Disinfecting the fresh water system

As you might imagine, since we carry fresh water (about 80 gallons) with us, it’s important to sanitize or disinfect our fresh water plumbing system periodically.  The experts say this should be done at least twice annually.

On our trip to the west coast this past April, we only used the water in our fresh water tank for showering, washing hands, and flushing the toilet.  We used bottled water or gallons of water we filled along the way for cooking, drinking, and brushing our teeth.

Nonetheless, I wanted to disinfect the system and since the coach is in our driveway right now, I decided to do that today.  This involves a few steps:

  • Drain the fresh water holding tank to about 1/2 full
  • Add appropriate amount of chlorine bleach to the holding tank (In our coach this equals about 1 cup bleach per 80 gallon holding tank)
  • Using the garden hose, fill the tank to overflow
  • Go inside and turn on all spigots on “warm” so that hot and cold are flowing and drawing through the water heater as well (water heater is “off”)
  • Once you smell chlorine bleach, you can turn off the spigots and let the system sit for about 24 hours.  This will disinfect the; holding tank, the hot and cold supply piping, the hot water heater, the water pump, and all the plumbing fixtures.
  • Next day, turn off the water pump, turn on (open) all the fixtures, open the fresh water tank drain and the hot and cold supply line drain valves and let the entire system drain out on the driveway.
  •  Hook up your sewer drain hose and open the GRAY water tank valve to empty the tank of any chlorine water you ran down the drains in the kitchen and bath sinks/showers
  • When all is drained, then close all the valves and refill the fresh water tank.  Our 80 gallon tank takes about 15-17 minutes to fill.
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