5 Simple Steps: How To Sanitize RV Water Tank

You need to know how to sanitize RV water tanks because water is an essential element in life!

It’s all about keeping water un-stale and healthy.

Believe it or not, people tend to neglect this because they use other sources for freshwater drinking, especially when using a used or old RV.

The water system still serves all your other needs, so we want to sanitize it to prevent mildew, bacteria, algae, etc.

Let’s get into the steps it takes to keep your water systems clean for drinking, cooking in the kitchen, cleaning, and all-around living.

Related: How Long Should You Keep Fresh Water In Your RV Tank

How To Sanitize RV Water Tank

How To Sanitize RV Water Tank?

Step 1: Turn Off Your Water Heater and Drain Your Freshwater System

  • Drain water system.
  • Open the water valves for the water tanks, water lines, and heater tank.
  • Refer to your manual to find the plug you need to unscrew.

Step 2: Calculate The Amount of Solution You Need

  • Add your water sanitizing solution. The most common ingredient in Do It Yourself RV solution is bleach, but you can also get an RV solution here.
  • Another bleach alternative to avoid any health risks is distilled vinegar (which is the least effective solution).
  • Now, Mix 1/4 cups of bleach per 15 gallons of water.

Step 3: Fill Freshwater Tank with Potable Water

  • Pour out the solution and fill the rest up with water. When the water coming out smells like bleach (or whichever solution you chose), turn them off.
  • This goes for all freshwater lines.
  • So, turn on all the faucets to make sure the bleach makes its way to every part of your system.

Step 4: Set and Go!

  • Let that rig sit for about 12 hours.
  • You can ride around which can help slosh the solution inside the tank.
  • Leaving it to sit overnight might be the best move if you don’t have time.

Step 5: Refill and Pump Out Until Fresh

  • Finally, open the water valves and drain the water again.
  • Then refill it with fresh water and start circulating that water through with your water pump.
  • Flush the system until there is no more solution smell.

Related: How Does a RV Water System Work?

Tip: Never drain the water heater when it’s hot or under pressure.

How Often To Sanitize RV Water Tank?

You want to keep a consistent schedule when it comes to how often you sanitize your RV water tank.

There are 3 occasions when you should clean your freshwater system:

  1. Once you take your RV out of storage. After be idle the water will be stale, so clean it before taking off.
  2. Every 6 months for full-timers or 3 months if you’re an intermittent traveler.
  3. When you buy a brand new RV.

From now on, mark the days you clean the tank in a google calendar, phone calendar, or some sort of digital calendar that allows you to set reminders. Write it down somewhere until you can get a better system.

Overall, don’t wait until the water becomes smelly.

Tip: Use a water filter when filling your tank.

Related: How Do You Get Rid of the Poop Pyramid in RV Black?

How Long To Leave Bleach In RV Water Tank?

Leave the bleach in your RV tank for 12 hours. You can get away with leaving your solution is for as little as 5 hours, 12 hours is ideal to get a proper cleaning. And, especially if there is any kind of contamination.

Related: What is the Best Sewer Hose Support?

How To Sanitize A RV Water Tank Without Bleach?

As mentioned above, you can use distilled vinegar. You can also use these inexpensive household/RV food-safe products to avoid any health hazards that may come with using bleach. For best results use an RV solution you can get at any RV supply shop or here.

Yay! No Smelly RV Water…

Now you know how to sanitize your RV water tank, keep it going with a schedule, and remind- especially for full-time RVers.

It may seem like a daunting task but taking a few steps, buying a few products is way better than getting sick.

We want to stay away from bacteria breeding grounds, stay healthy, and not clog up water lines.

Cheers, to no weird odors and freshwater!


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