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Old 09-07-2013, 12:30   #1
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How to Clean the Fresh Water System?

I bought a boat in January that had been on the hard for a while. I believe the PO poured some sort of antifreeze into the FW tank and lines to winterize the system. I don't know what he used. I tried to flush it out earlier this spring but the ball valve from the FW tank, the filters, and lines were plugged with a grainy white goo that had a strong antifreeze odor. Maybe the antifreeze gelled or reacted with the aluminum? Bottom line is I have flushed the FW tank several times and can't get rid of the antifreeze odor. The tank seems sealed so I can't pop it open to vacuum it out. It's an aluminum tank on an old S2 11.0. Any recommendations on ways to rid my FW system of the awful odor and the chemical that's causing it? Is there a type of in-line filter that will work? Maybe one at each of the faucets? I'd hate to think I have to replace the tank and possibly all the lines and pumps.
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:58   #2
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How to clean the FW system?

Call the PO on the phone and ask what he did to the system ?
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Old 09-07-2013, 13:08   #3
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Re: How to clean the FW system?

What color is it? Pink maybe. This is the typical antifreeze for FW systems. If it is the pink, you will need to just keep flushing it until it goes away. Be sure and fill the tank completely and not partially or you will leave resdue in the top half. Chuck
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Old 09-07-2013, 13:19   #4
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Re: How to clean the FW system?

I have always had a tough time getting rid of the taste and odor of the pink antifreeze in tanks. A common canister house filter with a charcoal filter removes the taste and smell. You can get them at any hardware store.

Grainy white goo in an aluminum tank sounds like aluminum salts. Those are difficult to clean out if you have no access. Eventually, they will filter out.

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Old 09-07-2013, 18:58   #5
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It's not pink but then again I've filled and emptied the tank at least 5 times so by now it's very diluted. PO can't remember what he put in there. Definitely some sort of antifreeze. Does a carbon filter remove the offending chemical and not just the odor and taste?
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Old 09-07-2013, 19:00   #6
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Re: How to clean the FW system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FruiVita View Post
Does a carbon filter remove the offending chemical and not just the odor and taste?
Yes.

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Old 09-07-2013, 19:19   #7
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Re: How to clean the FW system?

This may help some, but not on cleaning out the stuff that's there. Good luck.

Fresh Water System Recommissioning 101 hot water "rotten egg" odor
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Old 09-07-2013, 21:09   #8
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Re: How to clean the FW system?

You should sanitize the system once you get the chemicals out. Use 4 oz of Chlorox for each 15 gallons of water. Flush initially until water coming out of your taps smells like Chlorox. Let it sit for a minimum of 6 hours, then flush this out until it is free of Chlorox. You can then run the water through a charcoal filter and the Chlorox will be neutralized by the carbon filter. This will get your system sanitized.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:16   #9
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Re: How to clean the FW system?

See here, post #3: Cleaning the Fresh Water System

Once cleaned, you can use a sediment filter -- or even 2, in line -- when you fill the tank. (We use a dual-density 25 micron/1 micron pre-filter, and a .5 micron carbon filter... but the carbon filter does affect water flow rate and the amount of time it takes to fill.)

You can also use a Pur or Brita (or similar) filter pitcher for drinking water...

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Old 10-07-2013, 05:47   #10
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Re: How to Clean the Fresh Water System?

If you use Clorox to clean the tank ( I would) flush it well with water and then flush it again with bicarbonate of soda. This should neutralize the bleach. If you can, do the flushing not using the system carbon filter as the chemical properties of the filter itself will be used up by the high content of bleach. Put it back on line when you have finished the flushing. Either that or put a new carbon filter in after finishing the flushing.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:53   #11
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Re: How to Clean the Fresh Water System?

I agree. Use bleach. Over the past 4 seasons, I've tried everything else I'd read about, and all to no avail. Yesterday, I just finished the process described by J Clark above, but minus the charcoal filtration. Since I would never drink the contents of my fresh water tanks, a slight odor (or taste) of bleach doesn't bother me. In fact, it makes me feel I'm getting my dishes even cleaner.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:20   #12
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Quote:
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If you use Clorox to clean the tank ( I would) flush it well with water and then flush it again with bicarbonate of soda. This should neutralize the bleach. If you can, do the flushing not using the system carbon filter as the chemical properties of the filter itself will be used up by the high content of bleach. Put it back on line when you have finished the flushing. Either that or put a new carbon filter in after finishing the flushing.
I'm on a similar mission. How much bicarbonate of soda are we talking per quantity of water? I plan to do the bleach thing but would prefer to neutralize it since I don't care for the smell.

To the OP you will enjoy the boat. I have a screen strainer before the pump and an RV inline filter after. This one to be specific:
http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?...3566&id=740259

I get a lot of white lumps in the screen strainer I'm assuming are from hard water. They can block water flow completely from the tank if not maintained.

Cheers!
SC
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Old 10-07-2013, 16:25   #13
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Re: How to Clean the Fresh Water System?

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I'm on a similar mission. How much bicarbonate of soda are we talking per quantity of water? I plan to do the bleach thing but would prefer to neutralize it since I don't care for the smell.

SC
I'm afraid I can't give you exact figures, sorry. Put a good quantity in a bucket and dissolve it, then into the tank and give it time to act.

It isn't just the smell that matters, bleach is as bad for our guts as it is for the bacteria in the tank....
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Old 10-07-2013, 17:53   #14
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Re: How to Clean the Fresh Water System?

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I'm on a similar mission. How much bicarbonate of soda are we talking per quantity of water?
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.

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Old 10-07-2013, 18:31   #15
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Re: How to Clean the Fresh Water System?

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.
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