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Author Topic: How much bleach?  (Read 5608 times)
JackConrad
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« on: March 16, 2010, 05:13:38 AM »

    We need to "freshen" our 100 gallon freshwater tank. How much bleach should we add to a full (100 gallons) to achive this? Thanks.   Jack
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 05:24:44 AM »

To Sanitize your tank use 1/4 cup bleech per 15 gal. To just freshen it up I'd go with maybe half of that amount. 3/4 to 1 cup.
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2010, 05:37:43 AM »

from :
http://www.epa.gov/safewater/faq/emerg.html

. . . . "Bleach will kill some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms that may be in the water." . . .

If you are going to use it for drinking or cooking - 
"Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water, stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you use it".

A little more info from the same site:

Chemical Treatment
When boiling is not practical, certain chemicals will kill most harmful or disease-causing organisms.
For chemical disinfection to be effective, the water must be filtered and settled first.Chlorine and iodine are the two chemicals commonly used to treat water. They are somewhat effective in protecting against exposure toGiardia, but may not be effective in controlling more resistant organisms like Cryptosporidium. Chlorine is generally more effective than iodine in controlling Giardia, and both disinfectants work much better in warm water.

You can use a non-scented, household chlorine bleach that contains a chlorine compound to disinfect water.
Do not use non-chlorine bleach to disinfect water. Typically, household chlorine bleaches will be 5.25% available chlorine. Follow the procedure written on the label. When the necessary procedure is not given, find the percentage of available chlorine on the label and use the information in the following table as a guide. (Remember, 1/8 teaspoon and 8 drops are about the same quantity.)

Available Chlorine Drops per Quart/Gallon of Clear Water Drops per Liter of Clear Water 
1% =10 per Quart - 40 per Gallon -or- 10 per Liter
4-6% =2 per Quart - 8 per Gallon (1/8 teaspoon) -or- 2 per Liter
7-10% =1 per Quart - 4 per Gallon -or- 1 per Liter

(If the strength of the bleach is unknown, add ten drops per quart or liter of filtered and settled water. Double the amount of chlorine for cloudy, murky or colored water or water that is extremely cold.)

Mix the treated water thoroughly and allow it to stand, preferably covered, for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight chlorine odor. If not, repeat the dosage and allow the water to stand for an additional 15 minutes. If the treated water has too strong a chlorine taste, allow the water to stand exposed to the air for a few hours or pour it from one clean container to another several times.

You can use granular calcium hypochlorite to disinfect water.
Add and dissolve one heaping teaspoon of high-test granular calcium hypochlorite (approximately ¼ ounce) for each two gallons of water, or 5 milliliters (approximately 7 grams) per 7.5 liters of water. The mixture will produce a stock chlorine solution of approximately 500 milligrams per liter, since the calcium hypochlorite has available chlorine equal to 70 percent of its weight. To disinfect water, add the chlorine solution in the ratio of one part of chlorine solution to each 100 parts of water to be treated. This is roughly equal to adding 1 pint (16 ounces) of stock chlorine to each 12.5 gallons of water or (approximately ½ liter to 50 liters of water) to be disinfected. To remove any objectionable chlorine odor, aerate the disinfected water by pouring it back and forth from one clean container to another.

You can use chlorine tablets to disinfect filtered and settled water.
Chlorine tablets containing the necessary dosage for drinking water disinfection can be purchased in a commercially prepared form. These tablets are available from drug and sporting goods stores and should be used as stated in the instructions. When instructions are not available, use one tablet for each quart or liter of water to be purified.

You can use tincture of iodine to disinfect filtered and settled water.
Common household iodine from the medicine chest or first aid kit may be used to disinfect water. Add five drops of 2 percent U.S. or your country’s approved Pharmacopeia tincture of iodine to each quart or liter of clear water. For cloudy water add ten drops and let the solution stand for at least 30 minutes.

You can use iodine tablets to disinfect filtered and settled water.
Purchase commercially prepared iodine tablets containing the necessary dosage for drinking water disinfection at drug and sporting goods stores. Use as stated in instructions. When instructions are not available, use one tablet for each quart or liter of filtered and settled water to be purified.
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2010, 05:58:01 AM »

I'm going to assume Jack's use of the term "freshen" is intended to mean the same thing as "sanitize". As I see it, there are really only two levels of chlorine bleach quantity to consider.  The first is a stronger solution placed in the tank temporarily (and not consumed) which is performed as a sanitizing function.  The second level is the introduction of much smaller amounts into water that will be consumed, such as treating questionable water for drinking.  Kyle's post above with the "8 drops per gallon" is for the treatment of consumable water. But if you want to sanitize the tank and flush, you need higher amounts.

I don't see any benefit in using something in between, as you can't drink the stuff, and why not be sure you kill EVERYTHING in the tank.  Beach is cheap, so go for the full sanitization.

The Illinois Department of Health has published guidelines for disinfecting tanks intended for potable water. They indicate 2 pints of 5.25% chlorine bleach for every 100 gallons of water.  See link for more details:  http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/factsheets/emergcyh2o.htm

Be careful what bleach you buy these days. Chlorox, and other brands, love to add extra ingredients (fabric softener, and other mystery color brighteners) so it is harder to find pure bleach today. Read the bottle carefully.

If, after sanitizing, flushing, and refilling your tanks you still have a bit of chlorine smell, add a couple tablespoons of baking soda to your tank. Dissolves and kills the chlorine taste.

Lastly, be aware that Chlorine bleach has a shelf life.  If you have bleach that has been sitting around your house for a couple years, it should be okay to use, but it has lost some of its strength.  You will need to use a higher quantity because it is no longer at the concentration percentage listed on the bottle.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2010, 07:54:02 AM by WEC4104 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2010, 06:42:43 AM »

Laundry bleach is about 6%.  Liquid pool chlorine is about 10% and considerably less expensive.  The cheaper store brands are probably has fewer added ingredients.
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2010, 07:11:05 AM »

I assumed that freshening was required due to issues with available water, not a tank issue.

Good to have the difference between sanitizing the tanks vs. making the water safe water defined.
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2010, 07:13:38 AM »

Hers an interesting read on the subject:

http://rvbasics.com/techtips/sanitizing-your-rv-fresh-water-system.html

Cliff
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2010, 07:23:12 AM »

Hey all,

When we put 1/4 cup of water in our 100 gallons of fresh water the whole thing stunk like bleach for weeks. Jack, I think you need to define your idea of "freshening", we don't cook with, drink or even brush our teeth with our bus water, no matter how fresh it is, just a matter of choice if we were fairly stationary or fulltiming that would probably change.

1/2 cup would create a smell that would last for a good long while, whether you drained and flushed it or not.

Rick
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2010, 06:55:44 PM »


We always add one household bleach bottle capfull to our 100 gl tank each spring and it does fine. It makes a slight odor, but not much.

After a day or two when the odor abates a bit we then drink the water as usual.

Been doing this for the four years we've owned the bus.
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2010, 07:05:43 PM »

In the 40 years of RVing and busing not one time have we ever used bleach in our water tank only food grade peroxide 



good luck
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2010, 07:45:45 PM »

if you want to kill the bugs a uv (light) filter works very well and doesnt leave or have any taste, the water runs thru a tube and there are uv lights shinning towars the water as it passes thru the tube
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2010, 07:57:27 PM »

What RickB said.

The only time we ever put bleach in the tanks we regretted it all summer.  It takes a LONG time to get the taste out.  If it was me I'd run some city chlorinated water through it and get on with life.
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2010, 09:36:51 PM »

We add a couple of shots of bleach if our water sits for very long. I try to have a fairly full tank when we come home so that we do not have to draw from our well before we leave.  I get worried if the tank sits for more than a month.  Sometimes I get a bit carried away and you can smell the chlorine in the water.  We use a dual element water filter and run the water from the filter to a special tap at the sink and over to the ice maker.  

I made the mistake of drawing a glass of water from the sink faucet and could really smell the chlorine.  I then dumped the water and got a glass from the special tap and the water tasted fine and I could not smell any chlorine.  

I really believe in the water filter system we use.  As I recall, it is a GE unit from Home Depot.  Not very costly and you don't need to change filters very often if you only draw drinking/cooking water from the auxiliary tap.  The filter is also said to get rid of most of the terrible "bugs" that would result from water that had not been treated or had stagnated.

Jim
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2010, 09:55:33 PM »

We got a bad load of water one time and flushed the system with fresh water and then added bleach in a small quantity. It seemed like we were living in a swimming pool for a spell but it was MUCH better than living in the SWAMP that we had before the chlorine. I think it becomes a matter of perspective. A little bleach is not bad if you have experienced FUNKY water but too much I am sure would ruin even the best of trips.

To sum up bleach is better than funk but too much and your hair may turn blonde.

Melbo

P.S. Don't drink the water from your tanks
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« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2010, 05:28:05 AM »

Thanks for all the advice. Our only problem was that Paula said the water had a "stale" taste, no smell.  I drained, flushed and refilled the tank. She said all is well now.  I will replace the filter cartridges today.  Jack
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« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2010, 06:09:29 PM »

We drink the water from our tank all the time. We start out in the spring with a tank full from our well then use whatever we get in RV parks along the way.

Sometimes we wait a day or two for the tiny bit of bleach odor to decrease but we've never had any problem. I can see how it would be a problem if much larger amounts of bleach are used, but just a tiny bit is plenty just to take away the initial stale odor of the tank.

To me a filter is just another gadget to clean and, in the case of good well water, it ruins the taste.
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« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2010, 06:18:34 PM »

I don't even brush my teeth using the storage water from the bus. I generally throw some Clorox in the tank at the beginning of the year. Where do you get the food grade peroxide Cliff? I'd like to give that a try. Is that what happened to your hair?..... Wink
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« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2010, 11:02:59 PM »

Just keep adding a little bit (like a pinch per gallon or soss) until the bleach smell goes away.  The amount will vary.  A little too much Vitamin C will not hurt.  Just mix the Vitamin C laced Coach water with any cheap alcohol to prevent SCURVY!!!, as we all know alcohol does this soss well.   HB of CJ (old coot)  Smiley Smiley Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2010, 05:46:07 AM »

Just keep adding a little bit (like a pinch per gallon or soss) until the bleach smell goes away.  The amount will vary.  A little too much Vitamin C will not hurt.  Just mix the Vitamin C laced Coach water with any cheap alcohol to prevent SCURVY!!!, as we all know alcohol does this soss well.   HB of CJ (old coot)  Smiley Smiley Smiley
So the vitamin C could be orange juice concentrate, mix with vodka, add bus tank water in the form of liquid and frozen.  i think i've tried that and unless you use Rickb's 1/4 cup, the bleach taste is gone after the first one.  you probably wouldn't even taste the 1/4 cup after 3 or 4 of these on a hot day. Wink Wink  great suggestion.  Grin
We add a touch of bleach when i think our water is stale which doesn't happen often because we try to use it up before we fill.  i drink out of our tank, after the filter.  my wife prefers the bottled stuff.
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« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2010, 01:14:01 PM »

I err on the side of caution.  Especially since the C is so easy to get out of the water.  Heating it seems to work and letting a unsealed container sit for a few hours takes care of it also.  Nothing defeats the taste of the mint in my toothpaste....even my morning breath and that used to trigger Bio alarms in the military.

John
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« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2010, 01:14:14 PM »

Here's my way:

We've done this several times after storage and once when we got bad water. The water system is fine afterward and we use it to cook and drink. This is probably less bleach than is recommend for cleaning raw vegetables.

I pour a gallon of bleach down my well a couple times a year and let sit overnight. Then make sure to flush all cold lines thoroughly.

I would not draw the water through the hot water heater.

Freshening water tank

To get started the fresh water tank should be empty. With the hose hooked to the fresh water fill, use a measuring cup and pour 1 cup of household bleach per fifty gallons of water into the end of the hose.
Then, hook that end of the hose up to the water source and fill the tank.
Let this sit for 12-24 hours.
Drain the tank.
This is a relatively small amount of chlorine but could leave a slight smell/taste in your water system. To eliminate this: hook your hose to your fresh water fill. Mix a slurry (pourable liquid) of water and baking soda, 1 cup per fifty gallons of water and pour into the hose then hook the hose up to the water source and fill the tank. Let sit for 12-24 hours and drain.
You are then ready to fill your holding tanks with fresh water.
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« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2010, 01:39:36 PM »

If you want to add bleach to your tank please consider this. House hold bleach runs between 3 and 6% when they make it. The type of chlorine in it is  sodium hypochlorite and this is the part of the "bleach" that does the job you want i.e. sanitize
 Each 1% is equal to 10,000 parts per million. Normal municipal water systems try to maintain about .5 to .75 parts per million residual chlorine to maintain the sanitary condition of the water in the system.
 Sodium hypochlorite has a shelf life of about 90 to 120 days so when it is made the bottling company adds a stabilizer chemical to it to try to keep it active for a longer period of time. This chemical is a known carcinogenic and should not be added to any potable system.
In years gone by some sources have advocated using house hold bleach as a sanitizer for potable water but now no credible source would.
 You want to introduce a hypochlorite to the water to maintain a sanitary system?
 PLEASE use a calcium hypochlorite instead. Most often it has no stabilizer chemical because the calcium is a better binder for the hypochlorite than sodium and it usually comes in a dry powder form and is often in the 66 to 70% range.
 Keep in mind that each 1% is equal to 10,000 parts per million and you only want .5 to .75 p.p.m
 Well you do the math based on the size of your holding tank.
 If you get to much chlorine in the tank it can be neutralized with sodium meta bisulfate but make sure you well flush your tank after to get rid of the extra chemistry.
 To the fellow who has the 2 part filter, it is the carbon part of the filter that is removing the chlorine.
Hope this helps
 
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« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2010, 08:33:20 PM »

Actually pouring a couple shots of Seagrams Seven in my drinking water helps. If I had a newer bus I would try the Eight or Nine. Never was a fan of the Seagrams 102 A3 or whatever.The guys with the million dollar s&s's use Crown but I save that for when I'm driving! Cheesy
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« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2010, 09:04:56 PM »

OK Les, I'm convinced.

Where do I find calcium hypochlorite and what is its household name?
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« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2010, 10:03:34 PM »

Les,

And this is your first post?  Can't wait till you hit your stride.

This chemical is a known carcinogenic and should not be added to any potable system.

So, Clifford, how much hydrogen peroxide do we add to 50 gallons of water?  And will it whiten my teeth and make me less offensive.  Really, how much?

Thanks,

John
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« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2010, 01:16:53 AM »


Where do I find calcium hypochlorite and what is its household name?



Gus -

You can pick it up at any swimming pool supply store, such as Leslie's.  Commonly called "Cal-Hypo", usually comes in 1 lb. bags, or you can get it in bulk buckets. 

Beware!  Cal-hypo is more dangerous and unstable than other forms of chlorine in that it is very dusty and becomes contaminated easily by foreign substances which can cause combustion. Mix this product with water only and don't breathe the dust. Keep the lid tightly secured and clean.


All -

Recommended chlorine residual in swimming pools is 1 - 3 parts per million, and for spas/hot tubs is 3 - 5 ppm.  At those levels, 90% of folk cannot smell and/or taste the chlorine, and obviously the levels are low enough not to be harmful. 

As was mentioned earlier, liquid pool chlorine is the least expensive form of sodium hypochlorite (bleach), and is most commonly found in 10% or 12% concentrations - basically double what you'd get with Chlorox (using that name in a similar fashion as we use the term Kleenex).  You can pick up pool chlorine not only at a pool supply store, but also at Lowe's, Home Depot, sometimes even at Wally World and your neighborhood grocery store.

If you don't want to carry liquid chlorine around all the time, another option is Sodium Dichloro-S-Triazinetrione, more commonly known as Di-Chlor.  Often sold in 1 lb bags as "shock", it's virtually pH neutral with roughly a 55 - 60% concentration.  Dissolves rapidly in water, so it's easily mixed.  For a 100-gallon holding tank, 1/8 to 1/4 level teaspoon would be just about all you'd need.  Has a really long shelf-life, so it could be kept in a Tupperware-like container (properly labeled!!!) somewhere out of the way.  I've even used 1/8th teaspoon in the washer (using HOT water) to get rid of that mildew-like smell in bath towels.  Most often found in pool supply stores (Leslie's), but cases of 24 bags are frequently carried at Sam's and Costco. 

Or, simply drain, rinse and refill your fresh water tank. . .

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2010, 08:13:54 PM »

RJ,

He didn't say sodium hypochlorite, he said calcium hypochlorite??

Evidently there is a big difference but he hasn't answered my question yet.
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« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2010, 09:41:26 PM »

RJ,

He didn't say sodium hypochlorite, he said calcium hypochlorite??

Evidently there is a big difference but he hasn't answered my question yet.




Gus -

I sorta answered your question on Les's behalf.

Sodium Hypochlorite is commonly known as bleach in household strength (Clorox), or liquid chlorine in swimming pool strength.

Calcium Hypochlorite is a powder commonly known as Cal-Hypo.  As I said before, it's most easily found at your local swimming pool supply store, such as Leslie's.

Here's a link to a pretty decent discussion about the various types of chlorine.  Altho geared to the hot tub/spa market, the basics are the basics.

http://www.rhtubs.com/chlorine.htm

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2010, 03:17:59 PM »

RJ,

This is weird, I'm sure I answered your post recently but it is obviously not here?? Maybe I had another senior moment!!

After reading your link I think I see why powdered Calcium Hypochlorite isn't used, it is pretty hazardous to use if mixed incorrectly. None of those problems with liquid bleach.

At any rate, we use bleach in such small quantities I don't think it will ever be a problem.
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