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Old 04-18-2006, 03:06 PM   #15
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If you have an under sink filter (or somewhere else) and you did not change the filter you may never get the taste/ smell out until you change the filter.

I pump pink stuff through the system, drain and then blow out the lines, may be overkill but I've never had a freeze problem.

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Old 04-18-2006, 03:30 PM   #16
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A winterizing approach that has survived multiple Chicago winters has certainly passed the 'test of fire', so to speak!
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Old 04-18-2006, 05:21 PM   #17
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A question about the baking soda. How much do you use? And, are you saying, basically add the amount of baking soda, then fill the fresh water tank completely, drain, then flush a couple of times with nothing but fresh water?


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Old 04-18-2006, 06:07 PM   #18
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My approach isn't very scientific (I pay careful attention to mixing the cholorine, but baking soda is 'safe' to use, I don't think you can use too much). I've always used less than a box, seems to freshen up the tank OK with that amount

I take an empty gallon milk jug, fill it with warm water, add keep adding soda til it stops dissolving easily, then add it to the fresh water tank. I fill the tank to 1/2 or 3/4 full, so there's room to slosh, then drive the trailer around for awhile. Then I run water through every outlet (both hot and cold, sinks, shower, toilet, etc) so the lines are full. I usually let it stand a couple of days (I don't know that it really takes that long to work), then drain the tank, refill and pump fresh water through the lines, and it's good to go. You could repeat the process if it seemed like it helped, but it's not quite there yet. I thought about adding the baking soda directly to the tank, but by mixing it first I can be sure there's no 'clumps' that don't get dissolved.

I called the company that manufactures the pump to see if they thought there was any harm to the pump, like additional wear, from the soda. Talked with their technical department, they said they couldn't see any way this could harm the pump.

My water tank is about 23 gallons (+6 for the water heater), you could adjust the amounts if your tank size is much different.
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:59 PM   #19
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Thanks, Bob. I'm in the middle of a "Full Monty" on my trailer and the water tank has a film that covers about the top 1/3 of the tank on the inside. I've tried several methods to get it out, but with no success. I've tried those cleaning liquids from the local RV store and they don't do much. My Dad suggested rock salt and crushed ice, then drive around a while as you suggested,to "shake things up". Just looking for other options

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Old 04-18-2006, 10:19 PM   #20
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Thanks, Bob. I'm in the middle of a "Full Monty" on my trailer and the water tank has a film that covers about the top 1/3 of the tank on the inside. Just looking for other options....Jim
hi jim
why not just replace the tank?
if you are doing a full restoration and can see it?

cost isn't that great if you are already there....
and a new tank would be good for a long time....

the old tanks can get brittle and i'd be very careful about adding things to clean it....
you may be tasting them for a long long time.

probably mineral scale....how much is 30 gallons of vinegar?

you could also get/make a long snake/fluffy brush on a flexi shaft;
hook it to a drill and clean it mechanically...like a bottle washer.

get a new tank bro!

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Old 04-19-2006, 10:53 AM   #21
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A cautionary note:

In freshwater systems, I'd be cautious about using brushes and other abrasive tools for cleaning plastic.

Extensive scratching of a plastic surface like that of a water tank is IMO very undersirable, because it greatly increases the surface area on which nasties can grow, and creates niches and pockets that are not as easily sanitized as the original smooth surface.

I'm neither a microiologist nor play one on TV, but as an occasional amateur brewer, I remember being advised to always toss plastic tubes, buckets, etc when they became scratched, due to the risk of infecting the precious golden product.

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Old 04-19-2006, 10:57 AM   #22
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2Air, that was my orignal intention, replace the tank. But a new tank for this camper is around $500. The problem is that if I want to replace it with a tank in the same place, same size, I only have one place to buy the tank from. Lack of competition seems to keep the price very high. The other choice is to relocate the tank and go with something like a generic rectangular tank. That creates it own set of problems that are also costly (tho probably not as costly as an OEM type tank).

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Old 04-19-2006, 11:02 AM   #23
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Interesting thread. I've been using the air displacement/pump anti-freeze method for over 25 years, never to have a freeze up occur. I'm a pro anti-freeze person since it takes a good deal of air pressure and time to virtually dry out the water system in the trailer. And as noted you still have the pump to deal with.

In the case of taste I always wondered whether the quality of the anti-freeze used can be a measuring factor? I switched to Prestone years ago after having a toilet valve leak on my old Hi-Lo. I took the valve apart and found that the rubber bladder in the valve had literally melted and decomposed. The only thing I can attribute to was a substance in the water system other than water and that was the anti-freeze. I used to by the lowest priced product I could find, after all I figured it was all the same.

I know the Prestone RV brand cost a little more but I wonder whether it may be of better quality and less inclined to leave behind the taste? I don't use the fresh water tank method of winterizing since getting the Classic, but I do remember bringing the Safari home in the spring and doing multiple dumps of the fresh water tank to get all the left over antifreeze out. The problem is in many cases that you never get the tank drained completely so you are always leaving a little water in that tank. But even then once I started using the Prestone I seemed to be able to rinse things pretty completely and taste was never an issue. Normally after finishing the rinse procedure I would sanitize the holding tank and pump that water through the system.

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Old 04-19-2006, 12:28 PM   #24
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as an occasional amateur brewer, I remember being advised to always toss plastic tubes, buckets, etc when they became scratched, due to the risk of infecting the precious golden product.
hi jon, jim and others....

you may have hit upon the solution to your 'tank flavor issue'.....brew up just 1-2 batches of beer in it!......surely this would create a more appealing aroma....i'll be happy to help ya sample it at the rally!

while a agree nicking/cutting the interior surface can create hiding spots for germs....he already has a layer of crud that greatly adds to the surface area and provides a foothold for growth....

jon.....as for the displeasing smell in your tank.....your trailer was winterized for 4-5 months? i know you've already run several tanks of tap water....but it may take a tank or 2 of chlorinated water pumped through....and sitting for days....to deal with this. of course you would be replacing one set of smells for another.....and really the best solution may be to just use it for a few trips and drink bottled water. does your unit have a filter at the kitchen tap? i've found these very effective with odors.

jack i really think freeze ups are not too common and really it's not the modern ptex that's the issue but valves, filters, fixtures and so on....

i only put antifreeze in the black/gray tanks and drain traps...never in the fresh water side....and i've not had a failure either in 25+years.

-i do unhook the water pump inputs and out puts and empty it completely.
-i don't remove it because the electrical connections aren't all plug in.
-i do open the lower water valves and fresh tank drains and
-i do tilt the trailer up down and toward the street side.
-i do run air via compressor into the freshwater inlet and open each fixture in sequence....before disconnecting the pump....
-i've also used a bike tire pump for this...works fine too.
-had my first issue this year....air pressure was set too high...and i blew the safety valve in the shurflo prepump filter/screen.....a 9$ part.
-i also leave open all fixtures during hybernation...and
-fully drain/rinse/flush the hot tank with valves in by pass position.

wow jim.....

i didn't realize a new tank was so expensive.....from you know who....

so other ideas are......
-insert a water jet sprayer into tank and use a recirculation pump with 2-3 gallons of acetic acid....to break up mineral scale.....after letting the tank set for 1-2 days full of water to saturate the crud. follow with a choline mix rinse....if you think algae or fungi are issues....use a fungicide rinse too...

-cut a 6-10 inch hole in the top....clean the tank with your arm and whatever works....then patch the hole with a tank patch kit and the plug...

-does anyone make a hand held ultrasonic cleaner head?

let us know what you finally do....and take pictures...

cheers
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Old 04-19-2006, 01:43 PM   #25
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2Air, thanks for the suggestions. Now, I wonder where I can get some acetic acid......Google should help with that. I'm a bit weary about cutting new holes, but that may be what it comes down to. Again, thanks for the info.

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Old 04-19-2006, 02:54 PM   #26
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Luv Anti-freeze; Hate My Drain Valve; Hello PEX

I was also a compressed-air guy until this last winter. It worked for me for three seasons. However, seems the previous owner made a few plumbing changes not obvious to me that messed up the slope of the water lines. Normally they would have drained with my tilting and air flush, but a small area (of course in the worst possible place under the rear tub) collected water and burst. Also happened at the location where flex tube connects to toilet.

Also, this weekend I tried draining the water tank using the floor valve and only got a trickle. I had to use the pump to empty. I only had about 1/4 tank, but I thought this tank should drain easily. I can't believe the brass drain valve is faulty. What's up?

Pex may be in my future!
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Old 04-19-2006, 08:29 PM   #27
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Hi Air:
This thread has motivated me to go back to the anti-freeze + compressed air approach that I used to do. It's cheap compared to even an easy repair from a forzen line or valve.

I still remember the toilet valve that broke one winter, when the lines were full of antifreeze, so I still plan to blow them out with air and block the toilet open so the water valve stays open. I dunno, just hate doing the work on the toilet....
Bob
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Old 04-19-2006, 08:48 PM   #28
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Re-inventing the wheel

Putting antifreeze in the freshwater tank is just too difficult to rinse out. Periodic bleach treatment is suggested if you actually drink from that thang! ... also covered as recently as tonight! Chlorine to Sanitize thread.

Now, this post is appropriately posted in the Winterizing & Winter Living subforum. Take a look there. The first two sticky threads cover the topic backwards, forwards and backwards again. I followed johnhd's method, installed a bypass valve myself, and it truly was easy (except for bringing Susie's eyelids back to sea level when she heard I'd drilled into her new FB Special Edition to shift the water pump!). So I'll ditto the preferred method with air compressor and RV antifreeze. Remember to take out the faucet carbon filter if you have one of these newer Moen faucets -- the antifreeze will ruin the carbon! I also found an amazing amount of water still in there after blowing out.
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