RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-05-2009, 12:06 PM   #41
CampeRooo
 
rthrbelsewhere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 454
CLR - about $150
Vinegar - less then $10

Another vote for the vinegar solution
__________________
Where we've been:

2000 Rockwood Roo M-18 Hybrid
2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Auto 5.9 Diesel
Gone but not forgotten -1986 Rockwood 1003 PUP
rthrbelsewhere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2009, 01:17 AM   #42
CampeRooo
 
rthrbelsewhere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockwood06 View Post
May I recommend a test first, before you add anything to the hot water system. If you have a long pair of needle nose plyers, reach in the heater and try to break of a piece and place it in a ceramic cup then add the chemical you think will work to see what kind of reaction you get. If you have a public water supply coming into your house, you will most likely have similar deposits in the water heater in your house. Hot water heaters in a home should be flush once in a while to clean them out but rarely chemically cleaned.
Hey Rockwood06,

I took your advice and decided to test a small amount in a cup prior to filling up the tank with vinegar and not knowing what the outcome would be. So what I did was take a clear plastic cup and i pulled some of what we thought to be calcium deposits with some long needle nose pliers and dropped them into the cup. I then took some vinegar from the purchase i made at Sams (which turned out to be diluted with water to a 5% acidity, according to the label on the bottle) and poured it into the cup. I then simulated movement by swirling the cup in my hand for about 2 minutes, then I let it soak for 5 more minutes, and then swirled it around again for about another 2 minutes. The end result was that I noticed that the small powder pieces disolved in the vinegar almost immediately. The larger chunks about the size of a "bacon-bit" did not fully disolve. I then took a spoon and attempted to crush one of the chunks to see if it would fall apart easily and I found that they were solid and very tough to break apart. After another 5 minutes of sitting in the vinegar, they appeared to have disolved slightly, but very tought to tell since they were so small to start with.

So my conclusion is that the vinegar will do a sufficient job at disolving most of what's in my hot water tank and for the larger chunks, I should be able to get them out with a good flush with either the power sprayer or the wand that was mentioned in this same thread. Either way, I think we're a go for a final attempt to clean this tank out and in the end, if I find that it's still too far gone to fire it up safely, without having problems of it overheating, then I'll just replace the tank as suggested.

We're planning a trip to New Mexico in June and working our way back north towards the end of the vacation week, so i'll be pushing to get this completed soon enough. I have pics of the test I completed, but I wasn't real happy with the quality of it, so I decided not to post it along with the notes.

Once I finish this project, I will get some more pictures (like i did before) of the inside of the tank and post them up so everyone can see the results. To be continued...
__________________
Where we've been:

2000 Rockwood Roo M-18 Hybrid
2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Auto 5.9 Diesel
Gone but not forgotten -1986 Rockwood 1003 PUP
rthrbelsewhere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2009, 09:22 PM   #43
CampeRooo
 
rthrbelsewhere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 454
Ok...I rinsed out the tank this weekend. Important note - when you put baking soda in the water and some of the left overs get into the hot water tank (which had vinegar water already in it)...use caution when you pull the plug. I blasted water clear across the street when I pulled my plug...didn't even think about it til it happened. The tank is not as bad as it was, but it could use some more cleaning. I attempted to fire up the pilot light at the campground and it seems that the valve is bad. I turned the knob to "pilot", stuck one of those "click n flame" tools in there and lit it up, pressed the knob down and.....nothing. I checked all the connections, looked for a secondary shut off valve, and made sure i wasn't missing anything. Both propane tanks were on, so I know I wasn't out of propane (coffee was perkin while i was doing this) and not even a hiss came out of it. So, I think i'll have to take it in and have the valve replaced by a certified tech and then see what they think about the tank situation as well. I'm thinking more and more that i'm going to have to replace the tank, which isn't a bad thing necessarily.

Anyway, ran the vinegar and baking soda this weekend to clean out all the pipes, tanks, etc and the visits to the dump station were a success. I bought one of those 45 degree clear connectors for the drain-to-hose connection and i watched everything that came out (no number 2's in my camper...so i wasn't worried) and after the antifreeze came out, it was clear and clean and nothing to be concerned about. We are really happy about that and i'm very relieved at the ease of how it all worked.

Now to get through this week's work so we can do it again
__________________
Where we've been:

2000 Rockwood Roo M-18 Hybrid
2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Auto 5.9 Diesel
Gone but not forgotten -1986 Rockwood 1003 PUP
rthrbelsewhere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2009, 10:13 PM   #44
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 106
Ok. Baking soda PLUS vinegar? Was this a joke? DO NOT USE baking soda in a closed system that has ANY vinegar in it unless you WANT your trailer to explode.

Chem lesson: Try it in a 2 liter pop bottle. Pour 4 ounces of vinegar in a plastic bottle, add a tsp of baking soda and cover with a balloon.

Baking soda will freshen up the lines but not really necessary after leaching and cleaning them so thoroughly with a nice acidic solvent like vinegar. It rinses fine with just water and waaaay exceeds any reaction you get from baking soda treatments.

In addition baking soda, aka sodium bicarbonate, will leave residue in the hot water heater tank that will eventually form it's own scale, reduce efficiency, and create more of the problem you are trying to treat. Any treatments with a solid (powder) is bad for a water heater - especially any that add carbonates - a part of scale. Take this as solid advice from a pro. Good reason, although funny, to be sure you don't tamper with the safety relief valve.
turbopuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2009, 10:43 PM   #45
CampeRooo
 
rthrbelsewhere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 454
Nope, no joke....but i was curious on how long it was going to take to get a response from this booboo. (edited out the mixture because it wasn't truly a mixture.)

Specifically, I poured the vinegar in the fresh water tank and filled with water to sanitize everything before we left. I opened the valve to the hot water tank and let it run for about 30 seconds or so...i didnt want to fill it, just run some in there for sloshing room on the way to the campsite. I ran the rest through the pipes to rinse all the antifreeze out at which time the fresh water tank was empty. Then i refilled the fresh water tank and added 3 teaspoons of baking soda to the water. Once i got to our destination, i dumped the black and gray tanks and pulled into our camping spot. Throughout the weekend, we ran the plumbing to check for leaks at the faucets and and drains as there was no way to test this prior to buying this unit since it was already winterized. Bathroom shower faucet has a problem, but the rest was good to go. Sunday morning, I ran some more water into the hot water tank and attempted to fire it off with no luck...yea, someone was watchin over me....
__________________
Where we've been:

2000 Rockwood Roo M-18 Hybrid
2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Auto 5.9 Diesel
Gone but not forgotten -1986 Rockwood 1003 PUP
rthrbelsewhere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 07:52 AM   #46
Moderator Emeritus
 
MtnGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 9,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by rthrbelsewhere View Post
Specifically, I poured the vinegar in the fresh water tank and filled with water to sanitize everything before we left.
Maybe turbopuppy can add to this: Vinegar is acidic, which is good for getting rid of mineral deposits but I don't think it is a good sterilizing agent.

Every spring when getting my camper ready for summer, I sterilize my system with Clorox....but just a touch. After flushing the lines to remove any residual RV antifreeze, I partially fill the fresh water tank with water, and add 1/4 cup of Clorox per 15 gals. of water....in the case of my 30 gal. tank, 1/2 cup of bleach mixed in a gallon of water and poured into the tank. I completely fill the tank to overflow, and drive the trailer around the 'hood to splash the mixture around. I then pump the water to all faucets, including through the hot water heater. I let it sit for an hour or so. I then drain everthing, and blow the lines. I refill the fresh water tank, and take another tour through the 'hood to rinse......hopefully no one will call the cops for my suspicious activity. Redrain everything, flush the lines again to make sure most of the Clorox is gone, and I am ready to go camping.
__________________

Chap , DW Joy, and Fur Baby Sango
2017 F350 Lariat CCSB, SRW, 4x4, 6.7 PS
2017 Grand Design Reflection 337RLS
MtnGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 09:33 AM   #47
CampeRooo
 
rthrbelsewhere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 454
Hmmm...
I really didnt want to use clorox in the water tank, but I guess maybe i should.

Here's some links I referenced about vinegar as a sanitizer.
http://www.hi-tm.com/Documents/Cutboard.html
http://www.elc.org.uk/pages/envirocleaninghtm.htm
http://www.versatilevinegar.org/usesandtips.html
http://www.vinegartips.com/cleaning/
__________________
Where we've been:

2000 Rockwood Roo M-18 Hybrid
2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Auto 5.9 Diesel
Gone but not forgotten -1986 Rockwood 1003 PUP
rthrbelsewhere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 10:35 AM   #48
Moderator Emeritus
 
MtnGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 9,280
rthrbelsewhere, that is interesting reading. I too don't like the idea of using Clorox in my water system, and I make sure that it is flushed out thouroughly before use. But Clorox seems like a lesser evil than getting sick from something growing in my drinking water. I betcha that after I get through with flushing everything, there is no more chlorine in my camper lines then what comes through my municiple water lines at home.

The vinegar links that you gave suggest a 50% solution for surface disinfecting, but doesn't mention anything about tank and line sterilation. I take it at a 50% solution, then I would need to use about 15 gals. of vinegar so I could completely get my tank full.

Hopefully others will chime in here and give their opinions......I am always open to new ideas
__________________

Chap , DW Joy, and Fur Baby Sango
2017 F350 Lariat CCSB, SRW, 4x4, 6.7 PS
2017 Grand Design Reflection 337RLS
MtnGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 01:40 PM   #49
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 106
Vinegar - acetic acid - is an effective disinfectant. Chlorine in bleach will sterilize the lines but needs alot of flushes to remove from lines. City water has free chlorine in it. I suggest filling systems with straight white vinegar and walking away for a couple days. Dump the vinegar into any drain and flush with water. Fill system with water and go camping. When you're ready, dump the hot water tank from the drain plug and flush again.

I hate bleach. It makes the lines and fittings brittle and leaky. Vinegar is good for the body and safe for the water lines. Perfect for the job.
turbopuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2009, 05:00 PM   #50
Moderator Emeritus
 
MtnGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 9,280
Thanks, turbopuppy. I will probably change my sterilation procedure next spring.

How strong of a vinegar solution does it take to sterilize?? A 50/50 solution was listed on 1 of the links listed previously.......that would be 15 gals. of vinegar to sterilize a 30 gal. tank ????
__________________

Chap , DW Joy, and Fur Baby Sango
2017 F350 Lariat CCSB, SRW, 4x4, 6.7 PS
2017 Grand Design Reflection 337RLS
MtnGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
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


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:47 AM.