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Old 07-15-2020, 08:33 AM   #1
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Fresh water tank empty ?

We're going to be stationary for the next few months. We have full hookups with decent city water supply. We're NOT utilizing our fresh water tank for the most part. The 105gl tank is 1/2 full of city water, it's very warm here in Gulf Coast TX.

I was thinking that the water (that was fresh) is likely going tp get swampy from the heat and non-use?
Should it be sanitized on a schedule and kept 1/2 full ?
Should it be drained ?
Filled to 100% ?

What's the recommendation or am I overthinking the situation? What do you do if stationary for a few months?

2000 DSDP 3865
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:41 AM   #2
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Interesting. I never gave it a thought myself but I suppose it could mold or mildew. We are parked in a site in Nevada where it is over 100f every day. I have sanitized the tank after long storage by adding one cup or regular chlorine bleach (no scent or thickeners) to the hose before filling the tank to the brim. The Chlorox should dissipate within a day or two and the water should be safe to drink. Remove or bypass any filters and bypass the water heater when filling. I believe that I will do that now and simply leave it full while we are here and on city water.

Some may disagree and it could be interesting to see what others think. I grew up drinking from the hose and from streams so I am a bit more easygoing than some.
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eight_Bit View Post
We're going to be stationary for the next few months. We have full hookups with decent city water supply. We're NOT utilizing our fresh water tank for the most part. The 105gl tank is 1/2 full of city water, it's very warm here in Gulf Coast TX.

I was thinking that the water (that was fresh) is likely going tp get swampy from the heat and non-use?
Should it be sanitized on a schedule and kept 1/2 full ?
Should it be drained ?
Filled to 100% ?

What's the recommendation or am I overthinking the situation? What do you do if stationary for a few months?

2000 DSDP 3865
Even when we have city water available we have always just used the tank. Don't have to worry about water pressure and adding a 1/2 cup of bleach each time we top it up ensures we have no problems with bacteria, etc. We have an under the counter purifier that removes chlorine and everything else and we use that for drinking and ice cubes. In your case I would drain the tank completely and sanitize it again when you are ready to hit the road again.
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Old 07-15-2020, 12:54 PM   #4
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I think I would add a cup of bleach or chlorine to your tank to sanitize, but then shortly before you break camp, drain it and refill to your normal level and add a little bleach. A couple of months is quite a while for water to sit stagnant.
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Old 07-15-2020, 06:21 PM   #5
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Possibly the easy would be to drain the tank, then add about 5 gal. every couple of weeks and just let it drain out as you fill, just to keep it fresh.
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Old 07-15-2020, 07:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eight_Bit View Post
We're going to be stationary for the next few months. We have full hookups with decent city water supply. We're NOT utilizing our fresh water tank for the most part. The 105gl tank is 1/2 full of city water, it's very warm here in Gulf Coast TX.

I was thinking that the water (that was fresh) is likely going tp get swampy from the heat and non-use?
Should it be sanitized on a schedule and kept 1/2 full ?
Should it be drained ?
Filled to 100% ?

What's the recommendation or am I overthinking the situation? What do you do if stationary for a few months?

2000 DSDP 3865
Treat it with Bleach or Camco water treatment, fill it to the top, Mold needs air to grow.

Drain and refill before next use.

Ted.
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:27 PM   #7
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:42 AM   #8
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Fresh water tanks are vented to atmosphere and are subject to anything floating in the air. So bacteria, mold and algae are continually being introduced. My vote would be to use the standard sanitizing amount of bleach of 1/4 cup per 15 gallons and fill it to the top. If you want to be absolutely sure the system stays sanitized you drain and repeat once a month. If you're filling with municipal water that's treated that's probably good enough to store with for a month provided the tank was already clean. This is basically the process I use during the course of the year, starting with a sanitize cycle then always keeping the tank full of city water, and changing it out before each trip.

Some will say this is excessive. Water and bleach is cheap and the stuff I drain ends up watering my garden as it runs off the RV pad so nothing's wasted. Some places have funky water to begin with and the last thing I want coming out of my RV faucets is funky tasting water, and having to deal with a deep cleaning/sanitizing of the system.

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Old 07-16-2020, 07:12 AM   #9
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Disused water tanks

The officially recognized procedure for disused potable water tanks is to drain them when not in use. Sanitize them before reuse. There are issue storing full or empty. I assume people who have studied the issue have weighed the risks of both methods and chosen the best solution for typical situations.

However, RV's are a limited issue situation. You probably will not have mosquitoes and other water creatures breeding in your tanks. So, choose your favorite poison.

I prefer storing full with a small amount of bleach (not as much as needed for sanitizing). It is emergency water that can be used to clean and flush toilets. When I want to drink from the tank again, I check for presence of bleach. If detectable, I drain and refill with fresh water. If not, I sanitize before drinking or cooking with it.

I wish you good luck and happy trials ahead!
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Old 07-16-2020, 08:19 AM   #10
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Draining a full tank, could be a nuisance at the park were in. Id need to rig up a hose to dump it into the sewer, dont want to flood the neighbors front yard.

Im thinking just keep 10gal. or so with a safe level of bleach. This would keep the nasty stuff at bay while allowing to occasionally flush the toilet using the pump (for exercise). Then dump the 10gal. monthly.

Thanks for all the replies and ideas, I need to find other things to stress about.
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Old 07-16-2020, 10:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eight_Bit View Post
Draining a full tank, could be a nuisance at the park were in. Id need to rig up a hose to dump it into the sewer, dont want to flood the neighbors front yard.

Im thinking just keep 10gal. or so with a safe level of bleach. This would keep the nasty stuff at bay while allowing to occasionally flush the toilet using the pump (for exercise). Then dump the 10gal. monthly.

Thanks for all the replies and ideas, I need to find other things to stress about.
Air space in the tank is what will allow Mold and Algae to grow so I recommend a full tank to keep air space to a minimum.
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Old 07-16-2020, 12:39 PM   #12
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Here is my $.02 on the topic.


We live and travel mostly in the desert Southwest so our issue is HEAT most of the year. Heat is one of several ingredients require for micro-organisms to grow. All water system require some type of treatment to kill the nasty ones that get into the system and then another additive to keep them at bay in the distribution system; usually a chlorine compound.



Chlorine compounds break down when in the presence of proteins and other organic materials as well as heat and light. Heat being a major one followed by organic load and just plain time in a system.


All this really means is that if you fill you tank with from a treated water source (municipal or self treated water) it will have some small amount of residual chlorine to help keep the critters at bay. Over a relatively short time in storage tanks (fresh water tank in RV) the residual will eventually go to zero depending on the load in the tank for the chlorine to react with. How long this takes in all dependent on load, heat and time.



If you tank and plumbing systems have been adequately sanitized and you continue to use water with some residual chlorine in it you would have minimal risk from your closed tank-pluimbing system. However, as soon as you hook up to a campground or other water source all bets are off since you don't know the microbial load on the faucet nozzle or the water system you are using. All this ADDs micro-organisms to your system. If you then add water to your tank it can then be contaminated too. If there is no residual chlorine left the the tank then it becomes a breeding ground for microbes which then contaminates the rest of your plumbing system over time.


So, what to do? Well since my background was Microbiology I guess I may be a bit more cautions with my water system one my coach especially while in storage or when on extended trips using mostly campground water systems. Here is my usual procedure:


1. Tank and plumbing are drained and blown out with compressed air prior to being stored more than a week or two (Summer is is always done even if for a week; otherwise if we are going to use it soon I just add chlorine to the tank and system to keep it sanitized).


2. Out of storage...fill tank to 1/2 full add chlorine to a secondary filter housing (about 2 cups) while filling tank. Turn in pump and run to all water outlets for a minute. Let sit for 3-4 hours or just drive with it to our first destination. Drain and refill tank with city water and new water filter.



3. If traveling on an extended trip. Do #2 above at start of trip. During the trip we keep the water tank below 1/2 (weight issues and to keep the water volume low enough to allow for easy sanitation.)


4. In hot areas we will use water from the tank periodically (daily sometimes to allow us to refill the tank with fresh water and thus (hopefully gain more residual chlorine). In cooler areas we do this over a longer period.



5. We also use a low micron filter for the water tank this helps remove cycts, yeasts, some larger bacteria and silt from the system and change it every month during heavy use.


I know this is a lot of information and may be overkill for many but this is what I have done for 15 years of RVing and we have not had any issues with water contamination.
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Old 07-16-2020, 02:10 PM   #13
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I see people posting X amount of chlorine or bleach but you can have too much. The amount will vary by what size the tank is. Here is a link from Clorox telling the amount to use.https://www.clorox.com/how-to/disinf...2030%20minutes.
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Old 07-16-2020, 04:29 PM   #14
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I see people posting X amount of chlorine or bleach but you can have too much. The amount will vary by what size the tank is. Here is a link from Clorox telling the amount to use.https://www.clorox.com/how-to/disinf...2030%20minutes.

Correct. The amount of 5.25% bleach to add to a tank for Disinfecting varies buy the amount of water to be added to the tank. To obtain a universally accepted value of 50ppm chlorine per gallon of water the math works out to about 2 cups per gallon of water. So less water in the tank would be proportional to the number of gallons of water.



The Clorox link is for initial cleaning of a new or dirty holding tank.


This link is like one of several on the Net on the topic.
https://www.cleanwaterstore.com/reso...kill-bacteria/


The key is to rinse out the concentrated bleach solution before using the water. Otherwise you will have some major issues with your skin and digestive system.
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