The Process Overview
Using bleach or another antibacterial product, you can sanitize your RV fresh water tank as follows:
- Before moving on, you must turn off the main water supply and remove the hot water heater.
- Water heaters are housed outside of a compartment that has a pressure relief valve.
- Your water lines need to be emptied. You’ll need to empty your RV’s water lines first, since algae and contaminants can clog them up. The low-point water drainage valves may be located and opened at this point. It is also a good idea to open the drain on the freshwater tank itself. RV owner’s manuals should provide information about where these valves are located.
- When you have drained your water tanks and lines, it’s time to mix your bleach solution. Each 15 gallons of fresh water your RV holds needs 1/4 cup of bleach mixed with a few gallons of water.
- You will find instructions on how to sanitize your tank if you mix an antibacterial product.
- You should now have freshwater in your freshwater tank. Fill the tank carefully with the liquid. A funnel might be easier and less likely to stain the area if you use it.
- After pouring the bleach/antibacterial solution into the tank, fill it almost full of fresh water.
- Run each sink faucet one at a time to fill them fully with water. Keep the faucets from running for too long, or your fresh water tank will be emptied! The smell of bleach should emanate from every faucet.
- After adding the bleach/antibacterial solution to all the water lines, some RVers find it helpful to drive a short distance. This further sanitizes the system by sloshing water around.
- Ensure your freshwater tank and water lines are soaked overnight with the solution.
- Drain the freshwater tank and properly dispose of the solution after it has sat overnight.
- Turn on each faucet one by one after you have filled up your tank with fresh water. Make sure the bleach does not smell anymore after you have completed this process.