Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

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Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby Larry H on Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:24 pm

My 2014 R-27 was winterized with the pink anti-freeze last winter. The tank has been pumped and filled with fresh water 8 to 10 times. It seemed that the taste was OK, then I filled with water from Everett, WA. Unknown to me the Everett water tastes terrible, with high chlorine content. I am now in Friday Harbor, WA where the water is OK, but with some chlorine.

I have pumped and refilled the tank twice, but still the awful taste remains. I am now filing a bottle at the dock faucet and the water is acceptable from the bottle.

Can anything be done to improve the taste of the water coming from the tank?

On edit: I use a household filter, with a charcoal filter element, in the hose when filling the boat tank.
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby Bruce Moore on Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:40 pm

After going through a conditioning process using bleach and white vinegar (sequentially) we use... cheap vodka!

We fill the tank with a potable water hose with dual filters - one at the hose bib and one and the hose end. We add 750ml bottle of cheap vodka about every 3rd or 4th tank. Tastes great.

We tried a number of water treatments until an old salt behind the counter at Marine Supply and Hardware store in Anacortes, when asked if yet another one was any good, replied, "Nope. Use vodka. Cheap vodka."

Been using it for years. Vermouth optional.

Cheers,

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

Postby Lenny and Louise on Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:47 pm

And for even better tasting water, use better vodka and more of it! :D
Peace,
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby Red Raven on Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:42 am

Larry H wrote:My 2014 R-27 was winterized with the pink anti-freeze last winter. The tank has been pumped and filled with fresh water 8 to 10 times. It seemed that the taste was OK, then I filled with water from Everett, WA. Unknown to me the Everett water tastes terrible, with high chlorine content. I am now in Friday Harbor, WA where the water is OK, but with some chlorine.

I have pumped and refilled the tank twice, but still the awful taste remains. I am now filing a bottle at the dock faucet and the water is acceptable from the bottle.

Can anything be done to improve the taste of the water coming from the tank?

On edit: I use a household filter, with a charcoal filter element, in the hose when filling the boat tank.


Our water was pretty much undrinkable and we had tried all the remedies including vodka. Nothing worked. Then we did a thorough cleaning of the filter screen on the input to the water pump. That did it. Tastes great now. No treatment necessary other than the filter used when filling the tank.
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby JamesTXSD on Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:21 pm

Fresh filters, a bit of bleach in the water (run though the lines and the water heater and let it sit for several hours), flush several times, then dissolve some baking soda in water, add that to the tank, and it should be good to go. In 3 years of boating and RVing, this has always worked for us if the fresh water tank gets skanky.

It doesn't take a great deal of bleach to get the job done. If you are still smelling/tasting bleach after a couple flushes, you used too much bleach. A cup of bleach mixed with several gallons of water (don't add just bleach to your tank) poured into a 40 gallon tank, then top off with fresh water. This bleach/water solution has to sit in the tank and lines for at least 4 hours (overnight is better) to properly sanitize. Even better if the boat/RV is moved with that solution in the tank.

The skanky smell from a fresh water tank generally occurs if a fresh water system has been allowed to sit with "old water" in it. Or, if "suspect" (possibly non-potable) water has been used.
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby knotflying on Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:16 am

Before doing any of the suggested fixes, I will usually put a small amount of water and flush it out a couple of times and then do the full cleaning suggestions. In other words, try to get a concentrated amount of that skanky water out first.
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby Larry H on Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:57 am

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I am still working on this.

When I get the water tasting good, I will post the results.
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby baz on Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:47 am

My solution to this after researching this issue and finding that no matter how much cleaning you do to the water tank and its contents was to simply use bottled water. You will be surprised what lurks in that water tank over time. Bad water can have a lasting affect on your health. I have a sister-in-law who travelled from NZ back to UK some years ago via some Italian boat. She drank the onboard water and has since been sick to her stomach which doctors say is incurable. It's simply not worth exposing yourself to the possibility of contaminated water IMO.

We are tea drinkers and having quality water is paramount. If we were to make tea with our boat's fresh water the tea tastes awful --- we've tried it even after applying all the fresh water tank cleaning solutions.

It's easy to have bottled water on board. We use the boat's fresh water for showering at times, dish washing and on our R-25 (Classic) even for the toilet as I replaced the marine head with a TecMar ECO electric toilet and plumbed in the fresh water for flushing to avoid having salt water generating/leaving nasty odors in the hoses etc.
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby Larry H on Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:30 pm

baz,

Thanks for the comment. When this problem of bad taste started, I was at Everett Marina. After the fact, I found out that Everett has notoriously bad tasting water. The taste is like a horrible over chlorinated aftertaste.

I purchased bottled water, and found that our usage rate for two people is about 1 gallon per day for drinking and coffee/tea. We don't walk so good anymore, so shopping while boating is extremely difficult, not to mention hauling 5 to 10 gallons of bottled water.

When we arrived at Friday Harbor, the dock water was acceptable, so I dumped my tank and refilled.
No joy. The taste was still terrible. I started refilling the bottled water bottles with dock water and that is OK. I have now dumped and refilled my tank several times with good water, but the problem remains.

For our boating style, we need to be able to drink the water available at docks, which where we boat is usually of good quality. (Everett excepted) We normally head north to Canada in early summer and return to WA in the fall. Hauling bottled water and having the counter occupied with a water jug is just not acceptable. I am looking into various water filter systems to make the tank water usable.

I am wondering if the pink RV antifreeze that was in the water tank could be responsible. That stuff really tastes bad!

By the way, nice boat you recently purchased, and great photos of the gathering at Roche.
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby baz on Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:02 pm

Larry:

Each person's daily water intake obviously can vary quite a bit. In our case we consume no more than 1 gallon of bottled water each day while onboard. I normally keep a stock of 6 1-gallon bottles of water on the boat when going out. So with this we can last a few days easily.

If walking is a problem it can be possible to have a store person bring the bottled water to your dock/slip. For example, at Roche meeting we had bought some provisions at the local store and they were kind enough to deliver the bags of goodies to our boat as hauling them along with me pushing 1st Mate's wheelchair was to awkward.

Many TugNuts here have resolved their fresh water tank's water taste to their satisfaction with thorough cleaning and in some cases with celebrating fluids such as Vodka (which I assume is a joke). You need to explore these type solutions and get your fresh water tank cleaned up so that you feel comfortable drinking water from it.

Glad you found the Photo Album of the Rondy useful..... it was a great meeting and presumably from what Jeff Messmer said, one of the largest attendance so far.
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby Bruce Moore on Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:09 pm

baz wrote:Larry:

clip -Many TugNuts here have resolved their fresh water tank's water taste to their satisfaction with thorough cleaning and in some cases with celebrating fluids such as Vodka (which I assume is a joke). - clip


No celebration. No joke. It's an effective water treatment for drinking and cooking. We each drink at least 72 oz of water per day. The vermouth optional reference was a joke. But not in my martinis.

Cheers,

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

Postby baz on Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:44 pm

Things grow and manifest in water. The fresh water tank cannot be completely drained dry easily so in most cases on boats some water residue always remains. Thus critters will remain even with the likes of some Vodka thrown in for them.

The real test is that once the tank's water has been treated with whatever and you then drink from the tank's water without any immediate bad side affects or future health issues you're simply lucky IMO.

Why risk it ?

"What could happen if I drink contaminated water?

The health effects of drinking contaminated water can range from no physical impact to severe illness or even death.
Some of the effects of drinking contaminated water can be immediate, or not noticed for many years. These include gastrointestinal and stomach illnesses like:

nausea
vomiting
cramps
diarrhoea

Many factors affect the possible impact on health such as:

the age and general health status of the person
the type of contaminant
the amount
how long the person has been drinking the contaminated water"
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby Bruce Moore on Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:58 pm

For drinking and cooking water our final stage is a Zero Water ZD010, a 10 cup ion exchange water dispenser with the latest filter pitcher technology. The water dispenser features 5-stage dual-ion exchange filtration system that removes virtually all dissolved solids from your tap water and gives pure drinking water.

The ZD010's first layer of filtration, activated carbon and oxidation reduction alloy removes the chlorine taste from the tap water. The ion exchange stage removes almost all dissolved solids that may be left over from public water systems such as aluminum, lead, zinc, nitrate and more. The three additional stages helps to remove other impurities and confirm that the water receives appropriate amount of treatment time to deliver a "000" reading on your total dissolved solids meter. Test meter provided.

After 10 years of boating we haven't suffered any ill effects.
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby Dale777 on Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:27 pm

Larry H,

This topic has been covered well in a previous post:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9390&p=64945&hilit=clorox#p64945

In addition to other comments in that post, I itemized a very specific procedure, with measurements, to be followed. Additionally, you can go to the reference at Clorox that I used:

https://www.clorox.com/dr-laundry/bleac ... ter-tanks/
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Re: Bad tasting water from tank, what to do?

Postby knotflying on Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:02 pm

Larry H wrote:baz,
For our boating style, we need to be able to drink the water available at docks, which where we boat is usually of good quality. (Everett excepted) We normally head north to Canada in early summer and return to WA in the fall. Hauling bottled water and having the counter occupied with a water jug is just not acceptable. .


We usually carry 5 one gallon jugs of water. We store them in the cockpit at the starboard side from stern to bow. Also a great way to offset generator list. We initially purchase the water, but refill when getting low and at a marina with good water. We use our cave for storage so the open jug is usually in there for easy reach. No need to have it out on the counter. We also carry 16 oz. bottles for drinking during the day. We found that after cruising a while and having done the clorox cleaning and a few reloads and the water seems fine. We use it for cooking, coffee, washing dishes, brushing teeth and showers. Usually not for drinking, but I wouldn't have a problem taking a swig if we ran out of Jug or bottled water.
Also, when filling the tank we use a charcoal filter using a slow rate when filling.
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