanitize my fresh water tank. I don't recall the brand name of the product or even if it's still available. What's the best, easiest, quickest yet effective way to sanitize the tank on my Airstream Interstate? Tank capacity is 32 gallons.
The best way is not necessarily the quickest way. The chemical you use to sanitize your plumbing needs to be in contact with any microbes or other biological contaminants long enough to actually kill them, so you can't rush the process.

The Airstream owner's manual provides a time-tested method for sanitizing the freshwater system. Just follow the directions exactly. But don't forget to hook up the outdoor shower hose so you can sanitize the shower connection too!

By the way, there is an advantage to using smelly bleach— as long as it's unscented bleach that only smells of chlorine. And that advantage is, when you flush it out afterwards you can tell when it's all gone! There's another advantage, too. Compared to Camco freshwater tank sanitizer, it's way less expensive but contains exactly the same active ingredient.

By the way, the use of Clorox brand bleach (but not other brands!) is recommended by the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and Environmental Protection Agency for emergency water treatment because Clorox is the only brand that has a consistent proportion of chlorine in the bleach. Other companies have not been proven to maintain quality control good enough to ensure that the proportion of chlorine is the same in every bottle that rolls out the factory door.
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:59 AM   #3
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Well said!

Welcome to the forum wkk5dl.

Peter
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:54 AM   #4
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Thank you. I'm new, and I find this site is not easy to manage.
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:16 PM   #5
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Water System Sanitizing


Water Filter in Galley must be disconnected – put straight pipe in its place. (Pipe is located under sink in 27ft FC.)



39 Gallons of water in tank.

39 Gal. X 13 = 5.07 oz. of bleach – mix in jug with water.

Pour in water tank for 4 hour process.

Cut to 1 Hour multiply – 5.07 oz. X 2 = 10.14 oz. of bleach – mix in jug with water and pour in water tank for 1 hour.

Open all faucets (hot and cold) allowing the water to run until distinct odor of chlorine is detected.

When contact time is completed, drain tank.

Refill with potable water.

Purge plumbing fixtures of chlorine – until no smell is coming out.
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Old 09-18-2017, 01:29 PM   #6
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Good advice from above posters. We use chlorine dioxide for sanitizing drinking water when backpacking, but not for our fresh water tank. Like Protag says, bleach has several worthwhile advantages.

Fresh water tank sanitizing is covered nicely on p.94 in Rich Luhr's book, The (nearly) Complete Guide to Airstream Maintenance, and basically is as stated above by VT Wanderer.

Ongoing basis whenever we're using untreated water to fill our fresh water tank we add one teaspoon bleach per 10 gallons water (39 gal tank = 4 tsp). This brings the CL to approx same as if we were near a city's water tx, or 2ppm CL. Been doing this for a long time, just for when we're adding from well water at our property or some campgrounds without water treatment.

Unlike some, we DO drink water from our Airstream's freshwater tank. No problems so far, 140,000 miles and 11 years with this 25' trailer.
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:14 PM   #7
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Clorox is it. I fill it up, put in a cup or so of Clorox, run the stuff thru the water pipes etc and then drive around a bit. Then park for half a day. Then drain and rinse, drain and rinse. Very seldom do I get any taste or smell.

But, I recall my parents and their 30 AS and my father never sanitized, ever and they put over 200,000 miles on it with lots of boondocking - he is 95 and actually in great health.

Not advocating his method, nor do I follow it

Bud
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:46 PM   #8
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Pretty simple really. Grab a pint or a quart of Colorox add to your water tank and let sit for about an hour. Turn on all fawcets, shower and outdoor shower to get the chlorinated water throughout the system. Then a good two flushings and your all set.
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:38 PM   #9
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Is the disconnecting of the water filter under the sink critical? I have read instructions that did not include this step.
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:08 PM   #10
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Is the disconnecting of the water filter under the sink critical? I have read instructions that did not include this step.
We've never disconnected the filter when we sanitize and it still works and we are still alive.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:14 AM   #11
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Not necessary to disconnect the water filter.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:47 AM   #12
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Not Necessary

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Is the disconnecting of the water filter under the sink critical? I have read instructions that did not include this step.
No, I don't believe it is necessary. Anyway, my unit is different from the trailers...I'm not sure it even has a filter under the sink. Glad to be in this forum and talking with you.
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:10 AM   #13
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Maybe I'm just a bit different. We also drink our tank water and never had any health issues. At least not YET that is. I wait until we are out on the road the last day and before heading home with a partial tank I add some bleach. Perhaps 1/4c or so. I leave it in and let it slosh around on the way home then run water through each faucet after parking. Then I open the drain and let the tank empty until the next trip. I always travel with some ( at least half tank). I do this once during the camping season and then on what I plan to be our final trip in the fall.
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Old 09-19-2017, 11:17 AM   #14
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Sanitation of water is at the top of the list of any "prepper". You know them, they are the ones, like me, that wear tinfoil hats and warn of the coming zombie apocalypse. At least that what most non-prepper types refer to us as.

After getting that out of the way, there are, literally, hundreds of "prepper" websites that place the topic of water sanitation high on their lists of "must-learn" subjects. Check any of these sites out and you'll find the exact formula for sanitizing your water - one ounce of Clorox to fifty gallons of water. You can also carry a Katadyn Pocket filter that you use like a drinking straw. You can also boil your drinking water for five minutes or use any of at least ten popular brands of water filters to filter the water when you fill up your tank.

I like to sanitize my white drinking water hose with a dual filter set up consisting of a "trash" filter then a charcoal filter at the faucet then run a heavy solution mix of water and bleach to kill anything hanging out in my hose. Then I add one ounce of Clorox to my fresh water tank through the filler neck and then fill my 50 gallon tank with water that went through my faucet filters previously described.

If anything gets to me after all that then I just give up. I can't think of anything else that would help the situation anymore than what I have in place.

I might mention that I have a brand new 50 gallon fresh water tank because what I found in the old tank scared the living daylights out of me. The original Airstream filler neck let anything in that ran down the side of the trailer into the tank. There was two inches of black sludge in the bottom of the old tank of my '82 Excella 34 footer.

Personally, I also add either two of Katadyn’s Micropur tablets or two Potable Aqua’s iodine tablets just to add a finishing touch to my water supply. All of this only cost a few bucks and is very little hassle to give me the satisfaction of knowing what is in my glass of Ice Tea other than the tea.

Doug
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