Checking Water Quality & Cleaning Headliner - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 05-22-2007
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Checking Water Quality & Cleaning Headliner

Just bought a 10 year old Hylas 46 and seeking thoughts.

1) any method of checking water quality of existing fresh water currently in the tanks. If safest to drain (200 gallons) is there a tank cleaner one should consider when tank is empty?

2) Any thoughts on what type of safe/effective cleaning chemicals to use on headliners to clean them up? Thoughts on best chemicals to clean interior woodwork?

Thanks!
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When we bought Afrita, our Contessa 32, last year she needed quite bit of cleaning. We found that for most things standard household cleaners (i.e. multi-surface cleaners, washing-up liquid and cream cleaner) were fine. You can get a sort of green gel, the name of which I forget, which is designed for cleaning stains off gelcoat. This works well on the really stubborn bits. We got a tub from the local chandlers; maybe someone else can remember what this is called, or try googleing it.
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Old 05-22-2007
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Vmacdonald is probably talking about FSR, which stands for Fiberglass stain remover, which is an acid-based cleaning gel.

BTW, if the hoses were clear PVC but now have grunge in them, I would replace the hoses... since they're probably badly contaminated and will just cause problems in the future.

I would use chlorine bleach on the fresh water tanks... after filling and rinsing them several times... do the following, from this website:

Quote:
Peggie Hall has the 8 ounce solution

Fresh water system problems--foul odor or taste--are typically caused by allowing water to stagnate in the tank and especially the lines, creating the ideal environment for molds, fungi and bacteria that thrive in damp dark places. Here's the recommended method for recommissioning fresh water systems; this should be done at least annually:
Fill the water tank with a solution of 1 cup (8 oz) of household bleach per 10 gallon tank capacity. Turn on every faucet on the boat (including a deck wash if you have one), and allow the water to run until what's coming out smells strongly of bleach. Turn off the faucets, but leave the system pressurized so the solution remains in the lines.

Let stand overnight-- at least 8 hours--but NO LONGER THAN 24 hours. Drain through every faucet on the boat (and if you haven't done this in a while, it's a good idea to remove any diffusion screens from the faucets, 'cuz what's likely to come out will clog them). Fill the tank again with fresh water only, drain again through every faucet on the boat, repeating till the water runs clean and smells and tastes clean.

Cleaning out the tank addresses only the least of the problem...most of the problem occurs in the lines, so it's very important to leave the system pressurized while the bleach solution is in the tank to keep the solution in the lines too.

People have expressed concern about using this method to recommission aluminum tanks. While bleach (chlorine) IS corrosive, the effect of an annual or semi-annual "shock treatment" is negligible compared to the cumulative effect of holding chlorinated city water in the tank for years. Nevertheless, it's a good idea to mix the total amount of bleach in a few gallons of water before putting it into either a stainless or aluminum tank.

To keep the water system cleaner longer, use your fresh water...keep water flowing through system. The molds, fungi, and bacteria only start to grow in hoses that aren't being used. Before filling the tank each time, always let the dock water run for at least 15 minutes first...the same critters that like the lines on your boat LOVE the dock supply line and your hose that sit in the warm sun, and you don't want to transfer water that's been sitting in the dock supply line to your boat's system. So let the water run long enough to flush out all the water that's been standing in them so that what goes into your boat is coming straight from the water main.

Finally, while the molds, fungi and bacteria in onboard water systems here in the US may not be pleasant, we're dealing only with aesthetics...water purity isn't an issue here--or in most developed nations...the water supply has already been purified (unless you're using well-water). However, when cruising out of the country, it's a good idea to
know what you're putting in your tanks...and if you're in any doubt, boil all water that's to be drunk or used to wash dishes, and/or treat each tankful to purify. It's even more important in these areas to let the water run before putting it in the tank--wash the boat, whatever it takes...'cuz any harmful bacteria will REALLY proliferate in water hoses left sitting on the dock.
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Excellent - thank you so much!
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Analytical Quality Water Test Kits and Drinking Water Test Kits

I came across these while looking for hardness test kits today (I hate water spots). I don't know how effective they are but they may be woth a try.

edit - Just reread the post and realized that I should have also said that I only meant you might want to try the kit on the tanks after draining and bleaching as above.
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great - thx!
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glad to help...
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