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Old 08-16-2015, 06:04 PM   #1
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Easiest way to disinfect fresh water tank?

The fresh water in our 2013 Interstate smells bad. Using it just for day trips since last October, we just haven't gone through the water fast enough, I suppose. We've never had this problem before.

I guess it's time to disinfect the fresh water tank. I've looked up ways to do it, and everyone seems to have some variation.

What is the easiest way to do it?

Since we keep ours in storage, I figure we'll have to go to a campground and get a full hook up site to work on it.

thx....
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Old 08-16-2015, 06:46 PM   #2
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You can shock it by adding a couple of cups of bleach to full tank. Run some thru all the taps. Let sit for awhile and drain, refill, run thru taps and drain. You might have to do this a couple of times to get it nice and fresh.
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:36 PM   #3
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That's the way I do it but then I don't drink the water.
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:53 PM   #4
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A pretty good explanation here
http://airstreamlife.com/wp-content/...water-tank.pdf

I think there is a section in the owners manual that is called Sanitizing
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Old 08-16-2015, 08:01 PM   #5
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Sanitize Fresh Water Tank

Another good document
sanitize fresh water.pdf
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Old 08-16-2015, 08:07 PM   #6
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After you do the bleach sanitizing, run a full tank of water thru to flush out the bleach.

We have done this every spring, drink the water, cook with it, etc., no problems.


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Old 08-16-2015, 11:23 PM   #7
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Thanks. That is really easy. I've read a couple other ways to do it that sounded more complicated. We can easily do this next week.
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Old 08-16-2015, 11:31 PM   #8
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Oh wait, I do have a few questions about the procedure.

1. While we're doing this procedure, should we avoid flushing the toilet (to avoid bleach solution getting into the black tank or getting on any of the seals, etc..)?

2. Instructions say to run water through hot and cold valves. So, do I just need to be sure part of the time running the water through the system, that the faucet is set to hot and part of the time it's set to cold?

3. What about the hot water heater? Will this part of the system get sanitized as I do this procedure? I'm assuming that's why I need to set the valve to run "hot" for part of the time.
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:05 AM   #9
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1. No need to flush.
2. Yes
3. Yes you should open the bypass so that the water heater fills.
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Old 08-17-2015, 01:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weirdstuff View Post
Oh wait, I do have a few questions about the procedure.

1. While we're doing this procedure, should we avoid flushing the toilet (to avoid bleach solution getting into the black tank or getting on any of the seals, etc..)?

2. Instructions say to run water through hot and cold valves. So, do I just need to be sure part of the time running the water through the system, that the faucet is set to hot and part of the time it's set to cold?

3. What about the hot water heater? Will this part of the system get sanitized as I do this procedure? I'm assuming that's why I need to set the valve to run "hot" for part of the time.
Yes do flush the toilet until the chlorine smell is in the toilet. The goal is to completely fill the hot and cold systems by opening every faucet and valve. If your trailer has an outdoor faucet or shower open those valves too. If you miss filling any part of the fresh water system with the chlorinated water, then it the system is not sanitized completely.
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Old 08-17-2015, 06:22 AM   #11
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After I do the bleach thing, I turn on the kitchen faucet, run thru hot and cold alternately, also flush continuously to empty the fresh water tank of the bleach water.

The bleach won't hurt your toilet, as it is well diluted, and brightens your bowl, flushing moves the water fairly quickly, but do the faucet, too.

Dump all that water, fill your fresh full again, run your faucets and flush your toilet to rinse everything thoroughly, dump everything and you are ready to go.

The idea is to sanitize everything the water runs thru, then flush the chlorine from the same areas.....so divide the tasks up.

I usually use a couple of gallons of bottled water for coffee, tea, drinking, etc., until I don't smell chlorine when I turn on the tap. I just don't want to drink it.

At least, this is what we-now-I do.


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Old 08-17-2015, 09:43 AM   #12
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One last thing. I agree with all the above.
Also completely drain the system when it will be stored for more than a week. Especially during warmer weather. That includes the Hot Water Heater.
At tank fill up add roughly an ounce of unscented bleach per 50gal of capacity. It will help keep the bacterial critters in check, and you shouldn't be able to smell or taste it.
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:41 AM   #13
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73Shark, you said to open the bypass so the water heater fills. What and where is that?

Alan, thanks for mentioning the outdoor shower. I would have forgotten all about that!
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:52 AM   #14
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On mine it is under the rear lounge behind the water heater. To get to it you have to pull the black carpet material off and it's about an arm's length in from there. I believe the owner's manual for the AI shows a picture of it.

If you have been using your hot water system, it should be in the normal position now and not require changing. The only time I turn it to bypass is for winterization. That way I can drain the water heater and not have to worry about the lines there.
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