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Thread: Sanitizing Question

  1. Print this Post   #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    CAN - BC

    Sanitizing Question

    We purchased our 2009 2900mk early this year and this will be the first chance we get to do a trial run. (trying to make a list of all the issues I've read in the forum on what to look for i.e microwave issues, shower and other leaks, etc)

    My first real issue ( so we can use our unit immediately) is this:

    What is the correct procedure to use to remove winterization and to sanitize the system. I've read bits and pieces but have not come across a step by step procedure.

    Someone said put bleach solution in the fresh water holding tank, but how to you get the solution into the tank ? By using the antifreeze hose near the hot water tank bypass valves and pumping it in ?, or do you just pour the solution in somehow at the city water inlet outside the unit near tank control valve center ??

    Other issues (when done trial run I need to winterize it again):

    I also understand that antifreeze can damage the hot water tank. Is that true, and can the bleach damage the hot water tank as well?

    If antifreeze can damage the hot water tank. how do you winterize the tank ? Just leave it empty ?

    thanks for the help.

  2. Print this Post   #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    USA - TX

    Here is a pretty good description of how to sanitize you fresh water system.

    When I did it, I just poured it in to the fresh water fill opening. I think in some units it could be done with the pump, but not on my BH.

    I can't believe that RV antifreeze could hurt your water heater. I wouldn't turn on the water heater with it in there, I suppose it could burn on to the element, but I doubt it. I have not seen any obvious damage to my units with the antifreeze.

    The amount of bleach put in, if you follow the directions above, could not hurt your system; probably wouldn't hurt you, but it would taste awful.

    I usually run with my water tank empty, but if I know I will be using it, I go through this routine the week before I will need it.
    States Camped In
    Bob & Sue
    '09 3055RL #11961
    '06 F-250 super duty, crew cab
    HOC #1072
    Alvin, TX

  3. Print this Post   #3


    First thing I'd do to de-Winterize your fresh water system would be to hook up a fresh water supply to the Rv and begin to run water through the lines, flowing water through both sink valves and the toilet flush valve. All the while letting the water to drain into the gray and black tanks.

    I would do this "BEFORE" I switched the valves for the Hot Water Tank by-pass... meaning... the hot water tank should not fill up with the fresh water yet... this will prevent any of the RV anti freeze solution from getting into the tank.

    To get a bleach solution into the fresh water holding tank is not all that difficult. Here's one way:

    It helps to have a short length of hose, say maybe 20 inches attached to the end of your RV Water hose. This short length of hose should only have one end on it because often the large diameter of a hose end does not slip into the Fresh water fill port. Once the short length of hose is attached & inside the fresh water fill port... On the other end of the RV Water hose... using a funnel.... pour the bleach into the empty hose... then remove the hose and attach the hose to a fresh water faucet... turn on the water and fill the RV fresh water holding tank... the water will dilute the strong bleach as it fills the fresh wate tank.

    Once you have the desired amount of water in your fresh water tank... Then repeat flowing water through each water faucet and the toilet valve inside your RV.... you should note the stronger scent of the bleach in the water as it's flowing from each faucet. Now you know your complete water system is full with a strong that will disinfect your water system.

    I never allow RV antifreeze to flow into the Hot Water tank. The tank should be drained for winter storage and the drain plug should be left out of the tank... to be sure it's well drained of any water. The Hot water By-Pass valved shoud be switched so no water flows into the tank before you winterize your RV with Antifreeze.

    I also do not use any RV Antifreeze solution in the Fresh Water holding tank. I drain that tank as well... attempting to get all the water out of the tank.

    By using the on board water pump to flow the anti freeze in your system... the pump will be protected... and all water lines... by having the Hot Water By-Pass valves switched... the Antifreeze Soulution will flow through the hot water lines as well.

    If you have an Ice Maker in your Refriderator... be sure to drain the line going to that system as well... but again.... I'd not flow anti freeze solution in those lines... as it probably will give you an unpleasant taste to the Ice next time it's used.

    Bleach does not hurt the RV's water system... remember bleach is chlorine... and Cuty water is treated with Chlorine as well... As for Anti Freeze doing damage to the Hot water tank... I'd question if that's true... but I'm not sure... the Antifreeze product designed for RV's is a sugar based product.

    I hope this helps...

    Marv & Karen Osborne
    09 Chevy 3500-HD - Duramax & Allison
    Escapees # 82038 - Passport America

  4. Print this Post   #4
    Past Michigan Chapter Leader
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    USA - MI

    When winterizing again, don't forget the outside shower ports.

    I also use an air compressor to blow out most of the water first. Then I use about three gallons of the pink stuff. Don't forget some for the drains' p-traps.

    I have never blown out the washer/dryer lines that are there as I don't use them, but I've not had any trouble. Maybe there is air in the lines that stays there until the w/d faucet is opened.
    Chuck (& Saundra) Batcke
    Retired Heartland Owners Club #1046
    Midland MI
    2014 Ram 3500 Megacab 6.7 CTD
    2006 Big Horn 3655 RD serial #6E459794

  5. Print this Post   #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    CAN - BC

    Excellent information - thanks for all the help - I really appreciate it.

    On the waterheater anti-freeze issue, although I believe the waterheater is an atwood (will check when I take the unit out of storage on Friday) the suburban waterheater site had this info on their website:

    Question 9
    Are there any tips for winterizing my water heater?
    If your water heater plumbing system is equipped with a bypass kit, use it to close off the water heater. Drain the water heater completely and leave it closed off (out of the system) in the bypass position, particularly if you are introducing antifreeze into the plumbing system. Antifreeze can be very corrosive to the anode rod. The result will be accelerated deterioration of the rod and heavy sediment in the tank. If the plumbing system is not equipped with a bypass kit and you intend to winterize by adding antifreeze into the system, remove the anode rod (storing it for the winter) and replace it with a 3/4" drain plug.

    Not sure if the atwood has an anode rod but I believe all tanks have them.

    Anyways, just wanted to pass that info on.

    Again, thanks for the help

  6. Print this Post   #6
    Senior Member Jimmyt5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    USA - VA

    My last RV had an Atwood,no anode,from there sight..Aluminum clad tankóLess weight and the cladding eliminates the need for an anode rod.
    It also had a heater element that was ok if run dry, I guess like on your stove....Jim
    Jim and Ruby
    U S Navy RET
    2007 Dodge 3500 Cummins, Auto 6 Spd.
    Big Horn Edition, Jake Brake
    Hensley Tru-Brake Controller
    2008 Bighorn 3055RL # 9748

  7. Print this Post   #7
    Senior Member Uncle Rog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    USA - CA

    I have never had winterize, but I do bleach the FW tank a couple of times a year, to me the water still tastes a little funny. We use 5 gal jugs with a pressure pump for drinking water. They are also handy for washing dishes out side when dry camping so as not to use the tank supply or fill the tanks............
    I buy the pumps from the water co accross town, $20...........
    Suzin & Roger
    2006 BH 3600RL #2825 w/options
    2005 GMC 2500HD Duramax w/ Allison

  8. Print this Post   #8


    IF you have a Hot Water Tank with an Anode Rod... plan on changing that Rod at least yearly.

    You'll be able to inspect the Rod when you open the drain. The Rod is attached to the drain plug... If you discover the rod nearly gone... I'd then recomend you inspect the rod twice a year... They cost around $10.00 US... and well worth the cost... compared to replacing a Hot Water Tank.


  9. Print this Post   #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    USA - NV


    where do you find the anode replacement rods? I looked at Suburban but didn't see them there.


    Steve & Donna, Sparks NV
    HOC #1088
    2009 Bighorn 3055
    2008 F350 DRW 4x4

  10. Print this Post   #10
    Member Retyred's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    CAN - ON

    Anode Rod

    I found the anode rods at Camping World. You have to go to the parts counter and ask for them. I think it was around $12.


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