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Author Topic: Fresh Water Tank Ruined?  (Read 3266 times)
captain ron
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« on: October 29, 2007, 09:09:07 AM »

I just removed my fresh water tank to clean it and rebuild the box it is in. It is stained from the iron that was in the water. I do not drink from this tank and will not use it for brushing my teeth any more. Do you think it will be ok for shower, dishes, toilet,laundry and general cleaning use? Or will it always distribute the iron from the stains to my water? I poured a gallon of bleach into it and filled it half way to try and slosh it around and clean it. How about using that CRL or whatever it's called to clean bathroom and kitchens with?

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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2007, 09:22:36 AM »

How about having El Monte Plastics, Ardemco, or such to make a plastic tank for you.  I have tanks that are 12 years old with no problems.  Tanks are not that expensive and properly mounted will last the lifetime of the bus.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2007, 09:23:06 AM »

I would not put ANY chemical into the water you would not be comfortable drinking any amount of. Bleach is fine in trace amounts, it's used for sanitizing all sorts of food-grade equipment. However, CLR, etc are extremely caustic, and I would not be comfortable with even trace amounts in my water supply.

Why all the worry about some rust stains? I suspect that if they have any health significance at all, it will be far less than the chemicals you are contemplating. I wouldn't hesitate to use it.
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2007, 09:25:35 AM »

Good question! Before trashing the tank I'd try a stronger bleach solution (just my personal preference about 3-4 gallons per tank your size) and after sloshing/mixing it good I'd let it soak over night! As far as being ok for the other uses I'd really think so, especially as the more you use it the more it'd dilute the "iron stains"! But then again what do I know about this subject?
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2007, 09:42:30 AM »

The old pipes in my house add plenty of iron to the water. I don't think it'd be a big deal at all.

If you use bottled water for drinking, & the 'fresh water' tank has no offensive odor - I don't see a problem.

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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2007, 10:07:03 AM »

I'll bet one TV dinner has more chemicals and bad bad things than you'd pick up from a month of use of the tank.
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2007, 10:09:32 AM »

Many people take iron supplement, including my wife. What is the supposed problem?
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2007, 10:20:15 AM »

Hi Ron,

Here are some break downs of iron from my filtration supplier everpure.com

iron

An element (Fe) often found dissolved in ground water (in the form of ferrous iron) in concentrations usually ranging from zero to 10 ppm (mg/L).  It is objectionable in water supplies because of the staining caused after oxidation and precipitation (as ferric hydroxide), because of tastes, and because of unsightly colors produced when iron reacts with tannins in beverages such as coffee and tea.

 

iron bacteria

Organisms which are capable of utilizing ferrous iron, either from the water or from steel pipe, in their metabolism and precipitating ferric hydroxide in their sheaths and gelatinous deposits.  These organisms tend to collect in pipe lines and tanks during periods of low flow and to break loose in slugs of turbid water to create staining, taste, and odor problems.

Are there any more containiments in your tank? I have more....

Nick-

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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2007, 11:06:18 AM »

Charlie,

Let me add my voice to the resounding din that suggests that you are being anal about this.  Iron in water is a problem all around the country but I don't think I have ever heard about it being a health issue.  If all you have is a stained tank...forget about it.  I don't think that would even have a taste after a few rinse tanks.  Just my humble "taster", er, opinion.

I carry bottled water filled from the tap at home only cause I don't know about the water on the road and I don't want to worry about it.

HTH,


John
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captain ron
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2007, 11:11:52 AM »

After tasting a small sample of this water a magnet flew out of my tool box and hit me in the head.
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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2007, 11:22:01 AM »

Sorry Charlie!
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2007, 11:58:00 AM »

Ron,

I have a softener at the house to remove the Iron in the water.

On the input I have a set of those yarn filters to catch any sediment, they are a nice shade of Iron when I pull them once a month.

I first put them in a gallon bucket with a little Ironout. 

The iron almost dissolves before my eyes.  Check out the product at Walmart or favorite dept store.

Just rinse it out good......twice....The ppm will be nothing at that point.

CLR will not work....Calcium, Lime, Rust

My fresh water system does not run the site water through my tank, so I almost always have 100+ gallons
from the home tap.

From a discussion with a friend over a few beers,  I sent in a sample of my well, and two bottled water samples to the University of FLA.

My water was better in all categories and I got some essential minerals to boot. They check for metals and bacteria plus a zillion other things.  Every state has this service.  Never, ever trust the water or filter guys.  Too much of a vested interest in selling you something..

I use bottled water on the road if I run out of my own, but in my opinion its one of the great hypes of this era....To each his own...

Cliff





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« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2007, 12:16:58 PM »

If the stains bother you they can be removed with a product sold at Kmart etc.

It is called Whink Rust Stain Remover, it is poisionous so you would have to rinse your tank a couple of times. but it is water soluble so it would rinse easily.
Since your tank is out, a couple of bottles to slosh it with would work.
I keep it to remove rust stains from clothes.

Personally I would leave it as is, it won't hurt you.

Autopsies on Alzheimers victims found unusually large iron and aluminum deposits at the base of the brain, but they have no proof that it has any effect on the victims or the disease.

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captain ron
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« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2007, 12:30:44 PM »

Personally I would leave it as is, it won't hurt you.
autopsies on Alzheimers victims found unusually large iron and aluminum deposits at the base of the brain, but they have no proof that it has any effect on the victims or the disease.
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« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2007, 05:02:06 PM »

if your really worried, use it for the WVO tank Wink and get a new one for water. Smiley


However being tough as nails and eating them for breakfast, i'm suprised your bothered. Cheesy
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« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2007, 07:14:03 PM »

Have you ever looked at the water pipes in a house?Huh? Especially an old house??? Same thing...
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captain ron
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« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2007, 07:37:48 PM »

I'm not anal by any means (just ask the proctologist I'm dating) but I'd really hate to have some hot chick come over and after a potty break wash her hands in water that looked like it was pumped right out of the Mississippi. It came out of the faucet orange. I'm building a new cabinet for my tank tomorrow  and then I wont be able to see the rust stains and will be able to relocate my hot water heater on the face of the box. I'm losing 1 whole bay to my WVO conversion (fuel additive system Roll Eyes)so I had to rearrange things and tidy up my installations so every thing is going to look really neat and all space utilized. I'm going through my junk and getting rid of everything I can and soon as I get all this junk out of Bruce's yard I'll take some pictures of what I've done. The "Mechanical bay" will hold my elect. panel, my 2 battery banks 14 batteries in all, my gray water tank, my 55 gallon (for now, will add another smaller tank later), My Pro Heat, my filters for WVO and some shelving for accessory storage.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2007, 08:21:10 PM by Charley Davidson » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2007, 08:26:38 PM »

Pictures, Pictures, who needs pictures taken??
Gary
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captain ron
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« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2007, 08:33:13 PM »

I've got this all figured out now. We can travel together and you can be my opening act and show photographer. and safety adviser  Grin
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« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2007, 08:49:54 PM »

Charley,

Let's try to keep this simple, plain household vinegar will remove that rust. Just put a couple of gallons in the tank and slosh it around for about 15 min or so. If the stain isn't too high up the tank you can fill it with vinegar up to the rust level.

There may be a vinegar flavor to the water depending on how much you use and how long you leave it there but someone can probably tell you how to kill that flavor. I doubt that there will be much considering how much water the tank holds compared to how much vinegar residue will be left in the tank.

The good thing about this method is that nobody gets poisoned and a small amount of vinegar is actually supposed to be healthful. Household vinegar is mostly water anyway, about 95% as I remember.

Bleach hardly affects rust and it is definitely poision if too concentrated.
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« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2007, 09:32:56 PM »

"It came out of the faucet orange."

Sounds more like you have an isolated steel fitting somewhere in the system and there was a burst of rusty water came through the system.

I can't see that  rust stains on the inside of the tank could turn the whole tank orange because iron oxide is not all that soluble and in any case is probably "fixed" by all the normal calcium scale that has been deposited there.

Putting a new tank in will make the seller happy but will in any case only solve the problem until you fill it with dodgy groundwater.

One thing with adding chlorine -- from my swimming pool days I seem to remember that where there were iron salts in the water, chlorine caused them to come out of solution and the only remedy was to either use chelating agents or drain the pool.
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captain ron
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« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2007, 09:38:17 PM »

As I stated I do not drink from that tank. If I did it would only be filled at a location I know the water is safe and tastes good or better yet has no taste or smell or color. I like bottled water. But I will try the vinegar tomorrow. I don't even give my dog water from my tank unless it's absolutely necessary.
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captain ron
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« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2007, 09:51:04 PM »

Tony, I drained the tank and saved the last of the water coming out of it and out of a 16 ounce cup after settling it had a good 1/4 inch of orange-ish settimeant in the bottom of the cup. If I saved all of the water out of my system and let it settle I could have filled the cup. The water in HWH was orange and the insides of my PVC pipe has orange stains and my toilet was staining orange every few days. The only metal fittings in my whole system are at the faucets and HWH. And I don't believe that water returns to my tank at least not enough to do that kind of damage.
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« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2007, 12:47:49 AM »

Sounds like a lot of rust at that rate. Strange that the water was such that it precipitated out all by itself without the addition of chlorine

The vinegar trick works well in scaled up kettles but it needs to be left overnight to work properly. Cheap and has a gentle action.

 CLR is ACIDIC and will dissolve calcium and rust stains and shouldn't hurt anything in a SS or plastic water tank and will rinse out completely without leaving anything toxic in the tank.
See cautions at http://www.jelmar.com/CLRbasic.htm
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« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2007, 11:04:42 AM »

CLR dissolved the surface of a china bowl that I soaked a show head in.  Did little to help the shower head.  I don't think I would want it in a tank. 

If your tank is coated so are your pipes.  I would go for the vinegar and flush it into the whole system and let it set.  Our town has a well that has a lot of iron in it.  When we had a dishwasher with a plastic lining it became discolored.  Friend said use Tang, you know the old juice drink.  Dug in the back of the cupboard and found some ancient stuff and it worked great.  Suppose it was the citric acid.  No good way to flush it well enough from a tank system. 

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« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2007, 12:19:08 PM »

I'd simply toss a 1/2 gallon of pool acid into your tank and fill it, and let it sit for a few days, then drain and rinse it a few times.  That will remove all minerals and likely the iron.  If any iron is still in there, the same treatment with citric acid will fix it pronto, as citric acid removes iron very efficiently, and diluted to the point that they will be after a good final rinsing, neither of these acids are poisonus.
Cheers
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« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2007, 02:32:11 PM »

Stick a magnet into the residue at the bottom of your cup and see if it picks up any iron oxide, that will settle the question of whether or not it is iron.

It is true that the vinegar probably needs to stay in the tank longer than I first said but I was afraid it might do some damage if I told you to leave it in overnight. It needs to be watched because the exact time it needs to work properly varies greatly. You can always pour it back in if it isn't in long enough.

I would not recommend pool acid unless it has changed drastically over the years. I think it is hydrochloric acid. I used to use it on severely rusted heavy iron and it removed the rust instantly. The iron was so clean it also began to immediately rust again. The vapors of the acid would also knock you out and any splashed on the skin burned immediately. I stopped using that stuff because I was afraid of it.

You sure don't want to splash any in your eyes!!

Maybe it is greatly diluted now. Vinegar is much, much safer.
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« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2007, 09:11:16 PM »

Ron - As far as I've heard - If the hot chick has seen your act and followed you home ..... she's probably not too worried about 'clean hands' - LOL
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« Reply #28 on: October 31, 2007, 02:22:39 AM »

"CLR dissolved the surface of a china bowl that I soaked a show head in.  Did little to help the shower head.  I don't think I would want it in a tank."

Quite likely since these sort of materials - concrete, marble etc -- are in the do-not-use list for CLR.

Normal RV water tanks are made from Stainless steel or fibreglass or polyethylene or similar  - all showing quite good to excellent resistance to mildly to moderately strong acids.
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« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2007, 08:49:20 AM »

Ron - As far as I've heard - If the hot chick has seen your act and followed you home ..... she's probably not too worried about 'clean hands' - LOL

Niles,

I know you have Ron ROFLMAO on that one!

I know I was. Grin

Cliff

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« Reply #30 on: October 31, 2007, 09:49:40 AM »

I have iron in my well water at home. It is so bad that any wall or rocks that that water touches is red .
I  sent  a sample to the lab and was told that it safe to drink.  My fresh water tank water was rusty too.
I bought some ironout and flushed the tank out and it took care of  the problem.
JLL
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« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2007, 10:19:39 AM »

Ron,
Want me to bring down my "PVC" welder this weekend?
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« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2007, 11:43:38 AM »

Rumor has it that after cleaning out a water tank a good way to remove any lingering tastes is to add a bottle of white wine or maybe gin/vodka to the water tank while filling it.
Even if it doesn't work think of what people that see you adding it will think of you  Grin

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captain ron
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« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2007, 05:24:03 PM »

Ed, Yes that would be great, If you have a chuck for spin welding that would be great also. Looking forward to seeing you and the family again.
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