ramblinboy

Keeping Water Fresh

32 posts in this topic

We travel with gallon jugs of potable water.

We use the fresh tank for washing up and flushing only.

Any necessity to treat potable water in jugs to keep it fresh?

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If you use the same jugs over and over again then you need to treat them the same way you would any other holding tank (jug) as the bacteria doesn't care where it grows, only that you allow it to do so. A properly maintained fresh water holding tank will give you the exact same quality water that you can get from a local tap so unless you are buying bottled water you are just as well off filling your fresh water tank as you are refilling those jugs.

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Unless you are storing the drinking water in the gallon jugs for extended periods, no treatment is needed. Just wash and rinse the jugs from time to time before refilling.

I agree with Bill's point about the quality from your fresh tank. Unless you are putting filtered or bottled water into the travel jugs, you can get the same result from the MH fresh water system.

If the quality from your MH fresh water system isn't adequate, maybe it can be improved. We had similar troubles and my wife was bringing bottled water for drinking. Since then, I bleached and flushed the system, upgraded the filters, and don't let the water sit in the tank for more than a month or so. The result for us has been (thankfully) no more bottled water expenses.

Happy travels,

Tim

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We have full-timed since 1997 and in the same coach since 1999. Our fresh water tank is all we use and since water is always in and out there are no issues with freshness. We do have a separate water tap with its own filter from which we fill water bottles when we want something portable and to keep from wasting money and filling the land fills with more plastic.

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Exactly what we needed to know. Thanks to all!

We drink filtered water at home to eliminate the chlorine taste. We don't want to drink small portion bottled water on the road as mentioned.

We see plenty o' folk who filter at the campground source before it gets into your MH tank. I have an under-sink filter for the kitchen tap.

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As special on television, don't remember the program, but it it was one like 20/20 or 60 minutes, etc., recently discussed water. The bottom line is that there are many more city water systems that have better quality water with less bacteria than bottled water you can buy at a store. Go figure.

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OK, let's discuss the "ideal" system for potable water.

Start with a "purified water system". Hyper-chlorinate the tank as described in most RV owners manuals, then drain and fill with fresh water. Do this anytime the tank water is over 10 days old in the summer or 2 weeks old in the winter. The best way to keep tank water fresh is to fill the tank and then USE IT. Worse way is to fill it, then always connect to city water and only use tank water occasionally. It is not reasonable to expect water that has been stored a month in a hot tank in the summer to be sanitary.

Use a sediment ONLY filter on all incoming water-- 5 micron filters are best and available at Home Depot, etc. Get the canister type with replaceable element. Many CG's are on well water. Removing sediment/sand will prolong the life of your pump, etc. It will also make the job of keeping the tank easier. I like the canister with replaceable element for several reasons: inexpensive, radially available, and most importantly, CAN BE STORED SAFELY. One of the worse things you can do is have a filter and store it wet in your basement for a week or more. What a way to grow bacteria and mold. There are two safe ways to store the filter element-- allow it to dry out or put it in a ziplock and throw it in the freezer.

Do not use a charcoal filter in any "before potable water tank" application. Do not remove the chlorine and then store the water. Removing the chlorine after the tank is fine. In fact, that is the final step recommended by most for tank water that will be consumed. Use a quality charcoal filter between the pump and where you will access potable water-- be it sink, special faucet, ice machine, etc. Bacteria-static filters are more expensive but an excellent idea.

BTW, many coach are already set up with just this arrangement.

Brett

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Excellent advice Brett. We are most grateful.

Our coach has been winterized and will need to be flushed to run clear.

We'll then run chlorine throughout the fresh water system including the water heater tank I'm assuming.

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We'll then run chlorine throughout the fresh water system including the water heater tank I'm assuming.

Yes, when hyper-chlorinating to sanitize the potable water system, let the potable water tank sit for an hour or so with the heavy chlorine concentration in it and then open each faucet (hot and cold) until you smell chlorine. Let the system sit like that for at least another hour. Then drain, fill and run faucets until heavy chlorine smell is gone.

Brett

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OK, let's discuss the "ideal" system for potable water.

Start with a "purified water system". Hyper-chlorinate the tank as described in most RV owners manuals...

How do you get the chlorine into the tank? I only have the fill hose connection.

Ron

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You can just pour the bleach into your hose and then connect the hose to the faucet. You will push the bleach in and fill the tank with water at the same time.

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Most are should I say all city, county etc water systems are required by Federal law to contain chlorine and at a specific level. It has more than the standard bottle water and if you replace your tank once or twice a year, you should have safe drinking water. We used to purchase bottled water and switched to using our tank. We live in Florida and the warm summers do not bother the water tank.

Phil Hansen

Merritt Island Florida

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Most are should I say all city, county etc water systems are required by Federal law to contain chlorine and at a specific level. It has more than the standard bottle water and if you replace your tank once or twice a year, you should have safe drinking water. We used to purchase bottled water and switched to using our tank. We live in Florida and the warm summers do not bother the water tank.

Phil Hansen

Merritt Island Florida

Phil,

Actually, the chlorine evaporates reasonably quickly in a tank where it is exposed to air, leaving your water a potential microbe breeding ground.

Brett

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To sanitize the system, use 1/4 cup household bleach for every 15 gallons of water tank holding capacity. For example: one cup bleach for a 60 gallon tank.

Tim

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I am a new member to FMCA and this forum. I have been catching up on various topics and this topic is what I need to be involved with as we have had water in our fresh water tank for over 8 weeks as we were in Az. I understand what everyone is stating but have one question. Should the hot water tank also be sanitized? I have not had it on in the last 2 weeks. Thanks for the info. Great forum.

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Should the hot water tank also be sanitized? Thanks for the info. Great forum.

Yes, when sanitizing the potable water system, after letting the chlorine solution sit in the tank (see my write-up above), open EACH faucet (including hot water) until you smell chlorine coming out.

Brett

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Should the hot water tank also be sanitized? Thanks for the info. Great forum.

Yes, when sanitizing the potable water system, after letting the chlorine solution sit in the tank (see my write-up above), open EACH faucet (including hot water) until you smell chlorine coming out.

Brett

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The best way to keep your water system fresh is to use it. Fill the tank with water and then turn off your city water connection. Use your water pumps until the water level gets low and then fill your tanks again. Repeat week after week and your water system will remain clean and sanitary. With our system (not sure that all will work this way) we leave the city water connection on AND leave the water pumps on. This actually extends the time between tank fills as low water usage such as hand washing and the ice maker will not cause the pumps to kick in but taking a shower or running the washer will. After a week or so it will be time to fill again. I would not recommend that water be left standing in a tank for more than a week or so. Either fill it and use it or empty it entirely.

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The best way to keep your water system fresh is to use it. Fill the tank with water and then turn off your city water connection. Use your water pumps until the water level gets low and then fill your tanks again. Repeat week after week and your water system will remain clean and sanitary.

Bill,

That is EXACTLY what we do-- on both the sailboat and motorhome. Works well as long as you are full-timing.

But, if the water sits in the tank for too long, it is a good idea to re-sanitize.

Brett

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That's why I suggest draining the tank for long term storage but even so it's still likely that a good cleaning of that tank would be necessary.

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Brett:

I have appreciated your words of wisdom with reference to motor homes for the past year. We are full timers and currently have a bad odor in our tank. We thought it was related to some bad water we took on in South Dakota, but now wonder if your advice about hooking up to campground water supply for many nights and never completely emptying our tank is not the culprit. In any event I just purchased a "Hydro Life" Exterior Kit model HL-200 water filter kit. You mention never using a charcoal filter between the potable water supply and RV tank in this article.

I started reading the description of this product and it claims "Hydro Life utilizes the patented KDF media in conjunction with granular activated charcoal (GAC) to provide superior filtering and protection from many contaminants."

Based on your comment about not using a charcoal filter between the water supply and tank I am now worried that I bought the wrong kind of filter. This particular filter is designed to hook into the city/well water hose and then hook into the tank/onboard supply. Do you think I bought the wrong thing? Thanks. Paul

sundancev@msn.com

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Paul,

The danger with any charcoal-based filter is that it removes chlorine-- and they do a good job of doing that. Removing chlorine is ONLY OK, repeat ONLY OK if you will be using the water immediately. Storing water from which you have removed the chlorine is asking for microorganisms to grow in your tank.

Again, use a sediment only filter (I like/use the 5 micron sediment only filters) for water going into the tank. Use a charcoal filter coming out of the tank for drinking water/all water.

If you NEVER use the on-board tank and it is disconnected from your fresh water supply, a charcoal filter for all water "in" is OK.

Brett

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Paul,

The danger with any charcoal-based filter is that it removes chlorine-- and they do a good job of doing that. Removing chlorine is ONLY OK, repeat ONLY OK if you will be using the water immediately. Storing water from which you have removed the chlorine is asking for microorganisms to grow in your tank.

Again, use a sediment only filter (I like/use the 5 micron sediment only filters) for water going into the tank. Use a charcoal filter coming out of the tank for drinking water/all water.

If you NEVER use the on-board tank and it is disconnected from your fresh water supply, a charcoal filter for all water "in" is OK.

Brett

Got it Brett. Many thanks again for this and all the other post of recent years you have provided those of us in the RV world. Paul

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