Thursday, January 13, 2022

Prepper Gear #EpicFail + Good Alternatives

By Tim Gamble

#EpicFail -  Ozark Trail 6-Gallon Water Jugs

There is a serious design flaw in the Ozark Trail 6-gallon water jugs sold at Wal-mart stores (and elsewhere). This design flaw lead to 100% of my Ozark Trail jugs leaking within two years of my purchasing them. These green water storage jugs have an X-design stamped on two sides. This X-design apparently creates weak spots in the material, eventually leading to leaks along the edges of the X.

Several years ago, I bought four of the Ozark Trail water jugs at Wal-mart to use as part of my water storage. I filled them up and put them in a spare bedroom that I use for storage. About six-months later, I noticed that one of the jugs had developed a leak along the X on one side. I had to throw out the leaking jug, of course. But it had leaked over 1/2 of the water out onto the floor. It soaked through the carpet to the wood below, causing it to buckle and warp. 

Over the next year-and-a-half, all three of the remaining Ozark Trail jugs started leaking, all along the same spot - the edges of the X stamped in their sides. This X is a serious design flaw that apparently will cause all these water storage jugs to start leaking eventually. If you have these jugs, you may want to check to see if they are leaking yet. I suggest feeling along the edges of each X for moisture. 

Luckily, after the first jug leaked, I placed the remaining three jugs on plastic sheeting, which prevented the floor-warping damage done by the first leak. Lesson learned: make sure that any leaking water storage won't do any damage. 

Good Alternatives: I now use the 7-gallon Aqua-Tainers by Reliance. I have a dozen, at least two of which are over five years old, yet none of them have developed any leaks. I have them on the floor, with plastic sheeting underneath them, under a couple of tables in the spare room, with more supplies on top of the tables.  

(Tip: If you have have a spare bedroom, consider getting rid of the bed, and put in tables and shelving for your prepper supplies. It is a good storage solution and a great excuse to not have relatives stay overnight!)

I also have about 65 of the glass 1-gallon table wine bottles, now filled with water. I know that sounds like a lot of wine consumed, but I've been "collecting" those bottles for a number of years now. 😊 I like them for water storage because they are not too heavy and are easy to handle. They are stackable (at least for one layer) by placing a sturdy board across the top of the bottom set of bottles. 

I recently added some stackable plastic 3-gallon jugs I found at Wal-mart, but have only been using them for a few months. Its too early to give them a proper review. 

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