Question on keeping plastic water tank fresh..

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Question on keeping plastic water tank fresh..

Postby driftwood » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:26 pm

Just got my first teardrop. It has a 5 gallon fresh water tank and sink. Is there anything I should place in the tank (chlorine tablets or something) to keep the tank fresh between uses? Someone told me they can mildew....
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Postby Deryk the Pirate » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:36 am

I live on a sailboat so I have a little experience with this. You have a few options.

The simplest is bleach. Add a few tablespoons of bleach to the tank and along with a little water to slosh around in it and it will kill any bacteria from forming. Ive heard people adding some baking soda to it as well. I havent tried that but I always keep a bottle of bleach on the boat.

At an rv or marine store they sell something that comes in agallon jug, you can add to your tank, take the trailer for a ride so it sloshes around the tank and it will help keep it clean.

I prefer bleach, its easy and just drain the tank via useing the sink so it cleans the hoses and refill and its fine. Maybe add a teaspoon of bleach when you fill it and it should keep the tank fine. I have a 40 gallon tank so I add a little more and I havent had any issues and Ive been living aboard for 5+ years.
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Postby driftwood » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:43 am

Thanks for the info D, sounds like an easy option. The teaspoon of bleach you recommend, would that be for the 5 gallon tank I have?
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Postby bobhenry » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:14 am

I got real tired of rancid smelling plastic coolers and have used the glug glug method to keep them clean and fresh and ready for campin'

Rinse it after use and take the bleach bottle and tip it up (glug glug) and done. Maybe 4 ounces =/-. It stores with this bleach in it.

The bleach must off gas a bit because the inside of the entire cooler is as clean and white as the day I bought them.

I just rinse them before we reuse them and have little concern if a few drops of bleach remain. It sure beats what could have been growing in there while in storage.
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Postby bobhenry » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:05 pm

look what I tripped over from "04"

http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=212
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Re: Question on keeping plastic water tank fresh..

Postby PcHistorian » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:05 pm

FYI: I also use bleach for cleaning after the fact, but for during usage...
to help keep the bacteria down in your water tank, have a piece of 60% or better copper in the water.
I'm not advertising or supporting any specific product, these links are just for your knowledge and informational reference...

http://www.antimicrobialcopper.com/us/n ... ments.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimicrob ... _of_copper
http://www.ipmx.com/micro/micro.html
http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/9991/
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Re: Question on keeping plastic water tank fresh..

Postby slowcowboy » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:57 pm

I drain mine after EVERY camp trip. I use mine only 3 days out at a time that is not enough go bad.

I never had had to drop beach or anything in it.

and I

DON"T DRINK OUT OF IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

COOKING ONLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

get a plastic gallon milk jug for your drinking water. and put it in the tow car.

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Re: Question on keeping plastic water tank fresh..

Postby working on it » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:02 pm

Two questions here: 1) How long do you store unused water (already filtered) before it goes bad? 2) How much water do you really use, in warm-ish to hot weather, per person per day, of camping? .... I bought two Reliance 7-gallon water jugs at Wallyworld the last time our water pressure went low (usually a warning of our well-supplied, rural, water company's impending equipment failure-twice a year on average-though nothing happened this time). We used a Brita filter and pitcher to fill the 2 jugs as quickly as we could. Now, a month later, I 'm wondering whether to use the water for the dogs, and start filling again, or can I just leave it sitting and sealed indefinitely? Or can I add something to keep it fresh (water failure can occur at any time here!)? Camping related...aside from the drinks brought in an ice-chest or fridge, assuming little or no dishwashing or showers (sponge baths probably), how much water do i need for a 2-3 day outing in Texas(?) S.Central type weather? I think just one 7-gallon jug would do (save weight!!).
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Re: Question on keeping plastic water tank fresh..

Postby Shadow Catcher » Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:17 pm

One source for information is http://www.nationalterroralert.com/safewater
The Brita filter? Grade of B- for counter top D for pitcher according to http://www.waterfiltercomparisons.com/w ... arison.php
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Re: Question on keeping plastic water tank fresh..

Postby lancew » Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:37 pm

what i do at the beginning of every season to refresh water coolers and my hydropak is. fill with water and throw in couple tablets of
Efferdent <denture cleaner>. let it sit for a while, drain and use or rinse if you wish. i always use the mint flavor. if you dont drain will be a hint of mint. i told my dad about it, he does his RV every year. not only cheap but works.
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Re: Question on keeping plastic water tank fresh..

Postby working on it » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:36 pm

I was hoping that there was an alternative to the chlorine bleach method, so I could get a "magic" additive to supplant it. the only reason we're using the Brita pitcher is to remove the chlorine taste. But I guess that a little bad taste is better than a pathogen, so I'll try to talk the wife into an undercounter filter, and go ahead and add a little bleach to my stored water until I can replace that supply. Still want to know how much, or little, water I'll need to haul with me.
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Re: Question on keeping plastic water tank fresh..

Postby DragonFire » Tue May 15, 2012 11:19 pm

I bought some tablets at Camping World..they treat up to 15 gal. I flushed my water tank with those and it seems to be fine..no funky smells, no mold or um, particles coming out of the faucet...but I don't drink the water either. I use a Coleman jug full of drinking/tooth brushing water. I washed dishes in the tank water with no problems. The tablets are supposed to be used 4 times a year. I drained my tank (what was left, which was not much) before leaving camp, and leave it dry until arriving in camp again.

I'll check the package of tablets and post the brand..as far as I know, they worked really well. I'm a bit leery of putting chlorine in the tank..I know it's in our water supply, but I see the effects of chlorine on dental equipment and it causes plastics to become brittle and corrodes metal. I'd rather use something else as long as it works..and one thing that brewers use for disinfecting is Oxyclean...and I suspect the tablets are a similar chemical. I also use iodine for my bottle disinfection for my root beer. But I'm not going to rinse my tank with it...if anything I'll use the oxyclean first...
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Re: Question on keeping plastic water tank fresh..

Postby ZippyTheTurtle » Tue May 15, 2012 11:55 pm

Depending on where you live don't forget to winterize your all your liquid tanks as well. Even though it doesn't have a motor if it has a cheap plastic reservoir and the liquid freezes in the container enough times it could eventually leave the plastic brittle and cracked then you would uncover your trailer in spring to find a mysterious bubble in the floor from a month or so of puddle when the frozen liquid melted. Just a thought. Not to mention the funk factor. :frightened:
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Re: Question on keeping plastic water tank fresh..

Postby Shadow Catcher » Wed May 16, 2012 5:23 am

DragonFire I would be willing to bet those tablets are a form of chlorine, check the MSDS sheet. I use Dichlor a dry form of chlorine and baking soda after thoroughly rinsing out the chlorine. All water going into the tank is filtered with one two or three filters depending on source of the water, the three filter is pulling out of streams or lakes with turbidity and it is safer than what our village is getting from lake Erie (I run a string whole house filter and carbon drinking water filter).
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Re: Question on keeping plastic water tank fresh..

Postby Lancie49 » Wed May 16, 2012 6:36 am

Our van has a 80ltr fresh water tank that is kept full when not being used.
When we get home from a trip the tank is drained, refilled to spill level, capped and forgotten.
I have never used any bleach or cleaners of any sort and have not had the need to.
The one thing I did do early in ownership was replace the clear plastic filler hoses with black opaque hoses.

Are the tanks and hoses you ppl use clear/translucent or opaque ?

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