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Friday, October 23, 2009

Fresh Water Challenged

I have read several articles on how to sanitize the fresh water tanks, however, first you have to be able to get the solution inside the tank. I have not been able to find any way to pour the solution into the tank other than through the hose connection. Do they make a kit to pump the solution into the tank through the hose connection? There has to be a way. Am I being a bone head and missing something simple?
Brian, (Pioneer, CA)

Brian, the easiest way I’ve found to sanitize and chlorinate the fresh water tank on any motorhome is to mix your own solution using common household bleach. I recommend a ratio of 1/4-cup of bleach for every 15 gallons of tank capacity. It's actually best to pour the 1/4-cup of bleach into single, one-gallon plastic milk container, fill it with water and then pour that gallon into the fresh water tank. Add one gallon of this mixture to the tank for every 15 gallons that container holds.

Prior to adding each gallon of the mixture, drain and flush the fresh water tank with clean water. Don’t forget about the tank on the water heater! There’s no need to ignite the water heater, just remember that it is part of the fresh water system as well.

After adding the bleach solution, top off the tank with fresh water. But based on your question, I'm guessing your coach is not equipped with a gravity fill. In that case, you'll have to use a funnel to pour each gallon of the solution directly into the fresh water hose prior to connecting it to the spigot. I'm not aware of any pump kits. It may take two or three times to get it all in there, depending on the capacity of your hose. The bottom line is that each gallon of the mixture needs to find its way to the fresh water tank.

Next, using the on-board water pump, pump water throughout the entire system, including the water heater. Once water is running at all the faucets, flush the toilet a time or two. Don’t overlook those “out of sight/out of mind” components such as an exterior shower head or faucet, clothes washer connection and ice maker if so equipped. The goal is to get this heavily chlorinated solution into every inch of the fresh water system. Let the solution sit in the pipes and components for four hours, then drain the entire system and refill the tank with fresh water.

Finally, consider using an in-line filter for the fresh water system. There are many in-line filters available, but I’ve had tremendous success with the in-line filter from Hydro-Life. It’s important to only employ the filter AFTER you’ve chlorinated the system. Do not allow bleach to enter the filtering device. You’re system should now be ready for use.

If you still have odor or taste issues with the fresh water system, it may involve further troubleshooting, but there are many aftermarket additives you can add to the tank to freshen it up also.


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