Fresh water tank cleaning / maintenance? (1 Viewer)

Aug 22, 2022
140
330
Of no fixed abode
Funster No
90,800
MH
Bedford MJ AWD
I don't drink from my freshwater tank but it supplies my washing up water, loo flush and my shower I went full time in November last year and haven't really looked at this but I am starting to think about ongoing cleaning / maintenance.

Does anyone drop a purifying tablet into each tank fill or do you just flush it out at regular intervals? And if so, how regular? And do you cap off your water heater - I have a Truma - before flushing or is the flushing cleaner Truma friendly?

TIA

Mark
 
May 5, 2022
1,842
8,373
Kidsgrove, North Staffordshire.
Funster No
88,502
MH
Hymer B778 PL
Exp
Since 1992
I don't drink from my freshwater tank but it supplies my washing up water, loo flush and my shower I went full time in November last year and haven't really looked at this but I am starting to think about ongoing cleaning / maintenance.

Does anyone drop a purifying tablet into each tank fill or do you just flush it out at regular intervals? And if so, how regular? And do you cap off your water heater - I have a Truma - before flushing or is the flushing cleaner Truma friendly?

TIA

Mark
Can I just ask why you do not drink the onboard water?
 

PP Bear

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 5, 2013
7,892
29,317
Kent, UK
Funster No
25,395
MH
Auto Trail Dakota SE
Exp
2012
Wouldn’t dream of using vinegar, it’s citric acid all the way for us. No need to do such a lot of flushing through and doesn’t smell of chip shops either.

Think everyone finds what’s best for themselves and uses it, you’ll just need to do the same.

Lots of info if you search for it 👍🏻

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
OP
OP
Threeracers
Aug 22, 2022
140
330
Of no fixed abode
Funster No
90,800
MH
Bedford MJ AWD
Can I just ask why you do not drink the onboard water?
I just got into a habit is the honest answer. It's all a bit new to me, I went full time living in the truck last year and had no previous experience of motorhomes.

I have an espresso machine which is fed exclusively on a diet of Volvic - very low mineral contact and my machine seldom needs descaling as a consequence - and I tend to drink that anyway. When I lived in a house I drank tap water, just not quite as confident in the hygiene of my tank I suppose, that may change after I clean it!

Mark
 
May 5, 2022
1,842
8,373
Kidsgrove, North Staffordshire.
Funster No
88,502
MH
Hymer B778 PL
Exp
Since 1992
I just got into a habit is the honest answer. It's all a bit new to me, I went full time living in the truck last year and had no previous experience of motorhomes.

I have an espresso machine which is fed exclusively on a diet of Volvic - very low mineral contact and my machine seldom needs descaling as a consequence - and I tend to drink that anyway. When I lived in a house I drank tap water, just not quite as confident in the hygiene of my tank I suppose, that may change after I clean it!

Mark
I understand your reasoning. We have caravaned/motorhomed for almost 30 years and not had any issues with onboard water.

Our coffee machine lived on the same diet until a couple of weeks ago when at "300" deliveries it demanded a clean which it did with white vinegar. I thought if it demands a clean despite what I use it might as well use water anyway.
 
OP
OP
Threeracers
Aug 22, 2022
140
330
Of no fixed abode
Funster No
90,800
MH
Bedford MJ AWD
I understand your reasoning. We have caravaned/motorhomed for almost 30 years and not had any issues with onboard water.

Our coffee machine lived on the same diet until a couple of weeks ago when at "300" deliveries it demanded a clean which it did with white vinegar. I thought if it demands a clean despite what I use it might as well use water anyway.
Coincidentally I have just booked mine in for a service at Bella Barista as I am driving past them in April on my way up north and that back down past them in May on my return to Kent. It's a Rocket espresso machine, ten years old, used daily, pulls about 4 or 5 shots a day and has never missed a beat until recently when it seemed a bit slow for the group head to warm up one morning. The service engineer couldn't believe that it had been performing faultlessly for ten years, they recommend a full service every two years. And I give full credit to Volvic for its longevity!

The downside is that I will have to dust off my cafetière for my trip up to the Hebrides.

Mark
 
Sep 21, 2021
108
18
Silverstream, Tyholland, County Monaghan, Ireland
Funster No
84,353
MH
Transit Conversion
Exp
N00b
Ah the coffee machine needs to be protected from limescale buildup now...bottled water all the way
For myself I am a little bit less demanding

Now I have come across water purification tablets in my search for tanks as well as the mention of sludge buildup
But what good are these...and does it affect taste , boiling temperature etc
 

stuartholmes

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 18, 2022
404
574
Nottingham
Funster No
92,522
MH
Murvi Morello
Exp
Since 1989
Wouldn’t dream of using vinegar, it’s citric acid all the way for us.
We've had campervans with on-board water since '86 but like Threeracers always shied away from drinking it raw, using just for washing & use a plastic jerrycan like in our tenting days for drinking water.

But our new-to-us Morello has a filter tap so we're reconsidering.... Would you mind explaining your citric acid regime in more detail please, it might be the encouragement we need to finally bite the bullet!!

Cheers.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

PP Bear

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 5, 2013
7,892
29,317
Kent, UK
Funster No
25,395
MH
Auto Trail Dakota SE
Exp
2012
We've had campervans with on-board water since '86 but like Threeracers always shied away from drinking it raw, using just for washing & use a plastic jerrycan like in our tenting days for drinking water.

But our new-to-us Morello has a filter tap so we're reconsidering.... Would you mind explaining your citric acid regime in more detail please, it might be the encouragement we need to finally bite the bullet!!

Cheers.
i start to fill the system with fresh water, then dilute the citric and add it to the tank, then fill it up. That way it cleans the filler gauge as well. Then pull it through the pipes, including the shower, and turning the taps to both hot and cold settings. i don’t heat any of the water up, just pulling it through the hot taps will ensure that the boiler is full.

Then leave it to do it work and run it through all the taps and shower on both hot and cold and fill up the grey tank, whinch you can leave for another 24 hours. Then rinse through the fresh tank and through the taps again and that’s it. Sounds more complicated than it is.

Hope it helps.

DDEF1F2A-BDAE-4329-A5F8-2883E93203BC.jpeg


BD6F24F0-B8FE-44A0-9DA7-6EF4DA44B439.jpeg
 

stuartholmes

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 18, 2022
404
574
Nottingham
Funster No
92,522
MH
Murvi Morello
Exp
Since 1989
i start to fill the system with fresh water, then dilute the citric and add it to the tank, then fill it up. That way it cleans the filler gauge as well. Then pull it through the pipes, including the shower, and turning the taps to both hot and cold settings. i don’t heat any of the water up, just pulling it through the hot taps will ensure that the boiler is full.

Then leave it to do it work and run it through all the taps and shower on both hot and cold and fill up the grey tank, whinch you can leave for another 24 hours. Then rinse through the fresh tank and through the taps again and that’s it. Sounds more complicated than it is.

Hope it helps.

View attachment 727045

View attachment 727046
Absolutely brilliantly helpful, thank you very much!!
 
Nov 13, 2011
1,492
3,595
Lincolnshire
Funster No
18,889
MH
PVC
Exp
30 years
I support all the vinegar and citric acid users for removing built up lime scale, but the OP has asked for methods to clean (sterilise) his water tank.
I am not sure either vinegar or citric acid have the capability to sterilise, although an acid will destroy some bacteria, are they really up to the job when it comes to disinfecting?
More than happy to be proved wrong, 'She' does it all the time.

Geoff
 
Apr 19, 2019
2,297
4,864
Funster No
60,021
MH
Carado T339
Exp
5 years
I support all the vinegar and citric acid users for removing built up lime scale, but the OP has asked for methods to clean (sterilise) his water tank.
I am not sure either vinegar or citric acid have the capability to sterilise, although an acid will destroy some bacteria, are they really up to the job when it comes to disinfecting?
More than happy to be proved wrong, 'She' does it all the time.

Geoff
If you want to disinfect your tank, add 5mls of Milton. Fill it to the brim and leave for 24 hours. Then empty and refill. No need to rinse.

You are correct. Vinegar and citric acid will not sterilise unless you have a high concentration. Bleach is considerably more effective . That's why its used to disinfect the public water supply.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Apr 19, 2019
2,297
4,864
Funster No
60,021
MH
Carado T339
Exp
5 years
If you want to disinfect your tank, add 5mls of Milton. Fill it to the brim and leave for 24 hours. Then empty and refill. No need to rinse.

You are correct. Vinegar and citric acid will not sterilise unless you have a high concentration. Bleach is considerably more effective . That's why its used to disinfect the public water supply.
Just a note. Disinfection is not the same as sterilisation. Disinfection is killing harmful bacteria and viruses. Sterilisation is killing everything. Sterilisation is pointless.
 

PP Bear

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 5, 2013
7,892
29,317
Kent, UK
Funster No
25,395
MH
Auto Trail Dakota SE
Exp
2012
I support all the vinegar and citric acid users for removing built up lime scale, but the OP has asked for methods to clean (sterilise) his water tank.
I am not sure either vinegar or citric acid have the capability to sterilise, although an acid will destroy some bacteria, are they really up to the job when it comes to disinfecting?
More than happy to be proved wrong, 'She' does it all the time.

Geoff
Geoff I’ve read through the thread and can’t see any details regarding sterilising, just cleaning, hence the advice given by us all. Think it would be near impossible to sterilise the fresh water system, less harsh chemicals like milton and then it would only stay sterilised for a very short while, until water was added again.

Beat any of us can do is a clean and descale.
 
Apr 27, 2008
11,862
14,121
Eastbourne East Sussex
Funster No
2,327
MH
Hymer low profile
Exp
Since 1972
If you are full time then your water is constantly being refreshed. There is no need to do anything other than the occasional use of citric acid to remove limescale.
Sanitising of the system is only needed when it's not used for long periods.
 
OP
OP
Threeracers
Aug 22, 2022
140
330
Of no fixed abode
Funster No
90,800
MH
Bedford MJ AWD
If you are full time then your water is constantly being refreshed. There is no need to do anything other than the occasional use of citric acid to remove limescale.
Sanitising of the system is only needed when it's not used for long periods.

Good point, I am full time so yes it’s constantly being refreshed, that makes sense. It was unused for a period before I bought it last year but the previous owner had emptied everything out.

I don’t have an issue, no unusual smells and it tastes fine so probably an occasional citric acid flush through will just keep it maintained.

regards

Mark
 

Shrimp

Funster
May 27, 2015
4,020
34,134
Bedfordshire, UK
Funster No
36,573
MH
Hymer B584
Exp
Long time
If you are fulltiming why do you need to ‘clean’ the water tank especially if you aren’t drinking from it?
We full time (12yrs) the water gets refreshed every time you refill so the Tank should be good.
We don’t drink from ours either.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
May 5, 2022
1,842
8,373
Kidsgrove, North Staffordshire.
Funster No
88,502
MH
Hymer B778 PL
Exp
Since 1992
Annually I clean the tank in the same way I did the systems in the many caravans we had. Fill the onboard fresh water tank with warm water and put in baby bottle steriliser solution. Open the cold water tap and flush through until warm water arrives. Do the same with the hot water system. Top up fresh water tank with cold water.
Put 2 X 2 bottles of Rola Cola into the grey water tank. Go for a 30 minute drive around then leave to stand for the time on the instructions on the solution.
Drain the system via the taps into the grey tank until full then leave for another period. Dump the remaining sterilising solution from fresh tank and fill with 30 litres of fresh water. Dump water from grey tank. Flush through cold and hot systems with fresh water. Dump the grey water tank again.

Both tanks and water systems should now be clean.
 

stuartholmes

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 18, 2022
404
574
Nottingham
Funster No
92,522
MH
Murvi Morello
Exp
Since 1989
I'm loving this thread! Remarkable that we're all still alive. 😁😁

Would any of the 'but we don't drink from it' people like to tell us exactly what they do do for drinking water.

Our 'van has a built in 'drinking tap' which takes water from the main tank through a domestic-type water filter. Being cowardy pusses we've never trusted that for drinking either!

Instead we fill up the two-gallon plastic carrier daily & pour directly from it...
 

Delboyarapaho

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 17, 2013
338
240
Herts UK
Funster No
29,407
MH
Carthago Liner for T
Exp
Since 2013
You don’t say how old your van is but assuming you are not the first owner you don’t know how long water may have been sitting in the tank prior to your ownership.
Anyway our view is the onboard water is just for washing etc easy to fill 5L bottles so no expense and we use puriclean powder mixed into the tank as we fill a couple of times a year. You do get a smell of bleach from it but that reassures me.
If you have access to get your hand into the tank surprisingly slippery to the touch. I won’t drink
 
May 7, 2017
1,980
2,306
Suffolk
Funster No
48,544
MH
2017 Chausson 718XLB 180
Exp
20 years
I just got into a habit is the honest answer. It's all a bit new to me, I went full time living in the truck last year and had no previous experience of motorhomes.

I have an espresso machine which is fed exclusively on a diet of Volvic - very low mineral contact and my machine seldom needs descaling as a consequence - and I tend to drink that anyway. When I lived in a house I drank tap water, just not quite as confident in the hygiene of my tank I suppose, that may change after I clean it!

Mark
Tap water is better to drink at home as there are from memory about 24 or 25 tests water boards have to do legally, where as bottled water companies only have to do about 7 tests, I wouldn't say the above figures are absolutely correct as I went to the Anglian Water test place in Ipswich about 25 years ago as I complained about scummy tap water ! moved home twice since water still the same !
 
May 5, 2022
1,842
8,373
Kidsgrove, North Staffordshire.
Funster No
88,502
MH
Hymer B778 PL
Exp
Since 1992
Tap water is better to drink at home as there are from memory about 24 or 25 tests water boards have to do legally, where as bottled water companies only have to do about 7 tests, I wouldn't say the above figures are absolutely correct as I went to the Anglian Water test place in Ipswich about 25 years ago as I complained about scummy tap water ! moved home twice since water still the same !
I had a friend that worked for Buxton water. He said that the water they bottled would not pass the test for the tap supply. That was in the 90's.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

Squeak

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 8, 2019
84
107
Funster No
67,259
MH
A Class
Exp
Newbie
I don't drink from my freshwater tank but it supplies my washing up water, loo flush and my shower I went full time in November last year and haven't really looked at this but I am starting to think about ongoing cleaning / maintenance.

Does anyone drop a purifying tablet into each tank fill or do you just flush it out at regular intervals? And if so, how regular? And do you cap off your water heater - I have a Truma - before flushing or is the flushing cleaner Truma friendly?

TIA

Mark
I'm fulltime & have been since September. I've not flushed through my tank or pipes (oh Er misses). I filter all drinking water & my tank gets fresh water in every 3 to 4 days so I'm presuming that that should be all okay. I have stuff to do it all but it needs leaving in for 24hrs & slucing around, I've never found a convenient time to do this.
 
Jul 9, 2022
42
38
Funster No
89,775
MH
Hymer BMCI 680
We are new to the whole motorhoming experience having only had our van for 6 months, but are currently travelling through Europe for 3 months. Have travelled through France, Portugal and Spain and get our water from potable sources but use an inline Clear2O water filter to filter the water going into our tank and have a water filter that filters all water coming out of the tank - whether this is for drinking, cooking, showering, washing teeth and the loo flush and always drink from our tank. Other than an initial rinse we did when we bought the motorhome have not cleaned it since as the whole tank is probably replenished every 3-4 days at a guess.

No chlorine or foul tastes and happy with the system. So filtered into the tank and filtered out. No need for bottles.

Not had a problem getting tap water so far in those three countries.
 
Jan 26, 2023
52
248
East Midlands, UK
Funster No
93,622
MH
Rimor 14Plus
Exp
since 2013
I use Elsil fluid, the container enables you to accurately obtain a 5ml dose suitable for purification of 50 litres, we have a tank capacity of 100 litres hence I add 10ml of Elsil every time a refill is required. Its a 100ml container enough, the manufacturer's leaflet says, for purification of 1000 litres. Last one I bought cost £8.79.
 
Apr 19, 2019
2,297
4,864
Funster No
60,021
MH
Carado T339
Exp
5 years
I use Elsil fluid, the container enables you to accurately obtain a 5ml dose suitable for purification of 50 litres, we have a tank capacity of 100 litres hence I add 10ml of Elsil every time a refill is required. Its a 100ml container enough, the manufacturer's leaflet says, for purification of 1000 litres. Last one I bought cost £8.79.
Milton or even better tesco thin bleach does exactly the same thing and is a fraction of the cost.
 

RowleyBirkinQC

LIFE MEMBER
Sep 20, 2014
2,376
230,960
Dazed & Confused
Funster No
33,417
MH
A Class
Exp
Since 2007
Milton or even better tesco thin bleach does exactly the same thing and is a fraction of the cost.

Another (now old) thread regarding use of Milton and potential impact to boilers…

Hi We have been advised by Truma that you should NEVER use Milton, or similar products, in your fresh water tank as if any gets into your boiler it will corrode the Stainless steel in the boiler and cause it to leak and fail!!

There are other products on the market, such as Aqua sol which will sterilise your tank without damaging the boiler. They are a little more expensive, but replacing a boiler is very expensive!

Aqua Sol - is a complete water treatment that treats 625 litres of water. It is tasteless and odourless and easy to use. Simply add 1 capful (10ml) to every 25 litres of water. Aqua Sol kills bacteria and viruses, removes tastes and odours caused by plastics, chlorine and metals and helps keep water fresh.

PuriClean 400g - Cleans and purifies all stored water systems. All water tanks, pipes and taps become contaminated with dirt, stains, bacteria and algae. PuriClean provides a simple, effective method of cleaning and purifying the complete water system. PuriClean is non-toxic and non-caustic. It does not taste, smell, foam or harm any components in the water system.

We have always used Milton, hence the need for a completely reconditioned boiler!!

Ginny and Mike

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

Join us or log in to post a reply.

To join in you must be a member of MotorhomeFun

Join MotorhomeFun

Join us, it quick and easy!

Log in

Already a member? Log in here.

Latest journal entries

Funsters who are viewing this thread

Back
Top