Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-26-2019, 08:06 AM   #1
New Member
2018 28' Flying Cloud
Centreville , Virginia
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 2
Chlorine Affect on Plumbing System


I’m wondering if I damaged anything by leaving chlorinated water in my water tank and lines for about a month. I used 2 cups of Clorox to sanitize the 39 gallons, which I now realize should’ve been half this amount. I let it sit the entire month of August like this thinking it will keep it sanitized for a trip in September. Does anyone know what damage (if any) this may pose. I now plan to flush it out ASAP but would like to hear your expert thoughts and experience.

Thank you.
4terrapins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 08:11 AM   #2
Rivet Master
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 6,142
I don't think you did. I don't think you need that much unless the tank is really funked up. You probably only need a few ounces. It is not great for metal components.

perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 08:19 AM   #3
New Member
2018 28' Flying Cloud
Centreville , Virginia
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 2
Thanks Perry. I’m having nightmarish thoughts about compromising plastic and rubber components in the tank, lines, and pump. I hope I didn’t make a dumb decision. Regards.
4terrapins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 08:27 AM   #4
Rivet Master
Rich W's Avatar

2006 23' Safari SE
I'm In , Kentucky
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,251
Images: 5
I seriously doubt that 2 cups of bleach in 39 gallons of water would be a problem. It won't bother the plastic tank, lines or plastic p-traps and drains. The only thing that I could think of would be metal faucets and with it that diluted it's not going to be a problem.

You shouldn't drink it. Drain it, put a few gallons of fresh water in the tank and flush using the pump. Don't forget to winterize.
Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE -Dora-
2004 4Runner SE 4.7L V8
Rich W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 08:28 AM   #5
Rivet Master
2017 20' Flying Cloud
Williamson County , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 744
Images: 1
Probably a "super-chlorination" and nothing wrong with that. Chlorine will dissipate after a while anyway (although of course you should thoroughly flush lines and refill with city water at normal chlorine residual levels). Straight bleach or chlorine will corrode metal, but unless long term exposure, just surface corrosion. To get an idea on proper levels of chlorination, one source is information on private wells at any county website.
SYC2Vette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 09:26 AM   #6
3 Rivet Member
2018 25' International
Mound , Minnesota
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 234
I have found the topic "WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR RV POTABLE WATER SYSTEM" on the second page of this document quite helpful: Recall that your water heater is 6 gallons, so you actually treated 45 total gallons. According to the document, you'd need 9 oz. of bleach to treat that much, so by adding 16 oz. you didn't add much more than recommended.

FWIW, when I do periodic sanitation in my system with 9 oz bleach, I have to refill and drain the entire system 3 times to get rid of the bleach taste. If you turn on the pump and open the low point drains in addition to the fresh tank drain it goes much faster.
kpm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 09:37 AM   #7
Rivet Master
TheGreatleys's Avatar
1974 27' Overlander
Baltimore , Maryland
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,042
Maybe if you ran at that chlorine level for years, you'd start to have problems. A month or two? You're fine.
TheGreatleys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 10:26 AM   #8
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
2022 Interstate 24X
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 14,938

One interesting effect is the chlorine interacting with whatever is in the water already. You may notice a bit of sediment when you flush out the system .....

uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 11:17 AM   #9
4 Rivet Member
fltlevel510's Avatar
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Between Here , And There
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 379
Sanitizing Water System


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.
Note: A petcock, visible between the tires, will drain the tank sufficiently for most purposes. Total drainage may be achieved by removing the large Allen Head Plug located on the bottom of the tank. An access plate must be removed to expose the plug.
fltlevel510 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 04:11 PM   #10
2 Rivet Member
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 32
Actual PhD chemist with rubber compounding experience here.

Many elastomers used to make seals in water systems will take on extra chlorine bleach, and swell up. They typically soften when so swollen. There is no way to be sure whether the various manufacturers used any of these materials, or how much they might swell.

So, be gentle and careful when opening valves which may contain these elastomeric sealants, including both supply and waste valves, in order to minimize damage to the swollen, and softer, elastomer. Replace chlorinated water with non-chlorinated, and allow to set for 48 hours, then drain, noticing how chlorinated the rinse water is, and repeat as needed, until chlorine smell is nearly undetectable.

Best wishes.
dower.bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 04:49 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
2017 27' International
Galt , California
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 38
chlorine in the tamk

I wouldn't worry about it. Household bleach (if that is what you used) is already diluted a lot. 2 cups in 40 gallons is really nothing. As stated by others, it is a good idea to flush, refill some, and flush again, just to get rid of any odor or possible taste.
Andrew K6STN
2017 27' FB International Signature
2017 F-250 4x4 crew cab Lariat Diesel.
1 each Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
absteen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 05:07 PM   #12
Overkill Specialist
Commercial Member
GMFL's Avatar

2020 30’ Globetrotter
2014 23' International
Dadeville , Alabama
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 4,510
Images: 4
Blog Entries: 52
Drain corrosion

Yep chlorine will cause problems....
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	47C33F59-45A8-4432-96A0-F1F01E3D8049.jpg
Views:	37
Size:	136.9 KB
ID:	350546  
Instagram @Airstream_Nuts_And_Bolts
DoItYourselfRV Articles
Certified Victron Installer
GMFL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 06:31 PM   #13
The Aluminum Tent 3
pcskier's Avatar
2014 23' Flying Cloud
Park City , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 2,015
Wouldn't worry about it sitting in the tank. Clorox comes in plastic bottles :-)
pcskier is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Will the rise in gas prices affect your summer plans? nds Off Topic Forum 123 02-26-2013 05:37 PM
Chlorine Alternative for Freshwater Tank Hummingbird Fresh Water Systems 16 07-06-2011 09:25 PM
How to add chlorine to fresh water tank ericwarren Fresh Water Systems 5 10-22-2008 07:52 PM
How much Chlorine to Sanitize a Fresh Water Holding Tank? Raptorrider2001 Fresh Water Systems 10 05-01-2006 04:04 PM
Pending Pa legislation may affect YOU!! Cedars On The Road... 9 06-25-2005 11:26 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:32 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.