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Non-Clorox Water Tank Commissioning Alternatives?

May 17, 2004
2,834
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Given the current demand for bleach I was wondering if there are any good alternatives for spring commissioning of water tanks. I have just enough in my house to do the normal dose, but given the current supply chain issues I feel bad just dumping it all down the drain, so to speak. Would a lower dose for a longer period work as well? Are there any other concoctions with ingredients that aren’t as in-demand?
 
Jan 19, 2010
8,924
Hunter 26 Charleston
Hydrogen Peroxide
Overview.

The literature contains several accounts of the properties, germicidal effectiveness, and potential uses for stabilized hydrogen peroxide in the health-care setting. Published reports ascribe good germicidal activity to hydrogen peroxide and attest to its bactericidal, virucidal, sporicidal, and fungicidal properties 653-655. (Tables 4 and 5) The FDA website lists cleared liquid chemical sterilants and high-level disinfectants containing hydrogen peroxide and their cleared contact conditions.

For more see...
 
Jan 11, 2014
6,322
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Is it possible to get a sufficiently high concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide in a water tank to be an effective germicide?
 
Sep 25, 2008
5,878
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
Is it possible to get a sufficiently high concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide in a water tank to be an effective germicide?
Yes. Assuming whoever wants to use peroxide lives in or near an urban area, chemical formulator supply houses are available which routinely sell it in concentrations of 20%+/- suitable for disinfection. The typical drug store variety quart bottles in a 2 -3% solution is ineffective.
It isn’t dangerous or corrosive in higher concentrations and i parts no bad taste and has a longer residence time compared with bleach, I.e., it lasts longer meaning a prolonged efficacy. Dosage rates are widely available in literature regarding water disinfection.
 
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Feb 21, 2013
1,610
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
................any good alternatives for spring commissioning of water tanks...............Are there any other concoctions with ingredients that aren’t as in-demand?
Have you considered Aqua Clean Water Tank Flush? Ingredient are Benzalkonium chloride and isopropyl alcohol. Safety Data Sheet is attached.

 

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May 17, 2004
2,834
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Thanks for the ideas. I found a lot about H2O2 for treating well water to remove iron and sulfides, but not much the right concentration to disinfect tanks. The Starbrite product is pretty interesting, and Amazon could have it here by Tuesday.

I’m impatient and didn’t plan ahead, so I went to the boat this afternoon and put in a more dilute bleach solution than usual (just 4 ounces in each 45 gallon tank). I’m leaving it in overnight instead of my usual 3-4 hours. If it’s seems sketchy afterwards I’ll redo it with the Starbrite stuff. We don’t drink the water from the tanks anyway so we’ll see what happens.
 
May 17, 2004
2,834
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Walmart has plenty of house hold bleach Clorox on the shelf.
I’ll check there too. My local supermarket has been totally empty every time I’m there. Even if I could find one bottle from them I’d feel bad taking it from someone who wants to use it for actual health reasons. But if it’s actually widely available I wouldn’t feel so bad.
 
Jan 11, 2014
6,322
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
I’ll check there too. My local supermarket has been totally empty every time I’m there. Even if I could find one bottle from them I’d feel bad taking it from someone who wants to use it for actual health reasons. But if it’s actually widely available I wouldn’t feel so bad.
The stuff in the Starbrite product, Benzalkonium chloride, is the stuff that is being sprayed on shopping carts and elsewhere as a disinfectant. I'd be less worried about using bleach than the BC product as the BC is probably a better choice for many applications.

The supply chains are a mess. When the largest grocery chain store here was short on some supplies, the small independent market had plenty of chicken, flour, and other items.
 
Jun 2, 2004
3,039
Hunter 23.5 Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
But Rick, would that be toxic? I use their chemicals in my pool but have never considered for a potable water system. Maybe I a good alternative?
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Bleach is bleach (sort of, but chlorine bleach is chlorine bleach) the pool store stuff is fine for potable systems if diluted enough. If you know somebody with a pool you can borrow a cup. The guys doing the pressure washing use the pool stuff too.
 
Last edited:
Sep 25, 2008
5,878
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
If you use pool variety hypochlorite, recognize it is a higher concentration than store bought bleach so the typical mixing formula suggested for potable water tanks needs to be adjusted accordingly.
 
Jan 19, 2010
8,924
Hunter 26 Charleston
I use that pool stuff in my ballast tank and add it a few hours before I haul and put the boat up on the trailer. All the people at the launch have no clue what a nice guy I am...

Just sayin... the ballast tank water can get FUNKY after 12 months stagnant.
 
Oct 22, 2014
13,442
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
so I’d rather it not be smelly.
You can combat both smelly and bacteria. Apply bleach ( chlorine) to system. Give it time to do its thing. Usually a 2 hour sail jostling water about. Use bottle water for the day sail. Pump out water system while returning to dock. Once tied up fill up now empty tanks for a water rinse if your system. Let sit while sipping a glass with friends. Pump water out through all of the water fixtures rinse all lines. Repeat for second rinse if needed.

On my boat that pretty much takes care of the chlorine smell and taste. That is unless the local city water system has upped the chlorine level in the city system.

If you find the family and guests are still sensitive to the water, you can always add a filter to your boat system and filter the water at time of use.

There is no substitute for a clean water system on your boat. You are the skipper and mayor of the boat. This places all the community public works responsibilities i.e. sewer, water, safety... on your shoulders.
 
Aug 2, 2010
390
J-Boat J/88 Cobourg
A friend of mine always puts a big bottle of cheap vodka in his water tanks every spring. He is fine and healthy and says it works great!
 
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Likes: rgranger
May 17, 2004
2,834
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
You can combat both smelly and bacteria. Apply bleach ( chlorine) to system. Give it time to do its thing. Usually a 2 hour sail jostling water about. Use bottle water for the day sail. Pump out water system while returning to dock. Once tied up fill up now empty tanks for a water rinse if your system. Let sit while sipping a glass with friends. Pump water out through all of the water fixtures rinse all lines. Repeat for second rinse if needed.

On my boat that pretty much takes care of the chlorine smell and taste. That is unless the local city water system has upped the chlorine level in the city system.

If you find the family and guests are still sensitive to the water, you can always add a filter to your boat system and filter the water at time of use.

There is no substitute for a clean water system on your boat. You are the skipper and mayor of the boat. This places all the community public works responsibilities i.e. sewer, water, safety... on your shoulders.
Just to clarify - I usually use the regular bleach concoction that Peggie cites at the start of each season, and have no issues throughout the year. I was just looking for alternatives this year with the bleach supply chain issues.