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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 10-03-2007
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Flushing fresh water tanks

This summer I haven't used my fresh water system much. Today, I was on the boat changing my starter battery, when I was finished, I went to wash my hands and the water had an awful rotten onion smell to it. I could use some advice on the best way to flush the system to get rid of that smell.
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Old 10-03-2007
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Well, if it's sat stagnant for awhile, it's possible that the smell in the water has actually become impregnated in the plastic water tubing itself. Hopefully this isn't the case. If it we're my boat, i'd start by filling the tank and including a rather strong amount of chlorine bleach. I have two 50-gal tanks and use roughly one tablespoon per tank for "maintenance" every time i fill up. Perhaps you might want to double or triple that rate for your case. But i would fill the tank up and let that more potent mixture sit in the tank for a good day or so. Perhaps take it out for a sail and stir that tank up a bit.

Somewhere i read that if you have an access port into your water tank, you can dump in cubed ice with just a small amount of water to keep the mixture somewhat "sloshy". Then take the boat out into some waves and this will help to stir up any algae or solids that are in the tank. When the ice melts off you can either drain the tank or use the pump to pump the water out.

Either way, if i we're you i'd try doing that several times over before i even bothered testing the water to see if you've got it cleaned out. Good luck!!!
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Old 10-03-2007
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Do what Peggy Hall says HERE first. Then flush the system a fair amount of fresh water. Then finish with a mixture of vinegar and water. That should help clear any funky smells or contamination from your freshwater system.
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