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motoguy
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Posted: 5/17/2012 5:09:59 PM
I'm trying to decide how I'd like to handle my water preparations. Currently we have no organized system. I'm torn between the 55 gallon drum (cheaper to buy, harder to store / move), and buying a bunch of aquatainers (more expensive, easier to store, more modular).

Our circumstances dictate that water barrels will be stored outside. What issues or concerns should I have storing blue water barrels outside? As long as I treat the water, how long can I expect it to remain good in an unprotected / sheltered location?

Though more expensive, I like the idea of keeping the aquatainers in the crawl space. My crawl space is completely encapuslated with 12mil reinforced white plastic, and it's dehumidified. Humidity usually in the 45-55% range, temps in the 60-75 range. I'm going to be sealing up the external entrance to the crawl space (through the foundation wall), and creating an entrance through the living area of the house. This would make storage / retrieval of food / water more convenient, as well as offering a level of security (access door will be under furniture).

Folks claim you can get used water barrels for $10 or less from food suppliers, about $75 new from Sams (Augason Farms barrel and pump kit), or Aquatainers for about $11 each (plus shipping) online. I'm cheap, and I want to save money, but I'm really thinking I'd be happier with the aquatainers (was going to buy 20 or so) vs the barrels.

Thoughts?
midmo
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Posted: 5/17/2012 5:39:16 PM
If it were me, I'd consider doing both. Put a barrel or two outside when you find a good deal on them, and in the meantime build up a supply of aquatainers in the basement. Distributing your supplies has some advantages; a tree could fall on the barrels, the basement could flood. Spreading things out a bit never hurts.
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protus
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Posted: 5/17/2012 7:18:40 PM
aquatainers suck. go with the blitz water cans, the newer styles are more robust than that aquatianers.
GTLandser
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Posted: 5/17/2012 7:26:36 PM
[Last Edit: 5/17/2012 7:27:36 PM by GTLandser]
Sunlight and heat are the enemies of both the plastic and the water. I would consider a higher quality container if you are forced to not use barrels in the crawl space, and I would be deeply skeptical of the long term viability of both the water and the barrels if stored outside.

How tall is this space? If there were any way to get the barrels down there and pull from them without moving them (bottom spigot?), I would do that before I went with loose water containers in the same space. Hauling a bunch of 5 gal containers, even just seldom to rotate or refresh them, would SUCK, if the space was restricted.
fisterkev
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Posted: 5/18/2012 2:33:20 AM
[Last Edit: 5/18/2012 2:41:05 AM by fisterkev]
Originally Posted By midmo:
If it were me, I'd consider doing both. Put a barrel or two outside when you find a good deal on them, and in the meantime build up a supply of aquatainers in the basement. Distributing your supplies has some advantages; a tree could fall on the barrels, the basement could flood. Spreading things out a bit never hurts.


+1. Don't skimp on the water, you cannot have too much of it, and it is a good idea to have several sources.

I have a few Aquatainers and I have never understood why people rag on them. They seem to work fine to me, though I've only had mine for a couple of years and haven't noticed any degradation. I like that they are easy to move and manipulate, can't say that about many other containers. I also like the stackability feature.

Water is water. Don't get hung up about how you store it. You should be looking for ways to filter and purify it anyway, which should give you tools to neutralize those concerns. And if you're really worried just rotate it once a year or so.
crushgrip
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Posted: 5/18/2012 3:20:40 AM
I may get beat up for saying this but if shit did hit the fan your water storage containers outside could make you a target. Hide in plain sight or whatever. Just saying.
If I could figure how to have sex with my Microtech Crosshair without having to have a ample supply of Celox syringes on hand we would be making the beast with two backs right fucking now.
protus
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Posted: 5/18/2012 6:47:54 AM

Originally Posted By fisterkev:
Originally Posted By midmo:
If it were me, I'd consider doing both. Put a barrel or two outside when you find a good deal on them, and in the meantime build up a supply of aquatainers in the basement. Distributing your supplies has some advantages; a tree could fall on the barrels, the basement could flood. Spreading things out a bit never hurts.


+1. Don't skimp on the water, you cannot have too much of it, and it is a good idea to have several sources.

I have a few Aquatainers and I have never understood why people rag on them. They seem to work fine to me, though I've only had mine for a couple of years and haven't noticed any degradation. I like that they are easy to move and manipulate, can't say that about many other containers. I also like the stackability feature.

Water is water. Don't get hung up about how you store it. You should be looking for ways to filter and purify it anyway, which should give you tools to neutralize those concerns. And if you're really worried just rotate it once a year or so.


not picking a fight, but the reason for me is that 1) the spigots all cracked 2) the corners got weak and leaked.
I have 1 or 2 left. I holds water for washing etc due to the crack in teh spigot. but thats it. They are around 10 years old. Maybe the newer ones are better but mine started to fail near 5 years ago...i started out with 4-5 of them,,,as they were 9$ at wally mart back then. Like i said . i only have one that is useable. I swicthed to the blitz jerry can style ( no issues yet) and 15 gallon blue barrels.

Centuryhouse
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Posted: 5/18/2012 11:18:10 AM
[Last Edit: 5/18/2012 11:19:12 AM by Centuryhouse]
Originally Posted By protus:

Originally Posted By fisterkev:
Originally Posted By midmo:
If it were me, I'd consider doing both. Put a barrel or two outside when you find a good deal on them, and in the meantime build up a supply of aquatainers in the basement. Distributing your supplies has some advantages; a tree could fall on the barrels, the basement could flood. Spreading things out a bit never hurts.


+1. Don't skimp on the water, you cannot have too much of it, and it is a good idea to have several sources.

I have a few Aquatainers and I have never understood why people rag on them. They seem to work fine to me, though I've only had mine for a couple of years and haven't noticed any degradation. I like that they are easy to move and manipulate, can't say that about many other containers. I also like the stackability feature.

Water is water. Don't get hung up about how you store it. You should be looking for ways to filter and purify it anyway, which should give you tools to neutralize those concerns. And if you're really worried just rotate it once a year or so.


not picking a fight, but the reason for me is that 1) the spigots all cracked 2) the corners got weak and leaked.
I have 1 or 2 left. I holds water for washing etc due to the crack in teh spigot. but thats it. They are around 10 years old. Maybe the newer ones are better but mine started to fail near 5 years ago...i started out with 4-5 of them,,,as they were 9$ at wally mart back then. Like i said . i only have one that is useable. I swicthed to the blitz jerry can style ( no issues yet) and 15 gallon blue barrels.



Just curious, how do the spigots get cracked? They store INSIDE the container - you reverse the cap and put them outside if you want to use them.

Mine are great and in the few years I've had them have never had an issue.

This is what you are talking about, right?

fisterkev
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Posted: 5/18/2012 12:27:42 PM
[Last Edit: 5/18/2012 12:28:05 PM by fisterkev]
Those are the ones I use. And I agree, with the spigots stored inside I don't see how they will get damaged. I've only had mine a couple of years, maybe they will eventually go bad? Or maybe they have changed the design since protus bought his?
bluefalcon
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Posted: 5/18/2012 12:41:44 PM
[Last Edit: 5/18/2012 12:44:40 PM by bluefalcon]
Originally Posted By crushgrip:
I may get beat up for saying this but if shit did hit the fan your water storage containers outside could make you a target. Hide in plain sight or whatever. Just saying.


This is a good point. I have some drums outside in addition to jerry cans inside but the drums are covered by a tarp to conceal them and protect them from the elements somewhat. I agree that having A LOT of water in multiple containers, in different locations is a good idea. I think most people dramatically underestimate their water needs. The one gallon/person/day recommendation is based on temperate weather and low activity. Add in high temperature and/or high levels of activity and you should double that. So a family of three needs 540 gallons if they want to survive for 3 months. Assuming they don't want to use the water for anything but drinking, of course.

The general consensus seems to be that plain tap water should store for a year in a clean, sanitized, sealed container. It wouldn't hurt to filter or boil the water when you use it. It also wouldn't hurt to rotate twice as often as recommended.

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MTPD
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Posted: 5/18/2012 12:51:35 PM
Bear in mind that a 55 gal barrel is mighty heavy when full = about 400 pounds. Aqua-tainers are 7 gals each and cost about $8 at WalMart and weigh about 50 pounds full. I'd suggest 4-6 Aqua-tainers plus 55 gal barrels, that way if you did have to relocate you could at least pack up the Aqua-tainers and take them with you. 6x7gal = 42gal of water.
RR_Broccoli
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Posted: 5/18/2012 3:47:39 PM

Originally Posted By fisterkev:
Originally Posted By midmo:
If it were me, I'd consider doing both. Put a barrel or two outside when you find a good deal on them, and in the meantime build up a supply of aquatainers in the basement. Distributing your supplies has some advantages; a tree could fall on the barrels, the basement could flood. Spreading things out a bit never hurts.


+1. Don't skimp on the water, you cannot have too much of it, and it is a good idea to have several sources.

I have a few Aquatainers and I have never understood why people rag on them. They seem to work fine to me, though I've only had mine for a couple of years and haven't noticed any degradation. I like that they are easy to move and manipulate, can't say that about many other containers. I also like the stackability feature.

Water is water. Don't get hung up about how you store it. You should be looking for ways to filter and purify it anyway, which should give you tools to neutralize those concerns. And if you're really worried just rotate it once a year or so.

I have two Aquatainers that were stored in my apartment, full, for 3 years. (Rotated once) Nothing was stacked on them. They are now decidedly NOT square around the belly. So top is square, middle is square-ish but more round than square, bottom is square. This was in a climate controlled closet with little light and zero direct sunlight.

At $11 each, it's not a big deal to rotate them so you should. Also, they are 7 gallons so 56 and change pounds full. Plan on making a board system to slide them on (gravel will probably damage them) and sweating getting them in and out. The way mine turned out, I wouldn't want to be wrestling with them in a confined space, they sorta feel like they might rupture now...

Also, futz with one to learn how to use it, then leave the plastic cover on the valve. One of mine got an algae deposit inside the valve that was a pain to clean out because I was futzing with it.

There was a post recently here about some place making "water bricks" that were stack able and looked more robust. More expensive though.
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protus
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Posted: 5/18/2012 7:59:44 PM

Originally Posted By Centuryhouse:
Originally Posted By protus:

Originally Posted By fisterkev:
Originally Posted By midmo:
If it were me, I'd consider doing both. Put a barrel or two outside when you find a good deal on them, and in the meantime build up a supply of aquatainers in the basement. Distributing your supplies has some advantages; a tree could fall on the barrels, the basement could flood. Spreading things out a bit never hurts.


+1. Don't skimp on the water, you cannot have too much of it, and it is a good idea to have several sources.

I have a few Aquatainers and I have never understood why people rag on them. They seem to work fine to me, though I've only had mine for a couple of years and haven't noticed any degradation. I like that they are easy to move and manipulate, can't say that about many other containers. I also like the stackability feature.

Water is water. Don't get hung up about how you store it. You should be looking for ways to filter and purify it anyway, which should give you tools to neutralize those concerns. And if you're really worried just rotate it once a year or so.


not picking a fight, but the reason for me is that 1) the spigots all cracked 2) the corners got weak and leaked.
I have 1 or 2 left. I holds water for washing etc due to the crack in teh spigot. but thats it. They are around 10 years old. Maybe the newer ones are better but mine started to fail near 5 years ago...i started out with 4-5 of them,,,as they were 9$ at wally mart back then. Like i said . i only have one that is useable. I swicthed to the blitz jerry can style ( no issues yet) and 15 gallon blue barrels.



Just curious, how do the spigots get cracked? They store INSIDE the container - you reverse the cap and put them outside if you want to use them.

Mine are great and in the few years I've had them have never had an issue.

This is what you are talking about, right?

http://www.campmor.com/wcsstore/Campmor/static/images/kitchen/85259.jpg

yip those ones. the cracks on 3 all were from the threads outwards.
like i said maybe i got some bad ones,,, as ive had them for a long time now i think the 1st one was bought around 01' or so.
biere
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Posted: 5/19/2012 11:52:33 AM
[Last Edit: 5/19/2012 11:53:30 AM by biere]
When dealing with liquids I want smallish containers before monster sized containers. If you had a nice concreted garage and a dolley for moving 55 gallon drums and were all set up to handle them full with no issues, I would still recomend a few smaller containers.

I have some aquatainers. If buying aquatainers look at the vent. For a while they had push in vents and those suck. I have early aquatainers with a screw down vent and the current ones I saw at wally world had a screw down vent again I think.

Now with aquatainers covered, run a search about water containers from lci. The price has gone up but they are a nice 5 gallon container and will handle abuse without eventually breaking a corner.

I leave my aquatainers empty for a bit after using up the water and I check them over really well before refilling.

Using them for scouting where you are going to use them once a month or more during the nice months will generally have an aquatainer break within a year or so.

If you are nice to your stuff they may last a whole lot longer.

But the lci cans are nice and take abuse with ease. Plus they are shaped like a fuel can so methods from strapping one down works for the other.

My aquatainers all drip if left with pressure agains the big lid. Don't care if it is with the spigot in or out, it does not seal very well. I store them standing up and even when using them I tend to just stand up back up on end when not in use.

Now the lci water containers are not made with a nice spigot but I just use a 5 gallon cooler and have a nice spigot on it.

That 5 gallon cooler does a good job of keeping hot water hot or cold water cold and you can replace the spigot from parts at home depot or where ever.

The 5 gallon cooler worked well for me when my well pump died at my old place. I could heat a pot of water on the stove and pour it into the 5 gallon cooler and then do dishes in the sink by hand. Worked fine.

I did not want to mess with trying to pour a big pot of water into an aquatainer or an lci can.

I store stuff inside. I don't care if I make an oddball bench or little shed for it, I want it out of the weather and I don't want animals sitting on it.
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MTPD
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Posted: 5/19/2012 3:09:34 PM
I recently bought 4 at WalMart. All have screw down air vents. They are stacked two high, and the bottom containers are bulging out a little already.
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Posted: 5/19/2012 3:29:55 PM
Both?

I have three 55 gallon barrels along side the home in a shed I built to store them in. Every couple of years I drain them into the garden. I've sampled the two year old water and it's functional. Inside the garage I have four of the 7 gallon auqatainers as it's hard to get a 55 gallon barrel into even a large SUV in the event of a bug out.

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