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Old 06-14-2021, 07:13 AM   #1
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Is it bad to let bleach sit in lines

Were back from our 44 day adventure out west. Were staying put up north, visiting with the kids and grandkids.

On my last travel day I added the usual 3oz of bleach to my 47 gallon fresh tank, (Ive been doing it this way for the past 6 years) so it sloshes around, sanitizing the tank. Ive drained the tank. Im thinking of not rinsing the tank or the lines until were back on the road in October. Thats 3 months of letting the bleach water mixture sit. Should I not do this? Will it harm anything? Should I just blow the lines out? Any thoughts?
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:35 AM   #2
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The bleach will not hurt the lines or tank at that concentration, but you will have a tougher time getting rid of the bleach smell. Bleach degrades dramatically over time in strength, so you are not gaining any real long term disinfecting advantage. I would take the time to since.
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:25 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Elwood58 View Post
The bleach will not hurt the lines or tank at that concentration, but you will have a tougher time getting rid of the bleach smell. Bleach degrades dramatically over time in strength, so you are not gaining any real long term disinfecting advantage. I would take the time to since.
Yes, good point^^.


Chlorine based disinfectant loses nearly all of its ability to sanitize after 24 hrs, so letting it sit for days or months does no additional benefit. It may last a bit longer in a closed environment, like a water line, but it will do no long term sanitizing. Cannot speak to the difficulty removing the smell, but the PEX lines should not absorb the chlorine.


One thing to note, not all PEX is the same and some will deteriorate and fail when exposed to high water temperature (over 140*F), pressure, and chlorine. Given that caution, I would still not worry about PEX in a RV situation but it would be better, IMO, to simply empty the lines as a good practice.
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:35 AM   #4
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No info on your coach, but if it has hydronic heating system like AquaHot, you don't want to leave bleach in the copper coil for any extended time!
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Old 06-15-2021, 06:12 AM   #5
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I wouldn't leave it.

It may or may not degradation over time. It certainly doesn't degrade quickly in the bottle. Yes the concentration isn't very strong but you would be giving it way more time then is recommended.

Bottom line is you would probably be okay but why not put some water in and flush it through even if it's only 5 gallons if access to water is an issue.
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Old 06-15-2021, 06:26 AM   #6
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I never used beach in 22 yrs.
I just empty the fresh water tank, and fill it every few weeks.
I don’t drink the fresh water tank water.
I don’t drink CG water.
I use bottled water 100% of the time
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Old 06-15-2021, 07:51 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone. This is our 3rd RV. For the pat 6 years I would usually just leave the water in and sanitize before our departure in October. I just felt we’ve been using so many different water sources over the past 43 days of travel, that it would be prudent to sanitize right away. I think the point some of you had made about getting the bleach smell out might take more time makes me think twice about letting it sit.

I have a 2019 Jayco Redhawk, 25R. I don’t have a hydronic heating system. The only metal in the system is brass, that I can think of, and it is the manifold valves themselves. Everything else is plastic. I’ve already drained everything, including plastic HW heater and low point drains.


The water/bleach is just standing in all my lines, including the water pump and water manifold valves. I think I’ll just hook up to my “city water in” and flush all the lines out. Then switch to tank pump and flush that out too. Then rinse/flush everything before we leave in October.


Does anyone have any thoughts on this procedure?
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Old 06-15-2021, 09:22 AM   #8
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Bleach is not good for most rubber parts. But it would take a lot of bleach of a long time. Not sure, but it could shorten the life of the pump.

We bleach every few years. When we go to some state parks around here, they use bleach in the water.
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Old 06-15-2021, 11:20 PM   #9
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I SAY DRAIN/ blow out; Life FACT is that often REALITY differs from the best laid PLANS, and RV history/ COVID History, (Etc.) says 3-month plans can OFTEN turn into 9+months or 2-years.... which meant a 9:PM/ Midnight run to RV to DRAIN/ WINTERIZE in 35-40-deg weather w/ FREEZE WARNINGS? Drain/ Blowout means you do things at your convenience/ comfort?
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Old 06-16-2021, 06:33 AM   #10
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Thanks for the additional feedback. I flushed it out once. I’ll do another flush or 2 before we leave in October. I’m sure ther is some residual left in the lines but now it’s very diluted.

I wasn’t being lazy, thought leaving it in would help it from getting bacteria.


My fresh tank is now empty. I’ve read different opinions on leaving it empty while storing in hot weather. Anyone have experience with that? Should it be full or empty?, laying for 3 months.
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Old 06-21-2021, 07:50 PM   #11
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I'll let you do the math; 3oz of 5.25% bleach in 47G water is a very very weak solution. I would not be concerned myself. That is a weaker solution than is required to sanitize the system.
reference: https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/bl...ion-calculator
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Old 06-22-2021, 05:36 AM   #12
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I'll let you do the math; 3oz of 5.25% bleach in 47G water is a very very weak solution. I would not be concerned myself. That is a weaker solution than is required to sanitize the system.
reference: https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/bl...ion-calculator
My mistake, I put in 6oz of bleach, mixed it up with a gallon of water, then pumped it in. I have a small plastic water bottle with a marker line that I keep in the wet bay for the past few years. I looked it up, in my notes, what I originally marked the line at.
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Old 06-28-2021, 02:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Johnynorthla View Post
Thanks for the additional feedback. I flushed it out once. I’ll do another flush or 2 before we leave in October. I’m sure ther is some residual left in the lines but now it’s very diluted.

I wasn’t being lazy, thought leaving it in would help it from getting bacteria.


My fresh tank is now empty. I’ve read different opinions on leaving it empty while storing in hot weather. Anyone have experience with that? Should it be full or empty?, laying for 3 months.
A freshwater tank will always have a bit of water remaining after draining, it is usually of no consequence. Bleach will not harm plastic plumbing unless it is undiluted.
I always have my freshwater tank and water heater full during camping weather. Since the tank is hidden in the dark inside the MH (inside garage) chlorine lasts longer.
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