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Old 26-02-2012, 09:37   #16
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Re: Water Quality In Tanks and Watermakers. Need Advice/Help

Puriclean is what I use to clean my water system: Puriclean - MFG#UPCSTD - 14 oz. Tub
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Old 26-02-2012, 09:49   #17
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Re: Water Quality In Tanks and Watermakers. Need Advice/Help

im planning on doing the exact same as suggested, a y valve on the watermaker and stick say 25 liters into a Jerry can for drinking water.
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Old 26-02-2012, 10:05   #18
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Re: Water Quality In Tanks and Watermakers. Need Advice/Help

As others, we clean and sanitize with a bleach solution. We also have water filters at every sink for drinking water. One issue with watermakers is the membranes. I'd advise getting one with standard size membranes so you won't pay an arm and a leg like I do with my Village Marine that requires their proprietory membranes.
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Old 26-02-2012, 10:10   #19
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Re: Water Quality In Tanks and Watermakers. Need Advice/Help

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Originally Posted by bushymac View Post
This obviously shows ignorance, but the problem with fibreglass tanks being...?
I've had a few... all terrible tasting even with a charcoal filter. The styrene taste (even with the appropriate gel coat) is always there... for my taster anyway!
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Old 26-02-2012, 13:42   #20
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Re: Water Quality In Tanks and Watermakers. Need Advice/Help

We fill the tanks and add a little chlorine and sail (stir) a little.

Drain, refill, drain.

Fill before trip and use water maker on trip.

Drink from tanks.

No filters anywhere.

Like ExCalif indicates, sterile water is over rated.

That is not to say tap water in underdeveloped countries is OK to drink. I am talking about US tap water.
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Old 26-02-2012, 14:34   #21
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Re: Water Quality In Tanks and Watermakers. Need Advice/Help

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If the tanks are in good shape just clean them thoroughly (not sure about tank access on the Cal). Old tanks are almost certainly rather nasty inside. New tanks are probably not as expensive as you think. I just had a new 75 gallon aluminum tank made for about US$250.

My suggestion is get your main tank in good shape or replace it and use it. Be careful and keep it clean so it stays in good shape.

Go with the largest output water maker possible (once you have one you will use more water).
Hi Belize, please do some research on aluminium used for water tanks, it's just not the material to use.... Cheers
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Old 26-02-2012, 14:43   #22
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Re: Water Quality In Tanks and Watermakers. Need Advice/Help

God are we getting paranoid. Amazing that anyone ever leaves the dock.

Pour a bunch of bleach in the tanks and let it sit for a day. Pump them out and do it again. Fill with water and use it. You can add small amounts of bleach to the tank to keep things from growing and kill the bad guys in water you take aboard from questionable sources. Google it and you will find out how little to add. If there is a taste that you don't like or you keep chlorinating the water in the tank, buy a normal under sink household filter and stick a carbon filter in it. That will filter out the solids that you can see and take care of any chlorine or other taste for very few dollars.

My fiberglass tanks are 40 plus years old and I've been drinking the water since I bought the boat 6 years ago. Did put in a charcoal filter but didn't really notice that the water was any different tasting.

Be sure the hose that you are using to fill the tanks isn't imparting it's own flavor to the water. Marine stores have non taste contributing hoses.

Why do you think you need a water maker?? Disable the pressure water system, if installed, and buy foot pumps for salt and freshwater. You'll cut your water down usage way way down and can live for several months on 40 gallons. Set up some means to collect water off your awning or sails. We put a couple of thru-hulls on our awning and ran rainwater into the tanks. Never had to schlep water in more than a year of cruising SoPac. Areas like Baja are very dry so that might not work there but think you'll surprize yourself how far water goes if you try, just a little, not to waste it.
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Old 26-02-2012, 14:53   #23
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Re: Water Quality In Tanks and Watermakers. Need Advice/Help

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
God are we getting paranoid. Amazing that anyone ever leaves the dock.

Pour a bunch of bleach in the tanks and let it sit for a day. Pump them out and do it again. Fill with water and use it. You can add small amounts of bleach to the tank to keep things from growing and kill the bad guys in water you take aboard from questionable sources. Google it and you will find out how little to add. If there is a taste that you don't like or you keep chlorinating the water in the tank, buy a normal under sink household filter and stick a carbon filter in it. That will filter out the solids that you can see and take care of any chlorine or other taste for very few dollars.

My fiberglass tanks are 40 plus years old and I've been drinking the water since I bought the boat 6 years ago. Did put in a charcoal filter but didn't really notice that the water was any different tasting.

Be sure the hose that you are using to fill the tanks isn't imparting it's own flavor to the water. Marine stores have non taste contributing hoses.

Why do you think you need a water maker?? Disable the pressure water system, if installed, and buy foot pumps for salt and freshwater. You'll cut your water down usage way way down and can live for several months on 40 gallons. Set up some means to collect water off your awning or sails. We put a couple of thru-hulls on our awning and ran rainwater into the tanks. Never had to schlep water in more than a year of cruising SoPac. Areas like Baja are very dry so that might not work there but think you'll surprize yourself how far water goes if you try, just a little, not to waste it.
ditto that,also run toilet off salt water,buy a bucket and get used to salt water showers,fit a salt water pump at the gally sink for dishes.

for ocean crossing get 6x 25l containers to fit under the saloon table as a reserve.

running a water maker 24/7 is going to use a huge amount of power!
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Old 26-02-2012, 14:57   #24
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Re: Water Quality In Tanks and Watermakers. Need Advice/Help

Another point not mentioned so far, is, after you have shock treated your water tank or tanks, drain them by opening all faucets and fittings that use fresh water from them. Bacterial growth is not just in the tanks but in all fresh water lines from them as well, and one needs to flush all fresh water lines. If one does not, bacteria in a little used fresh water line can find its way back to a cleaned tank. Once you have cleaned all the lines and the tanks, you can refill them from a trusted source or use a watermaker to refill the tanks--as Tellie and others suggest, a good capacity watermaker is a good investment.
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Old 27-02-2012, 10:20   #25
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Re: Water Quality In Tanks and Watermakers. Need Advice/Help

Yep, bottom line , just shock the tanks with a water bleach mix, go saililing to agitate the stuff, run some through the faucets too and drain/rinse. You're good to go! After living on the boat I prefer watermaker water and have trouble drinking any regular tap water.
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Old 27-02-2012, 11:17   #26
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Re: Water Quality In Tanks and Watermakers. Need Advice/Help

That all sounds good. I'll check the tank to make sure it's stainless steel and not fiberglass. I'll also look for an access point. Probably the trickiest part in my head right now is figuring out where to put a watermaker. There isn't much storage room for provisions and gear, let alone the watermaker, but I'm going to check it out today when I get it surveyed.
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Old 27-02-2012, 11:25   #27
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Re: Water Quality In Tanks and Watermakers. Need Advice/Help

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Originally Posted by Astrid View Post
Another point not mentioned so far, is, after you have shock treated your water tank or tanks, drain them by opening all faucets and fittings that use fresh water from them. Bacterial growth is not just in the tanks but in all fresh water lines from them as well, and one needs to flush all fresh water lines. If one does not, bacteria in a little used fresh water line can find its way back to a cleaned tank. Once you have cleaned all the lines and the tanks, you can refill them from a trusted source or use a watermaker to refill the tanks--as Tellie and others suggest, a good capacity watermaker is a good investment.
Thank Astrid.

I'm from the country, so we had wells and needed to shock them once a year to get rid of of the sulfur from bacteria growth inside the casing. I'm pretty familiar with that, and would run a pretty strong bleach solution through the house system, hot water tank, all lines and let it sit for 24 hours before running it out to the bush until the water came out clean with no bleach smell. Sounds like you treat the boat system pretty much the same, other than possibly scrubbing inside the tank if possible.

All:

As for the watermaker, it's as safety issue, but also a convenience and comfort issue. I'd rather have it than jam up the small cabin with water jugs. I appreciate all the advice.
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Old 27-02-2012, 13:33   #28
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Re: Water Quality In Tanks and Watermakers. Need Advice/Help

For anyone interested, here is the listing for the boat: 1976 CAL Sloop Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 27-02-2012, 14:08   #29
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Re: Water Quality In Tanks and Watermakers. Need Advice/Help

We have a well at home and a water softener. We clean the tank every spring and also make sure to run some bleach/chlorine through it and the pipes, since any contamination in the pipes can be a problem as well.

I would like to think the same could be done on a boat to clean the system.
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Old 27-02-2012, 17:35   #30
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Re: Water Quality In Tanks and Watermakers. Need Advice/Help

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Hi Belize, please do some research on aluminium used for water tanks, it's just not the material to use.... Cheers
Well, this is a much debated subject... I am quite familiar with them in terms practical experience and to a lesser degree in terms of popular opinion. My 2c on aluminum tanks:

The debate over aluminum tanks generally gets divided into two camps: corrosion and health.

The corrosion issue is easy to address if the tank is properly built and installed (See Calder and others on the right way to do this). Under those assumptions, the service life can be quite long. For example, my previous boat had both aluminum water tanks and fuel tank. These were the original tanks as installed in 1984. When I sold the boat in 2000, these tanks were still in good condition. I am OK with a 16+ year service life.

(Also had an aluminum holding tank on that boat...way bad idea due to corrosion issues from exposure to waste water)

My current fuel tanks, custom aluminum, were installed in 2002 because I did not like the design of the original tanks. They are still in excellent condition, 10 years later. Although, I do plan to physically pull them out for inspection in the next year or two just to make sure (fortunately this is relatively easy to do on my boat, as it is with the water tank too).

Note that both my fuel and water tanks are installed high and dry on the bridge deck of a cat (bilge water being one of the most often sited causes of catastrophic corrosion).

Health. Not my area of expertise, but my understanding of current research consensus: The much publicized potential link to Alzheimer is now considered by researchers as highly unlikely. In terms of overall health, the consensus appears to be that aluminum poses no significant heath risk unless coupled with other health issues, certain medical treatments, or radical exposure levels. I'm OK with too.

That said, I would prefer rotomolded polypropylene tanks for water and waste (I do currently have them for waste), but a new rotomolded water tank was not practical at the time.

Although, even with plastic tanks you are not free from the health debate, as there is much recent speculation about the link between health issues and the plethora of various plastics we use in our modern lives.

Anything else about aluminum tanks that concerns you?
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