Bi-Carb Treatment

Submitted: Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 18:13
ThreadID: 54233 Views:1968 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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Gunna give the van tank a flush tommorow to get rid of the plastic taste. Its a 60L tank - just wondering how much bi-carb is needed? Anyone who has done this advise me please. And how to get it in ?? Dilute into a bucket then pour down a funnel ?? Of course the funnel is plastic. Does that defeat the purpose ??

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Reply By: Max - Sydney - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 18:33

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 18:33

Doubtless someone has a more precise answer, but in our CT we just put a handful of bicarb into a jug of water, stirred it up and used a funnel to tip it all into the tank. We then filled the tank from a hose and waited a few days, then drained it and flushed the tank thoroughly (ie watered the lawn if you are in a water restriction area!) and refilled it.

Seemed to work for us - the back up was always to go to Camec and buy some tablets. We never had to do that. Our van is now 3 + years old and by draining the tank between trips have not had a problem so far.

Good luck
AnswerID: 285584

Reply By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 19:02

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 19:02
Bicarb is relatively cheap....i would place a good cup or more (more than likely the whole packet) into the tank for a major treatment as such. Dilute is the way to go, as it will be diluted in any case as it hits the water in the tank. :-)

BTW bicarb doesn't necessarily get rid of all "plastic tastes". Chuck the stuff in, and go for a good rough drive to let the bicarb scrub the walls of the tank.

There are much better and more effective, albeit more expensive, products out there on the market....a well recommended product is Tank Cleen. Try the Bicarb solution and if it doesn't work, get a good product.

Search this site for heaps of previous information on plastic tastes and solutions.


AnswerID: 285595

Reply By: ben_gv3 - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 19:11

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 19:11
What about with Stainless Steel tanks? Can bi-carb be used for these also? Otherwise there's the cleaning solutions from boat places etc.
AnswerID: 285599

Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 20:22

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 20:22
I got my kids to poor the whole box in (60L tank), sat there tiping a bit in and poking it down with a stick.
Worked for me.

FollowupID: 550618

Follow Up By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Tuesday, Feb 05, 2008 at 00:39

Tuesday, Feb 05, 2008 at 00:39
I used CLR in my stainless steel tank.

Cheers Steve.
FollowupID: 550696

Reply By: Notso - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 21:22

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 21:22
Make sure that you only use food grade hose to fill it also. Garden hose will add a taste to your water and contaminate the tank with the smell.
AnswerID: 285647

Reply By: itsdave - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 22:20

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 22:20
I've tried all of the above plus home brew sterilizing solution and still get the taste. Now concidering replacing the tank.

Cheers Dave
AnswerID: 285669

Reply By: Member - Ed. C. (QLD) - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 23:00

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 23:00
Before first use, and prior to any "major excursion" (if the camper hasn't been used for a while), I mix a coupla handfuls of bi-carb w/- approx ½ a litre of white vinegar in a jug, pour it in (thru a funnel), & top up w/- water (70L tank x2).. I "pressure fill" from the bottom so the mixture gets a good stir, then leave overnight (or a day or so) before draining & flushing...

We have never detected any taste or odours from the water or tanks.. indeed, even after sitting idle for a few months (tanks empty), I can stick my ol' snifter right into the filler neck(s) and there is no discernable odour at all... Works for me:)) .. YMMV

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AnswerID: 285684

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 05, 2008 at 00:34

Tuesday, Feb 05, 2008 at 00:34

Have just flushed mine after discovering the bloody dog had chewed the connector and the tank was "bone" dry. I figured I needed something that would sterilise the tank and hoses.

I ended up using milton's baby bottle wash, about $6.00 per litre.
Calculated use of around 800ml for the 60 litre tank and added it to a bucket of water, then poured slowly into the filler spout with the aid of a plastic funnel.

Ended up leaving it for a couple of days (because I got distracted) then drained it, refilled the tank and drained it again.

With the first flush you could detect a faint smell of chlorine (basically what the product is) but I could not detect any smell with the second flush and the water out of the hand pump tasted fine.

I noticed a packet of "Tank Clean" just after the act at my local camping store, but the cost was around $18, so it's not cheap.

I think chlorine as used for swimming pools would also work, but the question is, how much do you use?

At least the Milton's had clear instructions on the amount of concentrate to use per litre of water, so the calculation was not difficult.

Miltons Baby bottle wash is available in any supermarket and worked for me.


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AnswerID: 285698

Reply By: deserter - Tuesday, Feb 05, 2008 at 09:24

Tuesday, Feb 05, 2008 at 09:24
Thanks all for that. Haven't used the van much so this is a learning experience. Surprisingly - its a metal tank. And yes - I filled it with a food grade white hose. Dunno where the smell comes from so this next exercise will be interesting.
AnswerID: 285726

Follow Up By: DIO - Tuesday, Feb 05, 2008 at 10:49

Tuesday, Feb 05, 2008 at 10:49
I reckon it pays to completely dissolve the Bi-Carb BEFORE pouring the liquid into the tank. Left undissolved it may deposit in tank - likely to cause blockages in the lines or pump. However I guess that if you were going to drive around with van for a couple of hundred k's it should dissolve adequately.
FollowupID: 550734

Follow Up By: deserter - Tuesday, Feb 05, 2008 at 12:28

Tuesday, Feb 05, 2008 at 12:28
Yes - I was discussing same with SWMBO. I am now off to the shop for some Miltons. We will try that first.
FollowupID: 550747

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