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Author Topic: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank  (Read 726 times)

Stevecamper

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So I'm back

This Trailer is an emotional rollercoaster.  Keep on running into little set backs, but always happy when I can knock something off the list.

Really need this thing to be up to snuff for a trip around Lake Superior in 3 weeks.... Will be hard to sell my better half on RVing if things aren't working right.... ;)

Anyway, now I am looking into the fresh water system.  Already hooked it up to the house and that seems fine.  However, looking at the fresh water tank, it was empty, but looks like some sort of slime had grown on the walls of the plastic tank.  Filled it part way and you can see it floating around.    Anyhow, is there a trick to cleaning that out?  Perhaps an additive that will break it up so it will drain? 

I did take a hose attached to a wet vac and sucked it out, but have little control over the hose inside the tank as far as sucking up the crud.  The drain is to small and plugs up easily as well.  I also disconnected the discharge from the pump and ran a hose from it outside.  Of course it plugged up... I knew it wasn't going to work, but I had to try it. ::)

Thanks for your continued  help

Steve


Triple Slide Jayco

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2017, 05:39:33 PM »
Possibly empty it, then unhook the mounts for it and drop it down.? Once off the tt you can clean it many ways. I would look at this option then fill it with a strong bleach concentrate then let it sit then try to scrub it on the inside somehow with a long handled brush, similar to cleaning out your dryer vent then rinse then repeat the process a few times then let the hose rinse it or 15 minutes or so.
2016 Jayco TT Triple slide 33RBTS
2016 Chevy Tahoe

Stevecamper

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2017, 07:15:42 PM »
Great idea!  Mine is inside under the seat, but I was looking at it today thinking there isn't much holding it in....  Never even thought about taking it out-always good to look for different ideas. 

2 screws, one more hose and a seat brace and it will be out.  Not sure about getting a brush in there, but will surely be able to do a lot better than with it in the trailer. 

Thanks
Steve

DearMissMermaid

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 07:20:20 PM »
Plain white vinegar will seriously clean the crud out.

Non toxic, easy to rinse. Evaporates easily.

Superior to bleach.

Fill up tank with as much vinegar as you can get in there. Run each faucet so you get some to soak in the lines too. Wait 48 hours, then run it the faucet until dry and fill up with water. Rinse and repeat.

A ton of crud will come out including hard water deposits. The taste afterwards will be refreshing.
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Living, working. playing  in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

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Rene T

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2017, 07:28:53 PM »
Plain white vinegar will seriously clean the crud out.

Non toxic, easy to rinse. Evaporates easily.

Superior to bleach.

Fill up tank with as much vinegar as you can get in there. Run each faucet so you get some to soak in the lines too. Wait 48 hours, then run it the faucet until dry and fill up with water. Rinse and repeat.

A ton of crud will come out including hard water deposits. The taste afterwards will be refreshing.

Good idea but I would put it in the back of a pickup and run some errands. Leave it slosh around for several days if need be.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

JudyJB

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2017, 12:19:10 AM »
While you are at it, you might want to take the plug out of the bottom of the hot water tank and flush it out as well.  It probably has whatever was in the fresh water tank in it. 

Also, if you have a whole house water filter, you need to find out whether that is before or after the fresh water tank.  It is probably after, so you might want to change it after you get everything clean.
Full-timing for over five years in a
2012 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger 31N

Stevecamper

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2017, 04:44:16 AM »
Are you talking straight white vinegar?  My tank is 36 gallons. 

Also, the crud is about the thickness of thin cardboard-like a clothing box.  Volume wise, there isn't a real lot in there.   Easily clogs the pump though.  Will the vinegar break it down?  Though I don't have a problem with taking the tank out, leaving it in and draining it would be more funner. 

The rest of the system appears to have been winterized and seems fine.  But once the tank is cleaned out, I will run some vinegar through the whole system.

DearMissMermaid

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 05:33:55 AM »
Enough vinegar to cover the crud stuck to the bottom. Buy it by the gallon, it's pretty cheap.

Also removes stink. My friends had stinky hot water, once they did the vinegar soak and rinse, a pile of crud came out and the water was fresh after that.

Also vinegar does not harm any rubber parts in the water pump.

White vinegar also cleans up a toilet bowl to look new again.

I've been using white vinegar in a Downy softner ball in my RV compact washing machine. It has kept the crud out of my washer lines plus it softens clothes.
http://DearMissMermaid.Com

Living, working. playing  in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

Pack half the stuff and twice the cash.
http://dearmissmermaid.blogspot.com/

kdbgoat

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 06:05:18 AM »
White vinegar is excellent for cleaning a lot of stuff. Vinegar also does a better job of killing and getting rid of mold than bleach does. Check with livestock supply places near you, they may have acetic acid in powder form that you can mix and fill your system. That's the same acid that is in vinegar.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2017, 09:34:58 AM »
Whether you use bleach or vinegar, put a fairly strong solution in and let it sit for a couple days to kill off growing things.  Then flush repeatedly using any of the methods above that work.

I know most people find it unpleasant, but green stuff growing in the tank is unlikely to be harmful in any way. The toxic critters you need to worry about can't be seen.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

kdbgoat

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2017, 09:49:15 AM »
I know most people find it unpleasant, but green stuff growing in the tank is unlikely to be harmful in any way.

Yep, just ask anybody that has looked inside the potable water tanks in a submarine after they have been in service a couple of years.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2017, 10:10:42 AM »
Ditto for city water supplies.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

blw2

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2017, 10:37:11 AM »
from the sounds of it you have more than what would be easy to do with simple sanitization and rinsing.
I think I would consider buying an inspection hatch, cutting a hole in the top to put it
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
í13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
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former tent campers

pz

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2017, 10:48:31 AM »
Although it is not exactly the same as your problem, this technique might help.  I've a wall mounted Mitsubishi heat pump that started building up condensation water inside the unit within the house. Normally the condensate drains through a small tube about the same size as the drain stopcock in our RV. I suspected that it was clogged with some kind of bacterial mat, so poking with a coat hanger did nothing to increase the draining flow. In desperation I applied the hose of my wet/dry shop vac to the hose and it sucked out the clog within seconds - it now flows normally.

Although it is somewhat impractical to drain your entire tank this way, you might try applying a shop vac to the drain stopcock each time it becomes clogged.  Personally, I'd fill the tank with water, add bleach to kill anything in the tank, and start draining. If the flow slows or stops, I don't think there is any kind of slime that could resist the sucking power of a shop vac. I think you'd end up with a sparkling clean tank cleared of all the crud.

Of course, this is only my opinion, and I have never heard of this method before.
PZ
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2011 Rockwood 8288SS
2012 Ram 3500 6.7L Cummins

Jim.B1

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2017, 09:36:23 PM »
Once you get your fresh water tank cleaned, be sure to drain it on your trip home after each outing.
By draining it during the drive, it gives the low points a chance to drain as you go up and down grades and turn.
During cooler weather we might leave water in the tank for up to a week, but when the temperature rises, the bacteria will build quicker so we drain it immediately after each use.
There are commercial fresh water tank cleaners, but good old vinegar is non toxic, cheap and works well.

ArdraF

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2017, 10:13:38 PM »
Many of us do not drain our fresh water tanks when we get home.  In fact, quite the opposite because we fill them so there is back up for emergencies such as earthquakes.  As a rule, if you use chlorinated city water you won't have problem.  We do sanitize the fresh water tank before leaving again (description of how to sanitize in the RV Forum Library).

ArdraF
ArdraF
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johnaye

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2017, 10:30:02 PM »
Have you checked your instruction manual.  Usually it will give you a bleach water ratio to clean out the tank.
John and Becky
2004 Alfa See Ya DP
2008 Honda CRV

kdbgoat

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2017, 06:01:43 AM »
Have you checked your instruction manual.  Usually it will give you a bleach water ratio to clean out the tank.

1/4 cup for each 15 gallons. Along with a LOT of other good information, there's a write up on freshwater system sanitizing in the site's library:

 http://www.rvforum.net/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=110:water-system-sanitizing&catid=42&Itemid=132
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

Stevecamper

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2017, 09:27:01 AM »
Thanks for the replies everybody and sorry it took so long to get back.
 
As stated, my issue was more than just a sanitizing issue with the pump plugging up and all.  I ended up taking the tank right out.  Happily, it took all of 10 minutes to remove it.  Filled it with 15 gallons of vinegar and water and let it sit.  While doing that, I ran several gallons of vinegar through the system using the pump and let that sit a while as well.  I did end up using a brush on a bendable metal rod to do a little scrubbing in the tank as well.  Some flushing and it was good to go!  The lines and hot water tank didnít appear to have the same issue, which I found a little surprising.   
 
Mechanically, the trailer is now in good shape with all systems running.
 
Again, thanks for all the help!  This is a great site, even if I didnít have any issues, there is a wealth of knowledge here to browse through.
 
Steve
« Last Edit: August 20, 2017, 09:29:03 AM by Stevecamper »

Rene T

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2017, 12:01:41 PM »
Steve, that's great it worked out for you. Thanks for getting back to us with the results.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

DearMissMermaid

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2017, 05:28:33 AM »
Well, you are living testimony that vinegar does work on RV water systems and you don't have to deal with the stench and toxicity of bleach.

I always have vinegar around. I use it to disinfect the kitchen, clean the toilet, windows, mirrors, floors, microwave, coffee maker and so on. If you just defrosted your fridge, clean up with vinegar on a microfiber cloth  to make the interior look new again.

My RV is never without vinegar around.

For quick window washing, use two microfiber cloths. One soaked in vinegar to wash the window and a second dry cloth to polish it dry.

In the laundry, I use vinegar in the rinse cycle to soften clothes, remove lint, prevent static cling. It also keeps the hard water crud out of my washer and hose lines.

Ever get new clothes or sheets that have leftover fabric treatment on them? Make them instantly soft by washing with a cup of vinegar in the wash and rinse cycle.

If you have colored clothes that are dulled from too much laundry soap, wash with some vinegar in the machine and watch the colors pop out again.
http://DearMissMermaid.Com

Living, working. playing  in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

Pack half the stuff and twice the cash.
http://dearmissmermaid.blogspot.com/

QZ

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2017, 10:29:52 AM »
I had that issue and removed the tank. After getting it out I used a bleach solution and dumped a bunch of nuts and bolts in it and agitated  to knock the dark ring of crud. It took a surprising amount of turning it and tumbling the hardware to completely scrub it because of the irregular shape..  I just couldn't  live with seeing any trace of it. It had not been used in a month or so and I had used well water at times.  I'm also glad that we use a Berkey water filter.

DearMissMermaid

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Re: Need some suggestions for flushing the crud out of the fresh water tank
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2017, 08:42:07 PM »
I use an inline pre-filter for filling the tank and I own a Berkey water purifier.

Oh that thing does an amazing job!

I drink it, I make coffee and tea with it, make ice in the freezer, boil pasta and steam rice with it, plus the dog is addicted to it.

When I went with a friend to the Keys for 2 weeks, we loaded up my Berkey for the trip.

It's the best water purifier (and simplest!) ever made. Requires no plumbing or electricity, will clean river or lake water, what ever you throw in it except salt water.

I built mine in under the sink with bungee cords. I have a retractable faucet, so it's pretty easy for me to top it off every time I drain it into my water carafes. It fit better with the door off, but since it was as wide as the door and it's top notch stainless steel, it looks pretty impressive there.

Berkey water purifiers:
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=berkey+water+system&sprefix=berkey+water+,aps,160&crid=21HUSO00RRJZN&rh=i:aps,k:berkey+water+system&linkCode=ll2&tag=recreationalvehicles-20&linkId=4338be8795b49e18626a169bd956c5c1
« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 08:45:20 PM by DearMissMermaid »
http://DearMissMermaid.Com

Living, working. playing  in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

Pack half the stuff and twice the cash.
http://dearmissmermaid.blogspot.com/

 

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