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Old 04-09-2012, 08:54 PM   #1
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Question Prepping plumbing for Vinegar purge.

I don't use my fresh water tank as I'm always connected to a water source so it was suggested to pour white vinegar in the water hose to get it to clean out the water plumbing. (I have 'stinky' water in just one faucet when hot water is used.)

Do I empty the hot water heater or just turn on faucets to get rid of HOT water before I put in the vinegar??

Any info is greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:30 AM   #2
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I would suggest that you pour 1/4 cup of bleach for every 20 gallons of your holding tank into the fresh water fill opening. Run both hot and cold through your faucets until you smell chlorine. Let it sit for four hours, drain, refill with fresh water, repeat, and fill with fresh water and you should be good to go.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:34 PM   #3
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Question

My query is should the hot water heater be turned off or will the bleach or vinegar solution be ok with the hot water heater on????
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:40 PM   #4
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I won't hurt the hot water heater in that concentration at all leave it on.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:57 PM   #5
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I won't hurt the hot water heater in that concentration at all leave it on.
Thanks, that is what I wanted to know.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:41 PM   #6
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paty - note adamsvr excellent instructions says bleach (fresher the better). Vinegar is sometimes used to dislodge/dissolve built up calcium type deposits inside the plumbing. Bleach is used to sanitize and seems the right choice in your case. No additional plumbing prep needed.

BTW - vinegar treatment plumbing prep typically involves removing the filter screens at each faucet to allow deposits to flow out.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:33 PM   #7
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I would suggest that you pour 1/4 cup of bleach for every 20 gallons of your holding tank into the fresh water fill opening. Run both hot and cold through your faucets until you smell chlorine. Let it sit for four hours, drain, refill with fresh water, repeat, and fill with fresh water and you should be good to go.
The correct concentration is cup bleach for each 15 gallons of water in the tank. This is what my owners manual says and has also been published in several magazines like the FMCA and Motorhome Magazine. They also recommend letting the bleach/water sit over night, then rinse.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:48 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info!!
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:53 PM   #9
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I guess we must have good water here as I've never had to use vinegar in an RV to dislodge deposits in the almost 55 years I've been RV'ing
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:34 PM   #10
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I guess we must have good water here as I've never had to use vinegar in an RV to dislodge deposits in the almost 55 years I've been RV'ing
Well where I live we have hard water so flushing with vinegar would help, as I noticed the shower head has some of the holes plugged.
More importantly is getting rid of the stinky water in the one faucet.

I'm a tad concerned about leaving bleach in overnight as pipes and tanks are plastic.. could cause some problems one thinks.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:44 PM   #11
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..I'm a tad concerned about leaving bleach in overnight as pipes and tanks are plastic.. could cause some problems one thinks.
Agreed. I don't think I've ever read anything that remotely indicated leaving it in overnight. Just 3-4 hours max. is all that's needed. Bleach can be harmful to plumbing. Do as adamsvr said. I'd like to see mr_d actual sources for overnight, I have doubt about suggesting that practice - I just would not do it that long.

Remember the dilution is based on the amount of water actually in the tank when you add the bleach, not the total tank capacity. Whether you use the 15 or 20 gals dilution rate is pretty trivial difference. A quarter cup will do the job.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:25 AM   #12
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At that concentration bleach would never hurt the plastic tank if bleach was so harmful to plastic why does it come in a plastic jug?
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:19 PM   #13
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...if bleach was so harmful to plastic why does it come in a plastic jug?
Because, not all plastic is the same. Naturally, bleach containers are designed/formulated to hold the bleach - at full concentration no less. I/we have no idea what plastics are used in every part of our plumbing. Of course, to your point, we are talking low concentrations and the likelyhood of a problem may be minimal. But, why push ones luck when one does not really know?

BTW Most portable gas cans today are made of plastic. Styrofoam is also a plastic. Ever tried putting gas in a Styrofoam (which is plastic) cup? Try it some day. Plastics are far from all the same.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:39 PM   #14
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I'm guessing you have a sulfer smell from the hot water side of a faucet or shower? If yes, sanitizing will not help. What you are smelling is the sacrificial anode in the hot water tank and it's breaking down to prevent electrolosis.
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