FAQ: Water Tank Commissioning
How do I commission the water tanks?
Also see the FAQ C34 FAQWinterization
How do I winterize my boat? for more information on this
Also check out Capt Al's page on Water System Smell, or Sulfer
Smell from Hot Water Tank
If you have a Sulfur (rotten egg) smell from the hot water side of
your water system, or a stinky smell from your water tanks, then it is
time to bleach the system.
[C34] Water tanks - commissioning
Hope to have the boat in the water soon, and need some advice in
commissioning the water tanks. I used the pink antifreeze in the water
system for the winter. I would like to know what I should use to sanitize
the tanks and what the process is. Should I use Clorox and if so, how
much, how long should I leave it in and how many times should I flush the
Richard Beecham, "Refuge", C34 MK II, #1430, Rock Hall, MD,
Vodka! Has about the same resistance to freezing and taste better when
working it out in the spring.
Re and Frank Puff #691
We've had aluminum tanks on our Tanzer 29 for the last 13 years - now
we're looking at C34s. We use some pink antifreeze on "empty"
tanks and flush through the pump etc. Probably it is best to try to drain
a water heater.
Anyway we pump dry in the spring and then add a couple of gallons of water
and pump dry - repeat until all the pink colour is gone. Don't fill up the
tank to get rid of the pink. Once the pink is gone then fill the tank
after adding a couple of shot glasses of bleach per 25 gallons. Let pump
through the full system and let sit for much of a day and then pump out
and fill with clean water. During the season use lots of water when you
know you can get more - keep the water moving and partway through the
season add a shot glass of bleach.
Ah yes....but go easy on the vermouth when cleaning out the tanks...
Bob Mack, Upon A Star, #52
Go to www.planetcat.net and go to the page called "the head
There are some tips on head maintenance, water systems, etc at the
beginning of the page. Everything you need to know, from an expert in the
Roc, firstname.lastname@example.org (Palaia, Rocco [CPCUS])
For the past 12 years, except last year, I used Vodka in the water
tanks over the winter. This seemed to work well in both Rock Hall, MD and
Stonington, CT. Each year, however, I did blow out the water lines and
empty the hot water heater. Last year, I used a small vacuum to blow out
the lines and the tanks after disconnecting them at the water pump and the
hot water heater. Seems to have worked just fine.
In the spring I fill the tanks and add a little chlorine. As the water
sits over the summer, it usually gets a little more chlorine as needed. I
find that pumping the tanks dry repeatedly to sanitize them gets tedious
although it is not exactly backbreaking labor. We usually buy a couple of
gallons of Poland Spring for drinking and replenish these gallons from
dockside water so we know that it is fresh and more or less algae free.
One an earlier C34 (1989 model), I added a three gallon tank which sat
abode the aft water tank. Fill and overflow hoses were in the stern
locker. I ran it to the foot-operated sea water pump in the galley. We
used that tank for drinking water since it was recycled pretty frequently,
it was easy to keep clean. In the Chesapeake, I wasn't going to use the
sea water for much of anything, so it was, to me, a reasonable tradeoff.
Phil Davies, PhilDavies1@compuserve.com (Phil Davies), Cat's Paw, #1360
I am becoming very concerned over the apparent waste of Vodka and its
frivolous dispersion into the environment for the use under discussion. As
a noted imbibing conservationist and environmental worry wort this
practice is most disturbing. Furthermore, it could do irreparable harm to
east-west relations if we in the west were found to be treating the
national drink of the east in such a frivolous manner.
It brings forth the vision of perestroika failing and the Berlin wall
being reconstructed! Kissinger would have a Lady Bird......
I have a better solution and a process during which I drink the
I use RV antifreeze; while drinking vodka, I suck out all the water in the
fall with a shop vac; pour in antifreeze and suck it through the system
until the color shows; again, while drinking vodka, I suck the residual
out in the spring with the shop vac; rinse and suck out twice with about 6
gallons of fresh water each time; fill the tanks; add a small amount of
chlorine bleach (half cup to each tank) and away we go.
For safe drinking water I have installed a high quality filter, (known to
remove all potential bugs and taste) plumbed to a separate facet in the
galley. The water is a fresh as a daisy and, more importantly, we are
assured any stray tummy bugs etc. are filtered out. The filter is changed
annually. More vodka is associated with this somber ceremony......
As an added bonus I find I can save over half of the antifreeze to use
again each year.
Save all of the vodka, half of the antifreeze and contribute to east-west
relations.... ain't it great???
Remember; amateurs built the ark and professionals built the
Have a great day!
Gary Wiseman, email@example.com (Gary Wiseman), Up Spirits #894
BLUE MOON's water supply is rarely frozen in Southern California and
therefore hasn't the same requirements as those boats East of Las Vegas.
However, having learned painfully my lesson about not heeding this list's
advice I have faithfully replaced BLUE MOON's water supply with vodka.
<hiccup> signed, mud
John LeMasters, BLUE MOON, #753JAL@flashcom.net (JAL)
Important: The opinions expressed here are those
of the individual contributors to this page, and not those of the Catalina
34 National Association or Catalina Yachts, Inc. Additionally, this
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