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Thread: OT- Plastic Question

  1. #1
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    Default OT- Plastic Question

    I want to reuse plastic 1 gallon jugs distilled water came in for water storage. My wife says they won't last and will eventually leak. These have the recycle symbol with a "2 hdpe". Will they last? They won't be in sunlight.

  2. #2
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    Hi,

    They will eventually degrade. But it's going to take a good while I think. If left really long term, I might be concerned about what the stored water leached from the plastic if you expect it to be potable.
    If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

  3. #3
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    Not sure about the USA but in the UK milk comes in HDPE No 2 plastic bottles of a non-transparent colour which is good for years storing oil, brick cleaner acid etc. Water here tends to come in clear plastic which I think is not No2.

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  5. #5
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    My wife does not trust the city water and only drinks filtered water. After years of lugging water bottles from the grocery I installed our own filters. We use the one gallon bottles that the grocery sells and they last a long, long time. Never had one break or leak. They have nice, screw on caps. We have had a cap or two break, but not the bottles. Some of them are over eight years old and never a single leak.

    We also use the cheaper, one gallon, plastic bottles that the various brands and types of water are sold in. They remain indoors so no exposure to sun light. They eventually develop a leak at a point where they were dented in service. I have had many of them leak and make a mess. I do not recommend them. I think I am going to buy some more of the good ones and toss the cheap ones out. If I can get away with it anyway.

    For long term storage, they may be OK if left undisturbed. But I would store them where a leak will not flood the house or my/your shop.



    Quote Originally Posted by rws View Post
    I want to reuse plastic 1 gallon jugs distilled water came in for water storage. My wife says they won't last and will eventually leak. These have the recycle symbol with a "2 hdpe". Will they last? They won't be in sunlight.
    Paul A.

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  6. #6
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    The bottle of synthetic cutting fluid I've got did break down and spring its own leak. And it's the same #2 HDPE as 4L water,milk and other products use. But it took something over 25 years of sitting on the shelf to come to that fate.

    If truly in the dark and in the cool and filled with water or other products that do not react at all with the plastic I suspect that they would last longer. But if there's any sunlight or even UV from shop lights at all reaching the plastic it will react in time.

    Lots of folks make things by melting the HDPE and pressure forming it into useable shapes. I don't know if that restores the UV brittle plastic or not. But if it doesn't then I's sure worry about the UV embrittled stuff failing if there's much of a load on the parts made using such re-purposed plastic.

  7. #7

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    If a hdpe container is not relatively clear when holding a dairy product it is likely due to a coating on the inside specific to dairy product production and packaging regulations, it may also be simply UV protection.

  8. #8
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    Most grocery store and hardware store plastics will degrade and fall apart. So far Folger's coffee canisters are still doing ok. I use them for all kinds of things, but the one on my grinder stand for water has been there for five years now.

    For buckets I save oil and coolant buckets and the lids. Paint buckets and pickle buckets (restaurant supply bulk pickle chips) seem to be pretty good to. Hardware store empty buckets won't last even when stored indoors. In JUST a couple years they will fall apart when handled.

    In answer to you water storage issue... I don't know. Plastic water totes seem to be intended for short term use. Maybe buy a couple pressure tanks, fill them with water, and cap them? Even if the air bladder fails it should still gravity drain just fine.
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

  9. #9
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    I'm not so sure that a pressure tank meant for potable water would be suitable for long time storage. In use, water in the tank would be continually used and replenished. Contaminants would not build up to an unacceptable lever.

    I'm presuming the water is being stored for use in an emergency situation. It would be unfortunate if material leached from the bladder caused a severe digestive upset or worse at a time when the situation is already stressful.

  10. #10
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    I live in earthquake country, and the official advice is to have X amount of water and to rotate it every month.
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