By Tony Barthel
Using bleach to sanitize a fresh water tank in an RV is something that has become customary for many. But the process of bleaching a fresh water tank has consequences, such as unusually white shoes and clothes. It’s not as easy to sanitize a fresh water tank when you’re worrying about getting bleach all over you or your RV. Here’s where the RV Inline Sanitizer comes in handy.
Recently Tom Hoepfner reached out to us to give his device a try and I have to admit my first thought was this was definitely a first-world problem solver. But after using it, I realized he had really saved me a lot of time. And, with fewer bleached articles of clothing, potentially a lot of money as well.
Essentially the RV Inline Sanitizer is the simplest of solutions. It’s essentially a reservoir in which you put bleach and then use a source hose and a delivery hose to fill your fresh water tank. The sanitizer effectively adds the bleach as you fill the tank. It truly is that simple.
The recommendation is to use the sanitizer before you head out on a trip so that the bleach can slosh around in the tank while you navigate the highways and byways of this majestic land. Then, once at your destination, flush the tank with fresh water until all evidence of bleach is gone.
The mixture recommended is 8 ounces of household bleach for every 40 gallons of fresh water. There are some who might argue that household bleach is not really meant as a food-grade product, but when I owned a bed and breakfast, bleach was a part of everyday use in the kitchen, since we used it to sanitize sinks and prep tables. It’s just what we use ‘round here.
Anyway, once your fresh tank is full of the bleach/water solution the recommendation is to disconnect from city water, turn on your water pump and run each faucet in the RV until you smell the bleach. Then do the slosh and drive.
Once you arrive at your destination flush out the system with fresh water until you no longer smell the bleach. Simple. And the RV Inline Sanitizer really does simplify the process – it’s a much more useful gadget than I had anticipated, honestly.
Surprisingly, I do know someone who got pretty sick from the water in their RV and it turns out they never sanitized the tanks in the five years they owned it. For those who don’t drink the water in their RV, remember that your skin is the largest organ on the human body and you likely do use that water to take a shower and even brush your teeth.
It is recommended by many manufacturers to sanitize the tank twice a year.
So is the RV Inline Sanitizer worth the money? That’s your decision, but I have to admit that having it has made me more likely to sanitize the tank in my own RV. It’s a simple solution that makes something we all should be doing a little easier and that’s what RVing is all about, really.