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Old 09-16-2014, 09:43 PM   #1
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Fresh water = not!

We are moving into a new 2013 motorhome. I saw the pink RV antifreeze in the system and asked about flushing out. He "blew" it out instead- so I'm pretty sure the hot water tank still has remnants of the pink. HOWEVER, it faintly smells like formaldehyde (very familiar with that smell from hospital lab work). I've been told it's non-toxic and shouldn't cause any problems using. There isn't a fresh potable water supply in this lot. Would baking soda help?
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:06 AM   #2
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If properly winterized there would have been no RV anti-freeze in the hot water tank , or the fresh water tank; only in the lines.
For removing taste and color from the lines , I flush about a quart of vinegar through the lines; By draining the whole house filter housing , putting the vinegar in and flushing through with city water , before filling the hot water tank, by opening the by-pass valves.
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:15 AM   #3
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There is no formaldehyde in RV anti-freeze. It is propylene glycol and is non-toxic. Propylene glycol is also used as a food additive.
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Old 09-17-2014, 02:47 AM   #4
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If there is indeed a formaldehyde smell then it is possible that the incorrect antifreeze was used. Is this just from the hot water system or does it also involve the fresh/cold water taps? If it impacts the fresh then it may be best to drain the fresh tank and add a gallon of white vinegar and flush it through to ensure everything is cleaned out as best you can get it and use bottled water for consumption/teeth brushing for a while.

It is usually best to play it safe in these matters rather than be that other thing.
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:06 PM   #5
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I would not recommend using baking soda in your RV plumbing. This could damage seals in things like your fresh water pump and water heater. If you plan on de winterizing the system turn on the fresh water pump and give the system a through flush for about 30 minutes. Other if you don't have a sewer connection, you'll have to take the RV to dump station and flush the system there.
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:07 AM   #6
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no fresh potable water supply

we're moving into the motorhome at the Dealership- without a fresh water source. The HOT water stinks... even though this is a new motorhome, it's a left over from 2013- so the water could be 2 years old. Just frustrating! I sure wish I had connections to a hospital lab to get the tank water tested!
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:40 AM   #7
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They better have a fresh water source to flush that out. They are remiss in not flushing the system and sanitizing it per SOP using clear chlorine bleach as an agent. This should have all be taken care of before they handed you the keys. How do they do things like make coffee, wash the coaches and maintain restrooms there without a clean water supply?
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:13 AM   #8
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Just TELL the manager that you want the system completely flushed and sanitised AND filled up with certified potable water - AND until that is done, they can pay your motel and local transport costs.

Just another case of getting the master-servant relationship sorted out from the very start.
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:34 AM   #9
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It's a problem that can be fixed in a half hour at the first campsite with a bit of bleach. It is also basic user maintenance in my book. Would you take it back to the dealer to have the tanks dumped???
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cimplexsound View Post
I would not recommend using baking soda in your RV plumbing. This could damage seals in things like your fresh water pump and water heater. If you plan on de winterizing the system turn on the fresh water pump and give the system a through flush for about 30 minutes. Other if you don't have a sewer connection, you'll have to take the RV to dump station and flush the system there.
Our MH owners manual says just the opposite. Sanitize with bleach, neutralize with baking soda.
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimpat4649 View Post
we're moving into the motorhome at the Dealership- without a fresh water source. The HOT water stinks... even though this is a new motorhome, it's a left over from 2013- so the water could be 2 years old. Just frustrating! I sure wish I had connections to a hospital lab to get the tank water tested!
If it has been sitting for two years the water system DOES need to be sanitized with bleach. a 1/4 cup per 15 gallons of water capacity. My hot water tank will stink if I forget to drain it in about 6 months or less. I drain the HW tank if I am going to be in storage longer than 3 months.
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:42 AM   #12
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Well then my mistake. Sounds like you can flush the system with baking soda and then clean it with water. Just don't mix the bleach and baking soda together. The fumes could become deadly. Mixing household chemicals is dangerous. Baking soda first, fresh water, bleach, then fresh water again and it looks like you'll be ok.
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:52 AM   #13
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It's a problem that can be fixed in a half hour at the first campsite with a bit of bleach. It is also basic user maintenance in my book. Would you take it back to the dealer to have the tanks dumped???
No of course not, but if I bought a brand new motorhome, which I got the impression was the case here, I would expect the tanks to be clean - black, grey AND drinking water tanks all spotless. Fuel tank at least 1/4 full, propane tank ditto.

OP has explained why he has a problem in his present situation, but I would strongly suggest he make it the dealer's problem instead.
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Old 09-19-2014, 08:02 AM   #14
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I sure wish I had connections to a hospital lab to get the tank water tested!
jimpat4649
Most county health, (or agriculture), department labs will analyze/test drinking water, (often without charge).
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