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Discussion Starter #1
This may be a really dumb question but how do you flush the freshwater solution out of your tank when you have manual pumps? Is disconnecting the hose just before the pump the best way?

I am clear on the process to sanitize but just don't understand how I can get the bleach solution out of my tank within a reasonable amount of time using only the manual pumps. I feel like I am missing something. Thanks.
 

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I ran a hose from the tank to the bilge and installed a ball valve and T. We open the valve and drain the tank to the bilge where the bilge pump takes care of the water. Flushes the bilge too. Nice easy, passive system that's cheap to implement.

When the tank stops draining, we close the valve and use the foot pumps to drain the lines. Takes about 10 pumps. We always drain our tanks when we're away from the boat
 

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We have an electric system pressure pump, but I got to thinking that there had to some better way to empty out all 38 gallons from my main tank after treating it with Clorox....
Takes a long time with the pressure pump, and I could not see putting any extra hours on that spendy pump setup. (I have replaced a couple of these over the years and it's quite a budget hit.

So.... I copied what another sailor in our yc has been doing for a long time. He has only a foot pump and was no-way gonna stomp on that thing for-ev-er ... to empty his tank for cleanup purposes.

Like him, I now, as of this spring, have a small centrifugal "bilge pump" with a 10 foot cord and plug for my 12 volt aux outlet. The output on the pump is about 8' of clear hose whose end can be clipped to the drain in our nearby galley sink.
It just Barely (!) can be manuevered to go in thru the 6" cleanout port and then I reach down in and hold it against the tank bottom. Pumps all the water out in a few short minutes. The last half inch comes out with a plastic "turkey baster".

I reach in and wipe down the interior with a rag with some bleach and water. Let 'er dry and fill up. Done this twice this year and this system works great.

Wish I had thought of this.... Years ago...
:cool:
 

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We have two water tanks that have 3 way valves on their bottoms where they pick up to the pump with one going to the bilge. We drain and clean the tanks and flush the bilge at the same time. We use vinegar to flush the tanks about 2-3 gallons each. As mentioned this takes care of the bilge clean up as well. The top of our tanks have a large access panels but the sole needs removing to get to the tanks which I do once a year, washing them out with a mild dishwashing soap and rinsing with fw. This gets rid of the pond scum that collects. Bleach is not a good thing to use as pumps and seals do not react well when exposed to chlorine even after rinsing with water.
 
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