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Cleaning 55 gallon drums
#1
I picked up four of those blue 55 gallon food storage drums. A couple of these had vinegar in them and the others smell like fruit salad. (something citrus anyhow) My plan was to use them for emergency water storage but before I can do that they need to be sanitized. I'm thinking of just firing up the pressure washer and shooting the insides through the bung holes. The problem with that method is, I can't really clean the very top of the barrel since the wand on the PW is straight.

Another thought was to add some play sand, dish soap and water to them, seal them up and roll them around the yard for 15 minutes. The sand should be enough grit to give the inside a good scrubbing and it can be easily rinsed out afterwards.

I know a few of you have some reserve water stored in drums. How did you sanitize them before use?

Also, does anyone has a source for a good bung wrench?
Ammunition, it's the new lead bullion. Buy it cheap and stack it deep.
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#2
It can be a project that's for sure. The ones that have the band's are easier to clean.

This is the wrench I got. Works great and is cheap, seems to be some kind of fiber plastic...
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001MSMHN2...ot_redir=1

Just don't rent any box trucks or buy pallets of instant cold packs for a while.
[Image: picsay-1358258813.jpg]
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#3
That's the same wrench that I got too, it works well. I'd say the only problem with your sand method is getting all the sand out of them when you're done. That's going to be tough. You can sanitize them with some clorox. Put some hot water inside them, pour in some clorox and roll them around the yard for a while, then let them sit out in the sun closed up. After a few hours open them up pour out everything and give them a good rinsing. The clorox will eventually destabilize and with enough dilution you won't notice that you used it.
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#4
I wish I had the scratch for one of these 250 gallon monsters. There's no way I could justify spending $700 on something like this right now. Then again, it would seem like a deal if I was thirsty and there was no clean water to be had.

[Image: dr7zvt.jpg]

Anyone wanna do a group buy? The price goes down to $650 if you buy two.
Ammunition, it's the new lead bullion. Buy it cheap and stack it deep.
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#5
Rik Bitter;152061 Wrote:I wish I had the scratch for one of these 250 gallon monsters. There's no way I could justify spending $700 on something like this right now. Then again, it would seem like a deal if I was thirsty and there was no clean water to be had.

[Image: dr7zvt.jpg]

Just get one of these...
[Image: 275%20GAL%20Tote%20Med.jpg]
I see them all the time at consignment auctions and can be had for around a hundred bucks. Sometimes less if you get lucky.
[Image: picsay-1358258813.jpg]
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#6
Take a threaded peice of pipe. Cap one end. ThreAd on a hose to npt adaptor on the other end. Drill 1/8" hole all the way around the pipe.

This will work really well when cleaning drums. I use them at work all the time. I do not know how they did it before I came along.

Mighgt work well with the high pressure if you can find adaptors to the hose.
[Image: image.php?type=sigpic&userid=2638&dateline=1255032341][Image: 180-180-allied-light.png]

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Normanvin, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#7
The only problem with the IBC totes is they're hard to get into tight places because they're so big. They can be disassembled, but that big plastic bin isn't that flexible that you can get it through standard doorways. So if you want to store water in your basement, you may have a tough time getting them in.
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#8
There isn't any practical way to clean them at home for potable water. We had a spinner at work to wash with hot water, then CIP and then timed hot water flush. It did the big totes and drums. Similar to the spinner we used in our tankers.

Find new ones.
Take this trouble for me: Make sure my shepherd dog remains a working dog, for I have struggled all my life long for that aim ~ Max von Stephanitz

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#9
I was finally able to get my barrels cleaned up using my power washer. Initially I didn't think this would work because the straight wand only allowed for cleaning the sides and bottom of the barrel. There was no way to get under the top and around the bung holes. After thinking this over and reading everyones suggestions my plan was to get some fittings appropriate for a pressure washer and make a spinner contraption. While I was looking for fittings I stumbled upon a 45ish degree bent wand extension made for cleaning gutters from the ground. Perfect! This would let me get under the top of the barrel.

[Image: 2jffy9l.jpg]

After a good cleaning w/ my new gizmo I put 2 gallons of ~2500 ppm bleach solution inside and rolled them around the yard for a bit. Then a one hour soak right side up and an hour upside down followed by a good rinsing and a second power washing.

I now have 110 gal. of fresh water stored away in case of emergency. I'll let this sit for 6 months or so and then send a water sample out for testing to see if my cleaning job was sufficient.

After I get a few other projects off my plate I'll get to work on a simple rain water system. Most likely it will have to wait for the spring.
Ammunition, it's the new lead bullion. Buy it cheap and stack it deep.
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