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Old 13-05-2015, 06:55   #1
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KEEPING CLEAN WATER TANKS

Good morning all. I was just wondering what everyone was doing to keep their water tanks from getting funky. I hear some guys are putting a little bleach or chlorine tablets in there to keep the mold from growing.. Thank you in advance.

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Old 13-05-2015, 07:10   #2
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Re: KEEPING CLEAN WATER TANKS

I use a product called Puriclean every couple of years to clean my whole fresh water system. The same company makes water purification tablets Aqua Clean Tabs. If I remember to use them the tank stays clean.

Puriclean - MFG#UPCSTD - 14 oz. Tub


http://www.cleantabs.co.uk/aquacleantabs.htm

The active ingredient is Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate which a lot of municipal water systems use instead of chlorine.
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Old 13-05-2015, 07:11   #3
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Re: KEEPING CLEAN WATER TANKS

There's a long thread on the topic... including the treatment recipes. Search for threads with input from Peggy Hall and Thinwater


The gist is filter it going in, treat it as necessary, and use it often.


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Old 13-05-2015, 15:02   #4
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Re: KEEPING CLEAN WATER TANKS

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Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
I use a product called Puriclean every couple of years to clean my whole fresh water system. The same company makes water purification tablets Aqua Clean Tabs. If I remember to use them the tank stays clean.

Puriclean - MFG#UPCSTD - 14 oz. Tub


http://www.cleantabs.co.uk/aquacleantabs.htm

The active ingredient is Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate which a lot of municipal water systems use instead of chlorine.
Me too, annually. Tried thick bleach one year, just ended up with the gloop sitting in the bottom of the tank and not mixing properly so use the powder now dissolved in boiling water. The cost of a tub is only a couple of so not worth quibbling over.

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Old 13-05-2015, 15:12   #5
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Re: KEEPING CLEAN WATER TANKS

We've had great results with sterilising tablets designed for babies bottles. Used them for years in my narrowboat which had integral painted steel tanks and now our stainless and fibreglass sailboat tanks. Available everywhere and very cheap,

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Old 13-05-2015, 17:46   #6
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Re: KEEPING CLEAN WATER TANKS

A drop of bleach for every five gallons works for me. Unsure of the water source, double the bleach.
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Old 13-05-2015, 18:07   #7
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Re: KEEPING CLEAN WATER TANKS

i never had to put anything in my 60 gallon ss water tank for over a year living aboard full time. never had a bit of mold or any other problem. i did not drink it on a regular basis but did use it for coffee. so when you say funky does that mean a bad taste? i like the idea of filtering it before putting it into the tank and use the water often.
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Old 13-05-2015, 18:23   #8
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Re: KEEPING CLEAN WATER TANKS

Best is to have access to the interior of the water tanks. We have two 60 gallon tanks, conveniently built into the main cabin settees, with large access hatches on top. Once a year I empty them, clean them thoroughly with a brush and bleach water, then thoroughly flush with a garden hose and run through the whole water system.

On a regular basis I add a bit of chlorine to the water tanks when in use. On the output side, just past the fresh water pump, I have an inline water filter. It's $20 or less at walmart or recreational vehicle stores, has hose adapters for 3/4" hose on each end, and can be changed out in minutes.

Just be sure to read the instructions. You have to run fresh water through it after installation to flush out any loose charcoal. It comes out black and then quickly clears up.
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Old 13-05-2015, 19:38   #9
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Re: KEEPING CLEAN WATER TANKS

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
I use a product called Puriclean every couple of years to clean my whole fresh water system. The same company makes water purification tablets Aqua Clean Tabs. If I remember to use them the tank stays clean.

Puriclean - MFG#UPCSTD - 14 oz. Tub


http://www.cleantabs.co.uk/aquacleantabs.htm

The active ingredient is Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate which a lot of municipal water systems use instead of chlorine.
Spoiler alert. Practical Sailor is publishing a 4-part series on drinking water treatment this Summer, and the 3rd installment will concern chemicals and other tank maintenance matters. Puriclean is heading for high marks, as it provides a much better regulated chlorine residual and is less corrosive than bleach products. Good stuff.

Two other things you need to do, since pouring chemicals in the tank will not make it clean, any more than bleach alone will clean dishes:

* Use a pre-filter to keep out the junk. While municipal water is generally very good, the pipes and hoses in marinas are often terrible. Your own hose, since it is stagnant most of the time, probably has a healthy growth inside.

* Clean and DRY your tank each winter. It's really easy and saves a lot of work in the spring. You wouldn't put dishes away dirty, but many folks do just that with water tanks.
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Old 13-05-2015, 19:45   #10
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Re: KEEPING CLEAN WATER TANKS

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i never had to put anything in my 60 gallon ss water tank for over a year living aboard full time. never had a bit of mold or any other problem. i did not drink it on a regular basis but did use it for coffee. so when you say funky does that mean a bad taste? i like the idea of filtering it before putting it into the tank and use the water often.
A live-aboard is NOT a fair comparison. Of course the water is fresh--you are flowing chlorine treated water through the tank, which will keep the growth down. Stagnation is the problem.
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Old 13-05-2015, 20:02   #11
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Re: KEEPING CLEAN WATER TANKS

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
There's a long thread on the topic... including the treatment recipes. Search for threads with input from Peggy Hall and Thinwater


The gist is filter it going in, treat it as necessary, and use it often.


-Chris
Here it is:

Fresh Water System Recommissioning 101 - Peggie Hall's "Cocktail" hot water "rotten egg" odor
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Old 13-05-2015, 21:18   #12
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Re: KEEPING CLEAN WATER TANKS

I'm with Jim Walsh. I always add bleach to my tanks. I have two tanks roughly 100g each... I add only about 2 ounces of pure liquid bleach to the tanks when filling completely.
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Old 13-05-2015, 21:29   #13
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Re: KEEPING CLEAN WATER TANKS

We have one 400 gallon (1500 L) We cleaned it out 17 years ago. No watermaker, fill from town docks, fuel docks, and now we collect rain and every 2 months or so go to a river and fill up when its not rainy season.
We use Clorox at 375ml per tankful, or whenever we taste anything strange.
So far so good.
Rain is not as clean as you would expect, there is some dust in it.

The Ships Captains Medical Guide and the WHO online, give the right dose.
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Old 14-05-2015, 05:46   #14
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Re: KEEPING CLEAN WATER TANKS

[QUOTE=gonesail;1824398 so when you say funky does that mean a bad taste? [/QUOTE]

Every year I make a point to open up and wipe out the inside of my 2 tanks with Clorox clean up and then I'll hose out and flush out before filling them up for use. Usually there is some black mold/ mildew growth on the sides and top. Like most people I try to only cook and bath with the water and drink bottled water. I spoke with a couple guys and they put 2 -3 tbl spoons of household bleach in the tank when filling up.

I thought I'd take another informal, thoroughly unscientific survey. As expected you guys have some great ideas/methods.

Thanks
Jay

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Old 14-05-2015, 06:29   #15
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Re: KEEPING CLEAN WATER TANKS

The WHO and ANSI (Peggie's) guidelines are for dirty tanks and very questionable water and are NOT for everyday use. For everyday use the correct way to dose chlorine is to get some test tapes (~ $12 for 25) at the pool or pet store and aim for ~ 1ppm residual after a few hours. No more than that.

As for using the water only for bathing and drinking bottled, with proper treatment and the addition of a tap filter (NSF 53, not just some lame Brita type), the water can be as fresh and safe as bottled water. It's up to you.

And prefilter the water, guys. The bugs are feeding on the trash you are filling with. Rain water too.

A DIY Water Filter - Practical Sailor Print Edition Article
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