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  1. #1
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    Question Pumping out sanitizing bleach

    I'm about to embark on my first time sanitizing my freshwater tank and lines - and I think I'm clear on how to set the Nautilus P1 system in order to pump my bleach solution into the tank (Sanitize setting) and into the lines (Winterize setting) while making sure to bypass the hot water tank. I am also clear on how to fill the freshwater tank the rest of the way up (Powerfill setting) - but I'm a little fuzzy on what Nautilus setting to use when I want to drain/pump-out the bleach solution from the tank and lines. Do I simply use the Dry Camping setting and then use the water pump with all fixtures open? I know that will drain the tanks but I wasn't sure if that setting bypassed the hot water system so that I don't get any bleach solution into the water heater.....

    Also, is there any easy way to tell when the freshwater tank is full - aside from the electronic gage inside the unit? For example, is there an overflow valve or something similar to watch?

    Thanks for the help!

    Allen

  2. #2
    King Pin
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    If you're winterizing I'm not sure why you want to fill the freshwater tank. If I were going to drain the tanks I would use the outside drains rather than try to pump
    the water out using the pump.
    Howard and Peggy
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  3. #3
    Site Sponsor Gronk1's Avatar
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    Not knowing what model of GD you have, you still should have a fresh water tank dump valve, and low point hot/cold valves you can open. Open all fixtures when dumping fresh. To get rid of the bleach smell/taste you can use vinegar or over the counter products to put into the full fresh tank, let sit for a couple of hours, then flush the lines & fixtures. Do this again with fresh water.

    Oh yea, welcome to the forum.
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  4. #4
    Long Hauler geotex1's Avatar
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    I think responders so far are overlooking what I interpret you are asking. First, you are trying to sanitize right? Well you are correct you don't want bleach in the water heater. You bypass the water heater from the red valve handle on the Nautilus. You already know how to take in the solution and top off the tank. You then switch to dry camping except leave the red handle in bypass. Fill all plumbing lines till you smell the bleach at faucets, including toilet and also capped dead legs (washer connections or dishwasher connection). Let all sit. Dump your freshwater tank and connect your freshwater hose to a home or campground city water connection, switch Nautilus appropriately to city water but red valve still bypassed. Flush your plumbing free of the bleach solution while fresh tank empties. Once done flushing and tank empty, close drain valve, switch to powerfill tank, and empty. Fill again, switch over to dry camping, still red valve bypassed, and flush through faucets - this gets the solution in the pump suction line and head flushed out. Drain fresh tank, switch over to city water, take red valve out of bypass, fill watee heater, purge air from it and faucets, dump holding tanks and ready to go!
    Rob & Nikki + Cloverfield
    2020 Grand Design Solitude S-Class 3350RL
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  5. #5
    King Pin
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    I guess I didn't see the need to completely fill the freshwater tank for sanitizing. But I don't do it, so it's never come up before.
    Howard and Peggy
    2019 Momentum 351M, and 2018 RAM Cummins dually 6-speed.
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  6. #6
    Site Sponsor sande005's Avatar
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    The point of the bleach is to sanitize. If you don't sanitize it all, the remainder is a source for more bacteria/algae/mold etc. to re-infect the rest of the system. So yes, also sanitize the fresh water tank by filling it with bleach solution. And unless your heater manufacturer specifically says not to, do the heater too. That is the most common spot for bacteria that generate a sulfur smell to grow. A proper concentration is actually pretty low (see your manual for amounts). As noted, do the pump, outside sprayers, let some trickle out of the low points before recapping, etc. When done, drain everything completely, and the final flush will be very minimal to remove any remaining smell. You can dump it on the driveway/grass with no ill effects to either, if you don't have a sewer hook-up.
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  7. #7
    Seasoned Camper
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    There are lots of good sources of this info including your manual and on the web.

    Here is an example: https://www.sanidumps.com/sanitizerv...atersystem.php

    We drink the water from our system so we fill the fresh water tank AND hot water tank with the bleach solution.

    After the sanitizing is complete I bunji the dump hose opening in place under (not touching) the FW drain and let it drain into the sewer. Then refill with fresh water and pump throughout the coach’s fixtures until the bleach smell is gone.

    Also, I have noticed “household bleach” products are not all the same. Chlorox has 7.5% calcium hypochlorite and off brands for laundry are only 5.7%. Took me a while to figure this out when I could not smell bleach as readily coming out of the tap.

  8. #8
    Long Hauler geotex1's Avatar
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    Recognize I left out the water heater on purpose. Our new member didn't share his camper specifics, and some of the heaters going in new builds aren't compatible with doing a bleach sterilization. My advise was given to keep him going from where he seems to be without causing heartburn If it's a new rig he likely doesn't have a colony of sulfate-reducing bacteria, and heating of the water heater is enough to kill the run of the mill bacteria.
    Rob & Nikki + Cloverfield
    2020 Grand Design Solitude S-Class 3350RL
    2015 RAM 3500 Longhorn Laramie Crew Cab, Long Bed, 4x4 Dually Cummins/AISIN

    Mountains of Pennsylvania

  9. #9
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    Interesting, Never heard of not running bleach through the Hot water heater before. Which models are you not supposed to do it?

    I would pour the amount of bleach required for the size of the fresh water tank into the hose prior to hooking it to the water source and then fill the tank. Use the pump to run the lines until I smell bleach both hot and cold (with the hot water heater off). Let it sit overnight if possible, drain the tank, refill and flush the lines.
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  10. #10
    Long Hauler geotex1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKellerJr View Post
    Interesting, Never heard of not running bleach through the Hot water heater before. Which models are you not supposed to do it?

    I would pour the amount of bleach required for the size of the fresh water tank into the hose prior to hooking it to the water source and then fill the tank. Use the pump to run the lines until I smell bleach both hot and cold (with the hot water heater off). Let it sit overnight if possible, drain the tank, refill and flush the lines.
    Cannot run it in tankless that use copper tube.
    Last edited by geotex1; 09-09-2021 at 06:38 PM.
    Rob & Nikki + Cloverfield
    2020 Grand Design Solitude S-Class 3350RL
    2015 RAM 3500 Longhorn Laramie Crew Cab, Long Bed, 4x4 Dually Cummins/AISIN

    Mountains of Pennsylvania

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