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Author Topic: Sanitizing Question  (Read 1285 times)

mudshark

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Sanitizing Question
« on: May 08, 2018, 01:08:18 PM »
Hi All
Sanitizing our Class A for the first time with bleach.
I printed out Gary's Water System Sanitizing paper. It says, "after running solution thru all the water outlets, let water stand for several hours."
How long do you guys let the bleach solution sit in the tank and lines before you flush them out?
Thanks
Jim
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

NY_Dutch

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2018, 03:27:18 PM »
3-4 hours is plenty of time to kill off any "bad guys" that might be living there. Even a couple of hours is usually adequate for an annual sanitizing, but I'd go longer for the first time...
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

mudshark

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2018, 03:46:10 PM »
Thanks Dutch
It is suppertime here.
Do you think overnight is too long??
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

Rene T

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2018, 03:47:44 PM »
I leave mine in overnight.
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

mudshark

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2018, 04:47:12 PM »
Thanks Rene T
I will leave it in overnight. Tomorrow is another day.
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

John From Detroit

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2018, 06:22:01 PM »
"Too long" would be.. Well you won't be camping this summer if you leave it sit too long cause you will need to Winterize again.

Frankly I do not think you need to leave it for long.

Make your next pass with baking soda water to delete residual Chlorine taste. Bleach is nasty.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2018, 06:29:19 PM »
Thanks Dutch
It is suppertime here.
Do you think overnight is too long??

The effectiveness of the bleach will diminish the longer it sits open to the air (tank is vented), so overnight is ok, just not necessary.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2018, 12:01:55 PM »
Chlorine bleach pretty much kills on contact, so the question is how long does it take to be sure the solution has permeated every part of the water system. Chances are excellent that every part has been reached in 20-30 minutes, but 2-4 hours is a more sure bet. Beyond that, there probably isn't much to be gained.

As for the tank itself, it's hard to get it full enough to bring the bleach in contact with the top, plus you would really need to force the solution out the vent, overflow and drain lines as well.  Fortunately, hardly any of the really nasty pathogens seem to thrive in water tank. I leave it to you to decide how much effort to put into sanitizing the fresh tank, but I gave up on it altogether in my last coach (10 years of use).  We always had "city" chlorinated water in it anyway, so I just ran in some fresh city water and then drained it, sort of a rinse job.  Your mileage may vary...  :-\
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Memtb

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2018, 12:18:09 PM »
  We’re on well water here at home, and rarely do RV parks/campgrounds, so the only chlorine our unit sees....is what we do at home. Our  RV may  sit unused for several weeks to months....our method is (as some have mentioned), fill fresh tank with a fairly strong bleach solution, run solution throughout all plumbing, and refill tank till run over achieved. And this may be a little overkil, leave in system for 24(or so) hours. Flush system....refill....go camping!
« Last Edit: May 09, 2018, 12:31:08 PM by Memtb »
Todd and Marianne
Home Base: Winchester, Wy.
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

Spring Creek

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2018, 12:46:13 PM »
Depending on the ratio you are using (I used what Winnebago recommended), if you leave it overnight you may cloud any clear plastic (small strainer on the water pump or other filter system components).  Not saying this will cause issues, but, leaving it in too long can result in some visible effects.  Ask me how I know  ::)
Kurt
2018 Winnebago Minnie Winnie 31K - 2011 Equinox

Spring Creek

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2018, 12:56:00 PM »
Gary, when you say you "gave up on it", do you mean you didn't think it was necessary or other?  Just curious.

I sanitize once a year, lightly now  :P, and we have a Doulton Ultracarb filter with a drinking water faucet I installed in the bathroom (just in case of pathogens/other).  It greatly improved the taste considering the wide variations you get going from place to place.
Kurt
2018 Winnebago Minnie Winnie 31K - 2011 Equinox

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2018, 01:09:30 PM »
Quote
Gary, when you say you "gave up on it", do you mean you didn't think it was necessary or other?

Not worth the effort to do a big job that I knew would be only marginally effective anyway. Since my normal water supply for tank fills was already chlorinated, my risk was tiny to begin with.  Instead of "sanitizing", I just added 15-20 gallons of city tap water to the tank, let it sit 30 minutes and drained it out.  That passed for "sanitize the tank" for my purposes.  Then put in another 20 gallons or so of city water for use.  We always keep some water in the fresh tank, just in case, even at home.

If in the same situation as Memtb, without a chlorinated supply, I would probably have done more. 
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

mudshark

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2018, 01:26:59 PM »
Thanks Guys
Here is what I did. I made up the bleach/water solution according to Gary Brinck's article. I went just a tad heavy. The bus has a 100 gallon tank so filled it to the brim and let water run out the fill and the overflow. I opened all the faucets until I smelled bleach. Then let it sit overnight. Next morning I drained everything out. Then I mixed up baking soda and water in a gallon container and poured that in. Opened all the faucets until the bleach smell was gone. That is sitting in there now. Tomorrow I will drain that completely and refill with fresh water and we will be good to go.

The only problem I have, and it is a small one. I can't seem to get the chlorine smell out of the hot water lines. Seems that I just can't get the hot water tank flushed out no matter what I try. I am sure the smell will dissipate over time.
Jim
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

Memtb

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2018, 01:29:56 PM »
  Remove the drain plug/anode rod and drain. Just flushing thru until free of chlorine odor.....will take a bit of flushing!
Todd and Marianne
Home Base: Winchester, Wy.
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

mudshark

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2018, 02:13:47 PM »
Thanks Memtb
I will give that a try.
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2018, 04:40:57 PM »
Getting the residual chlorine out of the tanks (fresh and heater) can be a real bear in some rigs. Generally the water heater can be flushed once or maybe twice using its drain plug, but many times the fresh tank cannot be fully drained.  If there are 3-5 gallons of heavily chlorinated water remaining in the bottom (as was the case with my last coach), it often takes multiple fills and drains to get rid of it, even using the baking soda. And that chlorine taste lasted for months if I did not do that. One of my trailers had the tank drain right in the very bottom so it fully drained, but that was only one of five rigs. The others all had some residual.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

NY_Dutch

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2018, 09:10:38 PM »
I found I could more fully drain the water tank by lifting the side opposite the drain with the jacks...
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

mudshark

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2018, 07:13:49 AM »
I am most fortunate that the  2000 Bounder 36S has two drains on the freshwater tank and it easily accessed thru a door. I can see it as it fills and empties.
The water heater is a bit problematic. I see no drain under the bus and the electric  heater was capped off long ago. I can only heat water with propane. I have attached a pic of the heater panel. If the drain is where the anode went in I don't think I can get a wrench in there.

Today I will be draining everything and filling with fresh water in preparation of our trip. Finally leaving Mass. to see this wonderful country of ours!
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2018, 08:26:32 AM »
Yes, the anode on a Suburban heater acts as the plug for the drain hole as well. Sometimes it is awkward to get a wrench in there, but that's how you do it.  Since you need to change the anode occasionally anyway, you may as well practice.

Not sure what you mean about the electric being "capped off". Did somebody actually remove the heat element and replace it with a cap?  Or maybe just disconnected the electric wires?   Have you considered replacing the element or re-connecting 120v power?  Should not be difficult if you can get at the backside of the heater where it is located.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

mudshark

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2018, 09:28:26 AM »
Thanks Gary
I had a mechanic look at it when I had a valve problem. When the water got hot it would trip the over pressure valve and shoot hot water everywhere. He replaced the valve and noticed that the wire to anode was messed up and not working. He said it was easier to just cut the end off and wrap it with electrical tape. He did remove the heating element. I don't know enough about this to attempt fix it.
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

mudshark

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2018, 10:42:11 AM »
OK! I should have known the system was pressurized!
I was able to get the plug out with a wrench and got soaked in the process! Flushed the hot water tank with the baking soda mix and opened all the hot water lines. Now I am draining everything and going back to fill with fresh water and should be good to go.

I'm curious. How much pressure do these things build up to??
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

blw2

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2018, 11:00:21 AM »
Pretty sure I have the same heater as the one in that picture.... looks the same anyway.

On mine, there is an outdoor shower just below and a little to the side of the water heater.  very close to it

what I do to drain the heater is
open the hot water valve on the shower, make sure the button on the head is open, let the hose hang down
pop open the TPRV to vent the water heater
....all of this of course with the water pump or CG water off

The outlet form the heater to the coach is at the same level (by eye) as the drain plug, so it should drain fully
assuming of course there's not a loop above the heater between the heater and the shower.  Pretty sure I checked that when I first got the coach, and I'm ok in this regard.

I probably should pull the real drain plug some day, because the heater might be designed inside to funnel towards that drain (or the potential piping issue that would keep it form getting a full drain) but for my purposes (in Florida) it's worked ok so far....
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

mudshark

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2018, 11:09:46 AM »
Hi blw2
It certainly was a learning moment for me!
I now know how long it takes the pump to pump 6 gallons!
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

Rene T

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2018, 07:13:13 PM »
The water heater is a bit problematic. I see no drain under the bus and the electric  heater was capped off long ago. I can only heat water with propane. I have attached a pic of the heater panel. If the drain is where the anode went in I don't think I can get a wrench in there.

Looking at your picture, it looks like Atwood heater. If it is, you will NOT have a anode. Only Suburban has the anode.
You should be able to remove the drain plug with a socket and a extension/ratchet. If you get it out, you should replace it with a nylon plug. Less chance of ruining the threads.
The heating element should be on the backside of the heater.
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

NY_Dutch

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2018, 07:32:28 PM »
From the photo, it looks like there's an aftermarket "HottRod" style electric heating element screwed into the drain plug opening. Unscrewing it may be problematic depending on how much the dissimilar metals have "welded" together. As Rene said, if you get it out, replace it with the correct nylon plug available in RV stores or on Amazon, or even a 1/2" CPVC plug from a hardware store.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

mudshark

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2018, 10:37:14 PM »
Thanks Guys
I was able to get the plug out and drain the HW tank.
I am quite aware of what can happen if you bugger the threads. After draining and flushing the HW tank a couple of times I put some Teflon tape on the threads and put it back in. This will get me thru for now. The threads are much smaller than 1/2 NPT. They look to be a fine thread around 3/8" or 7/16". They may even be tapered. Anyone care to take a guess?
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

Old_Crow

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2018, 06:37:48 AM »
On my 36S the nylon plug is in the lower left corner where the remains of the electric element is in your pic.  Yes, it's a PITA to get to.
It's 1/2 NPT and, as Dutch said, the plugs are available almost anywhere.  They come in a 2 pack at my local RV store.
I like the angle fitting added to the pressure relief valve.  I may copy that the next time I go to the hardware store.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2018, 06:39:51 AM by Old_Crow »
Wally Crow
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mudshark

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2018, 08:56:02 AM »
Hi Old_Crow
Thant is a 1 inch 45 degree elbow for PVC pipe. It fits snugly over the discharge and directs the water away from the burner opening(s).
Works quite well.
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

NY_Dutch

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2018, 09:14:06 AM »
Thanks Guys
I was able to get the plug out and drain the HW tank.
I am quite aware of what can happen if you bugger the threads. After draining and flushing the HW tank a couple of times I put some Teflon tape on the threads and put it back in. This will get me thru for now. The threads are much smaller than 1/2 NPT. They look to be a fine thread around 3/8" or 7/16". They may even be tapered. Anyone care to take a guess?

I suspect you removed the dead electric element, but not the adapter that's used to fit it to different heater brands. Neither Atwood or Suburban use a fine thread drain fitting, but some of the aftermarket electric heater add-ons do use a fine thread to NPT adapter.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

mudshark

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2018, 09:29:15 AM »
Thanks NY_Dutch
That would make sense.
Either way, I can get at the electric element and the water drains quickly so I am happy to leave this as they are. I believe the pump takes roughly 6 minutes to fill the heater. That would make the pump 1 gal./min. Anyone know the pressure in the lines once the pump stops?
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

Rene T

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2018, 11:00:51 AM »
On my 36S the nylon plug is in the lower left corner where the remains of the electric element is in your pic. 

I better get my eyes checked soon. I don't see any remains of a switch unless it's something behind the copper gas line.  Can the OP tell us the name and model #?
The threads should be 1/2" IPS. It looks like you may have not gone back far enough.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2018, 11:02:29 AM by Rene T »
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

NY_Dutch

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2018, 11:16:34 AM »
Thanks NY_Dutch
That would make sense.
Either way, I can get at the electric element and the water drains quickly so I am happy to leave this as they are. I believe the pump takes roughly 6 minutes to fill the heater. That would make the pump 1 gal./min. Anyone know the pressure in the lines once the pump stops?

The pressure varies a bit depending on the pump make & model, but ~45 PSI is pretty typical. The pump is capable of at least 2.5 GPM, but the piping and fittings along the way will reduce that of course.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

mudshark

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2018, 12:30:04 PM »
Hi Rene T
There is no switch there. There was a wire(s) that went into the heater rod. There was a two prong connector that went onto two posts inside the heater rod. You can't see it from the picture. If the rain stops here I will try to get a better picture of it. Anyway, the connector on the wire looked really burned up. That is what lead to the decision to just cut it off and tape it up with electrical tape. The propane works so we do have hot water.

Thanks NY_ Dutch.
Wow! I would have never guessed that ~45 PSI is the working pressure on these things. The way the water came out I should not be surprised. Thankfully it was not hot water! I would have been in a world of hurt. I got soaked again when I put in the drinking water filter under the sink but that is a story for another day!
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

John From Detroit

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Re: Sanitizing Question
« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2018, 05:54:29 PM »
This won't work with the HOTT Rod which by the way is a very nice electric heater (about 300-400 watts so it does not overload a 30 amp site like a 1500 watt element does.. I replaced my 1500 watt 120 volt with a 1500 watt 240 volt. making a 375 watt element out of it. Slower to heat but I don't trip 30 amp breakers any more).

But I put in a 1/2 inch CPVC to Brass adapter. and a 1/2 inch Quarter turn valve. I screw in a short extension pipe and open the valve to drain. Screw in a plug when not draining not that I need it.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.