Cleaning the water system

Jul 5, 2013
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OK, just had to get a new tank for the Truma boiler, as reported in this thread. The previous one had pinhole leak. Problem was definitely not frost damage, but not sure what caused it.

So now I want to be very careful with what I use to clean and disinfect the water system. Don't want to damage my nice new shiny (and expensive) tank. Truma say you should not used chlorine based cleaners. I used to use Puriclean powder whose active ingredient is Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate. Is that a type of chlorine?

What do others use please for this cleaning please?
 

Cal54

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Have used Milton in the past - working on the assumption that if it is ok for babies bottles then it can't damage my system?
 

scotjimland

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Have used Milton in the past - working on the assumption that if it is ok for babies bottles then it can't damage my system?
Milton is just a mild bleach solution.. and yes, has chlorine ... check the COSH safety data sheet

Chlorine-based bleaching agent <5% C R31, R34
Milton Sterilising Fluid 1%w /v gives 10,000 ppmavailable chlorine
Milton Sterilising Fluid 2%w /v gives 20,000 ppmavailable chlorine
 
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peterc10
Jul 5, 2013
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To be honest unless you are in a hard water area don't bother cleaning it regularly. Maybe once every few years
We are not in a particularly hard water area. It isn't the cleaning I am concerned about as much as the disinfecting. I am not adverse to chlorine based stuff, but it appears that Truma are. Apparently they say that it can react with the stainless steel of the boiler tank. Having just spent near on £600 because of a pinhole leak in the last tank I don't want it to happen again!

Can any of you chemists out there tell me whether Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate counts as a chlorine please! If it doesn't I am quite happy to continue using Puriclean.
 

JeanLuc

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If your concern is disinfecting the water tank - use a steriliser but don't run it through the Truma. (Obvious I know.)
If the concern is sterilising the Truma, just run it at 60ºC water setting periodically - that is what Truma suggest.
If your concern is the pipework and taps, then I guess you could try a steriliser, but all European tap water contains a small amount of chlorine anyway so you are disinfecting the whole system every time you fill up the tank.
Be careful about using vinegar - that is for descaling not purifying - and some motorhome manufacturers tell you not to do it as it can damage seals in the pipework.
 
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peterc10
Jul 5, 2013
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Thank you Philip. It is the fresh water tank, pipework and taps I want to disinfect, because I think that is where the main risk lies. I am not as worried about cleaning the Truma tank for the reason you suggest, and because we don't drink the hot water. However we do use it for cleaning our plates and cutlery, so there is a residual risk. But it is difficult to cleanse the rest without getting it in the Truma.

Truma in fact suggest the use of their own products - Aquastar I think they are called. A bit expensive though.
 

scotjimland

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Be careful about using vinegar - that is for descaling not purifying - and some motorhome manufacturers tell you not to do it as it can damage seals in the pipework.
My suggestion of vinegar was as a mild disinfectant.. not to descale, which it will only do if the water is brought up to boiling point

however, and I quote:

Regarding bleach working as well as vinegar, vinegar is NOT as effective as bleach and does NOT kill as many germs. Vinegar does kill some things but it is only 90% effective against bacteria and 80%-83% effective against viruses and mold/mildew. Bleach kills 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and mold/mildew. This information came from the health department


Personally I have always used bleach to sanitize water tanks and pipes, including stainless, it's what's is used in the food industry to wash fresh fruit and veg before packing .. and it's all stainless tanks, pipes and pumps.. .. but knowing the hoo haa it creates on forums I don't advise that now..

I've never heard or read anywhere that vingar will damage seals.. but take your word for it.. so it looks like vinegar is also off my list of advisory products now..

just use tap water and job's a good un .
 

JeanLuc

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When we first had our motorhome I put Milton in the tank once - that was 8 years ago. About 3 years ago I put some non-chlorine steriliser in the tank that I got from CAK of Kenilworth. Now I don't bother with anything but rely on the low-level chlorine in mains water. I think the risk is pretty low to be honest.
Every time we come home I drain down the system and empty the tank, then squeegee residue down the drain hole and dry the base of the tank. I leave the main port cover open but with a cloth resting over the hole to prevent bits dropping into the tank. That way, with air circulation, there is little risk of mould or slime building up inside.
 

JeanLuc

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"Tankkleen"
If you are going to the NEC show next week, CAK have a stand there where you will be able to buy it. (£3.98 in my copy of their 2013 price list)
 
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