Algae in water tanks

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 08:52
ThreadID: 9656 Views:12792 Replies:11 FollowUps:4
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Draining the water tanks on my Jayco the other day and noticed some green algae in the clear connecting hoses. A) is this a health problem, B) how do I stop it growing & C) how do I get rid of it. Im thinking maybe a sluce out with liquid swimming pool chlorine???
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Reply By: brian - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 09:37

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 09:37
The chlorine will work and there are products available from caravan stores,also changing the clear hoses for black or similar will prevent algie ,no light no algie
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Follow Up By: Rick Blaine - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 09:41

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 09:41
thanks Brian.... some 12mm black poly pipe may do the trick. the larger hoses may need some thought tho.
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Reply By: AndrewX - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 09:58

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 09:58
How about taping the larger hoses with black tape or painting them black with a spray can from KMart. Use the pool chlorine for sure. Liquid pool chlorine is used in a pool at the rate of 200ml/10,000l is a guide so you wouldn't need much!!
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Reply By: goldfinder - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 10:22

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 10:22
Liquid pool chlorine is Sodium Hypochlorite the same as common household bleach just a lot stronger.
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Reply By: Scott_G - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 12:12

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 12:12
Water storage containers and pipes should always be black.
Wash the pipe outside and let it dry and then wind black insulation tape around the clear pipe to keep the light out. Algae will only grow when there is light.
Use non-scented White King Bleach in a weak 5% solution to get rid of the algae.
White King Bleach is food grade and no other product should be used unless it is approved food grade.
Liquid swimming pool chlorine is not food grade. Chemicals that are not diluted to the required concentration will not work as effectively.
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Reply By: Nav 80 - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 12:30

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 12:30
Rick,, You could also try a cup of vinigar, it will descale the inside of your kettle also.
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Follow Up By: Will - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 17:52

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 17:52
i need to do that, how long should i leave the vinegar in the kettle?
Will.
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Follow Up By: Nav 80 - Monday, Jan 12, 2004 at 11:31

Monday, Jan 12, 2004 at 11:31
Gday Will,,, Put a cup of vinigar in the kettle and top up with water to cover the element, boil the kettle and leave to stand overnight. In the morning the element will look like new.
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Reply By: Member - Peter- Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 12:53

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 12:53
Also if you stick chlorine in it you may never get the chlorine taste out of the tank. BTDt.
I put Puritabs in a plastic caravan tank once, never ever got the chlorine taste out of it.
I'd try the vinegar first and pull it out and flush it out well, or better still replace the piece of pipe that has the algae in it and then either use black poly pipe or tape up any clear stuff.
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Reply By: GOB member vic - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 20:25

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 20:25
go to a caravan place you can buy a sachet it has a lemon smell mix it with a tank of water leave for about 24 hours and drain and refill
steveimagine a 03 gu 4.2tdin the picture
as i am having trouble sizing the picture
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Reply By: Member - Anne - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 20:54

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 20:54
Rick,
You can try sodium bicarbonate with the vinegar - good all purpose, non toxic household cleaning trick. We have also used lemon essence (recommended by the campertrailer manufacturer) - the alcohol will kill the algae and the lemon seems to have a disinfectant quality. Whichever you put in, leave it for 24 hours and drain the tank. Then do the black hose etc. Make sure it is all food grade.
Sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is very toxic and you should wash your tank out several times before you use the water.
Happy travelling
Anne
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Reply By: Clarry - Monday, Jan 12, 2004 at 10:16

Monday, Jan 12, 2004 at 10:16
And as found with pools, its terribly important not to let it start in the first place, because the various concoctions mentioned above might kill the algae but its still in there (and near on impossible to get out). Some algaes are like concrete limpets.
I see that some water tank makers have a big bung for clean outs, but some don't !"This is a situation, up with which, we should no longer put ! (W. Churchill, on plans to reduce 4WD access in some parks).
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 08:20

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 08:20
Rick,
One product that will kill algae is "bluestone" or copper sulphate. We have to clear the mud out of our dam water, and use a small amount of copper s'phate to stop any algae growth, after its been cleared.

You don't need much, one tablespoon to 2,000 gals(9,000L), so a small water tank would only require a few grams. Mix into water and add. As long as you haven't made it too strong, would only need to be flushed out. But this brew won't kill any nasty bugs. Doesn't leave any noticeable taste either, unlike the chlorine based products.

Hooroo...
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Reply By: Member - Melissa - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 13:51

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 13:51
Hi Rick,

In our experience, the best thing to get rid of algae is to flush the tank/hoses out with a mild solution of bleach (White King is what we use). Vinegar and bi-carb also work but I've found them no where near as effective bleach. Definitely do not recommend chlorine as it takes forever to get rid of the chlorine taste. Unless you are using your Jayco very regularly, best thing to do is empty the tanks after each trip and flush them with fresh water before filling up the next time. Also, you should get into the habit of flushing your tanks with bleach solution semi-regularly anyway.

Re hoses...The reason clear plastic hose is used on campertrailers and caravans is that it is approved food grade standard (ie. it will not perish and contaminate your water supply). Green garden hose and black polypipe are not food grade standard and should never be used in lieu of the clear hose. Can't see any reason why the suggestions made above to tape up the existing clear hose wouldn't work though.

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
http://members.westnet.com.au/flatdog
AnswerID: 42800

Follow Up By: Rick Blaine - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 14:54

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 14:54
Hi Mellissa,
Yes... the product I used was household bleach... worked a treat. I sprayed the hoses with underbody spray.. thick black bituminous stuff.. seems to have worked well. Im now doing some work on the hot water heater... it never ends...
Cheers
Rick
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