Jump to content

Can i use this old water tank???


Recommended Posts

Hello fellow travelers!

My older RV has a water tank that stinks to high heaven!  I think it wasn't maintained or cleaned and then sat unused for a long time.  Is it possible to sanitize it back to safe usage or do I need to replace it?  If it can be salvaged, how do I thoroughly sanitize it?  Thanks!

Happy Trails!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will let someone better at explaining tell you what to do but the answer is almost unequivically yes. Most likely will involve a good bit of water and bleach or another chemical and several fillings and drainings at a minimum.  How soon you get a definitive answer will depend on how soon some of the others read your post.


Edited by bigjim
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not that big a deal just fill it and drain it a couple of times then fill it with about 1/2 cup of bleach and water and let it set for a few hours before draining that. Fill it again with same bleach 1/2 cup and let it set overnight, run some of it into the system to kill what ever is in the lines. Drain everything and refill with just a little bleach to keep it sanitized.


Denny & Jami SKP#90175
Most Timing with Mac our Scottie, RIP Jasper our Westie
2013 F350 SC DRW 6.2 V8 4.30 Gears
2003 HH Premier 35FKTG Home Base Nebraska

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There may also be an issue of your water source. I spent my first winter in 2013 at a small "Ranch" in Wellington, Florida with my brand new home on wheels. Before long I started noticing a "Sulfur smell" while taking a shower. Turned out that the "Well Water" at the place caused the smell related to the anode rod in my water heater. I changed it out to another type, but the smell remained, mostly with the hot water. Several trips to the Culligan water place came back with water safe to drink, but I chose to use a local "Windmill" water source for all of my drinking and cooking water. I'd use the tap to wash,  brush my teeth, and shower, but not much else. I'm still mostly using big refillable bottles for coffee, drinking and some cooking. 

Hope you find the source of the odor and are able to resolve the issue. 


White 2000/2010Volvo VNL 770 with 7' Drom box with opposing doors,  JOST slider hitch. 600 HP Cummins Signature 18 Speed three pedal auto shift.

1999 Isuzu VehiCross retired to a sticks and bricks garage. Brought out of storage the summer of 2022

2022 Jeep Wrangler Sport S Two door hard top.

2007 Honda GL 1800

2013 Space Craft Mfg S420 Custom built Toyhauler

The Gold Volvo is still running and being emptied in July. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To sanitize the water system, mix 1/4 cup of household chlorine bleach for every 15 gallons of tank capacity in a container with a gallon or two of clean water then completely fill the water tank. Pump water through each faucet so that all the lines are filled with the water/bleach. You can easily smell the chlorine odor when it reaches each location. For more specific instructions just follow this link to an article that covers it. 

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure



Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing not mentioned when sanitizing your plumbing system is how to tell if the sanitizing solution has done what it supposed to do.  When you have filled the system with  a chlorine/water solution, run each faucet until  you smell chlorine, then allow to soak for about 4 hrs.. Then run each faucet until  you smell chlorine again, that is residual chlorine that remains after all the bacteria is killed.  If you do not smell chlorine, the sanitizing process must be repeated until you can smell chlorine after the soak period.

Afterwards the system should be flushed with clean water to remove the chlorine taste and odor.  The thing is; if you continue to use that FL well-water the objectionable odor will return.   FL is well-known for bad tasting/smelling  ground water.  BTW, you might have the county/state test the water for contaminants. Culligan might even offer this service.

Edited by Ray,IN


2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA ." And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.  John F. Kennedy 20 Jan 1961


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

RVers Online University



RV Destinations

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

RVTravel.com Logo

  • Create New...