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Old 05-14-2013, 07:10 AM   #15
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While I agree that flushing the wastewater system from time to time is a good idea, I am not sure it is wise to do so with chlorinated water. As I understand it, you DON'T want to sanitize the waste tank(s). Maintaining a healthy colony of bacteria in the tanks helps to keep them "clean" and keeps down the smell. Yes, you can use those enzyme chemicals, but if you just let nature takes it course there is no need.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:58 AM   #16
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While I agree that flushing the wastewater system from time to time is a good idea, I am not sure it is wise to do so with chlorinated water. As I understand it, you DON'T want to sanitize the waste tank(s). Maintaining a healthy colony of bacteria in the tanks helps to keep them "clean" and keeps down the smell. Yes, you can use those enzyme chemicals, but if you just let nature takes it course there is no need.
Depends. If you're de-winterizing and the tanks have been empty for a few months anyway, no harm done. Besides, my holding tanks aren't large enough to camp more than a week without draining them, and that's not long enough to break down the waste through bacterial action anyway.

If it was a home septic system, that would be a different story.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:37 AM   #17
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Either a leak in the system, or the pump itself is letting water seep back into the inlet pipe.
Skater is correct; a bad check valve in the pump could cause the same symptom. If it were mine, I would have to replace the pump, or the check valve (they do sell service kits for SHURflo pumps which I assume includes a check valve). Otherwise every time the pump cycled for no apparent reason, I'd be worrying about a leak somewhere.

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Old 05-14-2013, 10:31 AM   #18
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I vote for a bad check valve.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:13 PM   #19
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Howdy. I'm putting water in to my '13 interstate for the first time. I followed the santization instructions, and now I have a system full of slightly chlorinated water. I'm looking to drain the tank and want to make sure I'm not screwing anything up. There's a plug in the fore end of the water tank under the RV that I _think_ is the drain plug. It looks like it's 7/8" or so. But it also looks like there's some sort of tape (teflon tape?) or other adhesive wrapped around the threads?

Is that the drain plug? and if so, do folks use teflon tape or similar to get a good seal on the plug when they put it back in? Thanks all.
Yes, that is the drain plug. I replaced it with a 90 degree pvc threaded adapter, and a valve, so I wouldn't have to unscrew it every time I sanitized the tanks. The threads on the tank are quite soft and easy to damage. Cured that problem in advance. The valve only extends down may 3/4" of an inch and is not low enough to cause any problem-or if it does, the genset will be ripped off as well as it's much higher than that. It's something they should have included. Roadtrek models do have a drain valve for the fresh water tank, and so should Airstream models in my opinion.

It's a very easy and cheap fix, though.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:38 PM   #20
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By chlorinated:


Does that mean actual chlorine or bleach?
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:22 AM   #21
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By chlorinated:


Does that mean actual chlorine or bleach?
Usually it's unscented chlorine bleach. Pool chrlorine tablets would work, but it's much harder to get the right proportions to disinfect without being poisonous.

Boring science stuff follows concerning the difference between disinfecting your tanks and disinfecting your water…

According to the EPA Safe Drinking Water Act guidelines, the Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) for chlorine is 4.0 parts per million. If you're disinfecting your tank and draining off the chlorinated water, you can use higher levels, and in fact if you follow the guidelines in your Airstream Owner's Manual, you'll be using a higher concentration closer to 8.0 parts per million. That's because you're flushing the system afterward and removing any chlorine you added, so residual chlorine doesn't matter.

BUT, if you have no choice but to get your drinking water from an untrustworthy source, such as when you're boondocking and using water from a river that fish have crapped in, you can add chlorine to the water in your tank to kill any microbes— coliforms in particular— and leave the chlorine in the water to make sure the microbes don't grow back. As long as the chlorine level is greater than 0.0 ppm, but less than 4.0 ppm, you know that the water is safe to drink, no microbes and not enough chlorine to hurt you, even if people with really sensitive palettes can still slightly taste the chlorine. Using about half the recommended amount of chlorine as shown in your Airstream Owner's Manual is just about right for disinfecting water that you will drink or cook with or bathe in.

If you fill your fresh water tank even from a trusted source, and let the water sit in the tank between trips— which I do for hurricane season, in case I have to evacuate in a hurry— then disinfecting the water in the tank also becomes every bit as important as disinfecting the tank itself. That's when I add enough just bleach to get the chlorine level up to about 2.0 parts per million, and leave it that way, without draining the tank. The chlorine will eventually evaporate out of the tank even if I don't use the water, so I have to repeat the process about once a month.
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:40 PM   #22
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Strange on mine there is a regular low-point valve lever one just opens, drains, then closes.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:37 PM   #23
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One likely slow leak to look for is the low point valves next to the pump or in the rear of the van. They are made of cheap plastic. One of mine was leaking very very slowly, until I opened it and then closed it a bit. Seemed to stop so far.

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Old 05-15-2013, 09:38 PM   #24
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Strange on mine there is a regular low-point valve lever one just opens, drains, then closes.
Directly under the fresh water tank? If so, they added it after 2011.

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Old 05-16-2013, 12:15 AM   #25
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[QUOTE=gmillerok1;1299663]Directly under the fresh water tank? If so, they added it after 2011.

Gerald[/QUOTE

He has an Avenue. I thought the same thing 'til I noticed that.
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:57 AM   #26
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The '05 Interstate came with three valves: A fresh-water drain under the tank, and hot and cold low-point drains. Don't know the evolution since then.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:04 AM   #27
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The '05 Interstate came with three valves: A fresh-water drain under the tank, and hot and cold low-point drains. Don't know the evolution since then.
2012 - Freshwater tank drain, looks kind of like a plastic version of an oil drain plug, needs a wrench to unscrew. Two low-point drains on each side, one set near the pump, under the galley drawers, one on the curbside near the battery box. Plus a water heater drain, of course.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:25 AM   #28
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Directly under the fresh water tank? If so, they added it after 2011.

Gerald
Yes. However mine is a 2012 Avenue Suite there could be ground clearance difference as well. I have not compared that.
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