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Old 03-11-2012, 08:50 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Green Tap Water

Because this problem drove me crazy, I want to share my experience with hopes that it will save someone else a lot of time. Maybe it should have been obvious, but it wasn't.

Started noticing the tap water to be green. It wouldn't always be that way and when it was, it cleared up after running for awhile. Let me clarify that our fifth wheel sits on a permanent site in Florida. I askd my neighbors and nobody else seemed to have the problem.

The problem was with the white water hose. Even though we run water every day between shower, washing dishes, etc, the algae was still able to acumulate in the hose. I disconnected the hose and the water that ran out of it was green. Actually, pretty dark green. I added some clorox and attached both ends to each other and let it sit for a couple of hours. After flushing them out, all seems to be fine. But I know it won't last.

When we originally bought this 1998 Golden Falcon, the previous owners had the water supply plumbed in with PVC. To avoid the water being turned on while we were gone during the summer months, I decided to installed a shut off where the PVC entered the coach. when I cut the PVC I found green algae on the inside of the PVC. (I never had a green water problem when the PVC was installed.)

So at that time I decided to remove the PVC and go with the white water hoses. The water faucet is about 30 feet from my RV, so a lot of hose is exposed to direct sunlight.

When I removed the PVC, I noticed all the pipe that was buried was clean, only the two vertical pipes that were exposed to the sun contained the algae.

So, it appears I actually made the situation worse by going with the hose.

I am considering going back to the PVC but would like to avoid the algae in the vertical portions that are out of the ground going to my water inlet and water supply spigot. Any suggestions? Would wrapping the PVC in black rubber insulation (like on hot water pipes) keep the algae at bay?

Hope this information helps someone who has run into this situation.

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Old 03-11-2012, 10:30 AM   #2
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I have mine in a similar situation but it was by accident: “if you will” I avoided the problem. You see I have 3" PVC I used as an outer shell "conduit" to run my water grade line through. I used a 3” pipe so that I could run the hose ends effortlessly through the PVC pipe without the water hose kinking with the male and female ends. The male end was more the issue, thus the larger pipe: (Personally I feel safer running my water through only a water-grade systems as I feel plastics can have a negative effect on the water if the water sits in there for long periods of time without movement), but anyway I buried my 3" PVC conduit underground and the two outer pipes that stick out of the ground that the water house comes out of to hook to the supply are wrapped in black vinyl tape that I spray painted flat white. The reason I did this was to keep the sun from heating the exposed pipes and heating the 3' cylinder that houses the water grade hose. Sun is a killer on plastics in my state (CA) as it is year round, so the paint helps protect the longevity of the exposed PVC. But in me doing so, I realized I have created a dark environment for the white water grade hose, so that explains why I must not have an algae problem. Like you said wrapping the pipe in a medium that prevents sunlight will definitely resolve you problem. If you do not have the option to bury the pipe in a conduit as I did, there must be a wrap you could buy that would accomplish the same effect.

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Old 03-11-2012, 10:43 AM   #3
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I think your correct in assuming the algae is from the exposed pipe to sunlight. A quick fix would be to insulate the pipe as you would in cold weather. You can get the pipe insulation at any Lowes or Home Depot.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:43 AM   #4
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You could wrap the exposed to sunlight portions with foam pipe insulation (Home Depot) then spray it white or silver or some light color with Krylon Fusion paint. The pipe insulation would prolong the life of the hose or pvc due to UV damage.
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:01 PM   #5
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Now that you have sanatized your hose.... Might be a good idea to do the rest of the rig.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:59 AM   #6
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Mix up 1/4 cup of bleach in a gallon of water for every 20 gallons of your fresh water holding tank. Pour it into your fresh water tank. Open your facets and run the water until you can smell the chlorine. Let it stand for about 4 hours and then drain the tank and refill it. Should be good to go.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RJay View Post
I think your correct in assuming the algae is from the exposed pipe to sunlight. A quick fix would be to insulate the pipe as you would in cold weather. You can get the pipe insulation at any Lowes or Home Depot.
The cause and solution to the problem is correct.

NOTE: You should only need to do this if you sit in one place for extended periods...not weekend trips.
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:05 PM   #8
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Use CPVC not PVC....
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:42 PM   #9
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Thanks for all your suggestions and ideas. We are getting ready to leave our RV here in Florida and will be retuning home until later this year.
For the time being, I cleaned the water hose with bleach and during the hot afternoons, I have been just running the tap until the warm (sometimes hot) water coming from the cold water tap turns cold. Then I know I have flushed all the warm water in the hose that has been heated up by the sun. This has worked so far. Before we leave, I will of course disconnect the hose and store it away after I flush it out. Next year I might consider one of the suggested solutions.
Thanks and hope you all have a safe and healthy summer.

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