Filed Under (Boat/Trailer Maintenance) by Debbie on 07-10-2008

If you’ve just bought a sailboat or maybe had yours a while you may be wondering how to clean the fresh water holding tank.  It’s not hard to do and while there are products you can spend a bunch of money on at the marine store, let me give you a less expensive way.

To sanitize your plastic fresh water system here’s what I suggest.

  1. Prepare a mix of chlorine using one gallon of water and 1/4 cup of Chlorox or Purex household bleach (5% sodium hypo-chlorite solution).  With the tank empty, pour the mix into the tank.  Use one gallon of mix for each 15 gallons of tank capacity.
  2. Completely fill the tank with fresh water.  Open each faucet and drain cock until all air has been released and entire system is filled.
  3. Allow this to stand for three hours.
  4. Drain and flush with fresh potable water.
  5. To remove excess chlorine taste or odor which might remain, prepare a mix of one quart vinegar to five gallons water and allow this mix to agitate in the tank for several days by boat motion.
  6. Drain tank and flush again with fresh water.

While you’re doing this, you might want to take a look at the fresh water lines.  Are they black, full of algae or in general really bad looking?  This is an easy to replace item.  All you need is new line which you can feed through by taping the old end to the new end.  When we did ours, we only needed to tape one small section and the rest fed through easily.  Slip the old clamp over the hose and push the hose end on to the facuet under the sink and tighten the clamp in place.

Cleaning the fresh water holding tank on your sailboat is pretty easy and very important.  You might be surprised at the difference it can make.

1 Comment posted on "How to Clean the Fresh Water Tank"
Fresh water line replacement on October 7th, 2008 at 12:59 pm #

[…] holding tank was squeeky clean.  If you’d be interested how I did that you might want to read this post.  My germ aware brain was feeling much better about the fresh water I was going to cook with and […]