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Old 04-19-2006, 09:53 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, 09:57 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, 10:02 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, 11:28 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toasty's Dad
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
2air'
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Old 04-19-2006, 12:43 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, 01:54 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, 07:29 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....
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Old 04-19-2006, 07:48 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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Old 04-22-2006, 01:14 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
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.

Jim
Acetic acid = household vinegar
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Old 04-22-2006, 08:00 PM   #30
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Quote:
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Acetic acid = household vinegar
HEY, wait a dang minute. So, First I put in the baking soda, then the vinegar? I think 2Air is pulling my leg. Maybe I'd better rethink this.......

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Old 04-22-2006, 10:54 PM   #31
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after bleaching.....think about what happens when you mix baking soda dissolved in water with vinegar.......
or just try it on a smalltime basis in a glass on the counter.....
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Old 04-23-2006, 04:44 PM   #32
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After chlorinating , skip the baking soda , put in a gal of white vinigar and fill the fresh water tank . Turn the pump on and run through all the water lines . Empty tank and rinse with fresh water , also through the lines , 2 more times. You can use the baking soda during the season to freshen the system if you like. I lived with that foul taste almost a whole season till I tried this.
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Old 04-23-2006, 04:55 PM   #33
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i have never used that stuff in my lines, just the drains. always used air to blow out the lines. and always took pump lose to make sure no water is in it.
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Old 04-24-2006, 06:02 PM   #34
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HEY, wait a dang minute. So, First I put in the baking soda, then the vinegar? I think 2Air is pulling my leg. Maybe I'd better rethink this.......

Jim
hey jim

the baking soda suggestion didn't come from me......

yes you will make a CO2 bomb with that combo... ....not a good thing.

i am not a fan of using baking soda in the water system.......

the amount required for actual benefit would be measured in pounds....

small amounts do little except add sodium to your water supply......

since so many of us over 40 types have hypertension, extra sodium is not wise.

sodium bicarb also raises the pH of the water supply....again not wise.

getting it out of the tank is an issue..........and may require 3-4 full tank flushings.....or it will greatly reduce any inline filter lifespan...

now back to your situation......
you are trying to clean an old scumy/scaling tank?
and trying to remove scum/scale from the tank wall.....
baking soda will do nothing to help with this process either....
neither will chlorine....unless its algae or bacteria growth....
although once the tank is clean....sanitizing with bleach would be useful.

vinegar is 5% acetic acid and usually sufficient for removing mineral scale from the tank wall....3 gallons from walmart......6-8$ or so...

higher concentration acetic acid can be purchased at chemical supply shops but really white vinegar is ok...just don't dilute it anymore....use a recirculation pump/jug and just keep spraying the vinegar on the areas in question....

good luck

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Old 04-24-2006, 08:56 PM   #35
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Ah ha, thanks, 2air. I'll try the straight stuff. You realize, of course, I was only poking fun, right? Since we don't do politics here any longer, I wouldn't dare "flame" anybody. You guys have too much information that I need (and respect).

Thanks again for the tips. I'll let you know how it turns out.

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