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brunsje

Purogene for Potable Water Systems?

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Hi Johnny,

We use it all the time.  It can be purchased at Rvwaterfilterstore.com.  One 32 oz. bottle will last a long time.  3oz treats 100 gallons.  Bleach is a poison and very corrosive.  The only time we use it is to sanitize and then flush the entire system including the water heater. 

If we decide to store water in our 100 gallon tank we then add the purogene.  No odor, bad taste or funky stuff growing in the tanks.

Brad

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1 hour ago, Flying Finn said:

We use it [Purogene] all the time.  It can be purchased at Rvwaterfilterstore.com.  One 32 oz. bottle will last a long time.  3oz treats 100 gallons.  Bleach is a poison and very corrosive.  The only time we use it is to sanitize and then flush the entire system including the water heater. 

If we decide to store water in our 100 gallon tank we then add the purogene.  No odor, bad taste or funky stuff growing in the tanks.

A lot of misinformation and/or omitted info in the above.

First, there's a difference between water system sanitizing and water sanitizing. In the former, you're adding a lot of bleach (or Purogene) to your RV water tank, running the treated water through all the faucets, letting the treated water sit for a while, and then flushing the treated water with fresh water. Water system sanitizing is a once or twice a year thing. RV water system sanitizing for a 100-gallon tank would require 32 oz of Purogene (see bottom of this web page) -- this requires a full 32 oz bottle of Purogene for $35. Or you can use about 2 cups of household bleach.

Water sanitizing is adding a small amount of bleach (or Purogene) to your drinking water. You must be very careful because this water is going right down your throat. Add too much and . . .

Second, a "plug" for Purogene -- it can remove biofilm. This very persistent slime essentially becomes an apartment complex for harmful microorganisms. It's the stuff that can adhere to the water spigot nozzle that you try to clean by spritzing bleach on it (which doesn't work by the way). Anyway, biofilm typically is removed by elbow grease -- scrubbing. The fact that Purogene can deter biofilm through just contact is a big, big plus.

Finally, "bleach is poison and very corrosive". If you mean it's corrosive to an RV's plumbing system, then No, it's not corrosive. In a nutshell, an RV's plumbing system is bleach tolerant ABS (holding tanks), polyethylene (water tank), and Santoprene the "rubber" in your gate valves.

"Bleach is poisonous" You bet, especially drinking it straight out of the bottle. But don't do that! Follow the directions for use. By the way, check Purogene's MSDS -- if Purogene comes into contact with acids or chlorine, then chlorine dioxide gas is released which can cause pulmonary edema that may occur 2 to 3 days after you inhale the gas!

Executive Summary . . .

  • Purogene looks great as a bleach substitute for water system sanitizing because Purogene deters biofilms.
  • UV sterilization looks to be the better solution vs Purogene for water sanitizing. Dosing with Purogene every time you fill your water tank seems highly inefficient as opposed to UV.

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Zulu,

I don't see any misinformation.  Did not intend to go into the details of sanitizing a water system which includes plumbing and water in my definition.  Just trying to answer the question at high level.  The sanitizing  procedure has been discussed in prior posts.  Bleach/chlorine is  poison/toxic and need not be ingested at all if possible. With public water that is impossible to avoid unless it is filtered out.  Bleach is highly corrosive and although "plastic" parts are resistant (they do become brittle, seals breakdown), metal plumbing fixtures are not.  I choose to avoid chlorinated water..

Purogene in my water system/ tank storage is a safe alternative to chlorine.   A good carbon filter helps reduce the chlorine in city water. 

As far as dosing your tank every time you fill up the tank,  that would depend on how often you do that. To me not a big deal when we store the unit for a time or refresh the holding tank water monthly..  Some folks run exclusively off their tanks and I would agree that there are much better systems to use than an additive  R.O comes to mind. 

 

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Zulu,  what is a 'bioflim'. 

Flying Finn, you have a little knowledge about chemistry and sometimes that is dangerous.

Sodium chlorite = NaClO2,  Sodium hypochlorite = NAClO.   Both are oxidizers. 

Paracleius said "The Dose Makes The Poison".   Even water and oxygen can be poisons. 

 

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2 hours ago, Flying Finn said:

Bleach is highly corrosive and although "plastic" parts are resistant (they do become brittle, seals breakdown), metal plumbing fixtures are not.

Oy veh! The infamous deteriorating "seals" yet again. Exactly what RV seals do you think bleach would break down?

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Gee , maybe we better quit using bleach to sanitize our system . It's been 8 years of bleach . Our seals seem to be holding fine , but , that might end since I read this latest . 

Maybe you're talking about the O ring at the base of our 17 year old kitchen faucet that just started leaking .

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We use sodium dichlor(shock treatment for swimming pool/spa). There is no after taste at all. No complaints from the cats. When we used bleach they wouldn't drink the water for a week or so.

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17 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

...what is a 'bioflim'. 

If you've ever had a pet and have cleaned her water bowl, the "gunk" at the bottom of the pan is biofilm.

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Wow! such a nice group of people.

Never said not to use bleach to sanitize.....actually mentioned prior posts in which the process was discussed very well (thank you Kirk).....Bleach does degrade seals, plastics, metals etc if left in contact with them in high doses (short time) or low doses (long time).  Barbaraok with his knowledge of chemistry confirms this (it is an oxidizer).  So sanitize with bleach if you wish.....I do...just flush the system well.  I would not suggest  a small dose of bleach in the tank to keep it fresh.  Like I mentioned it is a poison and there are safer chemicals to use. That just might be what the OP was looking for.

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15 minutes ago, Flying Finn said:

Bleach does degrade seals, plastics, metals etc if left in contact with them in high doses (short time) or low doses (long time).

Not speaking to Flying Finn specificlly.. just as a topic notation in general.

Maybe what needs to be done is to better qualify those types of generalized remarks or at least keep it an "understood" that questions and responses be confined to only what is applicable to "general" RV use.

In large concentrations over long periods of time.. yeah. Bleach'll leave a mark. When talking about bleach to sanitize a water system though you are talking about "extremely" low concentrations, thouroghly flushed within a day or two and typically only 1 to 2 times per year. In "those" relative terms... bleach damage to your plumbing won't amount to a hill of beans. Your rig will be long in the junk yard before "bleach damage" would require any type of plumbing work.

Adding bleach to every tank at the level that it is still potable, again, it's a non-issue.

Adding a 1/4cup of bleach to your orange juice... yeah... it's not recommended. Pouring 5 gallons of bleach and 10 gallons of water into your fresh water tank and letting it sit like that in storage for 6 months... yeah... you might develop issues. (Although, if you're doing that I highly suspect other issues in your life should be more of a concern than your RV's plumping. :lol:)

I don't see how EITHER of those situations (exaggerated as they are) are in the least bit germain to the topic of water system sanitization or using bleach as a water treatment. Much like, "using bleach to sanitize your water system will damage your seals. :D)

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I wonder where BarbOK, our resident chemist is? I'd be quite interested in what she might contribute to this discussion. 

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I tried to write something, but the level of scientific misunderstanding resulted in my pulling my hair out (metaphorically) and lead to unsuitable phrasing.   I just gave up, people have preconceived notions and having gone down this road before, no one is going to change because their neighbor's nephews friend sells RVs and knows everything about them.  <_<

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7 minutes ago, Barbaraok said:

esulted in my pulling my hair out (metaphorically)

I thought for a moment there that you were changing to my favorite hair style! :P

 

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Barbara,

I think this topic would benefit from your background. Frankly, I think your earlier explanation was not your best work (:o) and obviously went over lots of people heads. It also seemed a little condescending to a couple of the contributors. ^_^

I'm not a chemist and do not "play one on this or any forum".

Purogene: Really Sodium Chlorite (NaClO2) is a chemical compound used in the manufacturing of paper and as a disinfectant. It's generally available in a solution of 3.35% by wt. Varies by manufacturer.

Bleach: Sodium hypochlorite is a chemical compound with the formula NaClO. When dissolved in water it is commonly known as bleach or liquid bleach. Sodium hypochlorite is practically and chemically distinct from chloride (a gas)  Sodium hypochlorite is frequently used as a disinfectant or a bleaching agent. The solution may contain anything from 3-8% sodium pypochlorite. The unscented bleach in the store in supposed to by 2.8% and have a date code. It's probably rarely so, and degrades quickly after it's opened or aged. It may still smell like bleach but the concentration might be negligible.  

Would love to hear your view (and corrections of above) on the use and correct application(s) in the RV environment. Also testing concentration - test strips!!

I'm ready to be schooled (or flamed!). B)

 

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All oxychlorine compounds are oxidizers.   Either NaClO (bleach) or NaClO2 (Purogene)  will be effective if directions are followed, which should result in water with a slight residual chlorine level.  Wrong concentration of either can lead to severe effects on persons handling and/or drinking the water.   

Sodium DiChlor formula is: C3Cl2N3NaO3, sodium dichloroisocyanurate, a stablized compound with the cyanurate portion to absorb UV radiation so that the Cl doesn't dissipate as fast.   Since your fresh water tank isn't subjected to UV radiation, this is overkill especially if you are going to drink from that tank.

The word poison is thrown around, but in reality anything can be a poison if the dose is high enough.  Water deaths happen each year when persons drink/are forced to drink, to much water to fast.  The kidneys cannot process it, the brain swells and water intoxication and death result.   O2 is necessary for life, but only in a very limited range.  Premies are monitored carefully trying to make sure they have high enough O2 level in blood stream to allow cells to function while making sure the level doesn't go to high and blindness result.  Thankfully monitoring advances better each year, but visual problems later in life are very, very common among former premies. 

Too much 'sterilization' of surfaces, etc., is bad for you.  Your immune system needs to be exposed to minuet amounts of a wide variety of 'bugs' so that it can learn and swarm & eliminate larger amounts of pathogens that come your way. 

Every year we dump all of the water in our 100 gallon fresh water tank.   I fill it with good municipal water (no carbon filter on) with an effective chlorine residual level (ie, can I smell a tad of Cl in unfiltered water).  Run through all of the lines, let sit over night, dump and refill to travel level.  Add to it as necessary from good municipal sources.    Now, we drink bottled water and are usually hooked up to a known water supply.  Often unhook utilities (except electric) the night before we leave, and will run out of tank for showers/flushing/washing any dishes.  Next stop we hook up to municipal water source and refill to travel level is necessary.   And yes, I do ask when we check in if they are on well water or municipal water.   I will not fill the tank with well water because they are not subject to the same requirements as municipal systems.     We have been doing this for 11 years. 

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25 minutes ago, brunsje said:

BarbaraOK,

Do you feel the need for Full-Timers to 'sanitize' their potable water tanks if used and refilled regularly?

JohnnyB

I can only tell you what we do, as I did above.  Everyone has to assess their travel habits, how they use the tank, etc.  

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2 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

All oxychlorine compounds are oxidizers.   Either NaClO (bleach) or NaClO2 (Purogene)  will be effective if directions are followed, which should result in water with a slight residual chlorine level.  Wrong concentration of either can lead to severe effects on persons handling and/or drinking the water.   

Sodium DiChlor formula is: C3Cl2N3NaO3, sodium dichloroisocyanurate, a stablized compound with the cyanurate portion to absorb UV radiation so that the Cl doesn't dissipate as fast.   Since your fresh water tank isn't subjected to UV radiation, this is overkill especially if you are going to drink from that tank.

 

Thanks Barbara.

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8 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

Everyone has to assess their travel habits, how they use the tank, etc.  

A key point is that Barb doesn't use well water, ever. Those of us who do so have a somewhat greater risk. It is impossible to prove that sanitizing has prevented anything or that failure to sanitize annually caused something that might have happened anyway. I do sanitize our system at the start of each year but we also use well water from many parks and campgrounds that have approved well water. Many state and federal parks use well water and have it tested on a regular basis but do not chlorinate. As it happens, the one algae incident that we experienced was in a KS state park where we were hosting for the summer and the water was from an approved well but was not chlorinated. It is also important to remember that if you are using a charcoal water filter, the chlorine is removed prior to entering the RV and exposure to air could introduce algae.  

Unlike Barb, we do drink & cook with water from our tanks. We were fulltimers for nearly 12 years and have been RV owners for 35 years. We did experience green algae one time. As Barb said, there is no right or wrong way. We each must make certain choices and then live with the result of those choices. 

The one time that I would emphasize the need to sanitize would be immediately after purchase, but I suspect that even then many do not do so and few experience difficulties. 

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Full circle . . .

When I was looking up Purogene, I found that it was used in airline water holding tanks (sound familiar?).

How would you feel if the airlines stopped using it because they mostly use municipal water in their plane's holding tanks?

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