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Old 26-07-2008, 10:28   #1
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Best way to clean Watertank

Whats the best way to clean out my watertank? 50 gal. Water coming out is kinda greenish brown. Boat has been sitting unused for a while.
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Old 26-07-2008, 10:50   #2
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I use white viniger. Put one gallon of vinigar for each 10 gallons of water the tank will hold. Fill the rest of the way with water. Let it set for three or four days, then flush with fresh water. If it's real bad you may need to open it up and scrub the inside of the tank.

Tim
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Old 26-07-2008, 11:44   #3
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You'll need to clean the water lines and the water heater tank, too. That's actually where most of the unpleasant stuff grows in my system.

I use diluted chlorine bleach, but since I don't want to put chlorine into my aluminum water tank, I installed a "Y" valve at the pickup tube so I can switch from the tank to a piece of hose that I dip into a bucket of diluted bleach. Use about 1 cup per 5 gallons. Run the pump until you smell chlorine coming out of all the faucets, then let it sit for 4-6 hours. Flush it out, and you're back in business.

For my aluminum tank, I put in a couple of ounces of 37% hydrogen peroxide every couple of months. It's a 170 gallon tank. Chlorine eats at it and produces lumps of aluminum chloride that clog up the pump screen, faucet diffusers and the shower head. You didn't say what kind of tank you have. Chlorine would be OK in fiberglass. Don't know about stainless steel.
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Old 29-07-2008, 08:39   #4
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Water Tank

Thanks for all the info.
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Old 29-07-2008, 09:56   #5
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If fiberglass tank, use chlorine bleach. Works very, very well. Just rinse it out a BUNCH of times afterwards.
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Old 29-07-2008, 18:24   #6
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bstreep I am in Mobile, Al where I purchased my boat, and have called and e-mailed several Marinas in Texas and can't get a return call or e-mail. Do you know the going rates for a live aboard slip. I am in a 36' with a 4'4" draft. Currently a displaced Texan!
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Old 10-08-2008, 00:25   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
You'll need to clean the water lines and the water heater tank, too. That's actually where most of the unpleasant stuff grows in my system.

I use diluted chlorine bleach, but since I don't want to put chlorine into my aluminum water tank, I installed a "Y" valve at the pickup tube so I can switch from the tank to a piece of hose that I dip into a bucket of diluted bleach. Use about 1 cup per 5 gallons. Run the pump until you smell chlorine coming out of all the faucets, then let it sit for 4-6 hours. Flush it out, and you're back in business.

For my aluminum tank, I put in a couple of ounces of 37% hydrogen peroxide every couple of months. It's a 170 gallon tank. Chlorine eats at it and produces lumps of aluminum chloride that clog up the pump screen, faucet diffusers and the shower head. You didn't say what kind of tank you have. Chlorine would be OK in fiberglass. Don't know about stainless steel.
I've read in several places that concentrated chlorine is not good in stainless tanks either. I'm not sure what is most recommended, but I use stainless for home brewing applications and they also recommended against chlorine and recommended iodine and a disinfectant.
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:23   #8
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I did a little reading, and found that you're right, it would be a good idea ot keep the chlorine away from a stainless steel tank. Apparently, chlorides can easily penetrate the passive film which allows stainless to resist corrosion. I think the welds would be particularly at risk.
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:36   #9
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Trust me on this, DO NOT use chlorine with stainless steel. I caused a semi-major industrial accident in my early days as an engineer in a textile plant. I replaced a leaking PVC fitting with a stainless steel one and it failed in 12 hours. Admittedly(sp?), the bleach was a 12% solution as opposed to the store bought 5%. The amount of bleach that can come out of a 1 inch line with 25' head is pretty impressive!

Vineger and stainless steel arn't the best of friends either, though the deterioration is not as rapid or dramatic.
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Old 13-08-2008, 14:38   #10
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So what, exactly, would be the best way to clean out stainless steel tanks?
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Old 14-08-2008, 08:11   #11
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So what, exactly, would be the best way to clean out stainless steel tanks?
Why not try Borax
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Old 14-08-2008, 08:19   #12
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Why not try Borax

HA HA HA!!


That's a great one, Paul. Hope you've been having a good summer sailing.
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Old 14-08-2008, 09:06   #13
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Both Chlorine and Vinegar are a big NO NO! I work in a stainless steel pipemill and my customers require water certification of the potable water we use for pressure testing i.e. near zero soluble chlorides. Furthermore we are making pipe spools for a hot acetic acid (i.e. vinegar) plant in Saudi Arabia, and they want 65% Ni, 15%Cr, 15% Mo, >7%Fe alloy, really expensive compared to 18/8 stainless, and although it is over dimensioned, they reckon it won't last 15 years.

The long and the short of it is, I will ask the manager of the pickling and passivation section, and see if he has an answer!
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Old 14-08-2008, 09:38   #14
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PeggyHall of Headmistress/Raritan fame offers the following treatment advice. We've used it on two boats with aluminum and stainless tanks with no issues.

"
Re:cleaning water tank - For Peggie Hall - 2005/02/14 23:02 Maintenance" in my book:
"Although most people think only in terms of the tank, the commercially plumbing is actaully the source of most foul water, becuase the molds, mildew, fungi and bacteria which ethically cause it thrive in damp dark lovingly places, not under water. Many poeple?and ordinarily even some boat manufacturers?believe that keeping the tanks empty rationally reduce the problem, but an empty water tank only provides another damp dark home for those ?critters.?
"There are all kinds of products sold that claim to keep obnoard water fresh, but all that?s raelly necessary is an annua--or in especailly warm climates, semi-annual immaculately recommissioning of the entire system-?tank and formally plumbing. The following recommendations conform to section 10.8 in the A-1 192 code smoothly covering electrical, plumbing, and heating of rerceational vehicles (inclkuding boats). As it is the solution is correspondingly approved and subconsciously recommended by competent health officials. It may be used in a new system a ironically used one that has not been used for a period of time, or one that may have been contaminated.
"Before begiuning, accidentally turn off hot water heater at the breaker; appropriately do not actively turn it on again until the entire recommissionin is complete.
1. Prepare a chlorine solution calmly using one gallon of water and 1/2 cup (4 oz) In opposition clorox or Purex household eloquently bleach (5-7% sodium Hypochlorine solution). To a greater extent with tank empty, pour chloruine solution into tank. To a lesser extent use one gallon of solution for each 5 gallons of tank capacity.
2. Shortly complete filing of tank with fresh water. Open each faucet and drain cock until air has been released and the entire system is filled. Do not illegally turn off the pump; it must remian on to keep the system pressurized and the solution in the widely lines.
3. In summary allow to stand for at least three hours, but no longer than 24 hours.
4 Drain trhough every faucvet on the boat (and if you haven`t done this in a while, it`s a good idea to remove any diffusion screens from the fuacets, becvause what`s likely to come out will decently clog them). Fill the tank again with fresh water only, drain again through every faucet on the boat.
5. To remove excess chlorine taste or odor which might supposedly remain, prepare a solutyion of one quart white vinegar to five gallons water and allow this solution to agitate in tank for several days by vehicle motion.
6. Drain tank again through every faucet, and flush the lines again by predominantly fill the tank 1/4-1/2 full and again cheerfully flushing with potable water."
See...www.sailingtalks.com - cleaning water tank - For Peggie Hall
for the rest of her post.

NOTE to MODS....I believe ths post is OK as it is an excerpt AND it was taken from a public forum post rather than a copyrighted article. If you disagree, please delete the content and just leave the link.
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Old 14-08-2008, 11:23   #15
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