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Old 07-13-2014, 05:12 PM   #1
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Store with bleach in tank and lines?

Recommendations seem to be 1/4 cup of bleach per 10 gallons for approximately 12 hours to sanitize the tank and water lines. I've read of one person on another site who leaves the solution in the tank and lines when the trailer is in storage.

In my 1979 I've got the grey polybutylene lines. Any concerns about the bleach solution causing problems with the tank or lines if left for an extended period of time?


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Old 07-13-2014, 05:22 PM   #2
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AIRSTREAM CLASSIC TRAILER OWNERS MANUAL
F-7
SANITIZING
Potable water systems require periodic maintenance to deliver a consistent flow of fresh water. Depending
on use and the environment 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) Multiply "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 & 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 Al19.2 and the U.S. Public Health Service.
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:46 PM   #3
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We sanitize every spring when we open the trailer up. We drain the tanks completely when we come home from a trip and leave "dry" till we fill up for the next trip. Even with weeks between trips, we have never had an issue with getting sick from the water in the summer, 20 years and counting. I would hesitate to leave bleach in the lines all the time, due to the taste and smell you would get over time. We drink our water, though. Perhaps if you don't, it wouldn't bother you.
We use the above sanitizing procedure that RLS posted, except after we drain the bleach water out of the lines and rinse the system, we add baking soda solution to the tank and lines and let that sit for at least 3 days, to get rid of the bleach taste in the lines. You need about a cup of baking soda for every 10 gallons of water tank, more is better. Our son uses white vinegar solution in his system instead of the baking soda and says it works too.
Take my advice and NEVER use scented bleach! Can't get rid of the taste. Don't ask....

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Old 07-13-2014, 06:39 PM   #4
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Also the bleach is a known damage element to the gray polly pipe and fittings over time. Not so with the newer PEX or old Copper, but definitely with the Gray Polly stuff.
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:06 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Is 4hrs really enough time to sanitize? Since the bleach can damage the polybutylene, would it be better to just leave the bleach solution in the tank and not pump it through the lines?


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Old 07-13-2014, 07:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KYAirstream View Post
Thanks for the replies everyone. Is 4hrs really enough time to sanitize? Since the bleach can damage the polybutylene, would it be better to just leave the bleach solution in the tank and not pump it through the lines?


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Yes, 4 hours is enough. Chlorine is almost instantly fatal to any microorganisms that might be living in your plumbing system.

But, if you don't flush the system afterwards, then you've still got dead microorganisms in your water. Which isn't AS unsanitary as live microorganisms, but still…
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KYAirstream View Post
Recommendations seem to be 1/4 cup of bleach per 10 gallons for approximately 12 hours to sanitize the tank and water lines. I've read of one person on another site who leaves the solution in the tank and lines when the trailer is in storage.

In my 1979 I've got the grey polybutylene lines. Any concerns about the bleach solution causing problems with the tank or lines if left for an extended period of time?


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Old 07-14-2014, 04:24 AM   #8
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Yes 4 hours is plenty.

I sanitize our lines once a year, then flush thoroughly to get rid of the chlorine.
We usually bring well water from home to drink. But we aren't long term travelers at this point.

I have a house with PB plumbing it has been on a well for over 20 years, switched to city water about 10 years ago that is chlorinated... started replacing PB lines and fittings about 5 years ago. So yes the chlorine will cause them to deteriorate. I have been slowly replacing all of it with PEX.

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Old 07-14-2014, 10:09 PM   #9
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4hrs it is then, and then at some point a switch to PEX.
Thanks


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Old 07-16-2014, 08:56 PM   #10
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I have two peacocks under the water tank access able between the tires. The water tank does not drain unless I turn on the water pump. I want to get the chlorinated water out of the tank now. Any idea what gives?
Thanks,
The Vagabond


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Old 07-17-2014, 07:35 PM   #11
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Store with bleach in tank and lines?

How about the city water hose. I suppose an easy solution might be to pour the bleach solution into the hose, and then insert one end into the tank inlet, and the other to the spigot and turn the water on to fill the tank. Any other suggestions?


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Old 07-18-2014, 05:05 PM   #12
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We run some water through the hoses before filling the tank, and keep the hoses JUST for the tank. Hose for city water is just for that purpose, and again, we just run water through it first. We have a hose that we can attach both ends together so nothing else will get in when it's stored.

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Old 07-18-2014, 05:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagabond Bob View Post
I have two peacocks under the water tank access able between the tires. The water tank does not drain unless I turn on the water pump. I want to get the chlorinated water out of the tank now. Any idea what gives?
Thanks,
The Vagabond


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I think those are your low point drains and not the fresh water tank drain valve. They only drain water in your supply lines (one for each cold and hot water). Look around for another valve .......just one by itself. That will drain your tank.


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Old 07-19-2014, 11:50 AM   #14
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How about sanitizing the water hose from the spigot to the trailer. Do people dump a cap filled with bleach into the hose and run water through it?


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