How to Bleach an RV Water Tank

How to Bleach an RV Water Tank
RV water tanks are often strapped to the bottom of the rig, a dark and often stifling place that encourages the growth of slimy algae and other contaminants. Thus, it's necessary to sanitize the RV's water tanks periodically with bleach. This is a simple but time-consuming process, and it uses up a lot of water. Plan ahead before starting to bleach your RV tank.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Wrench and/or screwdriver
  • Funnel
  • Bleach
  • Measuring cup
Step 1
Open the panel that protects your RV water pump and water heater. These are usually (but not always) mounted on the outside rear area of the RV. This could be secured with screws or nuts, so use either a screwdriver or wrench as appropriate.
Step 2
Turn the water heater and pump off. Open the pressure release valve on the water heater. Finally, unplug the water heater and allow the tank to drain.
Step 3
Open the valves on the water line drains. These will be located somewhere along the bottom of the RV at the lowest point in the water system, so gravity can drain them. If you are uncertain where these drain valves are, consult your owner's manual.
Step 4
Close all the open valves and plugs after all the water has drained out of the RV.
Step 5
Slide a funnel into the water hookup nozzle. Pour 1/4 cup of bleach into the water tank for every 15 gallons of water it can hold.
Step 6
Attach the hookup hose to the RV's water nozzle and a water source. Fill the tanks.
Step 7
Turn the water pump and heater back on. Go inside the RV and open all faucets, including the shower. Leave them on until you can smell bleach in the water coming out of every faucet. Now that you have bleach water circulated to all parts of the RV's water system, turn the faucets off and leave it to sit for at least eight hours (overnight is recommended).
Step 8
Drain the RV's water system again, following the same procedure outlined in steps 1 and 3.
Step 9
Refill the RV's water system with water if you intend to use the RV in the near-future. Turn the pump back on and open the faucets to flush out any bleach water than might be lingering in the water lines. If you do not intend to use the RV in the near-future, refill the tanks with enough water to flush the lines of bleach water and then drain whatever remains before putting your RV into storage.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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