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Old 16-06-2017, 11:09   #16
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Watermakers vs Aluminum water tanks

A watermaker is not really RO water.
Of course it's an RO machine, but "real" RO's like used for kidney dialysis is exceptionally pure water, so pure that it will of course dissolve most anything, including your aluminum water tank. Water is the universal solvent. Watermaker water is of course good for drinking, but it is not so pure that it readily dissolves aluminum any more than regular tap water does.

UV light won't work, I looked into it. Reason UV light will not penetrate water very far at all, its absorbed. Works great in a pipe of course and would work if you have many light sources, then of course you have the baffles to deal with.
It would sterilize an empty tank if you could deal with the baffles though.

Only real way to deal with an aluminum tank that I have found, is to replace it with a plastic one, for me though that is major surgery on the boat.
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Old 16-06-2017, 11:23   #17
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Re: Watermakers vs Aluminum water tanks

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Only real way to deal with an aluminum tank that I have found, is to replace it with a plastic one, for me though that is major surgery on the boat.
Yep. It would be on ours, too.
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Old 16-06-2017, 13:44   #18
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Re: Watermakers vs Aluminum water tanks

Dunno about the penetration problem being a problem. Consider that if you just "blasted" the tank, sure, penetration is a problem. But let's say you leave the light on for an hour after the tank is filled. The light sterilizes a small volume of water, which in turn disperses and is replaced, and the process repeats until quite possibly all of the water has circulated close enough to the light, to be sterilized.

I wouldn't gamble my health on "probably" but I think the specifics (like whether there are baffles to deal with) would need to be tested, because that kind of "blending" and circulation is a real factor, and should be addressable.

Even if buying a new plastic tank probably is the better, cheaper, faster way to go.
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Old 16-06-2017, 14:10   #19
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Re: Watermakers vs Aluminum water tanks

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Hopcar-
Puriclean's MSDS seems to reveal very little aside from having an unspecified chlorine-based agent in it. It may just be an alternative to chlorine bleach, but still chlorine.

This won't be of use in filled tanks, but IIRC it is potassium sulfide (not sulfate) that is used in photography and as a sterilizing wash in brewing. Supposedly it will sterilize things and leave no contaminants, which is why hoe brewers use it to clean out containers. (The EPA got all bent out of shape over that, they classed it as a pesticide or something, but finally allowed the use.)

There are assorted iodine tablets and halazone (troclosine sodium) and other things out there, none close to the price of bleach, which is still the go-to chemical in most of the world. The aluminum tank is the problematic part if you need to "nuke" a water storage tank. But then again...I once left a (good brand) aluminum camping pot full of "spaghetti water" in the sink overnight and came back to find pinholes in it the next day. Kinda lost my love for aluminum since then. ("But it was the very best of butter!")

I can't help thinking that a good UV-C light in the tank would sterilize it, and that it would be able to do that adequately without needing to run all the time. Maybe we could get Practical Sailor to bankroll some testing.(G)
Go here and scroll down to Will It Corrode: Clean Tabs Ltd | Water Purification | Water Purification Tablets | Water Tank Cleaning | Water Treatment | Drinking Water Disinfection

Practical Sailor did publish a terrific three part article on managing potable water in a boat.

Our friend Thinwater wrote it. The article covers filtering as the water goes into the tank, disinfecting the water in the tank, cleaning the tank and water system and filtering the water as it comes out of the tank.

I'm also not a fan of aluminum water tanks. I once cut one open and found the walls covered with a jelly like slime. Nasty!
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Old 16-06-2017, 17:07   #20
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Re: Watermakers vs Aluminum water tanks

However, if it's unavailable?
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Old 16-06-2017, 17:24   #21
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Re: Watermakers vs Aluminum water tanks

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Hopcar-
Puriclean's MSDS seems to reveal very little aside from having an unspecified chlorine-based agent in it. It may just be an alternative to chlorine bleach, but still chlorine....(G)
Actually, the Aqua Clean Tabs (Puraclean is for cleaning the tank, not treatment) MSDS is quite clear: Troclosene sodium, which is...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium...roisocyanurate

While this is related to bleach, the organic portion serves important stabilization and inhibiting functions and has been well known in the pool business forever. Its behavior is very different from bleach. It is also approved by WHO and EPA for water treatment.

The best way to drive testing at Practical Sailor is to subscribe, and then to ask. Pretty simple.
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Old 16-06-2017, 17:30   #22
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Re: Watermakers vs Aluminum water tanks

No no on chlorine if you put in a Watermaker. It will damage the membranes when it backflushes.
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