Best way to clean out freshwater/holding tanks? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-25-2007
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Best way to clean out freshwater/holding tanks?

I've never yet used the freshwater system in my '75 Newport 28 -- I bought her in April and have only daysailed so far -- and I'm wondering what the best way to drain and rinse it would be. Is there some solution I can run though the tank and lines to freshen everything up? Should I then leave it empty until I really want to use it, or fill it up with fresh water once it's all cleaned out so that it can't mildew, or whatever other Bad Thing might happen?

On a related note, I have no idea of the state of the holding tank (really a bladder of tough vinyl or rubber). Should I give it a fill-up with water and pump it out, just to make sure it's cleaned out? When used on overnight cruises, does one pump them out at the end of each trip, or is it more usual to do it just when you think it might be filling up?

As you can tell, I'm a noob on these matters.

Thanks!
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Old 09-25-2007
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Shock treat the water tank and lines using chlorine bleach. If you leave the tank and lines empty, it may mildew or grow other nasties if there is any water in the system. Filling the system and using the water, even if it is just by flushing it down the drain, will do more to keeping the water in the system from growing bacteria and slime... than anything else. Stagnant water grows the nasty critters... water that is being used doesn't.

Filling the holding tank and pumping it out a couple times can't hurt either. BTW, you do know that the term "Holding Tank" specifically refers to a waste water tank in the head plumbing.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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Old 09-25-2007
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Here are exact directions:
http://www.searoom.com/fresh_water.htm
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BTW—Shock treating instructions from the guru of boat water systems, Peggy Hall, located here.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Dammit Cam... I had that link... you must have just beaten me to it... Great minds think alike.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 09-25-2007
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Thanks, everyone!
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Old 09-25-2007
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You're welcome ! I'm always happy to help
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I'd second that sentiment... damn 51st staters...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 09-25-2007
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Hello,

On my Newport 28 the freshwater tank was located in the v berth. The tank did not have an inspection / clean out port. The fill opening was in the anchor locker and there was another fill opening in the top of the tank. By opening the top fill I could look inside the tank and see there was all sorts of slimy stuff on the walls of the tank. Shocking the system would take a long time to clean that out. So I added an nice clean out port to the tank. This way I could reach my arm inside the tank, clean it thoroughly, then shock it. I still wouldn't drink the water from it, but I was comfortable washing and bathing with the water.

For the holding tank I would fill it with water and then empty it.

Personally, I find it easier to empty the holding tank at the end of each trip. I don't like to leave 'stuff' in the tank if I can avoid it.

Good luck,
Barry
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