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post #1 of 7 Old 02-01-2008 Thread Starter
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replacing built in water tank

The water from this built in fiberglass tank tastes rancid. I have tried all the easy stuff like flushing the tank & water treatments. The tank is under the V berth in a 1974 islander 30. My intent is to cut the existing tank out and install a bladder tank. Any drawbacks to this plan ? Thanks again sailnet folks.

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post #2 of 7 Old 02-01-2008
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Bladder tanks are not all that volume efficient and don't have the life of a rigid tank. You could have a rigid tank made to fill the space.

Or you could make a large access hole with cover in the existing tank, so that you can get an arm in to clean it.

Check that the rancid flavour is not coming from the existing pipework, its not much use changing the tank if the old pipe work remains.

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post #3 of 7 Old 02-01-2008
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Have you tried flushing the system with vinegar. That can clear up a lot of nasty aftertastes in a water system.


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post #4 of 7 Old 02-01-2008
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Have you tried "shocking" it with bleach? and run that through the hoses and let is set for a while then purged and re-filled it? What about a vinegar flush?

For drinking water on board we use a GE whole house, cartridge style, water filter set up using this cartridge & this GE housing. It installs between the output of the pump and the fixtures and is very, very easy to do. A Brita faucet mounted filter is also in the galley on the faucet for double filtration. We drink right out of our 1979 tanks with this set up no problem!!

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 02-16-2008 at 04:49 PM.
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-01-2008
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Shock Treatment Should be Tried before replacing tanks. Here's how:

With thanks to Peggie Hall of Raritan...this is the way to do it:

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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post #6 of 7 Old 02-01-2008
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It is also possible to confuse the source of the problem - it is just as often the lines which cause this problem as it is the tank. Properly disinfecting both with either bleach or hyoochlorite should preclude having the remove either or both.
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-01-2008
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Bladders will not keep the water fresh, long term.
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