So, during all this COVID-19 business, you’ve had the time to check over everything, and check it again… and then check it all one more time!
What about your drinking water hose? Did you know manufacturers of even the good quality hose recommend replacing them every 5 years?
Have you checked your water filter? If you have a B.E.S.T. RV Water Filter, it’s a simple back-flush a couple of times to get it ready to go. If you have the other converted domestic- ‘RV’ cartridge/bayonet systems, you will need to replace it (even if you have stored it in the fridge). And have you bought some spares? You’re going to need them! Why?
Here is what’s happening - It’s not just us and our rigs that have been laying relatively dormant. The water supply pipes around the country have also been mostly unused for the last couple of months. Water lines, that haven’t been used as they normally would have been, can create problems for your health and your rigs’ plumbing.
While the supply pipes are regularly used, they are ‘sort of’ self-cleansing. Meaning that you don't get too much build-up in the joints of the pipes and fittings. In some areas, the councils have to swab the mains with a ‘pig’ to make sure they are clean.
Newer technology is called ‘Ice-Pigging’. But they can’t clean all the water lines before travellers hit the roads again, (due to the expense and also the time required - it can take a couple of months to do one small town) and they won’t do water lines that enter private properties such as caravan parks and showgrounds. Another factor that will cause the build-up in the mains to release is the sudden, higher volume of water being drawn off. So, where not much action has happened for months now, sediment and minerals have build-up and bacteria have formed a protective barrier over themselves called Biofilm. This Biofilm isn’t able to be penetrated by the low levels of chlorine in the water supply. Bacteria can continue to multiply to very high levels.
After the water mains start to get used again, the minerals and the sediment can be dislodged, which in turn can knock the top off the biofilm. This then allows all that bacteria to flow into your rig. The levels of chlorine in the water may not be enough to kill it off before it gets to you. This where your holiday can get ‘messy’. This is also where the converted domestic ‘RV’ filters will fail rapidly as they will simply trap the bacteria and biofilm, allowing it to continue breeding within your system.
As you know, it hasn’t been that long since we came out of the worst drought and the worst bush fires. Both events played havoc on our water. Whilst the water levels dropped, the mineral content has increased in some places. Water filters, in general, aren’t all that great at removing these minerals that can build up in your hot water, kettles, and all your plumbing. It is very hard to remove them but, we can neutralise them with a water conditioner. We have been using the Australian made Delta Water Conditioner on our own house, pool, and hot water system at the factory and on both our RV rigs for years… because they work!
Adding a Delta to your system will soften the water. This makes it better for showering by giving a better, quicker lather-up of soaps and shampoos (which also reduces the consumption of these products). It can reduce irritation with those that suffer from skin conditions. Washing clothes in hard water can create issues with the clothes and the washing machine, and the same if you have a dishwasher. See the photo below - this shows how much better your water will be after installing a Delta. All your plumbing e.g. pump, kettle, hot water system, water filters, etc. will benefit, and so will you. Although on the expensive side, it requires no maintenance and it’s still cheaper than future replacement items. NOTE: A water conditioner is not a water filter, and a water filter is not a water conditioner. They both do different jobs and complement each other.
As the start of the travel season has been postponed, this has given some of the pipes around the country a longer time to build large deposits of minerals and biofilm. As the travelling population begins to hit the road and the demand on water supplies increases, the built-up of these contaminants will begin to be released.
It’s advisable to plan where you are travelling to and consider adding some further protection to your water.