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Dr. Dolittle 05-22-2022 05:10 AM

Tank Sanitizing Question
 
We just returned from an extended trip out of the country so I'm just getting around to de-winterizing and sanitizing my tanks and lines.

An article I read said to leave the water heater bypassed if you're sanitizing with a bleach and water solution.

Is there a component of the water heater that's prone to damage from bleach? Is this a necessary step if you flush the system out until several times until there's no bleach odor?

Thanks!

inlineskater 05-22-2022 05:40 AM

Not sure about the bleach in your water heater. I have sanitized and ran it through the water heater with no ill effects. There is also a non-toxic product that I use. It can be purchased from camping world or amazon. I forget the name. You can run that thru everything.

Gary RVRoamer 05-22-2022 09:17 AM

First, to answer your question, no, there is no component in the tank that will be damaged by any rational concentration of bleach. Bypassing the heater tank saves a bit of time but reduces the effectiveness of the process. A few bacteria in the heater will quickly spread to the rest of the system and soon as the bypass valve is opened for normal hot water use.



If I were sanitizing my water system, I would definitely want to sanitize the heater tank as well as every other part. Yes, it makes flushing the bleach out a bit more difficult, but bacteria thrive in the heater too. Most notably, a bacteria that gives hot water a "rotten egg" smell. I would drain the heater tank as a separate step before adding bleach and then pump the heater tank full of the bleach solution along with the rest of the water lines. When ready to flush out the bleach, bypass the heater and open the heater tank drain to directly eliminate the bleach in there. Do not open the bypass until ready to send fresh water through the entire system.

Persistent 05-22-2022 11:02 AM

Of course, you want to flush bleach water through the by pass pipe and valves as well. Don't forget toilet, outside faucets flush ports, etc. All can re-contaminate.

Old-Biscuit 05-22-2022 11:22 AM

Sanitizing.........do the whole complete system water heater included

Winterizing......now that is where you want to 'Bypass' the water heater tank
*no sense in wasting 6-10 gals of Anti-freeze or spend numerous/multiple fill/drain/flush repeat routines to clear WH Tank of the anti-freeze

TechWriter 05-22-2022 05:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by inlineskater (Post 6189597)
Not sure about the bleach in your water heater. I have sanitized and ran it through the water heater with no ill effects. There is also a non-toxic product that I use. It can be purchased from camping world or amazon. I forget the name. You can run that thru everything.

Purogene

NLOVNIT 05-22-2022 07:49 PM

Sanitizing=include the water heater tank
Winterizing=bypass the water heater tank

SJ-Chris 05-23-2022 12:09 AM

When sanitizing, you want to make sure you get the bleach solution into EVERY pipe/hose that holds water and let it sit. Add the bleach, then use every possible combination of hot/cold and every outlet (don't forget your toilet, or outside shower if you have one). Also remember your hot/cold outside drains if you have them.


Then, when flushing, make sure you do the same....all possible pipes/hoses.



I'm a "number's guy". When I flush, I think of it like this.... If I'm able to drain just 90% of all [bleach solution] water when flushing (....it's probably closer to 95%, but we'll just use 90%), then when I refill the tank with fresh water the bleach solution has lost 90% of it's strength. If I then flush all the pipes/hoses and drain 90% of all the water again and refill with clean water, then the bleach solution has been 99% removed. That's probably good enough (and a TINY bit of bleach won't harm you), but I usually can't help myself and I flush it all a 3rd time for good measure.


I do this once a season and I've never had any bad taste/smells coming from my fresh water.


Good luck!
Chris


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