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Author Topic: Adding a small amount of chlorine to the fresh water tank  (Read 2443 times)
Dave Siegel
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« on: July 22, 2007, 05:13:53 AM »

From time to time I have seen posts stating that coach owners would put a couple of drops of chlorine in their fresh water tanks to either clean them or keep the bacteria to a minimum. Sounds good but how do you do it?  I have a fresh water hook up that is a typical rv receptacle that I can screw my water hose on to. That line dumps directly into my fresh water tank. In the outbound line from the fresh water tank to the hot water and sinks, etc. I have another connector to allow the introduction of city water (yes there is a check valve there) this bypasses the fresh water tank and pump and I can use park pressure of which I also have a control valve to correct over pressurization. But now back to the outside RV hook up. I can not pour anything into that fitting (there must be a check valve or something?) But if I attach a water hose I can fill my tank.  How can I introduce a little chlorine to my fresh water tank? We live in the country and I fill with non chlorinated well water.

Dave Siegel
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2007, 05:44:03 AM »

Dave,

Go to Wal-Mart garden dept. and get a quick connect fitting for garden hose and install then pour amount of bleach into hose and connect and turn on water and presto it's done.

cost about 5.00

LarryH
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2007, 05:47:05 AM »

   Dave,

    I have a similar set-up. I haven't done it yet (not that far along on the build) but what I designed and will build is.
 Our local farm and ranch supply has a in line filter setup that looks like a  see through spin on canister with a removable filter.
 I'll buy one of those remove the filter plumb it to garden hose fittings. Then such things as chlorine, winter treatment
 etc, I'll pour into the canister, put the canister on the base and run water through it from the hose.

   Hope this helps

    Skip
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Dave Siegel
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2007, 06:04:36 AM »

Those are great ideas. But my wife just threw a wrench into the gears. (She works for the Collier County Health Department) She offered really big concerns about what ANY amount of chlorine would do to components in the water system aboard the bus. Such as: The SureFlo water pump, the polyethylene tanks, water lines and connections. (I have used cpvc throughout the coach so I am really not worried about the piping and connections.)

This is where I could use some engineering input and amount of chlorine to use.

Thanks,

Dave Siegel
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2007, 06:11:40 AM »


 Sorry I have no scientific info on the interactions. I've never had any problems with my pump
 due to chlorine. (17 years with the same class C)   you could probably set up an experiment
 where you take a piece of cpvc and poly put it in a jar pour straight chlorine in and see
 what happens to the material over a couple of weeks. Not scientific but may answer some
 concerns.

   Skip
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2007, 06:33:50 AM »

Hi Dave,

I use a cap full of Bleach to 100 gallons of water. No scientific measures here, just what my dad has told me he always did in his 4104.

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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2007, 07:17:57 AM »

The instructions that came with my Nature Pure Filter say, If you are worried about Bacteria add 1 teaspoon of bleach per 10 dallons of water.
Good Luck
Jerry
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2007, 07:33:49 AM »

i ran into the same issue when we got rid of the stick and staples box.  the Eagle has no "pipe" to pour bleach into.  there is a hose connect with a valve that goes to the outside filter, then to the water lines and pump, probably like yours does.
it finally hit me that i could just pour a little bleach into the hose before i connect it to the bus.  when i connect the hose, i usually run some water through it first, then i dump some out, pour bleach in, then screw it onto the inlet to the bus.  Works for me.

Glad to see someone post amounts.  i was going by smell of the water to get just a wiff of chlorine.  that caused me to empty the tank once due to overwhelming fumes cause i put too much in. oops.

by the way, our favorite RV store (NOT) is selling an electronic water tester for $14 in their latest email spam.  checks metals and some contaminants, not virus or bacteria. fwiw
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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2007, 08:52:53 AM »

Hi Dave

This might help:

"Multiply the tank capacity by .013 The result is the ounces of bleach to sanitize the tank. Mix the bleach into a container with potable water, and pour into the tank.

Open all faucets (hot and cold) and run water until bleach is detected.

Close faucets and leave alone for four hours.

Drain tank, refill with potable water, and flush/purge all the plumbing of the bleach."

The above is paraphrased from the Shurflo manual. I know its not exactly what you were asking for, but it does have to do with bleach in your tank!

NOTE this is for sanitizing your tank, after which complete draining & purging is necessary. In the example above, a 100 gal tank would require 1.3 gallons of bleach. Definately something you don't want to drink!

Mark
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2007, 12:46:47 PM »

I add a capful of bleach to my 90 gal tank if it begins to smell stale. This tiny cap is about 1" ID and probably 1/2 " deep at the most. This is so little bleach that no possible harm could come to man nor machine. It always works, leaves a slight aroma of bleach for a day or two but goes away soon.

The amount of bleach suggested for cleaning the tank is a far stronger solution, too strong for the water supply itself.

In your situation-put this amount of bleach into the empty end of your filler hose, connect it to the bus and turn on the water. Job done.
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2007, 03:58:08 PM »

If you donn't  have a gravity fill spout then you should have a vent that you can get something into. Jerry
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2007, 05:22:52 PM »

The simplest system I have found is to just pour the clorine into the hose, attach to the fill connection, and turn it on. We usually drive around or do it just before getting home and drain the tank after it has sloshed around for awhile.

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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2007, 08:05:22 PM »

Hi Dave

This might help:

"Multiply the tank capacity by .013 The result is the ounces of bleach to sanitize the tank.

...

NOTE this is for sanitizing your tank, after which complete draining & purging is necessary. In the example above, a 100 gal tank would require 1.3 gallons of bleach. Definately something you don't want to drink!


Actually, if the first statement is correct, it would take 1.3 ounces to treat a 100 gallon tank.
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2007, 08:08:35 PM »

Municipal water plants use chlorine. What ratio do they use?
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2007, 08:25:53 PM »

OOPS  Embarrassed  my bad...

1.3 ounces; NOT 1.3 gallons

Thanks Hi-tek

Mark

never was good at math  Embarrassed
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« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2007, 08:30:55 PM »

I think most stay under 4ppm chlorine.

Consumer laundry bleaches are typically 3-10% active chlorine.  So if you added 1.3 ounces of a generic bleach with 3% active chlorine to a full 100 gallon tank of water, it would result in about 3ppm chlorine.  If you added 1.3 ounces of Clorox Ultra, then it would result in 10ppm.
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« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2007, 11:27:10 PM »

I have used the bleach solution for years.

Make sure it also fills the hot water heater, open all the water valves to fill all the lines.  I always tried to leave it in the lines for 24 hours.

After the bleach solution is drained I would put about 4 tablespoons of baking soda in the system, with fresh water, to neutralize the bleach.  Let it set for a few hours and completely drain all the water and refill with fresh.  Don't know if the baking soda step is really necessary, but have done it for years, and have stayed with it.
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« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2007, 04:31:23 AM »

Wow, you folks are fantastic. What I thought was a stupid , simple question turned out to be a really good learning post for , I think, lots of people besides myself. Thank you everyone for the great answers.

Dave Siegel
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« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2007, 07:20:33 AM »

Anyone ever though of using hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine?  ALL halogens are nasty to humans... I've got a hot tub that's been sitting at 100 degrees for what, about 12 years now... 10PPM h202 is all I use for sterilization, and to date not a hint of algae, bugs, etc, and the water's clear and blue..
it's gotta do the same for a cold tankful of water, and it's not harmful to drink at that percentage level...
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« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2007, 07:37:34 AM »

To clarify, the addition of baking soda is for taste purposes only. The baking soda is effective in getting rid of the chlorine taste. It neutralizes the taste, but not necessarily the chemistry of the chlorine.

Also, HighTech is correct with his 4ppm figure.   In Jan '04 the EPA started regulating chlorine levels in municipal water systems and capped the chlorine (and chloramine) levels at the 4ppm levels. 

Some municipalities have been switching from Chlorine to Chloramine (a chlorine-ammonia compound) for their disinfecting agent.

Chloramine disinfection, is preferable to chlorine for almost all uses: drinking, cooking, bathing, gardening, and pets. The water's taste may improve, the carcinogens called trihalomethanes formed by chlorine will be reduced, and more pathogens will be removed due to chloramine's extra stability. The Dept of Homeland Security is also not thrilled with the presence of railroad tankers filled with chlorine near large metropolitan areas.

Wayne
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« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2007, 07:48:05 AM »

Hey Boogiethecat,
  Ya beat me to it!!
  Hydrogen peroxide is MUCH better than chlorine! BUT!!!!!!!!!, ya NEED to use "Food Grade" hydrogen peroxide. Not the stuff in little brown bottles we use on cuts. etc.
  I have 35% food grade H202 in my freezer (won't freeze) and use it in my hot tub also. I'm not an expert on the subject, but there is ALLOT of research on the stuff you can check out. I get allot of my answers and knowledge from a book called Oxygen Therapys.
  I would HIGHLY recommend anyone looking into this avenue. I think you will be amazed.
 
   Sorry for the "hijack". Maybe I need to start a new thread.  Wink

  Be careful,
          Chaz
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« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2007, 07:52:54 AM »

I know that here in Los Angeles, the water is chlorinated enough where nothing has ever grown in the tank since I first filled it 12 years ago.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2007, 08:00:28 AM »

Do you guys with the hydrogen peroxide in your hot tubs have a lot of blonde friends?   Grin
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« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2007, 08:43:46 AM »


I think most stay under 4ppm chlorine.

Consumer laundry bleaches are typically 3-10% active chlorine.  So if you added 1.3 ounces of a generic bleach with 3% active chlorine to a full 100 gallon tank of water, it would result in about 3ppm chlorine.  If you added 1.3 ounces of Clorox Ultra, then it would result in 10ppm.




Take a close look at a bottle of Clorox or other bleach on the supermarket shelf.  Most are 6% Sodium Hypochlorite.  Chlorine purchased at Home Depot, etc. for swimming pools usually is 10%, and the stuff I get from the pool wholesale house runs 12%.

But -

Liquid chlorine deteriorates rapidly when exposed to sunlight.  If I run around with a case of liquid in the back of my truck for a week, that 12% will be down to about 9 or so.  If I don't use it up, by the end of the month, it's virtually useless - even in the opaque bottles.  Moral: keep bleach containers out of direct sunlight to maintain potency.

Swimming pool water is typically maintained at 1 -3 ppm of chlorine average year-round.  I will bump some of my customer's pools to 3 -5 ppm due to heavy usage in the summertime, then let it drift back down to 1 -3 for fall/winter/spring.

Wayne's comments about municipalities using chloramines for sanitation brings up another point.  If you get out of a pool and "smell like chlorine", what you're smelling is actually chloramines - often formed when kids pee in the pool.  (Combination of chlorine and organic compounds, actually)  Those of us in the pool industry have found that excessive chloramines in pool water actually reduce the effectiveness of chlorine as a sanitizer, and must be dealt with by adding additional chlorine into the water to break the organic bond and allow the free chlorine to provide the sanitation necessary. (AKA "Superchlorination")

Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) is used by the pool industry to help balance alkalinity, which acts as a buffer to help control the pH of the water, with 7 pH being neutral (acid/base balance).

How does this relate to fresh water tanks?  My point is that if you keep the chlorine level in your tank to that of a pool (1-3 ppm), you shouldn't have any problems.  This does require that you either a) do the math to figure out how much bleach to add specifically for your tank size, or b) buy some test strips at a pool supply store and test your water (run some tap into a bowl) and adjust as necessary.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2007, 10:10:13 AM »

Quote
Do you guys with the hydrogen peroxide in your hot tubs have a lot of blonde friends?   

 Nah. Peroxide blonde, bleach blonde....... eh, all the same.

  But the peroxide is alot easier on you!!
     Chaz
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« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2007, 07:13:35 PM »

I wouldn't drink municipal water that WASN"T clorinated.  Put well water in your holding tanks and you can get introduced to problems you can't even pronounce...let alone spell.  We need that clorine to keep the bugs in check.  All of us have been drinking it all our lives unless you have a well.  When I fill up at a park that runs well water I always put in a "little" bleach to BE SAFE.

I don't think I am odd on this one....am I?

John
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