RV Fresh Water Systems

There are many important aspects of your RV fresh water system. They include your RV fresh water tank, the water pump, a water filter or filters, a possible water softener, drinking water and fresh water hoses and lastly fresh water chemicals used to treat and clean your fresh water tanks. Each piece plays a crucial role in making sure that compete RV experience is enjoyable and safe for you and your family.

Getting water into your RV

First of all, you will like the taste and smell of your water a lot more if you use a hose designed for drinking water, rather than just any green garden hose.

  • It's a good idea to have several lengths of hose, as you never know how far away that faucet will be. Carry a 10 foot, a 20 foot and a 50 foot fresh water hose and use whichever one or combination of several that reach the faucet the best.
  • NEVER NEVER NEVER use your fresh water hose for any other purpose! Don't use it to wash the car, or (God forbid!) to flush out your holding tanks! That hose needs to be treated carefully and kept as sanitary as possible. After all, you're DRINKING this water, right?
  • RV plumbing was designed to operate at pressures of 40 to 60 psi and most can tolerate pressures up to about 100 psi. Unfortunately, unregulated city water can have pressures as high as 150 psi or more. The best bet here is to always install a pressure regulator on the line coming to your city water connection. There are inexpensive pressure regulators that simply screw onto one end of your fresh water hose and they are cheap and effective insurance.

The way to sanitize your RV's Fresh Water Tank.

The generally accepted method of sanitizing your RV's fresh water system as outlined below involves filling the fresh water tank with a solution of household bleach and running the solution through each faucet. Then letting it stand for at least three hours. Finally, flush the system once or twice to remove the taste and smell.

This procedure is one you'll find in most any book about RV'ing. It’s tried and true but be sure to read on to find out what I do.

  • Start with a nearly full fresh water tank.
  • Turn the water heater off and let the water cool.
  • Dilute 1/4 cup of household bleach for each 15 gallons of tank capacity in to a gallon of water.
  • Add the chlorine/water solution to the water tank. (Never pour straight bleach into the RV fresh water tank.)
  • One faucet at a time, let the chlorinated water run through them for one or two minutes. You should be able to smell the chlorine. (Make sure you are using the water pump and not an external water supply.)
  • Top off the RV fresh water tank and let stand for at least three hours over night is better.
  • Completely drain the system by flushing the faucets for several minutes each. Open the fresh water tank drain valve to speed up emptying the tank. Open the hot water tank drain plug and drain until it is empty.
  • Close all valves and faucets and drain plugs.
  • Fill water tank with fresh water.
  • Flush each faucet for several minutes each repeating until the tank is again empty. (Make sure you are using the water pump and not an external water supply.)
  • Fill the tank again. The water should now be safe to drink but if the chlorine odor is too strong you can repeat the fresh water flush.

Your RV fresh water system should now be safe for use.

For more tips about RV maintenance and service, contact Mike at mikeb@rvglass.com

or call (800) 551-9149 ext. 2030