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Old 03-24-2017, 06:28 AM   #1
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sterilize plumbing and piping

We've used our camper for one season and are about to start our second season. We use it one or two weekends each month.

We have not yet used the fresh water tank and have no plans to use it this season either. We just connect to "campground water supply".

Should we make it part of our procedure to sterilize our fresh water piping annually?

Can I safely do this by filling my fresh water hose with common household bleach prior to connecting to "campground water" at the campground and then just run water through each fixture inside for a few moments to ensure pass-thru of the bleach?
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Old 03-24-2017, 06:31 AM   #2
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You can add 1/4 cup of bleach to 15 gallons of water, dump it into your tank use your water pump until you smell bleach at each of your faucets. Let it sit 24 hours then flush with clean water until no bleach smell is detected.

Voila, sanitized plumbing.
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:05 AM   #3
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Sure, as long as you get some bleach into the lines you will be all set. If you have a whole coach water filter you can put the bleach in that as well.
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seakayaker View Post
Can I safely do this by filling my fresh water hose with common household bleach prior to connecting to "campground water" at the campground and then just run water through each fixture inside for a few moments to ensure pass-thru of the bleach?

I think this could work, but I'd try and get the lines filled with the bleach/water solution and let it sit for at least 30min. Bleach doesn't kill bacteria instantly. Unless you drink the water from your camper, don't get too worked about it though.

Happy Campin!
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:37 AM   #5
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Yes you can.

Just do as you suggested and the pressure from the city water will force the bleach throughout the interior plumbing system. You will of course need to open each faucet/shower (inside and out)/toilet until you smell bleach. Depending on your rig size, you may have to add bleach to the hose a second time. Let it sit a half hour or so and then flush until the bleach is gone.

Run it through the water heater as well. You may or may not have to remove the plug/anode to clear the water heater of the bleach solution depending on how well it flushes.

As a side note, I realize you said you've never used your fresh water tank, never sanitized it and have no plans to use it... but... I would suggest you go ahead and add some water/bleach and sanitize it as well. You can drain it afterwards.

The reason being... you just never know when you might be staying at a campground and they come along and say.. "city water is going to be off today for repairs, please use your on board water until we get the city water back on." -OR- the power goes out in a campground with well water and no way to pump it.

We ALWAYS have several gallons in our fresh tank for emergencies and for traveling (potty breaks) and I want the ability to fill it at a moments notice if necessary. If your system isn't sanitized and ready, you'll miss out.
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:41 PM   #6
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Couldn't agree more!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
Yes you can.

Just do as you suggested and the pressure from the city water will force the bleach throughout the interior plumbing system. You will of course need to open each faucet/shower (inside and out)/toilet until you smell bleach. Depending on your rig size, you may have to add bleach to the hose a second time. Let it sit a half hour or so and then flush until the bleach is gone.

Run it through the water heater as well. You may or may not have to remove the plug/anode to clear the water heater of the bleach solution depending on how well it flushes.

As a side note, I realize you said you've never used your fresh water tank, never sanitized it and have no plans to use it... but... I would suggest you go ahead and add some water/bleach and sanitize it as well. You can drain it afterwards.

The reason being... you just never know when you might be staying at a campground and they come along and say.. "city water is going to be off today for repairs, please use your on board water until we get the city water back on." -OR- the power goes out in a campground with well water and no way to pump it.

We ALWAYS have several gallons in our fresh tank for emergencies and for traveling (potty breaks) and I want the ability to fill it at a moments notice if necessary. If your system isn't sanitized and ready, you'll miss out.
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:51 PM   #7
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5 picker is dead on with lots of insight when he mentions bringing extra water in an event of an incident. I always bring portable water with me when travelling instead of hauling 300 pounds of water weight and make due till we reach the campsite....
And yes I like to sanitize my plumbing system in the spring just for piece of mind.
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Old 03-24-2017, 02:43 PM   #8
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It is unwise to put full-strength bleach in your system. You need to dilute it first. Straight bleach is very unforgiving if you splash it anywhere and it’s just too strong for pumping straight into your plumbing.

I agree with those who recommend sanitizing your fresh water tank for those times you might want to use your trailer when not hooked up to city water, e.g., to flush the toilet while traveling.

The Forest River Owner’s Manual method is at the bottom of this message. The only thing I would add is to leave the bleach solution in your system overnight before draining and flushing. Also, at least two flushes are needed.

Sanitizing the Fresh Water System
Sanitize the system before initial use, after extended periods
of non-use, at least once a year during continuous use, and
if there is suspicion that the system has been contaminated.

To Sanitize the System:
• Prepare a chlorine solution using a gallon of water and 1/4
cup of liquid household bleach, (5% sodium hypochlorinate
solution.) Use one gallon of solution for each 15 gallons of
tank capacity.
• With an empty tank and all faucets and drains closed, pour
the solution into the fresh water tank.
• Completely fill the tank with fresh water.
• Switch on the water pump. Open all faucets one at a time
until all air is purged and the water flows freely.
• Again, add fresh water to the tank until the water level
reaches the fill spout.
• Allow the solution to stand in the tank, undisturbed, for at
least 3 (three) hours.
• Drain the system by opening all faucets and the fresh water
tank drain valve, while flushing the system with fresh water
of drinking quality.
• Continue flushing the system, allowing the water to flow for
several minutes.
• Close the tank drain valve and all faucets. Refill the system
with water of known drinking quality.
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottBrownstein View Post
Sure, as long as you get some bleach into the lines you will be all set. If you have a whole coach water filter you can put the bleach in that as well.
Don't forget to leave the filter element out when you do this. Many filters try to remove chemicals like chlorine. When you have flushed the system with water, you can return the filter to the cartridge.

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Old 03-24-2017, 09:53 PM   #10
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One minor gripe. Comes from my brewing beer and fermenting wine.

You are not sterilizing your system. You are sanitizing it...

Sanitary: clean and free from pathogens; hygienic

Sterile: free from all living or viable microorganisms

I know, I should just relax and .
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SailorSam20500 View Post
One minor gripe. Comes from my brewing beer and fermenting wine.

You are not sterilizing your system. You are sanitizing it...

Sanitary: clean and free from pathogens; hygienic

Sterile: free from all living or viable microorganisms

I know, I should just relax and .
No apology necessary. Precision and accuracy are too often forgotten nowadays.



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Old 03-25-2017, 02:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Sanitizing the Fresh Water System
Sanitize the system before initial use, after extended periods
of non-use, at least once a year during continuous use, and
if there is suspicion that the system has been contaminated.

To Sanitize the System:
• Prepare a chlorine solution using a gallon of water and 1/4
cup of liquid household bleach, (5% sodium hypochlorinate
solution.) Use one gallon of solution for each 15 gallons of
tank capacity.
• With an empty tank and all faucets and drains closed, pour
the solution into the fresh water tank.
• Completely fill the tank with fresh water.
• Switch on the water pump. Open all faucets one at a time
until all air is purged and the water flows freely.
• Again, add fresh water to the tank until the water level
reaches the fill spout.
• Allow the solution to stand in the tank, undisturbed, for at
least 3 (three) hours.

• Drain the system by opening all faucets and the fresh water
tank drain valve, while flushing the system with fresh water
of drinking quality.
• Continue flushing the system, allowing the water to flow for
several minutes.
• Close the tank drain valve and all faucets. Refill the system
with water of known drinking quality

The county extension where I live requires us to bleach the well every year and let the bleach sit for a minimum of 24 hours. And have the water tested. We live on land that used to be a dairy farm and the water from new homes came back contaminated.
I went a little farther and had a new well sunk to 165 feet to the first water layer below bedrock. the wells were at 40 to 45 feet. Now my well test comes back the cleanest in the neighborhood.
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Old 03-25-2017, 05:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SailorSam20500 View Post
One minor gripe. Comes from my brewing beer and fermenting wine.

You are not sterilizing your system. You are sanitizing it...

Sanitary: clean and free from pathogens; hygienic

Sterile: free from all living or viable microorganisms

I know, I should just relax and .
I fully understand! I have my own "Pet Peeve" It comes from formerly being a homebuilder.

It IS NOT a Hot Water Heater.

If the water were hot there would be no need to heat it, would there?

It IS a Water Heater!

I know, I too should relax about something so trivial.
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Old 03-25-2017, 05:41 AM   #14
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sterilize plumbing and piping

I'm the same way with handheld navigation devices. Most people call them a GPS. GPS stands for Global Positioning Satellite. What you use is in fact a GPSR, Global Positioning Satellite RECEIVER.
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