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Martinini 07-26-2008 01:00 PM

Clean my Water tank
Whats the best way to clean out fresh water tank? Boat has been sitting awhile and the water coming out of spigots is kinda greenish brown.

fcsob 07-26-2008 01:15 PM

BarryL 07-26-2008 02:02 PM


Does your tank have an inspection port? If not, you really need to add one. My last boat did not have an inspection port, and when I looked into the tank I could see slime, dirt, and other bad things inside the tank. I added an inspection port (easy to do). I can fit my arm inside the tank so I can scrub the sides of the tank and get it very clean.

After the tank is clean I add water and sanitize it as described in the above article.

My current boat came with inspection ports and the tanks were much cleaner.

I still won't drink the water in the tank, but I don't mind using it for cooking and cleaning.

Good luck,

camaraderie 07-26-2008 02:11 PM

Martinini 07-29-2008 10:43 AM

It took everyone at the Marina to find the inspection port, but we did. It was in a wierd spot under V-Berth. Thanks for all the info.

jimfortuna 07-29-2008 12:34 PM

Chloride attacks Stainless Steel
Chlorine is a great way to make your water safe, but if you have a stainless steel tank, it can cause serious long term metallurgical damage that is not initially apparent. Chloride attack can damage the stainless, particularly at welds, and can be destructive of other metal components in your faucets and pump housings.

Chlorides will attack the stainless and make it quite brittle over time, permitting hairline cracks to develop near welds and stress areas followed by mysterious leaks that are difficult to locate. This can be very problematic in the hot water system.

I would suggest that you careful to flush out the system with clean water after the chlorine "shock" treatment. It generaly takes a while for the damage to occur, but having highly chlorinated water sit without motion will cause damage faster.

Polyethylene tanks are likely ok with chlorides, but all the metal components exposed in the system can be affected.

RAGTIMEDON 07-29-2008 01:07 PM

If you have a metal tank, you might also have baffles in it and need an inspection port between each baffle. My boat came with a 110 gallon aluminum tank seperated into three sections with a partial wall between them to limit sloshing of the water. Although there was an inspection port, 2/3 of the tank was inaccessable. I put in two more large ports to make it possible to clean the tank. With an aluminum tank you should not add chlorine, but with stainless it should be no problem unless you add too much. A teaspoonful of common household bleach (sodium hypochlorate solution) for every 10 gallons will make the water safe to drink, but may not taste good. One of the "undersink filter systems" sold in every hardware store will take care of the taste. Change the filter annually. I know Jim said chlorides will attack stainless, but think about it. City water in every city of the US is chlorinated, plumbing pipes in your house are copper, your faucets are either a brass alloy or stainless. Had any faucets crack lately? No, I wouldn't put chlorine in any form, bleach or anything else, in an aluminum tank, but a small amount of it will not cause a problem with other metals and can keep you from a bacterial infection! Aluminum is one metal particularly suseptible to chlorine attack, but stainless seems to resist the chlorine in salt water quite well! Salt is sodium chloride, and most sailors know aluminum becomes pitted when used on a blue water boat.

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