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Old 07-23-2008, 11:25 AM   #1
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Fresh Water Tank has Scum

Hey,

My fresh water tank in my Caravel is scummy. Can I just put some bleach in the water and run it through.

Thanks, trying to go west tomorrow!!!
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:48 AM   #2
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Right from the Airstream Website....

TANK DISINFECTION

INSTRUCTIONS FOR DISINFECIION OF POTABLE WATER SYSTEMS ON RECREATION VEHICLES
As approved by the U.S. Public Health Service
To assure complete disinfection of your potable water system, it is recommended that the following procedures be followed on a new system, one that has not been used for a period of time, or one that may have become contaminated. This procedure is also recommended before long periods of storage such as over winter.
1. Prepare a chlorine solution using 1 gallon of water and 1/4 cup of household bleach (sodium hypochlorite solution). With tank empty, pour chlorine solution into the tank. Use 1 gallon solution for each 15 gallons of tank capacity. This procedure will result in a residual chlorine concentration of 50 ppm in the water system. If a 100 ppm concentration is required as discussed in item 3, use 1/2 cup of household bleach with 1 gallon of water to prepare the chlorine solution. One gallon of the solution should be used for each 15 gallons of tank capacity.
2. Complete filling of tank with potable water. Open each faucet and run the water until a distinct odor of chlorine can be detected in the water discharged. Do not forget the hot water taps.
3. Allow the system to stand for at least 4 hours when disinfecting with 50 ppm residual chlorine. If a shorter time period is desired, then a 100 ppm chlorine concentration should be permitted to stand in the system for at least 1 hour.
4. Drain and flush with potable water.
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:36 PM   #3
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Size of Tank?

How big is tne water tank on a 1966 Caravel?

ms
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:31 PM   #4
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30 Gallons

A 1965 Caravel's fresh water tank is 30 gallons. I'd be willing to bet it's the same in a 1966 Caravel. See Trailer Manual posted on the Vintage Airstream Club site: The Vintage Airstream Club
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:41 PM   #5
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hi 'rat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by antmagrat View Post
...My fresh water tank in my Caravel is scummy. Can I just put some bleach in the water and run it through...
no

chlorine can be used to sanitize the WATER inside a tank...

and can effectively sanitize water lines, fixtures and the tank itself...

IF the tank is clean already.

but if the tank as an algae layer, dried sediments, or very much remnants of algae and crud and scum...

simple chlorination won't solve that.

and while the linked a/s guide is correct for a tank that is relatively FREE of organic matter (SCUM)...

the chlorine concentration is much higher when STUFF is present in the water or tank.

the tank needs to be mechanically or chemically cleaned and drained IF it has an algae layer or residual scumncrud.

depending on HOW MUCH scum and crud this might involve cutting a hole in the tank for cleaning and draining

or multiple fills and drains.

???how do u know there is scum inside the tank??

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:59 PM   #6
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power washing the tank

2Air is right - if there's organic material in the tank, you'll never get it out through normal methods.

When we bought our used 1999 30' classic, it had sat for 3+ years without proper preparation (somebody suggested the green crud was probably antifreeze left too long).

Anyway, I bleached the heck out of it for a day. But I still couldn't get anything to drain out of the small valve on the side of the tank - it kept clogging with crud. Then, I found an access panel cut in the belly pan. Inside that access panel was a larger plug in the tank I could unscrew from the bottom.

A bunch of crud came spilling out (all over me). But, the opening was big enough to push a hose with a brass garden sprayer set on wide-spray. I pushed that up/down/all-around in the tank, washing out more crud.

Finally, when everything coming out of the opening seemed clean, I closed it back up, dis-infected with bleach again.

No problems since (3 years).

Don't know if the older models have those openings - but if not, it might be worth getting something installed.
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Old 07-23-2008, 06:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antmagrat View Post
Hey,

My fresh water tank in my Caravel is scummy. Can I just put some bleach in the water and run it through.

Thanks, trying to go west tomorrow!!!
Hey, that's your vitamins that you're washing out of there!

Lynn
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