Join Date: Jul 2000
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Re: Stainless water tank conditioning?
Weld quality is the basis for long term service in SS tanks - no pin holes, no 'weld-laps', no 'gas blowouts', full penetration welding, etc. ... pretty much impossible for 'hand welding'.
The ultimate for service life extension is by grinding all the welds flat followed by surface polishing ..... and that will increase the cost of a tank replacement by about 5 to 10 times. Best economy is to simply have the failing weld seams 'repaired' on a repetitive periodic basis.
Standard shock sanitization for a new or cleaned* potable water tank by NSF recommendations is: (for 20 gallon tank) - 8 oz. Clorox per 20 gallons, let soak for 1-2+ hours, then fully empty, flush/rinse 2-3X, etc.
*cleaned = no internal 'slimes' or other indications of rampant bacterial growth.
Best way to lessen bacterial growth- empty the tank when not on board (just like you do with your water jugs).
If the dock water is already chlorinated as from a 'municipal' or 'city' supply source, then you probably wont need to 'chlorinate' for maintenance purposes.
Otherwise (for 'well water', etc.), add laundry grade clorox at a rate of .4 oz per 10 gallons of water that you add to the tank .... the object is to dose the water so that you 'just barely' can perceive the 'absolute faintest chlorine smell possible' in the spiggot water. Your wife should do the 'sniffing' so you dont 'overdose'.