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Old 12-22-2010, 11:15 AM   #1
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Chemistry of black tank

Let me start with what a value this forum has been, I want to thank everyone in this "co-op school". Winter is upon us and campers are winterized. Already planning on de-winterizing, got to thinking about the sanitizing of the water system and the materials used what effect they may or may not have to the plastics or my health as I will be breathing in what gasses may or may not accur. I am aware I can use vinigar & water, I think I am going for the full blown bleach & water option. Anyway, I do use the recomended amount of black tank chemicals along with Calgon water softner which I add to the black and the gray tanks. So to my question, introducing bleach to what may or may not be left in the tanks is not going to cause any hazerdous gasses that may prevent me from being abel to finish the task at hand is it? I have seen a whole building vacated when two cleaning solutions where poured together and caused an unbreathable gas.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:37 AM   #2
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There should be no issue with RV anti-freeze mixed with diluted Chlorine bleach in the holding tanks (both are vented to the atmosphere in any case).

More interesting is your reference to vinegar and water as a sanitizer; where did this come from?

Vinegar is a dilute solution of acetic acid (about 5%) and has no ability to kill anything (except grease or oil in streak free window cleaner).

If you do not want to use bleach to sanitize your tank, you can use the same solution wine and beer makers use. 3 Tablespoons of Sodium (or Potassium) Metabisulfate in a gallon of water will sanitize as well as a diluted bleach solution and is safe to drink since the SO2 will be totally released in about 10 minutes.

Anything else and you are pretty much wasting your time as you are accomplishing nada.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:49 PM   #3
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Now that you mention it, maybe it is the coffee pot the vinegar was for. But it does seem I read on one of these forums of vinegar being used as a sanitizing agent. I will have to back track to figure this one out. Good chance though I am confused. I am not afraid to use the bleach solution, I just tend to over do and over think things. So if there happens to be any black tank treatment agent residue left in the tank, the introduction of a diluted bleach is not going to render me useless?
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:55 PM   #4
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I also read somewhere that vinegar was used for sanitizing, but didn't think that would be a good agent.

Very little bleach water should go to your black tank. Even though you don't need to have a sanitized line going to the toilet, since it is tied to the other lines then it does need to be done. But just enough water/bleach combination to fill the line should be used, then a good flush later shouldn't put but a quart or so of water in your black tank. I would have several gallons of waterr in the black tank before sterilizing the line to further dilute the bleach solution.
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Old 12-22-2010, 06:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woods Wise View Post
Now that you mention it, maybe it is the coffee pot the vinegar was for. But it does seem I read on one of these forums of vinegar being used as a sanitizing agent. I will have to back track to figure this one out. Good chance though I am confused. I am not afraid to use the bleach solution, I just tend to over do and over think things. So if there happens to be any black tank treatment agent residue left in the tank, the introduction of a diluted bleach is not going to render me useless?
White vinegar is a great way to get calcium scale off the heating element in a coffee maker. Smelly, but works great.

As to rendering you useless? I doubt diluted bleach can do that.
Seriously though, I doubt you will have any problem even if you still use the formaldehyde formula tank treatment (banned now in most campgrounds). The warning is on the bottle mostly to keep people from mixing strong chemicals like Sani-flush or Drano with bleach. This WILL release Chlorine gas. (Shades of WWI in the trenches!)
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