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Old 05-07-2013, 10:07   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post

Actually, they only kill everything they come in contact with.

The problem with sterilization of *anything* is that every object has small imperfections, cracks and crevices in which the ennoying critters can hide. Some can hide in even the smallest pits and cracks.

I had the "delightful" experience of typesetting a medical textbook on sterilization. Basically, nothing can be assumed to be completely sterilized no matter what you do. When you want to sterilize something as large as a water tank, and when it is connected to things like water pumps, your options are limited when compared to, say, dental implements, because water tanks and its associated equipment can't be subjected to everthing a piece of stainless steel can. Then therer's the problem that the sterilizing agent can damage the surface of the object being "cleaned," leaving yet more places for the critters to hide next time.

It's not just that my water tank has been badly fouled, but that it wasn't as "clean" as most would imagine to begin with. A boat I looked at was owned by a registered nurse and her husband who was also in the medical field. They knew my old boat had not had a water tank. They knew their boat tank had not been fouled in the way that we were discussing, but when their boat was "on the table" they warned me not to drink the water from the water tank also.

I know lots of people do it, but if one is on a longer trip and gets a significant intestinal ailment away from medical help -- it, combined with the extra physical stresses of sailing (ex: heat exposure, dehydration) -- could make them very, very sick. And, that type of illness is difficult to manage on a small boat with a small holding tank.

I will never drink the water from my holding tank after what has happened to it. If I win the lottery, I'll replace the entire water system.

This is the price I have paid for "free" help.
I guess there might be one boat I don't want to sail on, the one where people are drinking from the holding tank. I normally wear gloves and a respirator for that..
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Old 28-05-2014, 04:34   #47
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Re: Horrible smell found, now how to keep it away.

I was "told" that Clorox has its limitations as a disinfectant, but adding a like amount of vinegar to the solution greatly enhances its sanitizing effect. My wife and I currently keep a gallon jug of water containing 1 cup of Clorox + 1 cup of vinegar as a kitchen counter wipe disinfectant. Any comments as to how a similar solution might work in foul smelling water tanks? gts1544 - George
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Old 28-05-2014, 04:46   #48
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Re: Horrible smell found, now how to keep it away.

"Fresh Water
Maintenance" in my book:

"Although most people think only in terms of the tank, the plumbing is
actually the source of most foul water, because the molds, mildew, fungi
and bacteria which cause it thrive in damp dark places, not under water.
Many people—and even some boat manufacturers—believe that keeping the
tanks empty 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 onboard water
fresh, but all that’s really necessary is an annual--or in especially
warm climates, semi-annual recommissioning of the entire system-—tank
and plumbing. The following recommendations conform to section 10.8 in
the A-1 192 code covering electrical, plumbing, and heating of
recreational vehicles (including boats). The solution is approved and
recommended by competent health officials. It may be used in a new
system a used one that has not been used for a period of time, or one
that may have been contaminated.

"Before beginning, turn off hot water heater at the breaker; do not turn
it on again until the entire recommissioning is complete.

1. Prepare a chlorine solution using one gallon of water and 1/2 cup (4
oz) Clorox or Purex household bleach (5-7% sodium Hypochlorine
solution). With tank empty, pour chlorine solution into tank. Use one
gallon of solution for each 5 gallons of tank capacity.

2. Complete filling of tank with fresh water. Open each faucet and drain
cock until air has been released and the entire system is filled. Do
not turn off the pump; it must remain on to keep the system pressurized
and the solution in the lines.

3. Allow to stand for at least three hours, but no longer than 24 hours.

4 Drain through every faucet 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
faucets, because what's likely to come out will 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 remain, prepare a
solution 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
fill the tank 1/4-1/2 full and again flushing with potable water.

"People have expressed concern about using this method to recommission
aluminum tanks. While bleach (chlorine) IS corrosive, it’s effects are
are cumulative. So the effect of an annual or semi-annual "shock
treatment" is negligible compared to the cumulative effect of holding
chlorinated city water in the tank for years. Nevertheless, it's a good
idea to mix the total amount of bleach in a few gallons of water before
putting it into either a stainless or aluminum tank."

Before you ask...For regular annual recommissioning, it prob'ly wouldn't
be necessary to completely fill a 125 gallon tank if you use your water
and replace it often...since 90% of foul water problems originate in
the plumbing, 40-50 gallons should be enough in most cases. But since
yours has been unused for several years, I think you'd better fill it
completely...'cuz the same "critters" that grow in damp dark lines are
also likely to have taken up housekeeping in a tank.

That chapter includes some additional things you can do keep your fresh
water fresher longer, btw.
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Old 28-05-2014, 04:59   #49
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Re: Horrible smell found, now how to keep it away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gts1544 View Post
I was "told" that Clorox has its limitations as a disinfectant, but adding a like amount of vinegar to the solution greatly enhances its sanitizing effect. My wife and I currently keep a gallon jug of water containing 1 cup of Clorox + 1 cup of vinegar as a kitchen counter wipe disinfectant. Any comments as to how a similar solution might work in foul smelling water tanks? gts1544 - George
Be careful doing that. Mixing bleach and an acid (such as clorox and vinegar) releases toxic chlorine gas. Make sure that you do the mixing in a well ventilated area and avoid the fumes. Also note that your mixture will only last for a matter of hours before it loses its strength so you are better off making up small batches frequently.
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