Gasoline in the water tank...HELP! - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-01-2008 Thread Starter
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Gasoline in the water tank...HELP!

It's obvious that some previous owner/gas dock person put gas in the water tank by mistake. The water has a very distinct gasoline taste and is undrinkable.

The tank is 40 gallons and I've cycled two full tanks through it with no affect on the taste. Any ideas on how to clean it with out removing/replacing it? Additives? Detergents? Etc...?
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-01-2008
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Try steam cleaning...

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post #3 of 20 Old 06-01-2008
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Baking Soda

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post #4 of 20 Old 06-01-2008
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Baking soda for gasoline taste

Is baking soda in the water tanks just good for gasoline, or for other odors/tastes as well. How much would you use?

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post #5 of 20 Old 06-01-2008
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try Chlorine!

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post #6 of 20 Old 06-01-2008
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There also maybe fuel residue in the distribution lines as well, giving up just enough to taint the water

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post #7 of 20 Old 06-01-2008
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If the baking soda doesn't work...a bleach shock treatment may help. Here's a repeat post on how to do it:

Shock Treatment Should be Tried before replacing tanks. Here's how:

With thanks to Peggie Hall of Raritan...
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 #8 of 20 Old 06-01-2008
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BS,

Cam beat me to it. We used to (and still do) treat comm. aircraft potable water systems the same way, although the soak time was 4 - 6 hours. Well, we never had your kind of contamination to deal with either. All supply lines were made of aluminum, so I can verify that corrosion is not a significant factor. With your boat in the water, you might want to ask how the marina feels about emptying the solution into your sinks and therefore into the water. If it's taboo, I would suggest only filling your tank to 1/4 to 1/2 capacity and following the suggested procedure. Then 'bleed' the system into buckets and dispose of to the marina's specs. That might save on the bucket brigade.

I'm not sure whether chlorine will 'cut' the petrolium base gas but the treatment is sure worth a try. Otherwise, you just may have to pull the tank. Good luck with it.

Bob
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post #9 of 20 Old 06-02-2008
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I know the answer to this one!!!

It seems to happen on motor homes more than you might think.

The fix---
Flush tanks with water
Empty
Fill with one half capaticy of red wine
Add water to top off
Run mix through plumming a little
Top off with water and let set for 24 hours
Flush with fresh water

Rick
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post #10 of 20 Old 06-02-2008
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Quote:
Fill with one half capaticy of red wine
Never heard of this remedy before. But with the need for 20 gallons of red wine, even using the cheap jug wine will be a pricey fix.

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