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Old 07-31-2020, 05:15 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by jwfrede View Post
I agree with all of this and have some numbers for the sanitizing part. You want to have about 200 ppm of Clorox in the water to sanitize. A 5% Clorox jug has 50000 ppm, so dilute 250 to 1. So that's about 1 oz per 2 gal. So if you get the 8% Clorox its about 400 to 1 or about 1 oz per 3 gal.

I have chlorine addition for my home water and a filter. For the RV I just bypass the filter. I have a $15 inline garden hose water meter from amazon to meter in my water into the RV. Usually I like to fill for full sanitization, so at home I could skip the meter and fill to overflowing.

On the road if I have to sanitize I would mix all the desired chlorine in a bucket with a couple gal of water and hand fill into the trailer. I would meter in 20 gal via a normal water hookup rather than try to pour it in. (I have a 20 gal fresh water tank.) So that means I would put 10 oz of 5% Chlorox in the two gal I hand fill. So thats 22 gal in and that is enough to send to all the faucets and overflow showing its full.

You should also let it sit for a few minutes. Internet numbers vary from minutes to an hour or more. After maybe half to more of filling I turn on the pump and send water out every faucet(yes, at half full its 400ppm to the faucets, this isn't rocket science). Then complete the fill. I do something else for an hour and then drain and purge with lots of fresh water. I've owned my trailer since new and know I have no history of bad water. For a used trailer I would probably go the route of adding just a little chlorine as detailed in the previous note.
Long before the internet was a thing, my granddad and dad would dump 6 gallons of 5% bleach down the well while pumping water through the pipes and back into the well for 30 minutes, then let it sit for 24 hours before flushing the plumbing. They did it that way every summer for years since the 40's and the water always tested safe for consumption. I still do it on my private well.
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:20 PM   #62
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Take apart the plumbing in your house that is over 10 years old and look in there....just sayin'
agreed, and that's really part of my point about not worrying so much about it, what we 'see' as it exits the faucet is not all there is to the story - most folks wouldn't want to see the rest of it, whether it's the condition of the pipes it's flowing thru, or the pump equipment it came to the house from, or even the 'underground rivers' that water is initially pumped from.
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:24 PM   #63
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As a young soldier in the desert and we were handed a canvas covered bag and instructed to to fill it from a water buffalo and wet the outside of the bag. We were told this would cool the water. I had my doubts since these were hung off each side of our jeep.

Learned it actually works, not ice cold cool but much cooler than the air. Some valuable lessons to be learned from old soldiers.

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Old 07-31-2020, 05:31 PM   #64
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I'm always interested in the 'why' certain people seem to think that somehow an RV's water tank is not 'safe'... as though something is growing in there, or there is a chemical it is made of that is hazardous, or other nonsense. No RV manufacturer is going to provide a DRINKING water holding tank that is not designed and built JUST FOR THAT PURPOSE.

Drink it, it's o.k.

and if it's been 'sanitized', even better, if that makes you really 'feel' better, though it probably did NOTHING different to your tank!(or your water!)

It's interesting, because the same folks have water at their home, and it comes from a 'tank'. Either that tank is at their well, or in their basement, or if on city or county water, in those HUGE Tanks on the roadside! Tanks are perfect for holding water, WHO WOULD HAVE THUNK!
Even those who 'only' use bottled la te da' water for 'drinking' are simply fooling themselves. Where do you think that water was stored before it was 'pumped' into the bottle???

No problem with your basic premise. But when you say "No RV manufacturer is going to provide a DRINK......etc etc"



We all know how well RV manufacturers do on all aspects of RV DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION.


So, I see no problem with being careful to the point of making oneself happy.



Just saying.......
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Old 07-31-2020, 06:25 PM   #65
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Is my water safe

Surface water may contain giardia bacteria, chlorine will not deactivate giardia, so never put untreated surface water in your RV holding tank, giardia can be removed with a filter or boil for 10 minutes, I just wanted to add this comment, I had a body got desperate for water and filled his fresh water tank with lake water, not to mention the many strains of algae spores introduced into your tank, you swimming pool owners know what I am talking about, difficult to get rid of algae
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Old 07-31-2020, 06:53 PM   #66
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The government recommended concentration of chlorine to sanitize drinking water tanks is 50 ppm, not 200. That is 1 cup (8 oz) of 5% bleach for 50 gallons or 2/3 cup for 30 gallons. Some people seem to be adding way too much bleach.
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:11 PM   #67
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Long before the internet was a thing, my granddad and dad would dump 6 gallons of 5% bleach down the well while pumping water through the pipes and back into the well for 30 minutes, then let it sit for 24 hours before flushing the plumbing. They did it that way every summer for years since the 40's and the water always tested safe for consumption. I still do it on my private well.
That's called shocking the well. It can often take out any bacteria in the well for a long time, but not always permanent. Only a lab test will tell. On the internet you will find equations for how much chlorine to add to get your well to either 150 or 200 ppm depending on the website. Well pipe diameter and water depth determine the amount water.

On your RV the bacteria shouldn't come back unless you reintroduce some with bad water.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:59 AM   #68
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Take apart the plumbing in your house that is over 10 years old and look in there....just sayin'
LOL, YOU AIN'T WRONG!!!

We replumbed our house back in January. Showed DW the inside of the old pipes... all of a sudden cousin Ralph was banging on her front door!
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:05 AM   #69
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The OP brings up an interesting discussion about FW tanks. I have seen a lot of comments on this forum concerning the care and maintenance of their FW tanks. For the most part, the majority maintain them religiously, but I have seen comments such as:

1. We never bother to sanitize the FW tank because we don't drink from it.

2. We never use the FW tank, so sanitation is not an issue.

3. We always take bottled water with us to drink and cook with. We never drink CG water or the water from the FW tank.

The caveat here is that with a used rig that you don't talk to the original owner, you never know what you're going to get.

The only recommendation I can give is to properly sanitize it and then have a professional water sample taken and analyzed.

Just my 2
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:41 AM   #70
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City water is treated with chlorine, and the goal is to have a chlorine residual at the tap. You can buy little strips at the pool store that will tell you what the chlorine residual is. If there is lots of bacteria in your lines, it will use up the chlorine, and leave no residual chlorine. So if you have chlorine residual at the tap, it is safe to drink. I was in charge of water systems for the Forest Service, and I can tell you that all water isn't treated the same, and some of our systems had what is called surface influence. After a rain, the water could be contaminated. Even some springs that people believed were good enough to make Coors beer with, were surface influenced. Checking your residual chlorine is just insurance. When we backpack, we carry a Sawyer filter from Walmart. I've never gotten sick backpacking, although the Sawyer doesn't filter out viruses. For viruses, you need a purifier filter. I can tell you when I go camping, my goal is to be as far as possible from anywhere you can purchase bottled water.
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Old 08-03-2020, 11:59 PM   #71
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Been camping/hiking all my life and have owned an RV for the past 20yrs or so. I don't think I have ever sanitized our water system and have not had any ill effects. If you ever have taken a swim in a lake or river you have undoubtedly come in contact with billions of bacteria that have entered your mouth/eyes/nose/etc. If you feel better sanitizing your tanks, you should, if not, then don't. If you have special circumstances (immunocompromised or such), then it is probably a good idea whether you drink it or not. And yes, I actually am a biochemist.
Makes sense & I'm sure you are correct, but there's just something about that hidden tank down there with stale water in it from some Park water source, sitting for months between outings.
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Old 08-04-2020, 12:09 AM   #72
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City water is treated with chlorine, and the goal is to have a chlorine residual at the tap. You can buy little strips at the pool store that will tell you what the chlorine residual is. If there is lots of bacteria in your lines, it will use up the chlorine, and leave no residual chlorine. So if you have chlorine residual at the tap, it is safe to drink. I was in charge of water systems for the Forest Service, and I can tell you that all water isn't treated the same, and some of our systems had what is called surface influence. After a rain, the water could be contaminated. Even some springs that people believed were good enough to make Coors beer with, were surface influenced. Checking your residual chlorine is just insurance. When we backpack, we carry a Sawyer filter from Walmart. I've never gotten sick backpacking, although the Sawyer doesn't filter out viruses. For viruses, you need a purifier filter. I can tell you when I go camping, my goal is to be as far as possible from anywhere you can purchase bottled water.
The water I leave home with has a couple of ppm of chlorine. But the water I refill with in a State Park or National Park or BLM or FS CG might not? It seems I should check for a ppm or two of chlorine in water from such sources and add 2 or 3 ppm myself it it comes up short?
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:20 AM   #73
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Makes sense & I'm sure you are correct, but there's just something about that hidden tank down there with stale water in it from some Park water source, sitting for months between outings.
Why would anyone leave water in a tank for months between outings ???
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:59 AM   #74
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Why would anyone leave water in a tank for months between outings ???
Who out there lets their rig sit for "months" during camping season?
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Old 08-04-2020, 10:42 AM   #75
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:43 AM   #76
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Why would anyone leave water in a tank for months between outings ???
Because the bottom is not completely flat and it won't drain fully. Having just maybe a quart of water in there adds to my concern. And it's warm water since summers are hot were we live.

Even after draining with the petcock, the pump will pull out a quart of water so its pickup must be lower than the drain petcock. But even that's likely not in the bottom center. Aren't they usually at one end?

I try to remember to put a teaspoon of chlorine in before parking for the summer.

I have the same situation in the 46 gallon tank in the truck. There's no way to fully drain it without taking it out ... which I can and sometimes do, usually to flush it before an outing.

I'm going out right now and add a bit of chlorine to both ... to be sure it was done.
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:47 AM   #77
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Who out there lets their rig sit for "months" during camping season?
Camping season for us is October into December and January through March or April. Sometimes a few week June trip into the mountains. All is dry camping or boondocking. No A/C so we avoid hot places in hot months. We also avoid crowded places.

We stay home in the summer where we have A/C and a pool. And grandkids.
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Old 08-09-2020, 10:53 AM   #78
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There are drinking water test strips all over Amazon if one is concerned about water safety.
I believe most people overthink the whole thing.
Clorox is your friend if used properly and as part of a regular maintenance schedule.
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Old 08-09-2020, 02:52 PM   #79
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Because the bottom is not completely flat and it won't drain fully. Having just maybe a quart of water in there adds to my concern. And it's warm water since summers are hot were we live.

Even after draining with the petcock, the pump will pull out a quart of water so its pickup must be lower than the drain petcock. But even that's likely not in the bottom center. Aren't they usually at one end?

I try to remember to put a teaspoon of chlorine in before parking for the summer.

I have the same situation in the 46 gallon tank in the truck. There's no way to fully drain it without taking it out ... which I can and sometimes do, usually to flush it before an outing.

I'm going out right now and add a bit of chlorine to both ... to be sure it was done.
I add Clorox reg strength at every fill. An empty tank gets 3.5 tsp (40 gal) and less for partial fills based on metered amount.

My continuous chlorination pretty much eliminates the need for shock treatments.
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Old 08-09-2020, 02:53 PM   #80
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Check out the Clorox site for water treatment. Formulas for treating water all the way down to one quart.
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There are drinking water test strips all over Amazon if one is concerned about water safety.
I believe most people overthink the whole thing.
Clorox is your friend if used properly and as part of a regular maintenance schedule.
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