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How to sanitize '05 Beaver Fresh Water System

Guest old5foot

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Guest old5foot

'05 Beaver Monterey

Not sure how to add Bleach to Fresh Water Fill

System is easy to winterize (Disconnect Water Pump Supply , Add Hose to Anti-freeze bottle).

Had coach for 11 years and this year after flushing Fresh water System several times it stinks like sewer water.  

Appreciate any comments or pictures of how you've been able to add Bleach to the Fresh Water Fill. 

Adding Bleach at the Water Pump bypasses the Holding tank, which I would like to Sanitize also.

Plan to try and isolate odor to Hot or Cold  Water today.  Thinking it may be the Aqua Hot.

Appreciate any comments.


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I add bleach via my gravity fill line and then put a little in the hose that hooks up to city water. I add the appropriate amount of bleach and fill the tank completely. Then run all faucets and shower until the bleach mixture has filled all lines, let sit for at least 4 hours then drain and flush everything with fresh water. I think in your case I would up the amount of bleach a bit. 

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The hot water tank will develop a "sulphur smell" if left filled and not used for a few months.  Pretty easy to distinguish - run hot water only.

I've not had to disinfect the cold water tank, because in the past I would dump the tank after almost every trip.  On the Fleetwood it was easy as it had a large 2" dump valve & line.  The Holiday Rambler not so much - it just trickles out and takes forever.  I could open a drain line and run the pump but really don't like running the pump that long. 

Pour the bleach into an empty water hose then fill the hot or cold tank depending which way the valve is set.  After filling the HW tank get it hot and let it sit for a spell, then dump the tank. 

How much bleach does it take?  I don't know. 

Don't let it sit in the cold water tank too long (not more than a day).  The tank is plastic and bleach can make it brittle over time (months).  Be sure to flush the tank and lines with fresh water to flush the bleach solution out.


- bob

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X3 on putting the bleach in a water hose and then only filling the water tank 1/4th full and then flushing all of the lines/faucets using the water pump.


PS: been drinking the water out of the RV tank, filled wherever we are, for 50 years…tasted and looked better than the well water I drank at home for 40 years.

Edited by Ivylog
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Here's what I do.

Sanitize the water system:
Prepare a chlorine bleach solution of 1/4 cup to 1 gallon of water for every 15 gallons of tank capacity. (For the 100 gallon tank, mix 1.25 cups, or 0.4 liters to 5 gallons water.) Add the solution to tank by first attaching the fill hose at the service panel, and then adding the mixture with a funnel to the other end of the hose before attaching to city water. Set the lever to fill tank, and fill with water. Open each faucet until a distinct chlorine order is smelled. Close faucets and let stand 4 hours. Drain system and flush with fresh water until chlorine odor and smell is gone.

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Guest old5foot

Thanks to all who commented.

I now understand that filling a hose with bleach solution is pretty much the standard way to get it into the holding tank.

I have a submersible pump. Think I will sanitize it with bleach, then pump the bleach solution from a 5 gal. bucket thru a spare water hose.  

I am on well water, and the lack of Chlorine must be the culprit.  Will keep a dry Fresh water tank when it has well water in it from now on.

Thanks !


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I think it is a good idea to remove the house water filters, or replace immediately after sanitizing.  I have read that the heavy chlorine will reduce the filter efficiency, and I think there is a residual odor from the treatment. That way, you have a good water supply.

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Instead of bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite) which is (1) low on free chlorine and (2) adds a "salty" aftertaste to the tank plastic, try using a powdered pool shock treatment.  Much more effective, only needs to sit inside the tank and your internal plumbing for about 30 minutes.

The Calcium Hypochlorite option is the most efficient and cost-effective option. You can find it in either 65% or 73% strength.

When de-winterizing, once per season here is what I do:

  1. Remove your filters and leave the empty cartridge holder in place.
  2. Dissolve about a tablespoon of the powder in a gallon of water
  3. Add to your system.
  4. Fill your fresh water tank completely, and drive your coach around for 10 minutes (so the chlorinated water will splash onto the top and sides of your tank.)
  5. Open all the faucets to get the mixture into lines. Close them all.
  6. Let set for 30 minutes.
  7. Open the faucets and drain into your grey water tank (might take a while, and require more than one dump of your grey water tank). Open the fresh water tank drain, and drain completely.
  8. When your fresh water tank is empty, partially fill with clean fresh water.  Drain the tank.
  9. Fill tank with fresh water.  Open faucets, run until clear of chlorine.

That will nuke you tank for the entire season.

I also installed a recirculating fresh water system in my coach. 

Every hour, it circulates the entire fresh water tank for about 8 minutes through the following process:

  • 5 micron filter
  • 1 micron filter
  • sub-micron carbon block
  • Ultraviolet sterilizer

It uses a system from www.rvwaterfilterstore.com along with a UV sterilizer, a small 12v timer, a 12v normally closed valve, and a few extra hoses.

Note: you can use your existing pressure demand water pump - no need for an extra pump.

I nuke the system at the beginning of the season here in Colorado, then just add fresh water. I fill it back up each time before putting in summer storage. It is ready to go when I am.  Drain and disconnect in the winter. Very low maintenance.

The system runs 24x7, and the water quality is amazing - not just for the sink, but shower as well.  

System cost about $1000 total. 

Here is a photo of the system.  PM me for specifics John at Lead Free Design dot com

- John



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RV water recirculating treatment - 11.jpeg

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