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Old 16-01-2017, 09:39   #1
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Water System Issues

Hello!

We have a Newport 41 with 2 35 gallon water tanks. On a trip to Mexico I had filled the tanks with nice clean water however when we went to use the water the first 5 gallons was drinkable then after that we had this crud that seemed to come from the bottom of the tank. We returned to port and I drained the tanks as best as possible and have not dealt with it. I am looking to make sure that the tanks are clean - suggestions? Also need to check all the fittings as I am thinking I have a leak somewhere - suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 16-01-2017, 09:47   #2
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Re: Water System Issues

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Originally Posted by Dieter Hugel View Post
Hello!

We have a Newport 41 with 2 35 gallon water tanks. On a trip to Mexico I had filled the tanks with nice clean water however when we went to use the water the first 5 gallons was drinkable then after that we had this crud that seemed to come from the bottom of the tank. We returned to port and I drained the tanks as best as possible and have not dealt with it. I am looking to make sure that the tanks are clean - suggestions? Also need to check all the fittings as I am thinking I have a leak somewhere - suggestions? Thanks!
A leak and dirty water are probably not related. If you have a leak you should see water where it doesn't belong. Trace it to where it's coming from and fix it.

Your water pickup in the tanks is at the bottom so anything that has settled to the bottom should come out first.

If your tanks have drains, drain them, see what comes out and refill and drain them again until the water is clear. If there are no drains you could pump it out but disconnecting the fittings at the tanks would be quicker.
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Old 16-01-2017, 14:23   #3
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Re: Water System Issues

If you want the hands down best chemical to use for sanitizing water and removing biofilm both above and below the waterline in your tanks it is Chlorine Dioxide. It's a gas that is soluble in water. It's made by reacting Sodium Chlorite which has a pH of 13-14 with an acid. You can use citric acid as a food safe use. Using this will remove biofilm from all lines as well at the appropriate dosage it can be used as a additive to the tanks to make sure they stay sanitary. At heavier dosages it works great to shock the tank and clean up the system. It is non corrosive unlike Sodium hypochloride ( bleach) so no worries if you have aluminum tanks. When it reacts with organic matter it doesn't produce the thalyamates that bleach does which are a carcinogen. When buying the powder get at least 80%pure technical grade. It's used widely in sanitizing food production equipment and municipal water systems.
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Old 16-01-2017, 15:42   #4
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Re: Water System Issues

Absolute best thing to do is open your tank inspection ports and steam clean the tanks before doing any chemical treatment.
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Old 16-01-2017, 16:32   #5
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Re: Water System Issues

Do not use chlorine products in aluminum tanks...bad news...Iodine or betadine helps with purification.
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Old 16-01-2017, 16:47   #6
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Re: Water System Issues

Dose the tanks with chlorine or other products mentioned, Drain them entirely, flush them by filling again, drain them. If you have access tops yes open and clean. Also, check your deck fittings to make sure the orings are on them, otherwise seawater gets in.
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Old 16-01-2017, 17:17   #7
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Re: Water System Issues

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
Absolute best thing to do is open your tank inspection ports and steam clean the tanks before doing any chemical treatment.
+1 Open the inspection ports and clean by whatever means available. Steam or even cloths and elbow grease.

I fell for this one, filled our main water tank with lovely fresh water before the delivery trip home. Within an hour of hitting Bass Strait the stuff coming out of the taps was brown muck. Years of stirred up sediment from a boat that had been a dock queen for the last ten years. I wish I had known of this problem beforehand.
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Old 16-01-2017, 18:21   #8
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Re: Water System Issues

Two things:

1) Not all water tanks have inspection ports.

2) City water has typically been chlorinated. Unless you find a private well or buy distilled water, you will be putting chlorine in your tanks. Not a lot but some.
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Old 16-01-2017, 18:36   #9
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Water System Issues

Look up Peggy Halls sanitizing program on the forum. If you can't find it, PM me and I will send you the technique. It works.

Get a SafeH2O system - costs about $225 and put it in after your tank and just before your water manifold. It will filter your water with two filters and put it through a UV light. You can take raw lake water and drink after going through the SafeH2O system. Do this annually and change the filters and light in the SafeH20 system - about $50-$55 per year cost.

http://www.safh2ouv.com

I have SafeH2O and do the annual sterilization and have great water year round and we use it for everything. You will have to kill the biofilm and crud plus whatever is I. The entire system. Then you can keep it clean.Click image for larger version

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Old 16-01-2017, 19:19   #10
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Re: Water System Issues

*This post assumes that the issue is crud in the tank not a leak.*

The water looked clear initially because you probably weren't sailing on the ocean. All that bouncing around out there has stirred up the sediment in the bottom of the tanks. This is very common.

The tanks probably contain some live slime so the first thing to do is kill it. Put 1/2 cup Clorox into each tank. Turn the dock water up high and blast a few gallons into each tank to swish everything around a bit. Wait a few hours or overnight and blast a few more gallons into each tank to get the goop into suspension. Fully drain both tanks.

Watch what comes out and hopefully it will be dirty. Repeat the process but using less Clorox. Drain again.

If there is an inspection port open it up to see how things went. If necessary wipe as much of the tank as you can reach with a soapy rag. You are unlikely to be able to reach it all. Close up the tank (or not if you can't open it up) and rinse a few times with no additive until the water tastes fresh.

This process has worked for me on stainless, plastic and fiberglass tanks.
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Old 16-01-2017, 20:34   #11
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Re: Water System Issues

Elbow grease. Or better yet a gurny or water blaster.

You need to access the tanks and remove the growth beast hiding in there. Diesel, water and gasoline tanks all play host to the same type of buildups.

Don't bother with all the magic cleaner suggestions.

Once clean keep using the water. Also ensure when you fill use a sediment filter then a charcoal filter. Never just fill from a hose.
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Old 16-01-2017, 21:15   #12
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Re: Water System Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
...

1) Not all water tanks have inspection ports.
True. But well worth adding if the tank allows it.
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Old 16-01-2017, 22:03   #13
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Re: Water System Issues

Sounds as if a closer inspection, & probably a hands on cleaning, are in order. Even if it means adding inspection/clean out ports. Also, the (chemical) cleaning of water tanks is covered at length in other posts on the forums. Including that the process is often addressed on some RV forums too, as well as via Peggy Hall & her writings.
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Old 17-01-2017, 08:59   #14
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Re: Water System Issues

change all your hoses including vents.
clean tank. clean pump(s).
treat tank water. i add a small amount of bleach to my tankage--is only used for cleaning.
i drink bottled water,not water from my stainless tankage.

ps--if you have welded stainless tanks--be wary of your welds and the reactions they may have with the chemicals.
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Old 17-01-2017, 09:09   #15
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Re: Water System Issues

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Originally Posted by J Clark H356 View Post
Look up Peggy Halls sanitizing program on the forum.
See reply #3 here:

Cleaning the Fresh Water System
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