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Old 08-26-2014, 01:55 PM   #1
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Fresh water tank cleaning questions

Hi, we are the new owners of a 2003 Adventurer 35U. The coach is in great shape and had been loved and well groomed. As I was preparing it and checking systems I noticed the water flow form the fresh water tank slowing to a dribble. The previous day I had drained the previous owners fresh water and sanitized the tank as they had had it on board for a week or two. I checked the screen filter on the pump and it was clogged with algae. Cleaned the filter and clogged again after a few minutes. Since that time I have retreated the tank water and flushed it multiple times. The screen is still picking up some particulates and clogging on occasion. At last the question, is there a better way of cleaning the freshwater tank short of removing it (major pain) or should I keep treating, flushing and draining? Thoughts?
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:34 PM   #2
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Hi there,

Removing the tank is really not an option, if you can find the main tank drains, and have an unlimited source of water to work with, continued flushing will eventually resolve the constant clogging.

How ever, you'll need to use a bleach solution to kill the continued growth problem you now have.

It's strange you have so much in the tank as most of the time, algae needs some sun light to grow. But maybe not if the water came from an untreated source.

Bottom line, keep bleach at approximately 4oz to 50gal of water. This will stop the continued growth, and you will see a marked decrease in clogging.

I would add a filter in line before the pump now. A filter will provide more area for collecting the contaminates, decrease your frequency of repair, and help to ensure you are using safe water.

If you have an ice maker in line using this water, the addition of the filter will be very important, saving headaches later.

Using your tank water as much as possible and continued treatment as noted, the problem will fade away.

Good Luck
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dtwallace View Post
Hi there,

Removing the tank is really not an option, if you can find the main tank drains, and have an unlimited source of water to work with, continued flushing will eventually resolve the constant clogging.

How ever, you'll need to use a bleach solution to kill the continued growth problem you now have.

It's strange you have so much in the tank as most of the time, algae needs some sun light to grow. But maybe not if the water came from an untreated source.

Bottom line, keep bleach at approximately 4oz to 50gal of water. This will stop the continued growth, and you will see a marked decrease in clogging.

I would add a filter in line before the pump now. A filter will provide more area for collecting the contaminates, decrease your frequency of repair, and help to ensure you are using safe water.

If you have an ice maker in line using this water, the addition of the filter will be very important, saving headaches later.

Using your tank water as much as possible and continued treatment as noted, the problem will fade away.

Good Luck
DTW
Well said. I would add, if you have a House Filter on your coach, remove the filter element, clean the canister and add 4-6 oz of bleach. Install the canister and fill the fresh water tank from your city connection. Then run the water using the pump through the coach sinks, shower etc. which should sanitize the entire system.
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:06 PM   #4
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First: There may be a 2nd drain on the tank outlet (inside the tank)

Drain the tank, RE-fill with a mixture of bleach and water, Normally you use 1/4 cup to 15 gallons but you might want to go 1/2 cup.

Let sit a while,, ,Drain again

Repeat till the algae is all gone

Clean the outlet filter if any

Refill again, with the mix, Pump it through all your lines.. Keep pumping (Cleaning pump strainer as needed) till it's all clear of algae

Drain

Refill with water and baking soda 1/2 to 1 cup should be enough, Mix soda with water first and use gravity feed

Pump that through all lines till you can no longer sense bleach

Drain again

Fill with Fresh water and pump till water tastes normal
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:03 AM   #5
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All, thanks for the help. The water left by the previous owner was well water so there was no treatment. I have began the chlorinate and flush process. I leave the chlorinated solution in for 24 to 48 hours and then flush it and start all over again. My drive is starting to smell like a laundry. As for the filter I do have a pre pump filter, it is clogging less and less but I still have some work to do. The tank drain is fortunately easy to get at. Again thanks for the assist may the flush continue!
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:47 AM   #6
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We had a swimming pool at our s&b for years and would occasionally have algae problems, any pool supply professional will tell you that chlorine will not kill algae it just bleaches it white. Chlorine is a disinfectant not an algaecide, hydrogen peroxide will kill algae and disinfect your fresh water system.
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:29 AM   #7
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I have the same coach. You should be able to see the water tank from the compartment just aft of the entry door. It's white, translucent plastic. This means, if you're flexible, you could actually shine a light on the tank when it's night and may be able to see any algae build up. Bear in mind that there is a header tank just forward of the main tank that needs to be treated as well--that happens when you run the pump. You are doing the right thing by doing the bleach/flush/rinse cycle. Do run the faucets/pump just before and after the "wait", too. I'd even run water from faucets for about 15 minutes after the "wait". I say this because, as I see it, keeping water circulating is the key after the treatment. (You may want to hook your sewer hose up then keep the gray tank open to keep it dumped while running water--do not open the black valve!)

Driving the coach around for a bit with the sanitizing solution in the water tank (about 1/2 full) will help move water around, as well. Think of sloshing as scrubbing.

I also use these filters for filling and when hooked up to city water:
http://www.hydropuretechnologies.com...-SYSTEM-6.html

Scott
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:00 AM   #8
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Elf111,
That's interesting, I've never heard that before, about the bleaching the algae white. Don't want to hi-jack this thread but I'd just like to ask one question, where do you get enough peroxide to do the job, being that it's a little dangerous to work with also? Thanks in advance for your reply.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:14 AM   #9
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You don't have to fill the tank with undiluted peroxide two or three bottles let it set then fill with water and let it set again and rinse. What makes you think it is more dangerous than chlorine have you ever seen what chlorine does when it comes in contact with other cleaners? You need to use caution whenever your working with any cleaners do not mix them they can kill you. Algaecides are used in swimming pools to kill algae chlorine is used as a disinfectant to kill bacteria.
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:14 AM   #10
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Elf111,
Thanks for that info, again not meaning to hijack this thread, my experience with hydrogen peroxide for cleaning is with the 100% solution the comes in 55gal plastic drums.
This is used in meat packing/slaughter houses to clean up the blood. You have to wear protective clothing because you absolutely cannot spill this on your skin. That's the reason for my statement of the danger. Bottles of 5% would not cause harm unless ingesting.

I think in the past I've seen the 100% sold in Home Depot in the gallon jugs. Again used for cleaning areas where food is prepared. Using diluted 100% would be a great way of cleaning a holding tank, black and/or gray, as long as the proper precautions are used. How ever, it will kill the good bacteria in a septic system.

Now thanks to you, I know of another use, The swimming pool.
Thanks for that education, and have a great day..

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Old 08-29-2014, 05:52 AM   #11
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Peroxide?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elf111 View Post
You don't have to fill the tank with undiluted peroxide two or three bottles let it set then fill with water and let it set again and rinse. What makes you think it is more dangerous than chlorine have you ever seen what chlorine does when it comes in contact with other cleaners? You need to use caution whenever your working with any cleaners do not mix them they can kill you. Algaecides are used in swimming pools to kill algae chlorine is used as a disinfectant to kill bacteria.
Interesting, Calcium Hypochlorite has been the recommended algae treatment combined with shock in pools for years. I had never heard of using peroxide. I talked with a pool specialist, they use Chlorine to kill and shock to breakdown the particulates so the filter can effectively pick them up. I did some more research on the peroxide use. According to the articles from About RVing and from a white paper from a chemist on this subject the paraphrased recommendation is 1) yes it will work. 2) it requires a minimum of a 50% solution (not available from your normal store) 3) It will require special post treatment procedures to remove it from your water system and it will still have to be disinfected afterwards. Bottom line was neither source recommended it. They both felt the cost to high and the decontamination of the tank and lines to much work. Their recommendation was 1/4 cup of bleach per 15 gallons, drive around to agitate it, park run water through all lines let set for two to four hours, drain. Then refill with fresh repeat the process and drain.
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Old 08-30-2014, 07:09 AM   #12
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I wasn't suggesting that peroxide is an algeacide it is another form of oxidizer and would be too expensive to use in a pool. But will kill algae in a fresh water tank and not leave a strong odor. I wasn't trying to start a peeing contest try it or don't doesn't matter to me.
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Old 08-30-2014, 05:42 PM   #13
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Sorry Elf111,

I don't think we were in a peeing contest, Just trying to learn new things from whom ever has experience in what ever.

Although we've hijacked someone else's thread, I still thank you and the other poster for the info you guys put out. Sharing knowledge is what this is all about. I've learned a few things from both of you.

DTW
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:03 AM   #14
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Elf111 I didn't take it that way. In looking for ideas to clean the system I looked into your idea of peroxide. In my area the proper concentration is not immediate available and would have to be ordered. I do like the idea of the low odor, availability is the issue. I tried home supply, farm supply and cleaning supply. The only one that had it was cleaning supply and they were hesitant to sell it to an unlicensed "citizen" citing disposal issues.
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:33 AM   #15
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All, Thanks for the input. We now have water flowing again with a clean tank. The procedure was arduous. Of course I may have gone overboard but it is clean. I did the following:
Half fill the tank with 1/2 cup of bleach per 25 gallons, remove pre pump filter and fill all lines. Agitate by driving around and let set for 48 hours. Fill the last half of the tank and drain (to get the chlorine concentration down). Refill with fresh water with drain valve open. This helped to flush the sediment. Close valve and refill with 1/4 cup per 25 gallons. Fill all house lines and let set for 24 hours. Flush the system (twice) with fresh water. My lawn is now growing like crazy by the way. Refill the system with fresh city (treated) water and test with pool test kit for chlorine, smell test and taste test. Last step will be Monday. Using the winterizing bypass fill the house lines with a peroxide and water solution (found a place to order a gallon of concentrate solution) and let set for a couple of hours. From what I have learned here the oxidizing action of the peroxide should kill off any remaining organisms. Flush the lines and use. Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-31-2014, 02:37 PM   #16
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I don't believe you need a solution as strong as fifty percent hydrogen peroxide to disenfect five percent is all I've ever used it's no stronger than what you would use to rinse your mouth.
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Old 08-31-2014, 03:46 PM   #17
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That sure seems arduous but I'm glad you made progress and now will soon have a water system cleaned to your liking!

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