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Old 06-18-2013, 09:24 AM   #1
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Sanitizing Fresh Water, Making a Bomb?

I'm planning on sanitizing the freshwater system in our almost new Airstream today. We used the trailer over the weekend and after dumping the holding tanks I put a little water and head chemical in the black tank.

After I add the bleach solution and fill the water tank, I know I need to run the sinks to get the solution pumped through everything. With my 28' International, the bathroom sink drains into the black tank.

Any concern with a reaction with the bleach and the holding tank chemical. I don't want to make a bomb with the two being incompatible or cause some kind of problem. No place nearby for me to dump the holding tanks so I'm hoping this will be ok.

Also, any suggestions for a decent funnel to get the bleach solution added would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:29 AM   #2
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I use bleach in my fresh water tank. 18 months and have not blown up, yet. I use a common long necked plastic funnel available at any dollar store, auto parts, Walmart, etc.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:35 AM   #3
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Not really. The amount of bleach you use is really minor. I know with my 60 gallon fresh water tank in my Classic, the amount of bleach amounts to just a little less than 8 ounces. Typically I only run enough to get the mixture to pump a glass full. Then I drain the fresh water tank. I do another fill. Dump that. Fill again and run about a glass of water through each outlet on the trailer. Worse case problem is if you use an enzyme chemical in your black tank, it might not be quite as effective if the super chlorinated water kills some of the good bacteria. In that case you can use another treatment of your black water tank additive.

Typically I only sanitize when I carry water for drinking at a site that has no water hookup, and for me that's only once a year.

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Old 06-18-2013, 09:37 AM   #4
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Look at the ingredients of the chemical you put in the black tank. I know ammonia reacts with chlorine (Chlorox) and produces a toxic gas. I would think that if there were no warnings on the tank chemical label against mixing with chlorine it would be ok. Today you can get MSDS's (Material Safety Data Sheets) on just about everything and they will have a section on chemical compatibility. It's required by law for the manufacturer to provide this info.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:53 AM   #5
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Bleach also breaks down fairly quickly. If you want to use tap water for fresh water fish, the first trick is to let the water sit for a week, then it will support algae, grasses, snails & fish - and other aquatic life.

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Old 06-18-2013, 09:56 AM   #6
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I put bleach into the fresh water with every refill to keep the nasties from ever starting up. I use 40 mL in 40 gals of water which results in a chlorine smell to the water when run from the tap, however there's no chlorine that I can detect when dispensed through the water purifier. Been doing this for years with no problems ever and my tank and plumbing stay free of biologics.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:21 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I ended up dealing with a water leak issue and have not yet done the bleach. The inlet line for the fresh water fill had a little cut in it just above the water tank. Ended up sealing it temporarily with JB Weld, going to the dealer on Thursday to have the line replaced.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I put bleach into the fresh water with every refill to keep the nasties from ever starting up. I use 40 mL in 40 gals of water which results in a chlorine smell to the water when run from the tap, however there's no chlorine that I can detect when dispensed through the water purifier. Been doing this for years with no problems ever and my tank and plumbing stay free of biologics.
Granular activated carbon filters will remove chlorine from drinking water.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:33 AM   #9
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I thought Bleach was a big no-no because it leads to the breakdown of the plastics...

I know there is bleach in water and that bleach doesn't leave a residue but I also know that bleach continues to degrade fabric even after its been rinsed/washed and you must use bleach stop to stop that action. (fiber artist here) so surely there are some ramifications to some parts of the water system, parts that may hold the bleach and won't necessarily be free of residues??
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:50 AM   #10
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I thought Bleach was a big no-no because it leads to the breakdown of the plastics...

I know there is bleach in water and that bleach doesn't leave a residue but I also know that bleach continues to degrade fabric even after its been rinsed/washed and you must use bleach stop to stop that action. (fiber artist here) so surely there are some ramifications to some parts of the water system, parts that may hold the bleach and won't necessarily be free of residues??
Fabric absorbs liquids, including bleach. Hard plastic tanks do not absorb liquids.

Also, EPA-recommended disinfectant level for chlorine is 4.0 parts per million (milligrams per liter). If you follow the instructions in your Airstream Owner's Manual, the amount of chlorine will be somewhere between 2.0 and 4.0 parts per million, based on the actual chlorine content of the brand of bleach you use.

Finally, the chlorine in the water will evaporate in approximately 24~48 hours when exposed to air; as long as the tank is not brim-full, there is air in the tank to facilitate this process.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:46 AM   #11
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I put bleach into the fresh water with every refill to keep the nasties from ever starting up. I use 40 mL in 40 gals of water which results in a chlorine smell to the water when run from the tap, however there's no chlorine that I can detect when dispensed through the water purifier. Been doing this for years with no problems ever and my tank and plumbing stay free of biologics.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:07 PM   #12
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Thanks. I understand the tanks are hard plastic and not susceptible but I was thinking more about the rubber/soft plastics like valve rings etc.
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