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Thread: 5 gal buckets....life span.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Default 5 gal buckets....life span.

    I know there are many kinda, grades and even sizes of buckets that are use for many, many, things.....But

    Was wondering about life span....and if they are kept out of sunlight so they don't UV.

    Have some of the preps as well as other goods stashed in sealed buckets and have had them stored for several years.

    At "The Place" I was cleaning out a shed, and came across a bucket w/ top that I had cracked corn in.
    Must have been in the bucket for at least 5 years,...used the corn to feed pheasants I was raising for dog training.

    The lid was a snap on and had gotten hard, and broke when I tried to open and dump.
    Bucket had been from a bakery, then had cherry filing in it to start with....and have no idea how long I have had it for sure.

    I know buckets get UV'ed by being out side, as a lot of garden buckets....for various things, UV and crack after a while, but this was the first one kept inside that did it to me.

    Just wondering if any one has given it any thought.
    Did some searching and mostly came across guys using them for making beer and such, and were concerned on taste rather tan getting hard.
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    Senior Member RandyRhoads's Avatar
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    One of my fermenter buckets started cracking on the lid after 3 or 4 years. Never in the sunlight, kept in a dark basement. PROBABLY just the quality of bucket you have.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    I'm thinking you are correct.
    These were food grade as it had pie filling in it but was white.
    I have hab several green buckets that had pickles in them, and they lasted out side as planters for years.
    Hummmm

    I'm sure there are a lot of people storing stuff in buckets.....many that have for some time....so was just curious.
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    Senior Member RandyRhoads's Avatar
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    I find it ironic the ones I paid a lot of Money for sold as fermenters lasted the shortest.

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    Senior Member natertot's Avatar
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    I got a handful of the cheap buckets from Home Depot. I have had them for 5-6 years and just destroyed the first one about two weeks ago. That was my fault though, got it to close to a heat source and melted through the side.

    I think it depends on quality, and how they are used.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I would think it depends more on what it's made from. You should be able to look on the bottom and tell by the recycle code. It's interesting, however, that we look for food storage that will be shelf stable for 25 years and the buckets fall apart in 4. Hmmmm.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Yeah, Rick that kinda my point.
    I'll have to look and see what the codes are.....but I have seen expensive buckets like 7 bucks and lids ,"Gamma" so you end up with about $15 bucks worth of bucket....vs the out the back door of a restaurant/backers, for free......so far the pickle bucked seem to last the best.
    They did smell like pickles for a while, used one as the tank/base of a shop vac.....that smelled like pickles every time I used it.

    So, still looking for one around here w/lid..... just to store peat moss for the composting toilet, (now a back up) so I can use the trash can for storing something else (mouse proof container).

    It really surprised me that the side broke as I was removing the lid yesterday.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Found this:....at....
    http://www.wikihow.com/Identify-Food-Grade-Buckets

    How to Identify Food Grade Buckets

    Edited by Ali, BR, Szgal, VermontGal

    Storing foods in plastic buckets can be helpful in numerous ways. Plastic buckets allow you to store large amounts of bulk foods like grains and dried beans in lightweight containers for emergency preparedness. Using plastic containers will also allow you to buy cheaper bulk food and store it in an insect-proof and airtight container. However, not all plastics are safe for use with food; some plastics can leach harmful compounds into your food. To avoid this problem, you'll need to learn how to identify food grade buckets before using them.


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    Steps


    1
    Check the recycling symbol on the bottom of the bucket. The quickest and most reliable way to check for food safety is by consulting the recycling number. This number will be between 1 and 7 and will be stamped inside a triangle of arrows. As a general rule, the numbers that are safe for use with food are 1, 2, 4, and 5. •The best type of plastic for use in long-term food storage is high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is indicated by the "2" symbol. HDPE is one of the most stable and inert forms of plastic, and all plastic buckets sold specifically for food storage will be made from this material.
    •Other types of plastic acceptable for food storage include PETE, LDPE, and polypropylene (PP). These plastics are represented by the numbers 1, 4, and 5 respectively.
    •An exception to this rule is bio-plastics, which are categorized under the catch-all symbol "7." Bio-plastics are plastic-like materials that are synthesized from plant-based sources such as corn. These materials are nonreactive and can be used to store food, but note that not all plastics marked as "7" are bio-plastics.


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    2
    Examine any food-handling symbols imprinted on the plastic bucket. A standardized system of symbols is used on plastics to indicate their appropriate uses around food. A symbol depicting a cup and fork means that the plastic is safe for storing food, and is therefore a food grade bucket. Other symbols include radiating waves meaning "microwave-safe," a snowflake meaning "freezer-safe," and dishes in water meaning "dishwasher-safe."


    3
    Consult the label on the plastic buckets. If the buckets still have a price tag, manufacturer's label, or other identifying tag on them, you can consult this tag to determine if the plastic is food grade. Food grade buckets will nearly always be marked as such, because they are often more expensive to produce and thus can be sold at a premium. If the tag is missing, you may be able to contact the manufacturer and ask about the buckets they produce to determine if yours is food grade.


    4
    Utilize buckets that have previously been used to store food. If a plastic bucket was initially designed for food storage, then it is a good bet that it is suitable for storing your own bulk foods. •For example, many bakeries receive frosting and other ingredients in large plastic buckets, often of 5 gallon (19 L) capacity. These bakeries may be willing to donate or sell their empty buckets to you, after which you can clean them and use them for food storage.
    •Smaller plastic containers should be exempted from this rule. For example, bottled water is often packaged using PETE (with the designation "1"), which is designed to be used once and then recycled. PETE is initially food safe, but may break down and release harmful compounds if continually reused.


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    Senior Member RandyRhoads's Avatar
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    LDPE and other non "2" code buckets shouldn't be used for liquid, if anyone was. Also heard about certain colors/dyes possibly being bad

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Little more information on the codes.
    http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/plastics.html
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
    Evoking the 50 year old rule...
    First 50 years...worried about the small stuff...second 50 years....Not so much
    Member Wahoo Killer knives club....#27

  11. #11
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    The Home Depot buckets are HDPE....

    Anyways, I have some food grade buckets with wheat in them that I took from my grandfathers pantry. They are older than me.....pushing 40+ years. We made bread the other day....excellent. All the buckets have been, and still are..stored in a cold dark basement. I just went and looked at one to see what it was made of...but there is no recycling number on it. Probably because it was made before they had to. It looks and feels like PP. I handle and work with a lot of PP and HDPE at work, so my guess is that these buckets are PP buckets. They still seem supple after 40+ years.

    Also, any new HDPE bucket that I leave outside doesn't last more than 2 years. Even the o-ring on the gamma lids go bad if left outside in the winter time.
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