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Old 08-26-2019, 08:06 AM   #1
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Chlorine Affect on Plumbing System

Hi,

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.
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:11 AM   #2
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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.



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Old 08-26-2019, 08:19 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:27 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:28 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 08-26-2019, 09:26 AM   #6
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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: https://www.pentair.com/content/dam/...onChart.rC.pdf. 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.
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Old 08-26-2019, 09:37 AM   #7
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Maybe if you ran at that chlorine level for years, you'd start to have problems. A month or two? You're fine.
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:26 AM   #8
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Hi

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 .....

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Old 08-26-2019, 11:17 AM   #9
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Sanitizing Water System

AIRSTREAM CLASSIC TRAILER OWNERS MANUAL
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.
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.
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:11 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:49 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 08-26-2019, 05:07 PM   #12
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Drain corrosion

Yep chlorine will cause problems....
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:31 PM   #13
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Wouldn't worry about it sitting in the tank. Clorox comes in plastic bottles :-)
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