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Old 04-17-2019, 07:00 PM   #1
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Contaminated fresh water tank need help.

Ok so I'm pulling my hair out with this issue.
1998 holiday rambler alumilte custom 34ft fifth wheel. It had the full four season package on this model.
So my issue is this. The fresh water tank hasn't been used in a few years. I filled the tank recently and it had a nasty smell from it. Almost like it was old rv antifreeze. So I made a bleach solution and tried to remove the smell. That worked but now when I used the water pump the pump would quit moving water. The tank has two internal strainers one for the fresh water outlet to the pump and the other is the tank drain. I know this because I used a camera snake and saw them thru the fill hose inlet. So the issue I found is this.. i have some sort of fibrous material that clogs bothering strainers rather quickly. I tried to vaccuum the inside of the tank with a make shift hose off my wet vac but I can't get most of it. So what can I use chemically to try and break down this stuff and allow it to pass by the strainers. I already tried a 6 gallon vinegar mix too with no better results.
Removing tank may not be an easy option as its buried in insulation and full underbelly skin.
Could really use some ideas.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:41 PM   #2
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If it has a gravity fill can you simply create a siphon to drain the tank? I can't think of anything that would break down whatever is in the tank AND be safe for use in fresh water systems...
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:10 AM   #3
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I did make a make shift vacuum hose for the shop vac in order to try and suck out some of the crap but working thru the fill hole you can only get so much. As far as chemicals obviously I do want to try and keep it safe to use but at this point something stronger than vinegar or chlorine may be needed.
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:27 AM   #4
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Backflow through the strainers to try to clear the fibrous material. Wouldn't guess at chemicals until they could be tested on a sample of the fibers.
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Old 04-18-2019, 06:00 AM   #5
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remove the strainers
us a different pump to suck it out of the tank
use a long hose on the outlet side of the pump and let it flow someplace else

keep flushing

just make sure the pump can chew up the material and spit it out
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:23 AM   #6
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You can also put a higher capacity filter on the pump input. A household carbon filter for example. Just needs some plumbing work. Eventually the junk in the tank will be caught by the filter.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:22 AM   #7
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Put a shop vac on hose before strainers keep filling and sucking up what comes in. Tip rig for better flow to outlet not too much.
I used baking soda and bleach for similar smell in tank.
I used a whole house filter with best drinking water filter good for like 5k gallons.Even fair at best water is good now.
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Old 04-18-2019, 11:48 AM   #8
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Thanks for the reply guys.
I have an idea I'm going try. My issue is I cant get to the tank do the the wat the camper is constructed. I'm only working thru the small 1 " fill tube opening.
So I found a company online, Todd industries that sells a tank relocation kit for boats, but for my situation it gives me a 4" opening adapter that works for the fresh water tanks. This will give me access to the inside of the tank. Part 2 of this is i found if i cut the floor under the stair case( which is removable and boxed in) I can gain access to the tank and clean it thoroughly. I'm gonna see if I can gain access to thru the floor tonight.
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:37 PM   #9
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This procedure will clean and disinfect your drinking water tank. The detergent removes algae, oils, plant life, and stuff chlorine will not kill/remove.https://www.trails.com/how_5065_rv-f...ing-tanks.html
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