Heads-up: Five gallon buckets nearly exploded - check your stash!

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My wife & I routinely eat from our Y2K preps. This afternoon I went into the storage room to get some basmati rice (Indian food tonight) & was nearly floored by what I saw! Five buckets had their walls sucked in to the point where they probably should have exploded. Yikes!!!

The affected buckets were from the second wave of grains (pun intended) I put up earlier this year. I used the dry ice method. Now I check the contents of the storage room every week or two, look for rodent droppings, make sure the tower of T.P. hasn't collapsed, etc. I'd found no change in the condition of the bucket walls until today.

The real puzzler is this. I burped all the buckets, but only three of the five released gas (CO2 I assume). Could be the burpless buckets had lost contact between rim & lid seal due to going out of round.

Question: Any ideas on how this drastic change in pressure (outside vs. inside buckets) may have occurred? What environmental conditions would need to be present to precipitate this?

Folks, go check your stashes. Stop lurking for a few minutes. No, not "just one more post". Get your butts up out of those comfy chairs. Put down the (your favorite beverage/snack here).

When you're finished checking the goods, please come back to the forum with smiles on your faces, secure in the knowledge you are prepared, intent on giving your favorite troll a break!

Best Wishes,

-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), May 18, 1999


" Five buckets had their walls sucked in to the point where they probably should have exploded. Yikes!!! "

If the walls of the buckets were sucked IN, then that means the temperature on the inside of the buckets had dropped significantly from when you packed them. Get a milk jug, fill it with hot water and seal, leave it standing a few hours, and then look at it. The heat expands the volume of the water at first. As the water cools, the volume shrinks slightly. The sides of the milk jug should look sucked in a bit.

If the walls of the buckets were sucked IN, "burping" the lids would only cause air to be sucked into the buckets. The buckets weren't in danger of EXploding, they were in danger of IMploding.

Thanks for posting this. I've been afraid something like this was possible.

-- shy ann (really@shy.com), May 18, 1999.

This happened to me, and my theory is that it was the addition of oxy absorbers to dry ice method. But ice alone...?

They don't stack as well, but I figure there's a nice vacuum seal.


-- Dano (bookem@blacksand.srf), May 18, 1999.

Could it be because CO2 is 20 times more soluble than O2? Gas ALWAYS goes to the area of least resistence. In OTW, the CO2 can permeate the plastic and O2 and nitrogen can't. Just a guess.


-- Taz (Tassie @aol.com), May 18, 1999.


I'm not an expert when it comes to storing grains though I teaches Y2K seminar. But I understand that if you put more than one oxygen absorber in a say 5 gallon bucket, the bucket wall may go inside. Look up a manual for how many absorber(s) you should place inside. Also, you are supposed to leave a little crack at the lid after you put in the dry ice. This will allow the oxygen to escape first as the dry ice sinks downward, driving up the oxygen.

-- Raymond Kwong (kcorner67@hotmail.com), May 18, 1999.

1. I didn't use oxygen absorbers.

2. I'm experienced with using the dry ice method. As I stated above, these buckets had been put up several months ago with no sign of problems until today.

My thought is a change in the weather, such as a big dip in humidity, might be the causitive factor. Thanks for the responses.

Best Wishes,

-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), May 18, 1999.

Many of my 6.5 gallon pails did this as well (sucked in) . I put 1 oxygen absorber per pail for rice and wheat while 2 oxygen absorbers for beans. Sucking in.....is it really worth being concerned about outside of aesthetics? It seems that would prove you have a good seal. You sure aren't gonna be able to fit any more in there.

Sincerely, Feller

-- Feller (feller@wanna.help), May 18, 1999.

Thanks Feller. My concern is the two buckets which didn't release gas when I burped them. My thought is that the seal didn't hold. I have extra buckets & lids. Perhaps I'll re-pack those two.

-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), May 18, 1999.

Bingo -

I agree with Feller on this one - have seen a bunch that had that rather, er, reduced look, after the O2 absorbers got done, but hey - if they stay that way the seal is holding, so as far as I can see the only thing to worry about is not stacking stuff on them and crushing them.


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), May 19, 1999.

Use good bucket-liners. Put the O2 absorber or dry-ice in the bucket- liner, seal with hot iron, and let the bag, rather than the bucket do the shrinking due to vacuum. Worked great for me (O2 absorbers) except for one bucket I had on which the bucket-liner did not seal. That bucket's side collapsed, but is still sealed OK.

-- Anonymous99 (Anonymous99@Anonymous99.xxx), May 19, 1999.

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