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Old 06-14-2007, 10:47 AM   #1
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protecting the fresh water tank?

I have had my Airstream hooked to city water now for about eight months with the fresh water tank about 1/4 full. I was told that I should fill the fresh water tank all the way and add a cup of clorox bleech when the tank it is not to be used for an extended period of time. Is this the proper procedure? Typically, what should be done to the fresh water tank when the water is not to be used for an extended period of time?

Thanks,

Dennis
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:50 AM   #2
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metal or plastic tank? Metal no clorox will react with the metal.
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:02 AM   #3
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I believe that the fresh water tank on the 1976 Overlander is plastic.
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:05 AM   #4
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we protect our water tanker with 1 gallon of bleach to 1000 gallons of water. Disinfect is six times that.
For my 60 gallon tank. 1/2 cup to keep it clean. 3 cups to disinfect. then drain.
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:33 AM   #5
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Michelle is right. A 10% bleach solution will kill any organisms that may be growing there.
Dave
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:45 AM   #6
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Thank you for the replies. Bleach is the way to go then. Should the tank be filled competely, topped off, and sealed, or should it be disinfected with bleach and then drained completely. It seems that even after draining there might be enough moisture reamining to cause new growth- even after using bleach.
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:47 AM   #7
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If chlorine doesn't seem appetizing a couple of the quart size Hydrogen Peroxides ($1~each) from Wal-mart into a full tank will freshen it using the oxygen it releases, plus the preservative they add to keep the H2O2 in suspension is an extremely powerful detergent and will help clean pores of the plastic chlorine may 'miss'...
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Old 06-14-2007, 12:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarloafin'
Thank you for the replies. Bleach is the way to go then. Should the tank be filled competely, topped off, and sealed, or should it be disinfected with bleach and then drained completely. It seems that even after draining there might be enough moisture reamining to cause new growth- even after using bleach.
I need to do this with my trailer as well.
I intend to sanitize it with bleach then drain and refill. There will be a small amount of residual bleach which won't hurt a thing. Chlorine is commonly used in municipal water systems. If there is still a strong chlorine taste you can drain/refill again but I think once will do.
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Old 06-14-2007, 01:19 PM   #9
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The inside of the tank stays damp even if it is drained between uses. I would think the objective should be to interrupt objectionable bacterial growth. Yes, a fresh 10% mix of household (5.25%) sodium hypochlorite bleach is an effective disinfectant but this may be corrosive to some parts/fittings and is more than the situation calls for in my opinion. Airstream recommends a lower concentration for sanitizing. Disinfecting and sanitizing are two different things.

A container of bleach is stable as sold; it must be used right away if you mix it with water! There is a separate question of how many members drink from the freshwater tank -- I don't know that there's one right answer to that. Bleach is not toxic once it reacts with organic matter; ie, it will destroy itself if dumped on the ground, though it might kill a little grass -- but it doesn't go far before it is all reacted away!

My '74 Argosy manual had a simpler version of the following. This is from my '06 Safari manual:

"SANITIZING

Potable water systems require periodic maintenance to deliver a consistent flow of fresh water. Depending on use and the environnment the system is subject to, sanitizing is recommended prior to storing and before using the water system after a period of storage. Systems with new components, or ones that have been subjected to contamination, should also be disinfected as follows:

1. Use one of the following methods to determine the amount of common household bleach needed to sanitize the tank.
  • A. Multiple "gallons of tank capacity" by 0.13; the result is the ounces of bleach needed to sanitize the tank.
  • B. Multiply "liters of tank capacity" by 1.0; the result is the milliliters of bleach needed to sanitize the tank.
2. Mix into solution the proper amount of bleach within a container of water.

3. Pour the solution (water/bleach) into the tank and fill the tank with potable water.

4. Open all faucets (hot and cold) allowing the water to run until the distinct odor of chlorine is detected.

5. The standard solution must have four (4) hours of contact time to disinfect completely. If you double the solution, this concentration allows for contact time of one (1) hour.

6. When the contact time is completed, drain the tank. Refill with potable water and purge the plumbing of all sanitizing solution.

NOTE: The sanitizing procedure outlined above is in conformance with the approved procedures of RVIA ANSI AI19.2 and the U.S. Public Health Service."

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Old 06-14-2007, 01:53 PM   #10
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dEverpure, the filter maker, suggests that you add a teaspoon of liquid laundry bleach to the faucet end of the supply hose when you connect at a camp facility. That way, the clorox will disenfect the hose too.
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:07 AM   #11
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Thanks for the instructions Bob. That's the procedure that I will use.
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