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Old 04-19-2006, 05:02 PM   #1
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How much Chlorine to Sanitize a Fresh Water Holding Tank?

Need a quick answer. I am going to sanitize my holding tank in a few minutes. I have seen several posts under this thread and there seems to be differing opinions as to the ratio to use of chlorine to water. My Airstream book says 1 gallon of chlorine to 15 gallons of water. I have done this before and it is way to much. Takes forever to get rid of the smell. It also says to follow up with 1 quart of vinegar per 5 gallons of water to get rid of the chlorine. What do some of your manuals say?
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:10 PM   #2
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That does seem to be overkill doesn't it.
Since I'm doing the same thing, weather permiting, this weekend I'll give you my routine.
Since the system has antifreeze in it I drain it and run the pump until it's "dry". Then add maybe 5 gallons of water and 3 or 4 "gluggs" of bleach. Could be about 1-2 cups? I suppose you could hook up and drive around to mix things up but I just get a good stance by the door and start rocking her side to side. I'm sure it gives the neighbors a laugh.
Next I run the pump and open the faucets until fresh water comes out and the pumps dry again. Another 5-10 gallons of fresh water and run again. Drain the holding tank into the Blue Boy clean the fresh water filter and call it a day.
Never had any problems. But then, they say;" If it don't kill ya it makes ya stronger."
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:18 PM   #3
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Thanks Tom. I just found a gov. page on suggestions on treating water, etc. after Katrina and it says on containers to use 1 cup to 5 gallons. That is about 8 cups or 1/2 gallon per 40 gallons if I figured it right. I only had about 5 cups but dumped it all in and filled the tank. Will let it sit 3 or 4 hours tonight and then start the flushing process. Will probably add a quart or two of Vinegar the last tank flush.
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Old 04-19-2006, 07:36 PM   #4
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Someone on another forum said their manual called for making a 1 gallon solution of 1/4 cup of chlorine to 1 gallon of water. Then add this solution to 15 gallons of water. Using this formula, that is 3/4 cup chlorine to 45 gallons. I think that is what my manual was trying to say instead of 1 gallon of chlorine to 15 gallons of water.
I did find a gov. post referring to santizing containers, due to Katrina, to use one cup chlorine to 4 gallons of water. Thanks for everyone's help.
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Old 04-19-2006, 08:11 PM   #5
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RRider -- Yes, my '76 Argosy manual also has the same 15:1 ratio mix. Bleach (hypochlorite) is stable in the original container and must not be diluted until the same day of use. I can speak from a medical infection control position and say that I've always heard 10:1. At these high strengths it has the ability to debride films and disinfect.

My milky translucent Argosy tank was an obvious mossy green mess inside. Being above floor I did all the rinsing with the tank removed from the trailer. I used one gallon of bleach at a time and filled the 35 gallon tank to the top. I needed to repeat this about four times before I could imagine using it!

Your instructions may say the same as mine: Allow the solution to stand for 3 hours before rinsing. To remove chlorine odor, rinse with vinegar-water in a 1:5 ratio. Then drain and flush again.

Any residual chlorine can probably be removed very nicely with the old backpacker's trick -- For a tank this large I'd probably throw 8-10 500mg ascorbic acid (vitamin C) tablets into the tank. Ascorbic acid will destroy all residual disinfecting by chlorine too, so you're on your own.
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Old 04-19-2006, 08:36 PM   #6
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My Airstream manual says 0.13 ounces of clorox per gallon of fresh water left for 4 houors. This works out to about one part per thousand. Our tank is 54 gallons plus 6 gallons for the water heater, plus the lines, so I use 8 ounces, but I usually leave it overnight and then flush everything 2 or 3 times. I do dilute the 8 ounces into a gallon of water rather than pour it in straight, then fill the tank, the water heater and the lines.
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Old 04-19-2006, 08:43 PM   #7
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hi clean freaks and germaphobes...

there is a basic difference between 'sanitizing' and dis-infecting....you can look it up.

how much chlorine depends on several variables....

http://www.water-research.net/watert...inecontact.htm

concentration and contact time are the issues and water temp and pH also factor in.....cold longer, alkaline longer...

-for a basically clean tank 4-5 oz of household bleach, in 40 gal of water.....
leave for 4-5 hours at 60-80 degree water temps...

higher concentrations can be used for shorter times....there is a table on the gov website.

if the tank is known to be contaminated with any number of bacteria.....then the concentration of chlorine and contact time increase. as the bacterial load climbs...

if the tank contains solids (organic matter) like leaves, concentration and contact time increase again as organic matter increases.

many viruses are killed with chlorine.....again increased concentration and contact time....

protozoa/cysts vary....
-giardia can be killed with chlorine....with long contact times......
-cryposporidium cysts have too thick a wall.....so chlorine isn't effective

if you've somehow managed to start a fungi or mold growth....chlorine is less effective than a fungicide for dis-infecting this problem...

one important thing to remember is......
if using bleach to sanitize the the tank and lines......DO NOT flush the toilet with this water.....it will take much longer to build up the good bacteria again for tissue/waste breakdown....

cheers
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Old 04-22-2006, 07:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptorrider2001
Need a quick answer. I am going to sanitize my holding tank in a few minutes. I have seen several posts under this thread and there seems to be differing opinions as to the ratio to use of chlorine to water. My Airstream book says 1 gallon of chlorine to 15 gallons of water. I have done this before and it is way to much. Takes forever to get rid of the smell. It also says to follow up with 1 quart of vinegar per 5 gallons of water to get rid of the chlorine. What do some of your manuals say?
I think you missed the first step . It is 1 gal of hyperchlorite solution for each 15 gals of water . One gal of hyperchlorite solution is made with 1/4 cup of bleach in 1 gal of water . It is not 1 gal of bleach to 15 gals of water. Good luck
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Old 05-01-2006, 03:11 PM   #9
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My '94LY came with an Everpure filter. I've just installed a complete Everpure ADC filter kit - Everpure said to use 1oz of Javex for 60 gallons of water. In fact, they also provide a small graduated plastic bottle for that purpose.

In past with trailers that I had I used about 1 cup of Clorox when I filled about 50 gallons. The chlorine smell was quite evident; we used a counter-top filter to make the water palatable. I realize that that amount of Clorox was overkill and that 1 oz for 60 gallons is considered the proper amount.
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Old 05-01-2006, 03:54 PM   #10
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each purpose has a different concentration....

Quote:
Originally Posted by blkmagikca
1 oz for 60 gallons is considered the proper amount.
hi blkmagikca

it depends on purpose......
disinfecting or sanitizing a tank and
treating drinking water are very different,
and require different concentrations of bleach....

most who clean their tanks with chlorine bleach,
drain and refill tank a few times before filling with water for drinking.....
which removes most of the taste/smell from the sanitation.....
and most public water....in the usa.....
already has chlorine content at a safe drinking water concentration....

so if you are filling a clean tank with unchlorinated water
and want to keep that water 'safe' for drinking......
you've got approx the proper concentration of 'javex'......

but if you are prepping the tank for usage that is not enough.

cheers
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Old 05-01-2006, 04:04 PM   #11
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Be sure to remember that you not only want to clean your tank but your water lines as well. Run the soulution through your pipes and let it stand. I drain by pumping the water through the system for some personal piece of mind. I have been sick once, in a sailboat, from bad water and I don't intend on it happening again.
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