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Old 08-09-2012, 03:45 PM   #29
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Folks, I like what I'm hearing. This has been some great input and some food for thought. My conclusions so far are:

Drain the tank when not in use for prolonged periods.
Fill to full just before a trip.
Sanitize the system at least once a year.
Keep bottled water for drinking.
Use a carbon filter at the sink and replace at least once a season.
Use municipal water sources when possible or filter and sanitize when not.

Since my LY has not seen use since 2003 I’m going to sanitize twice before using the fresh water system. My thinking is that the first process will kill off most of the crud and the second (just before use) will kill the rest and flush out anything that died from the first cleaning. There after I’ll be only sanitizing after winterization since the unit will be used more often.
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:00 PM   #30
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I drain. I don't often drink from the tank. Who knows we're the plastic comes from. And water will absorb it and more do in heat. You can never get all the water out , so before a trip I fill it, empty, and fill again.
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:33 PM   #31
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I designed my fresh water tank, hot water tank and pump for winter removal..........toastie
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:42 AM   #32
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I agree with most that we sanitize annually. I always start out with a full tank and never hook up the the city connection. The very first time we used the coach I connected to the city connection and went inside to hear water running. The elbow behind the shower valve split. Now we run the pump from the tank only when we open a tap and the turn the pump off. When the tank gets low we fill it and dump the holding tanks. If the coach sits more than a week or two I drain it and fill when leaving on the next trip.

The one thing I have not seen anybody mention is soft water. We have a Flo-Pur portable water softener and every drop of water that goes into the tank goes through a particle filter and the water softener. I hate hard water showers.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:26 AM   #33
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Since my LY has not seen use since 2003 Iím going to sanitize twice before using the fresh water system. My thinking is that the first process will kill off most of the crud and the second (just before use) will kill the rest and flush out anything that died from the first cleaning. There after Iíll be only sanitizing after winterization since the unit will be used more often.
Let me suggest this; it's called a "shock treatment" and it's similar to what's used to sanitize new water wells. Should do the job for your previously neglected motorhome.

Fill your freshwater tank, and add about three or four times the chlorine that you would normally use. (Actually, add the chlorine first, to ensure it mixes well.) Open every tap, one at a time, until water runs out fill the toilet bowl and sinks, everything. Make sure you fill the water heater and hot water lines too, but do not turn on the water heater. The idea is to have everything that holds fresh water holding chlorinated water. If you can actually smell the chlorine when you fill the sinks and toilet bowl, you've got enough chlorine. Don't actually hang around and breathe the stuff, though!

Then when you have every part of your freshwater system full of heavily-chlorinated water, let it sit for 24 hours. That's the most important part. The chlorine needs time to work. After 24 hours, flush the system with water that you know is safe, that does NOT contain chlorine. Keep flushing the system with clean water until you don't taste chlorine anymore.

Then fill normally, and go camping.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:28 AM   #34
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The only tank I like to leave stuff in for extended time is the BLACK tank . I put in a dump at home And forgot to empty one time. (two weeks) There wasn't much in the tank, but instead of drying out it got really stinky. I would walk buy the trailer and smell a sewer. Took me a couple of days to figure it out. Man was it bad . Haven't forgotten since. Speaking of, when I get the trailer cleaned out today I have to dump before I park. Nope, wasn't able to put the dump where I park.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:44 AM   #35
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Just curious as to what it takes to put in a dump at the house. I'm on a septic system so I'm reluctant to do it.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:58 AM   #36
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Just curious as to what it takes to put in a dump at the house. I'm on a septic system so I'm reluctant to do it.
Disclaimer:
That would depend on the local plumbing codes where you live.

Many people simply use the clean out lines that are located close to where the sewer line exits the home.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:08 AM   #37
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Disclaimer:
That would depend on the local plumbing codes where you live.

Many people simply use the clean out lines that are located close to where the sewer line exits the home.
What azflycaster said. Most homes, unless they're very old, will have a cleanout plug somewhere outside, between the foundation and the main sewer, or in your case between the house foundation and the septic tank. Simply unscrew the cleanout plug and attach your drain line, then replace the cleanout plug when you're done. You may have to dig down a bit to find the cleanout plug, though, depending on how deep your waste line is. Up north, it will be deep enough to be below the frost line (not so deep in Georgia), and you may want to get a plumber to run an extension up to ground level. It's not uncommon for there to be a small manhole-looking thing, between 8 inches and 1 foot in diameter, with a "Waste" label on it, to be covering the cleanout plug.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:44 PM   #38
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We recently purchased our first Airstream and I have drained the tank, added household bleach and we still have an ODOR that emanates every time we use it.

Doesn't matter if we have a half full or full tank, same scent.

Any ideas how to treat?
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:40 PM   #39
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Is the "scent" coming from the fresh water? What does it smell like? Are you sure it's not coming from the black and/or grey water tanks?
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:20 PM   #40
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Something to think about...
When I bought my 345, the original 80 gallon fresh water tank was missing, and in its place was a 15 gallon.
We only had the 15g for the 1600 mile trip back from Ks to Ca, and with the city suppy hose broken it was all we had, and had to refill each overnight stop.

I was kind of annoyed, but when I got into finding a replacement, a stroke of luck changed my view.
A storage neighbor gave me a used, but good 70 gallon tank.

Here is how I am proceeding..
I am mounting them both... but was held up by a soft floor, and skin leaks, so still not done.

The filler goes into the 15g, and that is enough to keep weight down for traveling and yet still have sufficient onboard for washing, cooking, or even a quick shower with the 6 gallon water heater too.

There is a gate valve between the 15g and 70g, which allows them both to fill, giving me 85g for boondocking.

If you put 15 gallons in the stock 80g, it would be surging and slapping around when moving...

Here is a shot of the setup, with the 15g at the back.
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:01 AM   #41
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Is the "scent" coming from the fresh water? What does it smell like? Are you sure it's not coming from the black and/or grey water tanks?
It's definitely from fresh water tank. It only comes out when you turn on fresh water and I have drained both holding tanks.

My wife won't even allow anybody to touch it. She says it's only toilet safe.
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:39 AM   #42
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It's definitely from fresh water tank. It only comes out when you turn on fresh water and I have drained both holding tanks.

My wife won't even allow anybody to touch it. She says it's only toilet safe.
Having dealt with contaminated water wells for work, I've learned more about water treatment than I ever thought I would need. Troubleshooting anything by remote control is difficult, but I'll take a stab at your problem, if you don't mind.

Let's start with a few questions…
Obvious first question, what does the water smell like? A rotten-egg smell is a different contaminant than a soiled-diaper smell, for example.

Does it smell the same no matter where you fill? If so, that tells me that it's something that stays in the tank and not something in the fill water.

If you fill a glass of water and let it sit on the counter for a while, is the water clear or cloudy or murky? Does any sediment settle to the bottom of the glass?

What color is the water if not clear? Sediments coming out the tap would indicate a need to drop the freshwater tank and wash it out to remove sediments in addition to what I'll describe below.

If you let water sit in the sinks, does it leave a stain? What color is the stain, if there is one?

A few possible fixes you might try if you haven't already (and please tell me if you have tried them already). This should work reasonably well regardless of the contaminant that's causing the odor, but tracking down the source from the questions will help prevent a recurrence…

Drain the system, bone-dry (winterize but don't add antifreeze). Leave it that way for a couple of weeks.

After draining the system, shock-treat the system. A several times the recommended amount of chlorine to the whole system. Make sure you get both the hot and cold sides brim-full, and all water lines right up to the faucets and toilet bowl. You should have enough chlorine in the system that when you open a tap, you smell it. Let it sit for at least 24 hours, but 48 hours is better. After the allotted time, drain the system, preferably half into your gray tank and half into your black tank. Might as well disinfect them while we're at it. Flush the fresh system with fresh water from a trusted source, as many times as necessary to get rid of the chlorine smell and taste. Every brand-new water well system, including the holding tanks, is treated this way to remove contaminants added by the process of building the well.

Add a granular activated carbon filter to your inlet line. Add a Brita water filter to your galley sink faucet.
Brita Complete Chrome Faucet Water Filter — Brita Tap Water Filtration System
I use one of these, and if you remove the filter canister while leaving the base on the faucet, you can still fold down the faucet and close the sink lid. The filter canister can be stored in a small Ziploc bag in the sink when the sink is closed up. Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) is the preferred water treatment for most odors (and removes chlorine from the water as well). The filter on the inlet prevents recontamination of the tank, the one on the faucet ensures that any leftover contaminants don't get into your digestive system. The filter also provides some aeration of the water, which also helps with odor and contaminant control.

For future willing of the fresh tank, add chlorine as recommended in your owner's manual. The faucet filter will remove chlorine from the drinking and cooking water, but you can bypass the filter for dishwashing, so you benefit from chlorine sterilization of your dishes.
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