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Old 05-02-2020, 09:42 AM   #1
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How Long to Sanitize Fresh Water Tank?

Many different opinions on how long to sanitize the FW tank with bleach.
• FR Posts: 3-4 hours, 4 hours, overnight, 24 hours.
• YouTube videos: 4 hours .
• 2019 FR TT owner’s manual: At least 3 hours.

My TT FW tank is 52 gal. Getting ready to sanitize it again. I have been letting the bleach mixture sit for 4 hours in past sanitizing’s.

Is waiting overnight or 24 hours before draining/filling the FW tank better than waiting 4 hours?
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Old 05-02-2020, 09:44 AM   #2
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I've always done overnight but I could see the 4 hour time frame working about the same....
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Old 05-02-2020, 09:49 AM   #3
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With the right amount of bleach-to-water concentration, 4 hours should suffice. I normally use the 4 hour interval, but there have been times I have let it sit overnight due to running out of time. Can't hurt anything.
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Old 05-02-2020, 12:15 PM   #4
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I do overnight with all the pipes and fill hoses filled from the bleach water from the tank.
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Old 05-02-2020, 12:34 PM   #5
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I like to use 12 hours at 100 PPM



You can shorten the time with stronger solutions


https://www.publichealthontario.ca/e...ion-calculator
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Old 05-02-2020, 02:21 PM   #6
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As you pointed out, lots of different ways. I use the method recommended by the US Public Health Service

The sanitizing procedure is in conformance with the approved procedures of RVIA and ANSI A119.2 and the U.S. Public Health Service.
Use one of the following methods to determine the amount of common household bleach needed to sanitize the tank:
Multiply “gallons of tank capacity” by .13; the result is the ounces of bleach needed to sanitize the tank.
The standard solution must have four (4) hours of contact time to disinfect completely. Doubling the solution concentration allows for contact time of one (1) hour
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Old 05-02-2020, 02:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by lacamastraveler View Post
As you pointed out, lots of different ways. I use the method recommended by the US Public Health Service

The sanitizing procedure is in conformance with the approved procedures of RVIA and ANSI A119.2 and the U.S. Public Health Service.
Use one of the following methods to determine the amount of common household bleach needed to sanitize the tank:
Multiply “gallons of tank capacity” by .13; the result is the ounces of bleach needed to sanitize the tank.
The standard solution must have four (4) hours of contact time to disinfect completely. Doubling the solution concentration allows for contact time of one (1) hour
Thanks everyone. I have been using the 1/4 cup bleach per 15 gal. water or approx. 1 cup bleach for my 52 gal. FW tank. 4 hours, overnight or even 24 hours seems acceptable for this mix.

But if I double the bleach to approx. 2 cups I can safely sanitize my 52 gal. FW tank one hour. That would be the least time consuming method.
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Old 05-02-2020, 03:41 PM   #8
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Go here, and do this...



https://waterandhealth.org/safe-drin...lorine-bleach/


Nutshell, Fresh chlorine bleach, NO SCENTED OR LOW SPLASH BLEACH, use 8 ounces per 50 gallons. Let sit for 12 hours...


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Old 05-02-2020, 03:49 PM   #9
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SniperDroid. Why wait 12 hours when I can get it sanitized in one hour (Post #7).
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Old 05-02-2020, 03:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Camp4two View Post
SniperDroid. Why wait 12 hours when I can get it sanitized in one hour (Post #7).



There will always be a disparity in different sources of information. Bleach is cheap, use all you want to. I have the time to wait 12 hours, so why rush, with any concentration... I was not my intention to be demanding, only informative. I can water and bleach the tank, tell the XYL I have to wait until tomorrow to finish, and she stays off my back for two days! Questions?
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Old 05-02-2020, 04:01 PM   #11
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There will always be a disparity in different sources of information. Bleach is cheap, use all you want to. I have the time to wait 12 hours, so why rush, with any concentration... I was not my intention to be demanding, only informative. I can water and bleach the tank, tell the XYL I have to wait until tomorrow to finish, and she stays off my back for two days! Questions?
Noted, thank you.
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Old 05-02-2020, 05:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Camp4two View Post
Many different opinions on how long to sanitize the FW tank with bleach.
• FR Posts: 3-4 hours, 4 hours, overnight, 24 hours.
• YouTube videos: 4 hours .
• 2019 FR TT owner’s manual: At least 3 hours.

My TT FW tank is 52 gal. Getting ready to sanitize it again. I have been letting the bleach mixture sit for 4 hours in past sanitizing’s.

Is waiting overnight or 24 hours before draining/filling the FW tank better than waiting 4 hours?
It will depend on several factors. To what level is it contaminated (minimum, medium, heavy or oh my good lord)? How far past your standards is it contaminated (use same measures. No matter what level, 3 hours minimum.
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Old 05-02-2020, 06:41 PM   #13
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Sanitizing your water system requires chlorine contact time, so the longer the better. I always use a concentration up to twice that recommended (because my nose can’t detect chlorine at the recommended concentration) and leave it in the system overnight - usually at least 12 hours. Make sure your water heater is in normal mode (not bypassed) and fill the hot water tank with the bleach solution, too. Ideally, mix the bleach solution in a clean 5+ gallon bucket and pump it into the FW tank using all your fresh water hoses connected together so you sanitize the hoses, too.
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Old 05-02-2020, 11:02 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Camp4two View Post
Thanks everyone. I have been using the 1/4 cup bleach per 15 gal. water or approx. 1 cup bleach for my 52 gal. FW tank. 4 hours, overnight or even 24 hours seems acceptable for this mix.

But if I double the bleach to approx. 2 cups I can safely sanitize my 52 gal. FW tank one hour. That would be the least time consuming method.
Your method of 1/4 cup per 15 gal capacity works out almost exactly to what lacamastraveler suggestion was. You are golden at that, for a min of 4 hrs.

I did itat's suggestion once of sanitizing the hot water tank, and swore I would never do it again. It took forever to get rid of the bleach smell when using hot water. I likened it to bleaching your fresh water tank, seems it takes an insane amount of rinsing to be rid of it. If you are getting a funky rotten egg smell from your hot water tank then you have no choice but to do it, but in my case, I wasn't having that, so I figured after that, if it aint broken dont fix it.
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Old 05-03-2020, 12:13 AM   #15
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Lesson learned - Flush the hot water heater

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Originally Posted by WFD View Post
Your method of 1/4 cup per 15 gal capacity works out almost exactly to what lacamastraveler suggestion was. You are golden at that, for a min of 4 hrs.

I did itat's suggestion once of sanitizing the hot water tank, and swore I would never do it again. It took forever to get rid of the bleach smell when using hot water. I likened it to bleaching your fresh water tank, seems it takes an insane amount of rinsing to be rid of it. If you are getting a funky rotten egg smell from your hot water tank then you have no choice but to do it, but in my case, I wasn't having that, so I figured after that, if it aint broken dont fix it.
Couple of years ago mama-san put the hurry up on me and I forgot to dump and flush the hot water heater. As in I dumped the pot water tank, refilled, and pumped water through the system until I couldn't smell bleach any more at the faucets. She distracted me as I headed back outside to pull the anode rod and drain the hot water tank to flush the chlorinated water out and refill... Result - Friday night temperatures dropped into the low teens F so I disconnected the pot water hose to keep from freezing. Then I took my shower with the water in the tank. No problems until I got the shower running good, then the chlorine smell hit me. I smelled like I had been in a very, very, over-chlorinated pool. Well, one good thing is that all of my hair is grey, you couldn't tell if I got bleached or not. The next morning I pulled the anode rod, flushed and then refilled. No worries after that. Lesson learned the hard way.
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Old 05-03-2020, 07:16 AM   #16
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Since I'm on a well after I'm done I add a 1/2 tablespoon of bleach to the fresh water tank and run that thought the system. Gives me 1 ppm of chlorine in the water to keep the critters from growing.
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:16 AM   #17
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FWIW

Per 2018-20 FR Travel Trailer Owner’s Manual:
https://forestriverinc.help/#/forest...9-6788C29717D3
• “Prepare a chlorine solution using a gallon of water and ¼ cup of liquid household bleach (5% sodium hypo-chlorinate solution). Use one gallon of solution for each 15 gallons of tank capacity.”
• “Allow the solution to stand in the tank, undisturbed, for at least three (3) hours.”
• My conclusion: Using the above solution, waiting 3, 4, 12, overnight, or 24 hours are all acceptable for your situation.

WRT bypassing the HW tank:
• NO. No mention in the 2018-20 FR Travel Trailer Owner’s Manual to do it.
• YES. Bypass the HW tank @timer 2:08.
• YES/NO. FR Posts.
• My conclusion. Your call.
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Old 05-03-2020, 04:50 PM   #18
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The reason I recommend sanitizing the WH tank is that with my Suburban WH, it never drains completely. The bottom of the tank is lower than the bottom of the drain hole. I find there is about an inch of water left in the tank and I always put the anode back in to prevent bugs from getting in the tank. If it dried completely I’d probably be OK to bypass it as the dry tank is much less likely to be an environment where nasty stuff can survive or grow. We sanitize to kill any nasty stuff in the water system.

IMO, if you choose to not sanitize the WH tank you should at least flush it well with the chlorinated water.

Just my opinion.
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:43 AM   #19
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We never use our FW tank for drinking.(use bottled water)..I usually fill our tank when we arrive in Fl for the three months and at our summer CG here in Canada just in case there is a water failure at the CG we are at (or in route to and from home)..Need to flush toilet etc Otherwise we use CG water to wash/shower and dishes.....Right or wrong I very seldom use bleach to disinfect the tank...Should I??????
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:55 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jim in Halifax View Post
We never use our FW tank for drinking.(use bottled water)..I usually fill our tank when we arrive in Fl for the three months and at our summer CG here in Canada just in case there is a water failure at the CG we are at (or in route to and from home)..Need to flush toilet etc Otherwise we use CG water to wash/shower and dishes.....Right or wrong I very seldom use bleach to disinfect the tank...Should I??????
Absolutely, yes. If you’re using your RV all year then I recommend you sanitize the water system (FW tank, all pipes and hot water tank) twice a year.
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