Summary of the Process
The following steps can be followed to sanitize an RV fresh water tank using bleach or another antibacterial product:
- Remove the hot water heater and turn off the main water supply before continuing.
- The pressure relief valve on a water heater is located outside the compartment where the heater is housed.
- We recommend that you empty your water lines. The first thing that you will need to do is to empty the water lines of your RV, since algae and contaminants can clog them up. In this location, it is possible to locate and open the low-point water drainage valves. The freshwater tank itself should also be opened to allow water to drain. It is recommended that RV owners read their owner’s manuals to learn where these valves can be found.
- Following the draining of your water tanks and lines, the next step is to mix your bleach solution. It is recommended that 1/4 cup of bleach be mixed with a few gallons of water for every 15 gallons of fresh water your RV holds.
- If you mix an antibacterial product with your tank, there will be instructions on how to sanitize it.
- Now that your freshwater tank is filled with freshwater, you should have freshwater to drink. The liquid should be filled into the tank carefully. It may be easier to use a funnel and it will be less likely to stain the area if you do so.
- Fill the tank almost full of fresh water after the bleach/antibacterial solution has been poured in.
- Ensure that each sink faucet is fully filled with water by running it one at a time. Be sure not to run the faucets for an extended period of time, as this could empty your fresh water tank. There should be a strong smell of bleach emanating from every faucet.
- Some RVers find it helpful to drive a short distance after adding bleach/antibacterial solution to all the water lines. In addition to sanitizing the system, this action lubricates it by sloshing water around.
- Make sure the solution is soaked overnight in your freshwater tank and water lines.
- Once the freshwater tank has sat overnight, drain the solution and dispose of it properly.
- Once you have filled up your tank with freshwater, turn on each faucet one by one. Once you have completed this process, make sure the bleach no longer smells.