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Old 03-11-2019, 15:01   #1
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Well that's disgusting

I knew when I purchased my boat I'd have to replace all of the fresh water hoses but, I just peeked inside of one of my water tanks and WOW. I wasn't expecting it to be clean but this is way beyond what I was expecting .

Is there any reasonable way to actually clean this while it is in place so it is potable again? Removing the tank isn't impossible but there is some cutting to do and I would really prefer to not have to remove the tank if I can avoid it.
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Old 03-11-2019, 16:04   #2
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Re: Well that's disgusting

Pressure washer with 90 degree head.
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Old 03-11-2019, 16:10   #3
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Well that's disgusting

Iím going to assume thatís organic, and itís a plastic tank?
Iíd try several gallons of hydrogen peroxide, before I tried heavy bleach.
In an empty tank or as empty as you can get it, otherwise I assume you couldnít get a high enough concentration.

Iíve never done this, but believe hydrogen peroxide to be a strong oxidizer and would work well on organic material.
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Old 03-11-2019, 16:19   #4
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Re: Well that's disgusting

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Iím going to assume thatís organic, and itís a plastic tank?
Iíd try several gallons of hydrogen peroxide, before I tried heavy bleach.
In an empty tank or as empty as you can get it, otherwise I assume you couldnít get a high enough concentration.

Iíve never done this, but believe hydrogen peroxide to be a strong oxidizer and would work well on organic material.
It is a plastic "gronco" tank and I am also assuming it is organic. I was thinking to wet vac out what standing water I could, treating with something and then flushing it down the line before I replace all the hoses.
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Old 03-11-2019, 16:27   #5
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Re: Well that's disgusting

If you can get your arm in there, try scrubbing the tank with one of the purple 220 grit wet sanding sponges from your basic hardware store. Rinse, sand, repeat. Had the same issue with our tank. Also replaced all the hoses and installed a two canister whole house under sink filter. Water looks and tastes great. Hope this helps, be safe!
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Old 03-11-2019, 17:22   #6
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Re: Well that's disgusting

There is an old saying along the lines of “Never walk behind your favorite restaurant.” Or more succinctly “Ignorance is bliss.”

If you had some bad toxins it might kill that stuff growing. So you know your water is safe for at least some living organisms.

Maybe I drank too much water out of free flowing streams growing up and it skewed my senses?
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Old 03-11-2019, 18:46   #7
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Re: Well that's disgusting

Most people would be more than surprised what's actually in their fresh water tank/s.
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Old 03-11-2019, 19:12   #8
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Re: Well that's disgusting

Cruisers Forum member Thinwater did tests of water system cleaners for Practical Sailor Magazine a few years ago (July 2015) As I recall he liked Puriclean best. I was importing it into the US at the time. My old company may still handle it.
https://www.cleantabs.co.uk/puriclean.php

Iím guessing your tank is a Ronco, not a Gronco. They make excellent tanks.
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Old 03-11-2019, 19:21   #9
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Re: Well that's disgusting

I would agree that a pressure washer would probably clean that quickly. Put in a big enough inspection plate to move the wand around.

https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=47593

Once the grime is off, the standard bleach water tank treatment (1/4 cup household beach per 15 gallons of tank filled to the top for several hours) would sanitize it.

By the way, small pressure washers are now really cheap. I got this one. Small enough to store in a locker, uses only 2 gallons/min and runs fine off the inverter. Not powerful enough to clean a boat bottom but great for decks and bilges...and maybe water tanks.

https://www.amazon.com/Sun-Joe-SPX20...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
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Old 03-11-2019, 19:23   #10
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Re: Well that's disgusting

Quote:
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There is an old saying along the lines of ďNever walk behind your favorite restaurant.Ē Or more succinctly ďIgnorance is bliss.Ē

If you had some bad toxins it might kill that stuff growing. So you know your water is safe for at least some living organisms.

Maybe I drank too much water out of free flowing streams growing up and it skewed my senses?
Ya...Ö... I'd rather not live in a bliss that might wake me up at 0300 desperately trying to decide what end product is better to catch now and what end product is better to clean up later.
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Old 03-11-2019, 19:26   #11
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Re: Well that's disgusting

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I would agree that a pressure washer would probably clean that quickly. Put in an access port made for water tanks.

Once the grime is off, the standard bleach water tank treatment would sanitize it.

By the way, small pressure washers are now really cheap. I got this one. Small enough to store in a locker, uses only 2 gallons/min and runs fine off the inverter. Not powerful enough to clean a boat bottom but great for decks and bilges...and maybe water tanks.

https://www.amazon.com/Sun-Joe-SPX20...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
I have two pressure washers, 1 is gas powered, the other is a surprisingly effective electric job.

Does anyone have a recommendation for an attachment that would be effective/useful for cleaning the inside of a tank?
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Old 03-11-2019, 19:51   #12
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Re: Well that's disgusting

I would just fill the tank with fresh water and add a cup of bleach. Give it a few days, empty it and do it again if still looking nasty.
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Old 03-11-2019, 20:03   #13
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Re: Well that's disgusting

I moved to stainless steel tanks and also the bladder type.
Lots of bleach, regular flushing and happiness ensues.
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Old 03-11-2019, 20:16   #14
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Re: Well that's disgusting

The trick is to treat your drinking water and cooking water after it has left the tank. A Seagull IV is a popular but expensive choice. Other than that, just sanitize the tank and plumbing with bleach water and add a maintenance dose every fill up. Good luck!
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Old 03-11-2019, 20:32   #15
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Re: Well that's disgusting

The pipes from the city water to your house look about like that too btw.
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