View Full Version : Lake water piping system cleaning / sanitizing

04-07-2013, 07:53 PM
We recently purchased a new to us/used houseboat. Our 2nd houseboat. The boat is coming off a lake that has what I assume is a lot of iron or some other mineral; the mud on the shoreline is a deep reddish color (volcanic??). The china bowl toilet has a red stain line all around it. We are replacing toilet and kitchen fixtures and don't want the new fixtures to get stained. Though we are moving the boat to a lake that does not have this problem, I am concerned the the piping is all stained with mineral deposits. Is it safe to run a diluted chlorine bleach solution through the piping system to clean it? I was thinking of a solution of 1oz. to 10 gal of water. Flush the pipes and also hold the system pressurized with the solution for 4 to 8 hours and then flushing again several times. looking for advice.

04-08-2013, 03:52 AM
we bought our gibson executive in knoxville last summer, we had the same problem. the 1 1/2 equalizing line between the water tanks was completely shut oiff with that red goo,the water tanks(plastic) were stained. i replaced all the inlet lines then replaced the lines and fittings that equalize the tanks. we have 4 tanks. i took the tanks out ,cleaned and power washed them, then i ran a solution of clr (calcium,lime rust)and water through all the fresh water lines then flushed them with fresh water. i took the hot water tank out. it was bad with that red goo, i just threw it away! we dont drink the water but its ok now for everything else. hope this helps ya.

04-08-2013, 06:15 AM
Acids can damage rubber parts, I think I'd remove the pressure pump and toilet pump before cleaning the rest of the system, and re-install them when finished.

04-09-2013, 05:16 PM
That is why I was considering just a chlorine bleach solution. I was told that even though chlorine in large doses could be harmful to some fittings, etc. that the very short term "shock" dose of chlorine that would be introduced is very small when compared to the constant low dose the system could see from standard chlorinated drinking water over its life.

04-10-2013, 07:41 PM
Can't say, it'll depend on how strong the solution is, etc etc. A "shock" probably won't destroy the rubber parts but it may not be all that effective either. I still think I'd remove the expensive parts and then go for it.

04-11-2013, 09:10 AM
In the past, I will disconnect my fresh water hose from the dock's water supply. Add a 1/2 gallon of bleach directly into the hose. Reattach the hose to the water supply and then blow all the bleach into the holding tanks until full. At that point, I shut off the dock's water supply and turn on the water pump. I'd run each sink's hot and cold water until I could smell the bleach and then shut it off. Let it sit for several hours and then flush it all out a few times to get the bleach out.

Because the boat sits all week and most of the winter with the same water in the pipes, there's no telling what's lurking in those pipes! Gut rot destroyes a weekend on the HB.

04-11-2013, 05:26 PM
GoVols - What you described is pretty much my plan of attach.