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​How To Clean An RV Fresh Water Tank


There are few parts in your RV that deserve as much attention as your fresh water tank. That’s why it’s essential to know how to maintain it and to clean it when you need to. Below, you’ll find some helpful tips and rules of thumb on how to clean an RV fresh water tank.

Drain Your Water System First

Is everything off and at a reasonable temperature? Then you’re ready to get started. The first step is to drain the water systems if necessary. You might think that means simply opening the fresh water tank, but there’s a little more to it than that.

You’ll want to know the lowest point in your RV water system—also known as the low point water line drains. There are often two of these (warm and cold). You should be able to open them both and let the water drain out.

Once that’s done, you can find the drain for the fresh water tank and open that so that it also drains. If you think there’s more water to be drained, you can turn on the water pump, but don’t keep it running.

Cleaning Out Your Tank

With the appropriate water lines clear, you’re ready to move on to the next step: cleaning the fresh water tank itself.

  • Bleach levels. As a rule of thumb, most RV experts recommend using a quarter cup of household bleach to every 15 gallons your fresh water tank holds. If you don’t know the answer, don’t try to guess—look up exactly how many gallons the tank holds before moving on. You can then mix this bleach with water in a one-gallon container you use for cleaning purposes.
  • Pour in the mixture and water. Pour your mixture into the fresh water holding tank. Then fill the remainder of the tank with good, potable water.
  • Run the water. With the water pump on and faucets running (including both hot and cold), run the water. You should notice a bleach smell now coming from the faucets. You can shut off the pump and faucets. This means you’ve filled the entire system with your cleaning solution.
  • Let rest. You can now let it sit for a good 12 hours or so while the bleach mixture does its work.
  • Drain the entire system, then fill the fresh water tank with potable water. Open everything as before—including running the water pump and opening the faucets. Keep running with fresh water until the bleach smell goes away and you’re confident the system has been adequately flushed.
  • Inspect. After flushing, inspect the drains, water lines, and other areas to make sure that the system is in place for adequate water supplying.

Stock Up On RV Maintenance Products

We recommend products like Suds to keep your RV looking and smelling its best, but there are plenty of other RV cleaners here at RV by LIFE that can make maintaining your RV easier and much less of a chore.


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Life Industries Corporation
4060 Bridge View Drive
N. Charleston, SC 29405
United States of America

toll free: (800) 382-9706
local: (843) 566-1225
fax: (843) 566-1275


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