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Old 05-10-2015, 08:17 PM   #1
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Managing Fresh Water Tank?

We do not full time and usually stay at a place that has water hookups but we like to keep fresh water in the tank for traveling needs. We probably will not go anywhere for about a month. We did not use the fresh tank for drinking in our previous coach but do plan on using the fresh tank in our current coach for ice and drinking if we make the WA/OR trip.

How long can the water sit in the tank between trips?

Would you drain it if it won't be used for a few weeks? If so, do you drain it and let it sit empty or do you drain & fill right before a trip?

Do you drain the hot & cold water too or just drain the fresh tank?

Thanks!
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:24 PM   #2
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I always drain the tank but not the hot water as hot water is not drank.
I know the tank is fresh when I fill before we leave.
Another reason is I don't like the dead weight on the springs if it is unessary.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:34 PM   #3
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That's kind of a difficult question to answer. We really don't know how long harmful will take to form in a tank of fresh water without testing it. There really is no easy way to determine the condition of your fresh water. There are to many variables to consider. Temperature is probably the main concern since bacteria thrives in higher temps.

We don't use the fresh water tank for drinking. We carry 4-5 gallon jugs of fresh water for coffee and drinking. I will usually follow the standard recommendations for sanitizing the tank once a year. I filled it with water and chlorine a few weeks ago. Have not drained it yet but I will within a few days and refill it to about 1/4. That's where we keep it when using CG's.

It matters not if you leave the tank 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 full or empty. Bacteria will grow in all situations if allowed to stay for a long period of time. You could empty the tank then add a few gallons of water with a small amount of chlorine. That will keep the bacteria way down. When you decide to go open the tank drain and then fill it with fresh water. A small amount of chlorine remaining in the tank with a lot of fresh water added won't be any problem.

We never drain the hot water tank unless we are winterizing. That controversy has been going on for some time. Our tank is aluminum and we don't need an anode as the other type does so it's less of an issue for us.

I'm sure a few others will weight in on this topic and perhaps give you some more insight into what they do or have done. There's probably really no right answer just what has worked for others. It's simple for us. We just don't drink the water so I leave about 1/4 in it all summer. If we use a large amount while traveling then I just fill it back up at the next CG.

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Old 05-10-2015, 08:54 PM   #4
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Our City Water has lots of chlorine in it. So much, that we have carbon filters for the cold water taps in the bathrooms, kitchen, and fridge.


When sitting for any period of time at home, I fill the fresh tank halfway, drive around for a few miles making sure to take as many turns as possible in order to slosh the water around, then dump the water and leave it empty. Before the next use, I do the same thing, then fill the tank as needed using the Camco carbon filter in the hose line to remove the chlorine for the trip.
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:02 PM   #5
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If you are concerned about the water being safe to drink, you can purchase a free chlorine test kit. Maintain 0.5 ppm of free chlorine by testing weekly and before you leave on a trip. It's actually very easy and you can get "Free Chlorine" test kits that has the powder pillows from Hach or anyone that sells water treatment test supplies. Even Walmart sells some.
If "Free Chlorine" level drops below 0.5 ppm or mg/L (same thing) , just add small amount of bleach until you get test reading back up to target 0.5.
If you want I can send kit part numbers or whatever to help you get started.
It really is a simple process once you see it. Better than drain and fill since you are only interested in keeping water safe and free of pathogens.


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Old 05-10-2015, 09:11 PM   #6
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I like to also have 1/4 tank or so while in a CG. This winter in Mission Tx when they broke a water main DW and I had showers-most of the others didn't. Before we left I drained and filled with fresh.


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Old 05-11-2015, 06:51 AM   #7
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We drain the tank at home. While traveling, we carry about 15 gals. When parked at a RV park, I look at the WX to see if I need to fill it.
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:45 AM   #8
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We rarely drain ours fully - maybe once a year when I do an annual sanitize of the entire water system. The water in the tank is good for weeks to be sure (assuming the original source was chlorinated), and months "maybe" (See Tejay reply). If you are adding more water from time to time as its used, the chlorine level stays adequate for safe use. Fresher water is more pleasant tasting, though, so I will replace some/most of it if tank is not being refilled on a regular basis.

If bacteria is your concern, draining doesn't really do anything to help. There is enough water left in the tank or clinging to the sides for any bacteria to continue living. Only sanitizing can do much for that, but few bacteria are harmful anyway. Your body is chock-full of them.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:03 AM   #9
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Like I indicated in my earlier reply you did get a lot of good responses. And I learned some new things as well.

We are truly blessed in most parts of this country to have an adequate supply of fresh sanitized water.

Travel well and enjoy your adventures.

TeJay
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:22 PM   #10
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We've talked about the possibility of contamination in the fresh tank and think it's pretty remote but I was concerned with water being in the tank during hot weather for several weeks at a time with no additional water or chlorine being added. Even if the tank is sanitized at the beginning of the season, it still sits in hot weather with water in it which probably won't grow bacteria but will still get stale and not taste great.

I really hate the thought of all those plastic water bottles for drinking water and would much rather use from the fresh tank. I've very quickly gotten used to the ice maker and would hate to give that up as well.

ROAquaman, thank for the idea on testing the chlorine. I'll check Wally for the strips or other testing kits. I've tested hot tubs and a couple of pools so am sort of familiar with the process.

TeJay and others, thanks for your advice! I'm thinking that on our next trip which is to a CG that has water hookups, I'll add fresh before we leave and spike it with a little extra chlorine so that will slosh around on our drive there then run some through the faucets before switching to city water. We've got a couple of short trips before our big trip where we will need to use the fresh tank.

Thanks!
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:30 PM   #11
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We have city water and use from the tank with no problems. But I had a whole house particulate on the Dutch Star so the chlorine wasn't removed when filling the tank. WE never worried about the water and drank it if we wanted with no troubles.
On the Magna we have a whole house 3M that removes 99.9% of most everything, including chlorine. Not sure how that will affect us drinking the water since it could go bad in the tank after a long time.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
I will usually follow the standard recommendations for sanitizing the tank once a year. I filled it with water and chlorine a few weeks ago. Have not drained it yet but I will within a few days and refill it to about 1/4. That's where we keep it when using CG's.
Leaving the solution in the tank and pipes that long allows the chlorine to leach in them and will take a long time to leach out. No wonder you don't drink the water! Recommended time is not less than 4 hrs, not 4 weeks!
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:02 PM   #13
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Mr D,
Yea I thought about that and did drain the tank today. I also tasted the water at the inside faucet and it was fine.
The DW always likes to use filtered water for the Kureg. I guess it's recommended so that's mainly why we use jugs of water from home that's been filtered. I'm not a believer in buying bottled water and I don't. I was watching a show today on water and the guy said that bottled water is about 5,000 % higher than the cost of tap water. I usually drink the water from the tap when I'm taking my meds.

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Old 05-12-2015, 11:42 PM   #14
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We live in Southern California so the water is chlorinated. Consequently, we've never drained our tank when it's filled with water from home in over 38 years. We use our tank for drinking and have never had an issue. When I fill from someplace that has a well, I will later drain the tank at the end of a trip.

I think people get a little wound around the axle about their drinking water. I would challenge anyone to provide a post or even a story from the news where someone got sick drinking their RV water.

The only place we've ever used bottle water was occasionally in Arizona where the water tasted so bad, you just didn't want to drink it. It was safe, just tasted bad.
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