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Old 05-29-2012, 01:11 PM   #1
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Water Tank - Wrong - Well Maybe

http://www.newrver.com/fresh_water.shtml - This link is to an article about how long water can stay in your fresh water tank when the vehicle is not in use. My rule of thumb was and still is 30 days, however, this article says longer.

That begs the question "what is a good source of fresh water" so here is one answer.
If the water in your tank was gotten from a Known approved "treated" water source, like a municipal water system, then maybe just maybe you can keep it in your tank for 6 months, which would then beg the question, how clean was the plumbing system before you filled the tank.

If the water was gotten from a smaller out of the way place, with a “well” system, there is no way I would trust that water longer than 30 days, if the RV had been sitting and not used.

If you have ever been sick from contaminated water, you won't ever forget the experience, and some bugs which can live in bad water can only be treated by antibiotics, and some of them can kill you.

So make sure you know where your water in the tank is coming from, and don't let the RV tank sit for a long time without sanitizing the system to kill those bugs which can make you real sick. Note, the older we get the harder it is to recover from water borne illness, so take the appropriate measures to protect your health.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:43 PM   #2
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Monty, If you use the R.O. System in your Apex you never have to worry about the fresh water.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:41 PM   #3
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Yep tried that, and let it try to fill for 2 hours. Only got a couple of gallons of water into the tank using it. The pre-filters must be cloged as well as the membrane I think. Once we have the coach back, I am going to rig up my old extra pump, and see if I can (after changing the filters/membrane) get additional pressure through it to make it work. I pre-filter all the water anyway since, the water lines in mine go through the solenoid valves before they hit the filters, so I don't want the valves to clog up. I'm thinking a 5 gallon bucket with the pump mounted on top with the output line forcing water into the system and through the R/O system. Now I have to find the pump, and see if it still works.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:58 PM   #4
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EM will probably suggest a 100psi pump to feed the RO System. That does help a lot!
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:43 AM   #5
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Coin-Op,
I would be careful about that, while the RO system puts very pure water in your tank, it is subject to some sources of contamination. Since all of the chlorine has been removed by the RO system, there is no protection in the tank.

I would also note to those owners with the later coaches that have the 2 filter system installed by WRV, I would install 2 particulate filters and no charcoal filter. This will take the debris out of the water while leaving the chlorine.

Monty,
I am not sure what the 5 gal bucket is for, but the booster pump does work real well. While I started with 2 membranes, I think one will be fine with the booster pump. The link below shows how I set mine up.

RO Booster Pump
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:54 AM   #6
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Better off with Charcoal filters and adding your own Disinfectant. Then you know what you have.
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:18 AM   #7
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Perry,
That is quite hard to do, when you have to add the chlorine to the hose, which is ahead of the filters. Alpines only have hose feed for the water fill.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:52 PM   #8
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Monty- your symptom sounds like one Sully had for a while that I fixed in New Braunfels TX. There are two solenoid valves in your system, one NO the other NC. Each, I believe, have a small screen filter that can clog w/fluff, bio-film or other contaminants in the system regardless of primary filtration. i removed sully's screen & removed the goo, he tried the RO & it ran full tilt.

In any case, low park pressure will result in low RO make rate, and a pump will fix that in most circumstances. A second membrane is also a good solution for low make rate under all but the lowest park pressure circumstances. I have a single membrane & booster pump.

As to sanitation- Dale is correct, periodic sanitation of the entire system is still a good idea. W/only RO water in the tank, yearly would be fine for the tank, but it would be nice to sanitize incoming lines maybe twice yearly. An inline canister w/hose fittings is quite useful for that task. Add the sanitizer of your choice (chlorine or hydrogen peroxide are easily obtained) to the canister & flush away. NEVER send sanitizer thru the RO membrane, ALWAYS set the membrane to Bypass mode first, as sanitizers are not good for the membrane media.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:08 PM   #9
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What I do to sanitize my tanks since I have only a hose coming into the Coach is use external water filter housing. Since we have 100 gallon fresh water tanks (actually my brochure says 107 gallon) I use 1/4 cup bleach per 15 gallons of water capacity, which works out to 1.75 cups of non scented chlorine bleach. I hook up the filter housing to the incoming hose of the MH, take off the top of the housing, pour in the bleach (without a filter inside) put the top back on, put another RV water hose to the inlet side of the housing, and a regulator on the hose bib, then hook the water hose to that, and turn on the water, this gets the bleach into the tank, and also then puts water with it into the tank. I let this mixture sit for 4-5 hours depending on how long it's been since I cleaned it before. If over 60 days, then I use the 4-5 hours rule. FWIW – I pre filter my water coming into the coach with a sediment filter in the same housing once the above process has been completed. It protects the electrical solenoid valves which control my water flow. The got clogged up once time, and ever since replacing them I use this to keep them clean.

To recap, hose bib, water regulator, short RV water hose, water filter housing, and RV water hose into the RV. Lots of RV manufacturers are going to a single point fill system, with a valve to direct flow inside the services bay. This valve then is either set to tank fill or city water service depending on which you are using/doing.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:57 AM   #10
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On my RV the fresh tank is Drained and re-filled at least once a month summer and 2x a week winter.. We full time..

Where we park they tend to over chlorinate (Tastes funny) Thus I fill the fresh tank, let it sit a short time for the bleach to dissapate, and use it... Then refill as needed.

Plus I get better pressure that way .
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:33 PM   #11
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Monty,

Well, I may have been lucky, but in the 6 years we owned the coach, we never sanitized the tank. I always put in city water at home that was chlorinated, or water from RV parks that were on a city water system. I also didn't let water sit in the tank longer than 4or 5 weeks without draining it and refilling it before I used it. Changed the water filters once a year when we were in Palm Springs. Used the coach an average of 4 1/2 months a year. We drank the water out of the tank, and from RV park water supply except in Palm Springs, where we liked the taste of water from the grocery store in gallon jugs better. But we used the Palm Springs water supply for cooking, washing dishes, and taking showers and brushing our teeth.

So I've never sanitized the tank; just kept if flushed with water that wasn't older than 4 to 5 weeks, in all the RVs I've had over the past 40 years, and I've had plenty of them and spent lots of time in them.

I think you're wasting your time flushing and sanitizing them if you have public water supply. I know what bad water is like from getting dysentary in Indonesia to the trots in Mexico, and I think most of our city water systems in the U.S. are pretty good. Now well water is another story. If I were using untreated well water and didn't know its quality, I might sanitize the system.
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Rv'er View Post
What I do to sanitize my tanks since I have only a hose coming into the Coach is use external water filter housing. Since we have 100 gallon fresh water tanks (actually my brochure says 107 gallon) I use 1/4 cup bleach per 15 gallons of water capacity, which works out to 1.75 cups of non scented chlorine bleach. I hook up the filter housing to the incoming hose of the MH, take off the top of the housing, pour in the bleach (without a filter inside) put the top back on, put another RV water hose to the inlet side of the housing, and a regulator on the hose bib, then hook the water hose to that, and turn on the water, this gets the bleach into the tank, and also then puts water with it into the tank. I let this mixture sit for 4-5 hours depending on how long it's been since I cleaned it before. If over 60 days, then I use the 4-5 hours rule. FWIW – I pre filter my water coming into the coach with a sediment filter in the same housing once the above process has been completed. It protects the electrical solenoid valves which control my water flow. The got clogged up once time, and ever since replacing them I use this to keep them clean.

To recap, hose bib, water regulator, short RV water hose, water filter housing, and RV water hose into the RV. Lots of RV manufacturers are going to a single point fill system, with a valve to direct flow inside the services bay. This valve then is either set to tank fill or city water service depending on which you are using/doing.
DW hates the smell of bleach. Is the non-scented bleach you use truly non-scented?

If so, how do you know when you have flushed it completely form the tank and plumbing?

THis sounds like the perfect option for me. If I can tell I have flushed the system adequately.
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:54 PM   #13
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sdennislee:

You can buy a non-chlorine sanitizer or use one after first using chlorine to eliminate the smell. I bought Taste Pure at Camping World. I imagine there are others. Seemed to work well.

Now I camp often enough that I've not sanitized the tank since 2007. No problems, though I only fill it at home. I use the City water at campgrounds, but don't let it into my tank.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:00 AM   #14
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We used bleach to purify our drinking water when we lived on our boat in Mexico, but we used much less bleach than Monty is talking about. According to this site: Water Purification::Washington State Department of Health
only a quarter to a half cup of bleach is required for 110 gallons of water. We sometimes used a little more than that, but not 7 times as much. We never flushed our tank (since we would have had to have used suspect water again) but chlorine dissipates when exposed to air, although that can take some time in a storage tank.
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