Water Tank, filler & fill line


New member
Spitsnrovers - I took mine out because it had a hole. I then put in a shelf where the tank was and carry my water in gallon jugs.

78 Westy

Capt. Mike

BC Health Files publishes the following table for disinfecting drinking water. I can't verify these ratios, but they appear similar to the USPHS guidelines for maritime use.

This table is for basic 5% househould chlorine bleach with no additives or fragerances. When you consider the bleach is already cut 95%, you can see how little it takes.

Caution! Excessive bleach is dangerous to your health -- but these tiny amounts disinfect all but heavily polluted water. It may not be effective against cryptosporidiosis, a parasitic infection called Beaver Fever.

1 gal. (4.5 litres) 2 drops (0.18 mL)
2 1/5 gal. (10 litres) 5 drops (0.4 mL)
5 gal. (23 litres) 11 drops (0.9 mL)
10 gal. (45 litres) 22 drops (1.8 mL)
22 gal. (100 litres) 3/4 teaspoon (4 mL)
45 gal. (205 litres) 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 mL)
50 gal. (230 litres) 1 3/4 teaspoons (9 mL)
100 gal. (450 litres) 3 1/2 teaspoons (18 mL)
220 gal. (1000 litres) 8 teaspoons (40 mL)
500 gal. (2200 litres) 6 tablespoons (90 mL)
1000 gal. (4550 litres) 6 1/2 ounces or 12 tablespoons (180 mL)

One 'field' test of too much bleach is to take a glass full, cover with your hand, and then shake vigorously. You should not have a discernible bleach odor and should not be able to taste it at all. MEASURE -- don't guess! This is not a case of more is better.


New member
I have mentioned this elsewhere, but unless you have a bad smell or taste of the water in the tank, I suggest using a food-grade oxygen bleach for cleaning plastic water tanks.

There is B-Brite www.thehomebrewstore.com and One Step www.northernbrewer.com.

This stuff is not expensive and $3 of it will last you for years. It needs little or no rinsing and has no taste. Chlorine has its place, but mishandled it is NASTY stuff.

I use this stuff once a year and have never tasted anything off. Also, it's easier on lines, gaskets, etc.


New member
I seen a few questions posted, albiet in the wrong threads, concerning leaking water tanks.

I have an 85 westy, 1.9 l. all original. I bought it off the original owner who said he only used the camping equipment (fridge, stove and water system) once or twice. After replacing the propane tank, I followed your recommended steps to get the frigde working which it did. I took the van on its maiden voyage this weeekend and decided to try the water system. I put 8 l of water into the system and it becan to leak from the floorboards. I have removed the plate that is mounted by 4 screws which the drain for the tank passes through and water i s coming from the scre holes. i also looked in the tank and can see no holes. i though maybe the drain spout(where it meets the tank-welded) could be leaking but have not "corked" it yet.

It sounds like others have had this issue and i am curious to se what it was.

Thanks for your help and I know you must hear this from every other member, but you are doing a fantastic job and the ONLY resource todepend upon to keep these amazing machines on the road.

Thanks again, Jason

Capt. Mike

Take your VIN# to the dealer and look at the parts fiche for your model (Guideline #8). In the mid-80's -- I'm not sure what year -- VW changed from an external pump to an internal pump. The tank-to-sink line thus changed from low on the tank to out the top cover. Since you only put in 8 l., it's reasonable to assume you don't have a leaking cover. Look at the fiche and determine which tank you have and the possible leak points.

If you have the old style tank, you have an inlet near the top of the tank, an outlet near the bottom to the pump, and a drain outlet at the bottom. The vent is out the top cover. During fill, its possible your fill line is leaking and that ran down the side, taking a while before it soaked up the insulation and then leaked around the body opening. That would stop once the excess in the floor has leaked out. You can test by draining the tank, allowing the floor to dry and then partial-filling the tank through the top cover instead of fill line.

If it's leaking around the tank-to-pump line, it would continue to leak while there is water in the tank. Ditto if a crack around the drain pipe.

The only way to be 100% sure is to pull the tank, which probably requires pulling the fridge & cabinets. Do not automatically dismiss that it may be around the pump (if external) or sink/faucet. Water migrates to lowest point before leaking out.


New member
My pump is an external.

Today after reading your response and studying the bentley I decided I didnt want to remove the water tank(not at all) so I troubleshot the entire system and found the source...

A cracked water pump!

I'm so glad i didn't tear out the tank and thank you so much for the advice of "not automatically dismissing that it may be around the pump". Spot on!

Thanks Captain Mike


New member
Permanent water tank drain idea

After monkeying around with various items and ideas for a drain cap to the fresh water tank, I came up with this idea. I put a straight PVC ball valve on the end of the fresh water tank drain area.
I had tried several other things. The problem is, of course, the threads on the fresh water tank drain are metric and the most commonly available items around here are inch. However, with the help of a small amount of bathroom caulk, as both a sealer and a lubricant, I tightened up this 1-inch ball valve. And the whole system does not leak – at all. Not a drop.


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Capt. Mike

Washer needed for City Water hookup?

Junior Member

I purchased a city water hookup from GoWesty: http://www.gowesty.com/ec_view_detai...e=city%20water

When connecting it to the line inside the van, should there be a washer? I have tightened it as much as I dare, and I still get a slow leak. I tried "plumber's tape" but that didn't help much.

Just to be clear, I'm not talking about the hose on the outside of the van -- I realized that has a washer, which is included by GoWesty. But where the hook-up connects to the van, inside the wall of the van, should it have a washer? One wasn't supplied.

Could it be the water pressure from the city hookup? I wouldn't think so, but you never know.

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Capt. Mike

Go to your dealer and look at the parts fiche. Mine does NOT show any washer. On mine, the fill line connected to the fill pipe inside the van wall and was both glued & clamped to the barbed pipe. There was no washer. The loose, threaded turning hose connection should seal via the flange that keeps it on when not hooked up and the single washer on the hose was sufficient to keep any water from reaching that flange. Are you leaking around the hose-to-barb or the screw fitting-to-barb above the hose?

You email is blocked; unblock for future messages as posts will not be moved again. Read guidelines, especially #1-4.


New member
spring cleaning - water tank full of ice!

Now I KNOW I carefully drained the water tank in my 1990 GL this past fall, and was thus horrified to open the water tank this morning to find a couple of inches of ice in the bottom of the tank.

Since my Westy (purchased last Aug) is parked outside and we had a lot of rain in the Northeast this past winter, I can only assume the exterior filler door is the culprit. No previous posts seem to cover this problem. Poor or missing gasket perhaps?




New member
Fill valve leaks

When I use water from my tank to sink, I get slight leakage from the city water connection on the outside of the van body. It's an '84 Westy. Bentley's doesn't show the connection. Do I have to pull the fridge to find the problem? Or is it a problem at all?



New member
You mean the only place water is leaking is OUTSIDE of the van, correct? It's not leaking between the Vanagon walls and the back of the sink cabinet. If that's the case you may just need a new hose washer -- available from any hardware store on the planet. Another thing that is helpful is a 90 degree Hose Elbow Hook-up, available from Go Westy and almost any place that sells anything for RVs. I bought mine at a Mills Fleet Farm. It takes the stress off the connection by allowing the hose to hang more naturally.
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New member
help needed!! diesel in the water

i am sick with worry. i got a vw with my partner. (he is away) and in my haste and stupidity i put diesel into the water tank. the pump has not been turned on. i dont need any wise crack answers as i am still in shock. a friend claimed that they knew it was the diesel tank. please advise is needed. i cant find anythin on line, 1. can the water be removed 2. any of the diesel saved. 3. the tank can it be cleaned. i am not normally this THICK
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Capt. Mike

1. The water tank drains out through the bottom external drain. 2. Never try to save contaminated diesel. Attempts to run with water in the diesel will ruin the engine (water does not compress). 3. I suppose the tank can be cleaned, but will have to be removed from the vehicle. If in for a short period, it probably didn't permeate the plastic. But . . . it will take steam cleaning and then only used for water after complete flushing and testing the water.

Joshua L Adams

New member
1975 VW Westy Sink overhaul...

I've removed the sink cabinet and need to clean the water tank. I cant seem to separate the fill tube from the tank to remove it.

Does the tank come out of the cabinet?
if so....
How do I separate the two?