Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby Lenny and Louise on Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:22 pm

Mike,
Which filter do you use when filling? Are you concerned that the charcoal will remove the chlorine and leave your tank essentially untreated?
Thanks
Peace,
Lenny and Louise Anderson
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby baz on Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:57 pm

One other piece of caution: At fuel docks there's usually a fresh water hose provided. Many people use this to back-flush their holding tanks one or more times after the initial pump out. Of course to do this they insert the hose end into their holding tank's pump out port and run water into the holding tank and then pump that out. The idea is to flush out all the remaining crud from the holding tank. Now think about that.... the hose end goes into that holding tank's pump out port..... :roll: Please don't do this.

I've actually seen people use the same fresh water hose at the fuel dock to refill their fresh water tank...Oops.... :twisted: This is not good at all. If you're on another person's boat you will have no real idea if that person has adopted to fill their fresh water tank in a similar manner ... so use your own bottle of water is my advice. :) ;)

Bad water is bad water, just as bad gasoline is bad gasoline no matter what additives you add to it.

As Mike has indicated, keep one 1 gallon of bottled water inside the cabin's cave as there's no need to have it on the counter top which is a bad place to have it anyway as it can topple and fall when underway.

Fresh bottled water is the very safest way to protect yourself from the dangers of contaminated water. Adding filters and what not to your fresh water system in the hope it removes all contaminates is not only costly, complex, requires maintenance and filter changes and will not completely protect you from potential health issues.
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby JamesTXSD on Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:02 pm

I should buy a lottery ticket. We have been "lucky" for over 30 years of using RV and boat fresh water tanks, after proper sanitizing. All those bottles of water are just more plastic in the landfills. We have lived on the boats and in the RVs for up to 6 months at a time over those years.

We have reverse osmosis for our drinking water at home, because of the taste. Don't use plastic bottles there, either. We use a Brita pitcher for our refrigerated drinking water on the boat or RV.

I do avoid drinking water on Italian boats traveling between NZ and the UK. 8-)
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby Red Raven on Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:16 pm

JamesTXSD wrote:I should buy a lottery ticket. We have been "lucky" for over 30 years of using RV and boat fresh water tanks, after proper sanitizing. All those bottles of water are just more plastic in the landfills. We have lived on the boats and in the RVs for up to 6 months at a time over those years.

We have reverse osmosis for our drinking water at home, because of the taste. Don't use plastic bottles there, either. We use a Brita pitcher for our refrigerated drinking water on the boat or RV.

I do avoid drinking water on Italian boats traveling between NZ and the UK. 8-)


I vote with Jim! Taste is the the issue for us driving the use of filters and bottles, not safety. Never have been ill from the water on the boat.
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby baz on Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:49 pm

JamesTXSD wrote:I should buy a lottery ticket. We have been "lucky" for over 30 years of using RV and boat fresh water tanks, after proper sanitizing. All those bottles of water are just more plastic in the landfills. We have lived on the boats and in the RVs for up to 6 months at a time over those years.

We have reverse osmosis for our drinking water at home, because of the taste. Don't use plastic bottles there, either. We use a Brita pitcher for our refrigerated drinking water on the boat or RV.

I do avoid drinking water on Italian boats traveling between NZ and the UK. 8-)


Yep.... consider yourself "Lucky". :)
Plastic bottles can be reused so filling up landfills with plastic bottles is a non-issue. :o
Brita pitchers requires a filter that need replacing and old one discarded to what .... the landfill of course. :roll: :o
Avoiding drinking water on an Italian boat between NZ and UK or UK to NZ is a sensible thing to do. :lol:

BTW... I've survived driving an automobile for some 55 years..... so I do consider myself lucky as about 1.25 million people are killed in motor vehicle crashes and 20–50 million more are seriously injured globally (Ref: https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/global/index.html). The point here being that danger lurks around the corner for all people who drive automobiles, just as health issues lurk around the corner from the dangers of contaminated water.
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby JamesTXSD on Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:11 pm

For the record, one small filter in the Brita lasts 90 days - that is a non-issue (takes up about the same space in a land fill as one crushed can). Plastic water bottles do have a "life" as far as being water-tight, even though it takes eons for them to break down. Also, in order for reused plastic water bottles to stay drinking safe, they have to be washed regularly... using more water.

I drove cruise boats in one of the National Parks for a couple seasons - at the Grand Teton National Park, they mandated that the park stores could no longer sell bottled water, and the Park Service put in water refilling stations. A lot of visitors were not happy about it - at first. More and more, people are understanding what those heaps of plastic bottles create. Besides using a Brita filtered pitcher for our refrigerated drinking water, we use a Soda Stream carbonating system to make our own sodas, and help cut down on that plastic waste, as well.

We met one couple on a boat who used their fresh water tank for washing hands, washing dishes, but not drinking. I asked them, "Do you brush your teeth with that water? Do you eat off those dishes?" They learned how to properly sanitize the fresh water tank, and thanked me for saving them money and storage space (several cases of water bottles take up space, and the garbage that results from that takes up space). They have also been "lucky."

Each cruising family should decide what works best for them, but understand that the best utilization of all the systems on a boat includes the fresh water system, as well. I would never drink from a communal "dock hose," and only fill my tank with my own hose. Carry a spray bottle with bleach water, and spray a communal spigot before connecting your hose to it. I can't tell you how many times I've used a marina restroom/shower-house and seen people in there brushing their teeth after laying their toothbrush on the counter! :shock: Those people could use some luck.
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby baz on Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:59 pm

Agreed.... we all make our own beds. :)
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby Dale777 on Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:18 am

Almost every farmer in this country relies on well water. Contrary to what some believe, well water is not always the purest thing around. It generally needs to be tested and treated, at least periodically.

I grew up on a farm in Oklahoma, so I drank untreated well water all during my youth. Luckily, neither I nor any of my family ever had any water related health issues. But, to be completely safe well water must be periodically tested and treated. How is it treated? It is done by a shock treatment of the correct amount of Clorox. My brother currently lives on a rural, residential area outside Greensboro, NC where he uses well water from his property. Periodically, he does just as I stated in testing and treating with Clorox. All across the country, rural areas and farmers do exactly that. I don't believe they are gambling with exposure to GI problems.

Also, in boat cruising and RVing over the past 16 years, I have treated the water just as stated with Clorox with no ill effects at all when the water is used for cooking, showering, washing dishes, and brushing teeth. Yes, we do carry bottled water since it generally has a better, consistent taste than the water from the boat's water tank.

However, on the farm when I was a youth, since the untreated water was not treated with fluoride, that caused early onset tooth decay. So, that is another precaution to keep in mind with water that does not come from a city water treatment plant.
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby knotflying on Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:41 am

Lenny and Louise wrote:Mike,
Which filter do you use when filling? Are you concerned that the charcoal will remove the chlorine and leave your tank essentially untreated?
Thanks

This is the filter I use when filling the tank. https://www.walmart.com/ip/14504321?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&adid=22222222227010681759&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=40839127952&wl4=pla-78652300112&wl5=9002231&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=online&wl12=14504321&wl13=&veh=sem . As far as chlorine removal, I add a couple of teaspoon to the tank before filling. I am filtering the water from the dock hose bib, so there is no issue. The clorox is in the tank prior to filling.
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby Dale777 on Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:16 am

I use exactly the same filter, attached at the hose bib, that Knotflying uses.
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby Red Raven on Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:32 pm

Dale777 wrote:I use exactly the same filter, attached at the hose bib, that Knotflying uses.


Same here.
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby Bill & Donna Sibbers on Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:18 pm

Hi, Some great recommendations below. Here's our protocol for routinely great tasting water:

1. Empty water tank. If winterized, fill tank half way and empty again.
2. Check screen filter at pump and clean of you see debris.
3. Use only potable water rated hoses. These are usually white and do not impart an odor or taste.
4. Use carbon filter (as linked below - change each season). Attach at water source to preserve your potable water hose.
5. Fill water tank with filtered water (yes, cheap Vodka helps - we used two 1.5ltr bottles for 80 gallons)
6. Use a Brita water pitcher for drinking water. We keep ours full on a non-slip pad on the counter next to the sink.
7. Use a lot of water, empty tank, and fill using process above. The manufacturing or chemical taste will dissipate after a few tanks.

NOTE: We sanitize our 80 gallon water tank 1x per year using 1 tablespoon (cap) of non-scented chorine bleach.

Enjoy.

Bill
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby Larry H on Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:38 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I have found a temporary work around. I bought a 2 gallon counter dispenser sold for refillable filtered water by Glacier. It fits behind the stove and can be refilled thru it's top cap with gallons of bottled water or good dock water.

After we return home from cruising, I will do the full sanitize and flush routine, maybe even add vodka!

I have a tentative plan to move the battery charger and inverter to the port locker this winter, and then I will have room for a two stage house type water filter. I don't like having the charger and inverter in the starboard locker with the water system equipment.
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