How to Properly Flush and Sanitize Your RV Water System

What's that unpleasant odor wafting through your RV? It could be your fresh water tank crying out for attention! In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the nitty-gritty of flushing and sanitizing your RV's fresh water system. From why it's crucial to how often it should be done, we've got you covered. Let's banish those foul smells and ensure your water is as clean and refreshing as can be!

Why Sanitize Your RV Fresh Water Tank?

Picture this: bacteria, algae, mold, and mildew partying it up in your RV's fresh water tank and lines. Not exactly the guest list you want for your water supply, right? Besides the unpleasant odor and taste they impart, these nasties can lead to health issues and ruin your RVing experience. From upset stomachs to compromised hygiene, the risks are real. So, while sanitizing your RV water tank isn't mandatory, it's a wise move for a safe and enjoyable journey.


RV faucet and sink

How to Properly Flush and Sanitize Your RV Water System:

  1. Drain the Tank: Start by emptying your RV's fresh water tank completely. Open all faucets and drains to ensure the tank is fully drained.
  1. Clean the Tank: Use a mixture of water and RV-specific tank cleaner to scrub the inside of the fresh water tank. Pay close attention to any sediment or buildup, and use a long-handled brush to reach all areas.
  1. Rinse Thoroughly: After cleaning, rinse the tank with fresh water until no traces of cleaner remain. This step is crucial to ensure there are no harmful residues left behind.
  1. Sanitize the Tank: Prepare a sanitizing solution using a mixture of water and a recommended RV sanitizer or household bleach (follow manufacturer's instructions for proper dilution). Pour the solution into the fresh water tank and fill it completely.
  1. Circulate the Solution: Turn on all faucets and run water until you smell the sanitizer. Let the solution sit in the tank and lines for several hours (ideally overnight) to effectively kill any bacteria or contaminants.
  1. Flush Again: After sanitizing, drain the tank and flush the entire system with fresh water until the bleach odor dissipates. This step is crucial to ensure your water is safe for consumption.

How Often Should You Sanitize Your RV Water Tank?

The frequency of sanitizing your RV's fresh water tank depends on several factors, including how often you use your RV, the quality of your water source, and environmental conditions. As a general rule of thumb, it's recommended to sanitize your RV water tank at least once a year (we recommend doing it when you de-winterize your rig). However, if you notice any signs of contamination, such as foul odors or tastes, or if you've been using your RV heavily, more frequent sanitization may be necessary.

With proper maintenance and care, you can ensure your RV's fresh water system provides clean, safe, and great-tasting water for all your adventures. By following these steps to flush and sanitize your RV water tank, you'll not only eliminate foul smells and tastes but also safeguard your health and well-being during your travels. Check out other maintenance tasks you can do yourself in our guide to simple RV maintenance.

See you on the road!

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