getting rid of water tank taste

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 10:55
ThreadID: 55663 Views:11020 Replies:19 FollowUps:14
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hi, we have a bad plastic/yuck taste in our water tank, we have tried Milton's baby steriliser, then propper tank cleaner, then a mixture of bicarb and vanilla essence and the taste is still there (if you imagine really hard it is a bit better) but still undrinkable. we think the problem started because when we bought our van secondhand 15 months ago we didn't know that there was about 20 litres of water left in the tank, we hadn't used the tank water at all in this time. we foundout the water was in there when putting all new drinking quality hose throughout the van and putting a drain in the tank for future uses.
does anyone know of anything else worth a try or should we just call it quits and buy a new tank? also i noticed that some new vans come out with a metal tank, do you think this would be worth a try as then this problem wouldn't raise it's head again?
thanks from Chris.
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Reply By: Willem - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 11:02

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 11:02
Chris

The trouble with plastic is that once an odour or chemical reaction has set in to the plastic it is very hard to get rid of. You will be up for a new tank.

A metal tank might cost you an arm and a leg but thats up to you.

Cheers
AnswerID: 293309

Reply By: DIO - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 11:33

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 11:33
You could try Bi-Carb of Soda (couple of tablesppoons or so) into tank with some water, mix/agitate well leave for a few days, empty rinse, tatse/smell, repeat if necessary. You could also try some Vanilla Essence - perhaps a small bottle (50-100ml), fill tank (repeat as before) and so on. It could prove to be a lengthy process but they can be 're-freshed'. Some people store vans with water in tnak, I always prefer to leave them empty and dry - with ventilaion. Seems to work for me. Metal tanks can also present a problem if left with water in them that goes stale/grows algae etc.
AnswerID: 293314

Follow Up By: gonebush SA - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 11:40

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 11:40
hi, yes we tried bi carb (about 350 grams) and about 180 mls of vanilla ess. left in there for nearly 2 days. didn't really do much though, we have had success in the past (other vans) with this mixture, but i think this one is getting to be a lost cause.
thanks anyway Chris.
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FollowupID: 558952

Reply By: Kiwi & "Mahindra" - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 11:49

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 11:49
Im wanting to clean out the water tank on the CT so just waiting to see the answers you get....I havent tasted the water out of it but want to give it a clean anyway, just to make sure!!!
AnswerID: 293317

Follow Up By: Kev & Darkie - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 12:23

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 12:23
Kiwi

Just fill it with a good Red and it should taste alright for years to come ;))
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FollowupID: 558960

Follow Up By: Kiwi & "Mahindra" - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 12:36

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 12:36
I told you no more red, it brings me undone....I would be filling it wth rum, but then again, you would become my best friend wouldnt ya...wanna travel with me everywhere!!! Then everyone knows we wouldnt be able to move!!!LOL!!!

When your at training tonight and Im conducting just think how much better we would be at home with a rum!!LOL!!!!
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FollowupID: 558964

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 11:52

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 11:52
I think the manufacturers should mold the tanks in opaque natural polyethylene and dont colour them black. You would then be able to see dirt and/or mould through the tank to some degree as long as the bottom of the tank was not too stone damaged. Maybe adding carbon black to colour the plastic adds to the taste problem.. High density polyethlene itself should not leave a smell or taste in the water.. Michael
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AnswerID: 293319

Reply By: Member - Tim - Stratford (VIC) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 11:54

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 11:54
G'day Chris,

We had a few dramas with our stainless water tank on our Kimberley Kamper when new. We tried the vanillla essence, then leamon (for a change) and the bicarb. None really got rid of the taste. i think it may have been a residue from the stainless or the machining process. We ended up using 'tank cleen' a commercial product available at caravan stores for about $15.

This made a large difference. I always use the blue food grade hose for filling but have cut the hose in half and fitted a large 'undersink' water filter using snap connectors. This filters the chemicals out of tap water and we haven't had a bad taste since.


Tim
AnswerID: 293320

Follow Up By: Member - Tim - Stratford (VIC) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 11:55

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 11:55
"....leamon...." this is a flash version of lemon!!!

Ooops :-)
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FollowupID: 558954

Reply By: regt1008 - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 12:17

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 12:17
Many years ago we I worked up north on mining sites in WA. We had water bags the old type you hung on the front of the car or in a tree( no ice machines and air-conditioned cabs on our Dozers but that is another story )
When you got a new water bag the water tasted terrible so what we did was add half a bottle of sherry and fill the bag with water and hang for 3 or 4 days. Then refill with water and the rotten taste was gone.
I did this with a new boat I brought last year. The plastic tank had a fibreglass taste to it. So I flushed it out out added a full bottle of sherry in filled it with fresh water and left it for a week.
Then flushed it out filled it with clean water and it worked fine.
Best of Luck
Reg
AnswerID: 293326

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 12:49

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 12:49
Chris,
What brand drinking water hose? I bought the Pope brand (very smooth light blue drinking water hose) once, and it was worse for plastic taste than garden hose. I changed the the braided, stiff light blue hose and things were fine.
AnswerID: 293328

Follow Up By: gonebush SA - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 16:51

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 16:51
hi, yes that's the hose we just replaced everything thing with, the blue pope brand. i'm going to be pretty peed off if it's the hose after all.
we will look into that more then, thanks chris.
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FollowupID: 559012

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 17:29

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 17:29
Chris,
I was pretty peed too at the time too. I'd fitted an undertray Goughs water tank, and had the plastic taste - narrowed it down to the supplied hoses. Replaced them with that Pope blue hose and the taste was worse. So ended up replacing every hose - filler and breather included with the braided lighter blue stiff hose, and zero taste after that. Been fine for over 2 years now.

Might be worth doing a taste test - first glass of water after its been sitting, then run out a few litres and try it again.

Cheers
Phil
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FollowupID: 559022

Follow Up By: gonebush SA - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 10:14

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 10:14
hi, do you remember what brand hose you replaced it with because we have now tested everything and it is the hose after all. i am now going to contact pope and see what they have to say about this, we are 'not happy jan', well i suppose that new hose is cheaper than a new tank. chris
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FollowupID: 559192

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 11:55

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 11:55
Nylex brand is what I use, and I got it at either Bunings or Mitre 10. If it looks identical to this it should be fine.
Image Could Not Be Found

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FollowupID: 559203

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 12:02

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 12:02
Just to add - I use the same Nylex hose to fill my tank from the tap, and I also run it through an activated charcoal filter (same as undersink filter) before it gets to the tank. So if you buy a 10 meter roll, you can use the leftover as a filler hose.
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FollowupID: 559206

Follow Up By: gonebush SA - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 21:25

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 21:25
thanks for the photo Phil, we ended up buying a hose that looks the same as yours but our hose is put out by Neta, i would go as far as to say it's made at the same place as yours, i am so greatful that you mentioned the hose trouble as we would of never thought that to be what's wrong, we were just about to buy a new tank, could you imagain how peed off we would have been to buy a new tank and still have foul water!!.
once again thanks from chris.
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FollowupID: 559368

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 21:53

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 21:53
Chris,
Happy its fixed. Yep, the Neta brand is the same as Nylex.
I don't think Pope have ever tested their hose.

Cheers
phil
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FollowupID: 559383

Reply By: inspired - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 13:10

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 13:10
An activated charcoal filter will get rid of the bad taste. After years of putting up with malodorous water from plastic tanks and bladders, we installed one, with silver-impregnated carbon for sterility, and the water is a pleasure to drink.
AnswerID: 293330

Reply By: Member - Vince B (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 13:52

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 13:52
Hi Chris.
Had a similiar problem with my tank.
I purchased an inline taste & odor removal cartridge(charcoal filled?) & plug it in every time I fill the tank.
The plastic taste has gone.
Vince
AnswerID: 293333

Reply By: AdlelaideGeorge - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 14:39

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 14:39
I got soooooooo sick of avery strong fibreglass taste and smell in a brand new $60k boat that I put about 1/2 cupfull of CLR through it-the stuff you use to descale kettles etc. I immediately flushed it through with fresh water and then used some chlrorine to remove any trace of the CLR-I kept flushing it through with fresh water all the time and for some 1/2 hour afterwards. Eventually I ended up with pretty much untainted, drinkable water.

Happy days

Geo
AnswerID: 293340

Reply By: Time - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 15:02

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 15:02
Mother's old method was to use diluted white vinegar to soak overnight, the stronger the taste the stronger the mixture. Rinse/flush with clean water, repeat if necessary.

Works well on those plastic gerry cans we use for storing drinking water.
AnswerID: 293350

Reply By: Rut Tearer - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 16:01

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 16:01
There are various water tank treaters available to the marine industry via Whitworths, I have stainless tanks in my boat and I just flush them regularly, having said that we don't use our onboard water for drinking , it's used for washing, shower and toilet. We also use it for boiling the water for coffee etc and it's fine. I would think a carbon water filter is the way to go if you really want to drink it, carbon filters remove all odours and smells. You will chase your tail forever on the tanks themselves so let it go and go with a carbon water filter.
AnswerID: 293361

Reply By: Stef & Sal - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 16:58

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 16:58
Did you use real vanilla essence or imitation? The real stuff is quite expensive but the only way to go.
AnswerID: 293372

Follow Up By: gonebush SA - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 18:07

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 18:07
i must admit i kept the real stuff in the panrty and used the imitation ess. i didn't think it would make that much difference. i have in the past when we have made up this mixture used the imitation stuff then and that worked.
thanks chris
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FollowupID: 559032

Reply By: gonebush SA - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 17:01

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 17:01
hi, we have 2 filters- 1 paper to remove bigger stuff and the other is micro carbon, these filters are set up that all water that enters the van -tank or tap go through them, and still we have the taste.
thanks for all the thoughts so far though, I'm still mulling over the sherry idea, can't see how it would work though, but the older remedies are sometimes the best, don't suppose a bottle of sherry is that dear to buy if it doesn't work.
Chris
AnswerID: 293373

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 18:25

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 18:25
Try some Tank Cleaner from Camec, follow the instructions. It worked for us after leaving water in tank unintenitonally for 6 months. Tasted like the bottom of a bird bath but Ok after cleaning.
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FollowupID: 559037

Reply By: gonebush SA - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 18:54

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 18:54
hi, yes we have tried tank cleaner.
keep an eye on this site as tomorrow we are going to move our water filters to after the tank instead of before it and i'll let you know if that works (heres hoping, i'm keeping everything crossed)
Chris.
AnswerID: 293395

Reply By: Member - Borgy.. (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 00:03

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 00:03
G'day Gonebush

Give white vinegar a try mate, used it in our van when we had it , worked a treat...from memory i used a litre bottle of vinegar and filled the tank with clean water, left it for couple days , occasionally i went out and gave the van a good bit of a shake, now we dont have the van any longer i regularly use it in our 20 litre water containers


Cheers.......Dave
AnswerID: 293512

Follow Up By: SPRINT-GTO - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 00:57

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 00:57
Gonebush
The Pope hose is garden hose and should not be used with drinking water as this type of hose gives water a crook taste. Only ever used the light blue food grade water hose from Camec and never have a problem. get rid of the Pope hose and problem may be solved.
cya
Gary
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FollowupID: 559137

Reply By: gonebush SA - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 10:22

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 10:22
hi, the hose we have put all though the van is the light blue food safe pope hose made for caravans and we have now tested it and it's the hose that is giving us the trouble not our tank. we have drunk or even just smelt the water straight out of the tank and it's fine when it goes through the hose it's disgusting- even just the smell will put you off. so it looks like a trip to town (just a mear 2 1/2 hours drive!) to buy some more hose and redoing the van as we are heading off tomorrow and will need our tank water. so be warned not to buy the blue pope hose.
thanks to everyone for their input in this problem Chris.
AnswerID: 293551

Reply By: guy007 - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 12:34

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 12:34
Hydrogen Peroxide H2O2 is the go!!!!!!
AnswerID: 293568

Reply By: gonebush SA - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 16:40

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 16:40
thanks once again but finally we have drinking water that tastes the same as when it comes out of the tap, after all this fuss and money it was the hose after all, it's lovely (as much as water can be) tasting and doesn't even stink now, well that's a lesson learnt don't just think it's the tank check out the hose (even if it's new). once again thanks from Chris.
AnswerID: 293598

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