How Much Bleach Do You Need To Sanitize Your RV Tank?Anthony Day
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If you have an RV and plan to sanitize the tank then you are probably wondering how much bleach you need to properly complete the sanitization process.
Sanitizing the tank is an important part of owning an RV to ensure that the water you are using is safe for drinking, showering, dishwashing, and doing laundry while you are camping.
For every 8 gallons of water, you will need 1 ounce of bleach or for every 16 gallons of water, you need ¼ cup of bleach to properly sanitize your RV tank. To calculate the amount, you can take the gallons of water that are in your tank and divide by 8 to get the proper number of ounces of bleach.
Utilizing the proper amount of bleach to sanitize your RV tank is crucial to ensuring that you get the tank properly sanitized without using too much bleach and potentially damaging the tank. It is important to regularly sanitize your RV tank in order to prevent the buildup of mold, mildew, and harmful bacteria.
The information in this guide has been researched and reviewed by experts in the RV industry to ensure that you use the correct amount of bleach and sanitize your RV tank properly.
Why Should You Sanitize Your RV Tank?
Whether you own a new RV or have owned yours for several years, sanitizing the water tank is an important part of the maintenance needed on an RV.
By sanitizing the water tank in your RV, you are ensuring that the water you are using to shower, drink, do laundry, and wash dishes is clean and sanitary. This reduces your risk of illness and helps to prevent the buildup of mold, mildew, and bacteria in the water tank.
How Often Should You Sanitize Your RV Tank?
The frequency of how often you should sanitize your RV water tank will depend upon how often you are using your RV. If you are camping frequently or full time then you can sanitize your tank approximately every 6 months.
However, if you are someone that periodically camps in your RV, then it is best to sanitize every 3 months or so in order to ensure that the water in the tank is not sitting and growing mold or bacteria. If the water sits too long it can also become stale which can cause issues if you are using the water for drinking or cooking.
The Sanitizing Process
It is important to allow enough time to complete the sanitization process thoroughly. It is a good idea to allow at least 6 to 8 hours, but 12 hours is ideal in order to let the solution sit long enough to fully sanitize the tank. It is an in depth process, but crucial to maintaining your RV properly.
1. Turn off Water Pump and Water Heater
It is important to turn off the water heater and the water pump prior to sanitizing the tank. You do not want to drain the water tank with the water heater still on. It is important to turn the water heater off and let the water in the tank cool prior to draining it.
2. Drain the Water Tank
Once the water is cool, you can drain the fresh water tank in your RV. In order to drain the freshwater tank you need to locate the low-point valves. These valves will allow you to drain the water from the freshwater tank, the plumbing lines, and the hot water tank.
3. Determine the Amount of Bleach Needed
The amount of bleach needed to properly sanitize the water tank without using too much bleach is ¼ cup of bleach per 16 gallons of water that the freshwater tank holds.
Measure out the proper amount of bleach while your tank is draining. Once the tank is completely drained, you will cap it again in order to begin the sanitizing process.
4. Add Diluted Bleach To RV Tank
At this point in the process you will add the bleach to your RV tank in order to sanitize the tank. It is important to not add straight bleach to the tank. In order to dilute the bleach, add approximately one gallon of water to the bleach in order to slightly dilute it. Bleach that has not been diluted can be too strong to go straight into the tank and can cause damage.
5. Fill The Tank and Turn On Water Pump
Now that you have poured the bleach mixture into the RV tank, you will want to fill the tank with clean water. It is important to make sure the tank is completely full to mix the diluted bleach through the entire tank.
Once the tank is completely full then you want to turn on the water pump. This will mix the diluted bleach with the water and circulate it through your plumbing lines. You will want to turn on all faucets and showerheads and let the water run through for at least a few minutes. At this point, you can then turn the faucets and showerheads off.
6. Let The Water Sit For 12 Hours
If you are in a hurry, you can let the water sit for 6-8 hours, but 12 hours is the ideal amount of time to let the water sit in your tank and allow it to sanitize thoroughly. The easiest way to do this is to fill the tank in the evening and let is sit overnight.
7. Drain The Tank
Once it has sat for approximately 12 hours then you will need to drain the tank again. Since you are using bleach, it is best to let the water drain into a proper drainage area instead of into a flowerbed or yard as bleach can damage plants nearby.
You can let the water drain into your grey water tank if you have no other option. However, if you let it drain into your grey water tank then you do not want it to sit in your grey tank long term. The bleach will potentially eat away at the rubber that your grey tank is made from. It is okay to let it sit for a short amount of time as it will also sanitize your grey tank in the meantime.
8. Flush The System
Once the tank has drained, you will then need to flush it one last time to get all of the bleach mixture out of the tank before consuming the water or using it within the RV. You will need to fill the tank and turn on the water pump. Open your faucets and showerheads and let the water run until you no longer smell any bleach.
You may possibly need to fill the tank and let it circulate a couple of times in order to completely remove the bleach and the bleach smell from your water. Once you no longer smell the bleach then you can fill the tank for normal use.