How to Clean Rv Water Lines Out

By: Kevin Masterson

If it will be awhile until you use your Weekend Warrior Toy Hauler again, or your water is starting to taste musty, it is time to drain the water lines, and possibly sterilize the system. Draining the water is a simple job. Here's how to go about it:

The first step is to drain the water heater. Go to the outside compartment where the water heater is located. Make sure all power to the water heater is OFF! The drain plug, or petcock, is normally located in the bottom left hand corner. Remove the plug, then open the pressure relief valve on top of the water heater to assist draining. Depending on the size of the water heater this can take a few minutes, so you can have a drink, or do some other tasks while the water runs out.

Once the water heater is completely drained, locate the low point water line drains. This is usually the hardest job because manufacturers often put these in the oddest places. There will be two, one each for the hot and cold waters lines and are always located at the lowest point in the water system. With luck, the manufacturer's preventative maintenance book has a good illustration showing where they are. Alas, this isn't often the case, so be prepared to do some hunting the first time. Once found, open these and let the water drain out. It is usually a good idea to open the taps at the sink to allow the water to thoroughly drain.

Finally, open the drain for the fresh water holding tank and drain all of the water from it. Run the water pump on for a moment to force any remaining water out. Do not let the pump continue to run dry once the water stops draining or you can burn out the motor. Draining is done! You can close all the drains. If it has been a long time since you used the RV again, it is a good idea to sanitize the system. This is also something you can do if the water has been tasting or smelling bad.

Make sure all the water is out of the system, then close all the valves, then make a mixture of a cup of bleach for each 15 gallons of water of the capacity of your holding tank (ie a 30-gallon tank will need 2 cups of bleach), Pour the solution into the fresh water tank. Then fill the fresh water tank completely full of water. Turn the water pump on, open all hot and cold faucets and run the water until you smell the bleach at each faucet. Then close the faucets and turn off the water pump. Let the system sit for at least twelve hours but no more than eighteen.

Drain the entire system and re-fill the fresh water tank with clean water. Open all of the faucets and run the water until you no longer smell any bleach. Once this is done it is safe to use your RV's water system.

In all, it takes around 45 minutes of real work spread out over about 24 hours. An easy job for a weekend warrior toy hauler!

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