View Full Version : Water tanks?
12-12-2008, 02:30 PM
I bought a boat with water tanks, that's new on me. How often should they be cleaned? or flushed? The boat has lived it's life in Florida, so it never was winterized. Any good or bad experience with water tanks? Additives? Will a filter keep it safe?
12-12-2008, 02:54 PM
I had a Catalina 25 with a translucent plastic tank. I installed a screw in deck plate in the top so I could scrub it. I filled it in the spring with tap water. In December I emptied it out. I then unscrewed the deck plate and completely dried it out. It stayed clean without the use of any additives. I had to replace the feed hoses because they would get mold.
On my current boat the tanks are metal and completely dark inside so it would seem that nothing can grow. I always filled these with tap water. I use this water to wash dishes and so forth. I boil it for tea. The water has always been clean and has never looked discolored or caused any ill effects. During the winter I drain the tank by running the pump faucets until they don't flow anymore. I have never flushed these.
12-12-2008, 03:04 PM
Check this out. http://www.searoom.com/fresh_water.htm
12-12-2008, 04:17 PM
Tanks and lines are both metal. That is better I guess.
12-12-2008, 04:34 PM
Granuaile had huge tanks and even with a daily shower it could take me over a year to get through. Slime can definatly grow in the dark, and did in those black iron tanks. And I hate the smell and taste of chlorine. So to keep the water fresh I took to putting in some cheap gin. About 1:500 left a fresh taste without it being ginny and was enough to keep the water sweet. Problem solved.
12-12-2008, 04:46 PM
Seriously Ian? Gin works? I guess I could give up a drop or two of my Saphire. (How many olives do you put in?) I sure like that idea better than Clorox.
Wait. 80 gallons is going to take 20 ounces of gin. Guess it won't be Saphire.
12-12-2008, 04:53 PM
It worked for me. Not tropical water - Cape Cod and north. I'd not waste bombey'sbest. Cheap gin for this job. No olives.
I chose gin over vodka because I could tell by taste if I was adding too much. And unlike other ardent spirits, the subconscious taste of superdiluted gin harmonizes with the water. Whiskeys are better neat anyway.
12-12-2008, 04:59 PM
My 31 foot Searunner had water tanks made from plywood, epoxied together and taped seams, then heated with heat lamps and painted inside with melted beeswax......then scraped clean, reheated and the cover sealed down with wax....sweet tasting water....every couple of years I ran filtered water and clorox through it, and also changed the plastic hoses....the hoses seemed to be the problem, not the tanks...everything was still good when I sold the boat a few years later.
12-12-2008, 05:21 PM
My tanks are also plywood with epoxy. I didn't do the wax thing, but so far the water tastes great. There is absolutely no taste from the epoxy. I guess I'll save the gin for soaking the olives.
12-12-2008, 06:20 PM
Food grade Hydrogen Peroxide can be used instead of Chlorine to control bacteria, etc. I believe that it is used in some European cities water systems, including Paris. It is considered to be as effective as Chlorine and much safer.
12-13-2008, 12:07 AM
It'd be interesting to install an UV light inside one of the tanks. Another great and overlooked disinfectant is grapefruit seed extract. Like 5 drops per gallon works well. With the gin, you'd have a very very weak Salty Dog every time you took a sip.
As a former professional brewer, I gotta say that ozone is the best cleaner, if you can get access to it. I have a small ozone generator that I use for disinfecting greifs and fermenters. My water tanks are old 50 lit beer kegs (stainless) and they stay sweet. I use European sankey fittings on the kegs, and I push the water with 3 psi carbon dioxide. I had the bits and pieces, and old habits die hard...
Not to mention that I can have beer flowing from the water tap if I so desire...
although the coast guard laddies look down on that..! If no ozone, then maybe try Diversol (available in homebrew shops) followed by a rinse of 0.2% Iodophor. Not as easy as ozone, but works just as well!
12-13-2008, 01:38 AM
Pressurized CO2 beer keg water tanks - now thatís a novel idea! I like it! :)
12-13-2008, 07:11 AM
I thought of water test kits, and found them online. I think I'll test it first, then replace the water if it seems prudent, and add a filter if necessary. Thanks for the input.
12-13-2008, 07:45 AM
The problem with ozone is production and contact time. I used to build large Ozone generators for water reuse and gray water systems and the most effective way is using it with a wash tower. Never mind the fact that concentrations are dangerous. I like stainless tanks and Pex pipe with Welded polyethylene next in that order. Chlorine if its all I have but Hydrogen peroxide if I can get it. If you have access to a restaurant with a low temp dishwasher you can get a gallon of commercial Iodine (Iodet) sanitizer. That's good stuff in low concentrations also.
UV is great but it will destroy lots of materiel's. If you know the rate of flow and its slow enough aquarium pass through UV will work if installed inline but you will need to add a 5 micron filter downstream.
Basically I winterize by draining and blowing compressed air through the system and leaving it open to atmosphere all winter. After I make three gallons of sanitizer in the pressure sprayer. I blast the tank and then pump it through. Then a couple of rinses then fill with tapwater from a good public system or if not I treat the first batch with some chlorine tabs for water purification they sell in most camping outfits. I only use it for dishes and wash and bring drinking water separate but if in need the stuff is safe.
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