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Old 02-26-2004, 01:31 PM   #1
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1976 26' Argosy 26
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Dirty water system

I have a 1976 Argosy 26' which several problems. The first time a ativated the pump and turned the faucet on a blackish stream of something came out. I cleaned out the pump and 40 gal tank. I also pumped fresh water thru the pipes and heater. There appears to be lime in the water heater. What would be the best product to pump thru the system to get the lime, rust , and anything else out. I did read the post about using clorox.
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Old 02-26-2004, 01:46 PM   #2
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A lot of people don't ever drink from their trailer's water system, but we do -- and as a result we maintain it carefully. Even if you don't drink the water, you may still ingest it if you brush your teeth with it, shower in it, or cook with it (if not boiled). So I'd take the challenge of cleaning the fresh water system seriously.

First, I'd check the label on CLR and similar Calcium-Lime-Rust products and see if they are safe for fresh water systems, plastic tanks, and your type of plumbing (plastic or copper?) Follow the directions carefully to cleanse the system after you use such products -- they aren't safe to drink.

After you've got the water running clear of "stuff", you'll need to make the fresh water system biologically clean. Here's a set of instructions I culled from previous posts on this website combined with my Owner's Manual:

First, pour some bicarbonate of soda into the filler spout with several gallons of water. Let stand for 4 hours and flush.

Second, for further sanitizing mix bleach to a full tank of water (0.13 X total gals. fresh H2O cap. = oz. of household bleach). Let stand 3-4 hours, or double the formula for a one-hour standing time. Drain and flush.

Third, if bleach taste or odor remains, rinse system with a vinegar water solution of 1 quart of water to 5 gallons of water. Flush and refill with clean water.

OR, if you still have a little bleach taste drop a few 500mg ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) tablets into the filler tube of a full freshwater tank.

After all this, you should be able to drink from your own system safely. Maintain the system by re-sanitizing after storage, and at least annually.

-- RL
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Old 02-26-2004, 01:55 PM   #3
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You should also remove & clean or replace any filters or screens of "crusties & chunks".

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Old 02-26-2004, 01:55 PM   #4
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The blackish water suggests that the water puirfier has at least in part, ruptured.

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Old 02-26-2004, 04:14 PM   #5
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You might also consider running the previously mentioned bleach solution through all the pipes, too. Some recommendations I've seen for eliminating certain types of bacteria from houshold well systems said the same thing: run the bleach solution through each fixture, hot and cold, until you smell the bleach. then let it sit for 24 hours. Then you can drain and flush with fresh water.

as far as getting rid of lime/scale inside the water heater, vinegar will do just as good a job as clr if you let it sit. You can buy that in gallon jugs pretty cheaply, too. Perhaps you can disconnect your pump's intake line, dip it into the gallon jug, then turn on the pump and open a hot water spigot to fill the water heater with the vinegar. (that's how some people get the antifreeze in there for winterizing) . let it sit for a day or 2, then flush it out.
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Old 02-26-2004, 04:27 PM   #6
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I agree with vinegar and time (soaking) as probably the best thing you can use to remove lime. Safe too.
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Old 02-26-2004, 04:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Inland RV Center, In
Michael W.
The blackish water suggests that the water puirfier has at least in part, ruptured. Andy
Yeah, some of those purifiers literally explode when they freeze hard! It's pretty funny to see, but not very funny to pick up the pieces.

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Old 02-26-2004, 04:41 PM   #8
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What is a purifier?

Are we talking water filter here?

That hopefully catches some solids but who says it purifies the water that goes thru it. If so ...How?
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Old 02-26-2004, 04:50 PM   #9
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The blackish water suggests that the water puirfier has at least in part, ruptured.

It might also suggest, that there is no water purifier.
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Old 02-26-2004, 05:03 PM   #10
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Dirty water system

Thanks to all (rluhr,inside out, Andy with Inland RV Center, and Chuck) who provided the wealth of information. You guys are great and have a nice day.
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Old 02-26-2004, 06:39 PM   #11
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Lowes and HD have RV style water filters. They are a short stubby version of a full size house filter. The only filter cartridge they have for these is a sediment/carbon filter, which is great for drinking water.
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Old 02-26-2004, 09:43 PM   #12
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Thanks Pick, a H20 filter will have to be installed in the future as I am going to be busy cleaning the water system. As always you guys are great and I do appreciate the info.
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Old 05-06-2004, 03:57 PM   #13
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After you have completed the cleaning, flush the system with Clorox.

Then flush the entire system again, with plain water.

Now your ready for the water purifier cartridge.

Andy
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Old 05-06-2004, 04:12 PM   #14
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As a testament to wanting to purify the water coming from your water tank, last weekend I dropped (lowered) my tank and completely removed it while doing my "frame under" repair. After draining it of all the water that would come out, there was a good gallon or so of water still in there. It was nearly black. (NO, I know which is the bw tank and which is the water tank.) I'm guessing this had to do with a certain percentage of dirt and such getting in through the filler door over the years. I have no idea when this tank was last used. It will be thoroughly cleaned, rinsed and inspected before it goes back in.
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