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RV Water System Sanitation

The temperatures are climbing, the sun is sticking around longer than it was a couple of weeks ago, spring is coming and that means that your first campfire of the season isn’t too far away!
We hear some common questions each year as we begin wake the campers from their long winters slumber, and this week we’re addressing that most essential element of a good camping trip, water.

It is not uncommon for RV owner’s to complain of bad water, especially at the beginning of the season.
The first sign of a contaminated water system is usually a bad taste, followed by strange odors emanating from the water supply. Bacteria may have built up in the water tank, especially if the water tank’s supply has not been used frequently and has not been replenished with fresh, clean water on a regular basis. When camper comes out of storage or is being used extensively on a city water connection, the tank and entire water system should be sanitized before use. It’s possible that some of the bacterial buildup could cause serious illness. We always recommend to play it safe, so follow this step-by-step guide to ensure your health and safety and the overall quality of your H2O.

  1. Drain water tank completely, then refill halfway with clean, fresh water.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup of household bleach for every 15 gallons of tank capacity in a container with a gallon or two of clean water.
  3. Pour this mixture into the water tank.
  4. Top off the water tank with fresh water. Drive the rig around the block to mix the water/bleach.
  5. Pump water through each faucet so that all the lines are filled with water/bleach.
  6. The hot water tank holds at least 6 gallons of water. Run the hot water faucets until this much solution has passed to ensure that the old water has been purged from the hot water tank and is now filled with the water/bleach solution.
  7. Let the water stand for several hours.
  8. Drain the entire water system, hot water tank included.
  9. To remove the bleach odor, mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with a gallon of water and pour into the fresh water tank.
  10. Fill tank completely and pump this solution through the water heater and the rest of the water lines. This solution can sit in the system for a few days. Driving the rig around the block will slosh water around and thoroughly clean the tank.
  11. Drain the entire water system and fill with fresh clean water.

As always, our team of experts are here to answer any questions or concerns that you have, and until next time, get outside and play!

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