How to Clean RV Water Tank

Does the water in your RV smell bad? Well, you might want to consider cleaning your water tanks and sanitizing your water system. Here’s how to do it:

1. Drain and flush the fresh water tank; leave empty
2. Using a mix ratio of 1/4-cup of liquid household bleach with one gallon of fresh water, make one gallon of chlorine-water solution for every 15 gallons of fresh water tank capacity. For example: if you have a 30 gallon fresh water tank, you will use a 1/2 cup of bleach with 2 gallons for fresh water to sanitize your tank.
3. Pour the chlorine-water solution directly into the fresh water tank through the fresh water fill.
4. Top off the tank with fresh water.
5. Remove or bypass any water purification equipment and/or filtering cartridges.
6. Turn on the water pump and open every faucet in the RV, including the exterior faucets and showerheads.
7. Allow the solution to pump through the system to the toilet, through the water heater, and to every hot and cold faucet at each sink until the distinct odor of chlorine is present at every fixture. (You can open one faucet at a time or all at once.)
8. At the city water inlet, using the eraser end of a pencil, push in on the check valve spring, allowing the solution to pump out through the city water inlet until the chlorine odor is detected in the discharge.
9. Close all the faucets and turn off the water pump.
10. Allow the chlorinated water to remain in the system for 4 hours. This should chlorinate and disinfect the fresh water tank, the water heater, the faucets, the complete piping system, and all fittings.
11. Once you reach 4hours, drain and flush the system once again and top off the water tank with fresh water.

It is important to not allow the chlorinated solution to sit longer than four hours in the fresh water system. If the odor of the chlorine is still very strong after you have drained and flushed the system, drain, flush, and refill the tank again until you are satisfied. This process should be performed after any extended period of nonuse, such as after storage; whenever stale or distasteful water is experienced; or at least once per camping season.

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