RV spring maintenance, part 2 — ‘Sanitize your rig’s water system’


After checking your RV’s batteries, says Mark Polk of RVEducation101.com, the next step in moving your RV from hibernation into camping mode is to flush the water system of antifreeze.

markpolkH20RV Water System: If your plumbing system was winterized with non-toxic RV antifreeze, then the first thing you need to do is “hook a drinking water hose up to the city water inlet on your RV and run fresh water through the entire system until all traces of the antifreeze are removed,” said Polk.

“This is a good time to check the plumbing system for leaks. With water in the fresh water holding tank, turn the 12-volt water pump on and pressurize the water system until the pump shuts off,” said Polk. “If the water pump cycles back on, even for a short period of time, there could be a leak somewhere in the system. Locate the leak and repair it.”

Next, sanitize the water system so it is safe and ready to use. This involves filling your tank with a diluted household bleach solution (a quarter-cup of bleach mixed with water in a one-gallon container for every 15 gallons your fresh water tank holds) and flushing it back out.

“Make sure all of the drains are closed and drain plugs are installed,” added Polk. “Fill the fresh water holding tank completely full of water. Turn the water pump on and run water through all hot and cold faucets until you smell the bleach. Close the faucets and let it sit for 12 hours. Drain all of the water and re-fill the tank with potable water. Turn the water pump on and open all faucets, running water until you no longer smell any bleach. It may be necessary to repeat this process to eliminate all signs of bleach.”

When the water system is completely flushed out, you can replace any water filter cartridges you removed for storage. Be certain the water heater tank is full before turning it on, otherwise the heating element will burn out.

View Polk’s simple video demonstrating how to sanitize your RV water system:

In part 3 of this 4-part series (to be posted on Tuesday) we will take a look at checking your RV’s exterior and seams, tires, engine and generator.

If you missed part 1 on RV batteries, click here.

Julianne G. Crane

Photo: Mark Polk flushes and sanitizes his motor homes’ water system. (RVEducation101.com)

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