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Old 05-13-2012, 07:17 PM   #15
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I chlorinate (bleach) the fresh water tank when it's just sitting. After that, I'm pretty particular about the water that I put into it.

The issue is the same at home. We have a well that has known coli-form (colony forming bacteria) in it. We can choose to bleach it. For long term use, I UV it. Since using UV, we test negative for coli-form. Basically, the bacteria are still there, but the DNA is scrambled and they can't reproduce. For drinking water, we use reverse-osmosis after the UV.... Which is what I'd recommend if you really want to get serious about it.
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Pigman,

We've been fulltiming for 6 years, we never do anything to the fresh water tank other than fill it from city water systems. If the water has sat for a while, we will dump it (dumping 60-70 gallons makes a pretty big puddle under the coach until it sinks in) and refill with fresh city water. Never worry about grey or black water tanks, we use them and always use plenty of water, so we just dump. So you aren't alone.

Barb
Thank you. Finally some common sense about water tanks. I am totally amazed at the number of rvers who worry about fresh water tanks. We keep our tank at least 2/3 full and rarely use it. Once or twice per year we drain and refill. I try to remember to use bleach once a year. If I forget I do not worry about it. We drink, cook, and bathe with the water in the fresh tank if we need it. Our pets drink it.
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:10 PM   #17
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The Thetford kit has Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride AND Alkyl dimethyl ethybenzyl ammonium chloride.

Any comments on these components?
Look at the ingredients on a container of Chlorox disinfectant wipes. Don't know how if I'd want that as a residual in my fresh water tank. Personally, I'd go with bleach.

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Old 05-13-2012, 10:04 PM   #18
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What type of chemist says that hydrogen peroxide is not an oxidizer
Wow Barb! Show us where he said that!
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:27 AM   #19
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"Hydrogen peroxide is not a sanitizer. It will only kill germs effected by high oxygen concentrations.
Chlorine, sodium hypochlorite, bleach, are all the same, is an oxidizer and a sanitizer."

When you state that H2O2 is not a sanitizer, then state that 3 others are oxidizers and sanitizers, you have, in the minds of a lot of people, stated that H2O2 isn't an oxidizer. Plus, as a chemist what he said was wrong. H2O2, like any other oxidizer, kills bacteria. And like all chemicals, the effectiveness is based upon concentration. If he had said that the H2O2 you buy in the drug store is so dilute it will not do the job sufficiently for a large freshwater tank, I would agree and tell people they will need something in the 10% or higher range, and that you need to keep it cold and it isn't that easy to work with in the setting of an RV. BTW, while sodium hypochlorite is the proper technical name for bleach, neither is the same as Chlorine (Cl2) which is a gas and could not in any way, shape, or form be handled like you handle bleach; this is another unfortunate statement that can cause confusion for people.

But the kicker was his put down about people not being chemists and therefore passing on incorrect information.

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Old 05-25-2012, 11:36 AM   #20
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Decided to toss the Thetford Sanitizer and keep up the bleach program.

Thank you for your replies.
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:49 PM   #21
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Sanitize the tank, add a UV purifier on the city inlet/fill, Done! Could also install UV on downline side of pump/city inlet, but would also have to sanitize tank. Be sure to add a 5 micron min. filter before UV. A carbon block filtler will take out the taste/smell. The UV takes power (12v or 120v models available), but you don't risk ingesting carcinogens found in bleaches and other chemicals. The "lab scientists' " can attest to that.
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:26 PM   #22
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FWIW, I am of the "we need to eat dirt & germs to keep our immune systems working" mindset. This country is on an over-sanitizing kick lately, and IMO killing every germ and bacteria isn't healthy. People run to the doctor for antibiotics for every sniffle, and the medical community says that's making us immune to them...

Me, if I drop my steak on the ground, I wipe it off and eat it.

So, I'm with those that do nothing but put water in at the start of the season, and drain it out at the end. Been RV-ing and overnight boating nearly forever, never had a water tank problem.
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:55 PM   #23
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I would not be comfortable using untreated well water without adding a small amount of bleach. However virtually all public water supply systems inject a chlorine solution in order to maintain a chlorine residual of 0.25 to 1.0 ppm at the tap end of the system. I am comfortable using "city" water, without further treatment, to fill my tank. One problem with sanitizing your system is that you must now dump 50-100 gallons of water with 50-100 ppm of chlorine which is not very friendly to the environment. Municipalities regularly will de-chlorinate water from pipe or storage facility sanitation. As long as you keep a low chlorine residual in your tank, there is no reason to sanitize it once a year. Think about it, how long is bottled water good for? Years? And it has no chlorine residual.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:18 PM   #24
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One problem with sanitizing your system is that you must now dump 50-100 gallons of water with 50-100 ppm of chlorine which is not very friendly to the environment..
EXACTLY.... this has been something which has troubled me about this process from the start.

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Old 05-28-2012, 11:46 PM   #25
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The Thetford kit has Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride AND Alkyl dimethyl ethybenzyl ammonium chloride.

Any comments on these components?
FWIW this is the active ingredient in Lysol and other similar products. Its common name is Benzalkonium chloride. It is a sanitizer, but it is also toxic to humans at higher concentrations. I'm sure it is safe if you make sure to flush it out of your water system. Personally, chlorine bleach seems like an easier, cheaper, safer solution to the problem.
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