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Old 10-07-2013, 19:35   #16
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Re: How to Clean the Fresh Water System?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Sodium bicarbonate will not neutralize bleach (sodium hypochlorite) - that information is wrong.

Use hydrogen peroxide or sodium metabisulphate (watermaker pickling chemical).

However, the bleach is easily diluted through rinsing the tank and any residue remaining will simply oxidize and disappear within a couple of days, so you don't really have anything to worry about.

Mark
Thanks for correcting it Mark. I have used it to take away the bleach smell from cooking equipment and it seems to work, but perhaps it is only perception. Do you know if the hydrogen peroxide also oxidises like bleach? Could this be used alone instead of bleach to clean? I understand what you say about it disappearing but I just don't like it...
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Old 10-07-2013, 19:49   #17
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Re: How to Clean the Fresh Water System?

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Thanks for correcting it Mark. I have used it to take away the bleach smell from cooking equipment and it seems to work, but perhaps it is only perception. Do you know if the hydrogen peroxide also oxidises like bleach? Could this be used alone instead of bleach to clean? I understand what you say about it disappearing but I just don't like it...
Hydrogen peroxide will oxidize the bleach - that is how it neutralizes it. The end result will be oxygen, water and sodium chloride (table salt).

Hydrogen peroxide can be used alone for disinfecting, but most of the drug store stuff is 3%, which is too low of concentration. If you can find 12% or 25%, this is better.

Keep in mind that both chlorine bleach and hydrogen peroxide is bad for watermaker membranes and charcoal filters will not remove hydrogen peroxide like they will chlorine.

But the main thing to remember is that cleaning with a bit of bleach, flushing once or twice and waiting a day won't result in any harm to you. The bleach will be gone.

Mark
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Old 10-07-2013, 19:52   #18
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Re: How to Clean the Fresh Water System?

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Unless it is glycerol, all other common antifreezes solutions are highly toxic. Would be careful of any marked consumption of even traces of other solutions.
Glycerol is not used commonly as antifreeze. I doubt you would ever come across it in this application.

Polypropylene glycol is commonly used for water systems in boats and RV's and is non-toxic (and usually pink or blue, depending on concentration).

Polyethylene glycol - the orange or green stuff used in engines - is toxic and should never be used in water systems.

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Old 10-07-2013, 19:58   #19
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Re: How to Clean the Fresh Water System?

If the chlorine (bleach) goes away so quickly, what, if anything, stops bacterial growth in the tank pretty much straight away after cleaning? I remember I saw someone using some copper salts (blue chrystals) in paddling pools to keep them from going green really quickly. Was this an old wife's tale? Could it be used in our systems considering the watermaker issues as well?
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Old 10-07-2013, 20:47   #20
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Store bought hydrogen peroxide is great, we used a 1/3 of a cup for each 33 gal tank, ran it thru the lines then let it sit for 2-4 hours then emptied and done.
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Old 10-07-2013, 20:57   #21
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Re: How to Clean the Fresh Water System?

You want to be careful using bleach around aluminium tanks. It will attack them creating a white powder. I was told that the amount of chlorine used in municipal water to keep it sanitary is less than 1 teaspoon of standard bleach per hundred gallons. I do a bleach shock treatment once a year but flush it out after two hours.

The OP's problem was not sanitizing but getting rid of an antifreeze taste. The best way to do that is to keep flushing. I also use a non-toxic cleaner called TKO-Orange based on orange peels as I find its taste much less objectionable than either antifreeze or clorox

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Old 10-07-2013, 21:15   #22
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Filter water with carbon filters when filling an aluminum tank, you want to remove any chlorine if you want to save your tank from corrosion. Peroxide will disinfect and react with aluminum to create a protective coating inside your tank, in addition it will kill the bugs. There have been many threads on this on various Island Packet discussion lists. I have a 100 gallon aluminum tank and run the water through a carbon filter when filling the tank and usually add a quart or two of drugstore peroxide. I do not get any of the white residue in the tank that is caused by chlorine reacting with aluminum.
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Old 11-07-2013, 19:00   #23
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Re: How to Clean the Fresh Water System?

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Use hydrogen peroxide or sodium metabisulphate (watermaker pickling chemical).


Mark
Mark please excuse my ignorance and put me right. I found this in the Spectra manual

Spectra water machines have their warranty void if you use metasodium-bisulfate to pickle them.

Is it the same as sodium metabisulfate? I would imagine that, like chlorine, it could damage the system if the flushing water was contaminated with it.

Only out of interest as I have no way of obtaining the stuff or will to clean the tanks again this year....
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:11   #24
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Re: How to Clean the Fresh Water System?

Yes, Spectra does not use that for pickling their systems. All other manufacturers do use it, however. If you have a Spectra, then this is also a concern (along with bleach and hydrogen peroxide).

It is a common chemical that you can buy in bags at any local brew store or commercial food service supply, so it is very easy to obtain.

Again, just flush the system well several times after using modest amounts of bleach and you will be just fine. You drink municipal water all the time treated this way. The health worries are undue.

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Old 12-07-2013, 11:06   #25
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Re: How to Clean the Fresh Water System?

Great info, thanks Mark.
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Old 14-07-2013, 16:52   #26
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Re: How to Clean the Fresh Water System?

My water tanks are aluminum. I've been told not to use bleach because it's abrasive to aluminum. Any discussion here?
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Old 14-07-2013, 16:59   #27
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Re: How to Clean the Fresh Water System?

Bleach is not abrasive to aluminum, but it is corrosive. You should not regularly use bleach with aluminum tanks as a treatment or preventative, but you will not harm them if you clean them infrequently with bleach and flush them throughly afterward.

The chemical reaction takes time, so cleaning is no problem.

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Old 14-07-2013, 17:55   #28
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Fantastic information and thanks to everyone for the advice, particularly those who understand the chemistry and the biology. I also learned that my water heater is likely harboring remnants of the antifreeze and isn't likely to clear through routine use so I'm planning to drain it. Going out tomorrow for some bleach and charcoal filters. Thanks, all!
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