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Old 11-04-2010, 07:25 AM
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Default Storing/freezing water in a chest freezer, advice?



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I've got a large old chest freezer in my garage. Instead of storing emergency water in liquid form, I'd like to put water in jugs and freeze them for long term storage in the freezer. I would think the freezer would use electricity less often since the ice being stored would regulate the temperature better than storing meat, for instance.

Will milk jugs work or will they explode under expansion?
Is there an ideal storage container for this method? (I'd like to stay in the 1-5 gallon range, but the smaller the better)
Will the water need to be treated prior to storing?
Is there shelf life with frozen water?
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:36 PM
StormWatch StormWatch is offline
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I've read that milk jugs aren't as durable--the plastic is made to degrade in a short period of time. 2-liter pop bottles, on the other hand, would work out fine in a freezer.

Only fill them 3/4 full, as the water will expand when it freezes.

I'd guess you don't have to worry about rotating your water store if it's frozen. Plus you have a bunch of ice to keep food cold if you lose power.
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:02 PM
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You may use milk jugs, though do not fill it full when freezing. Leave room for expansion. I have used the same milk jugs for over 4 years. Hurricanes in my area. I usual freeze to carry to my retreat in the hot summer months.
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:34 PM
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USRealist, I found one of my freezer milk jugs cracked after several years' use. Of course, I've had a bottle of cooking oil spontaneously leak after about 3 years on the shelf at room temperature. What a mess! Maybe it's just me.
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:56 PM
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I like that idea. if there is nothing much in there i would put several jugs in there and some frozen entrée of your choice. let all of them freeze solid and then unplug it. to see how long it would last without power.
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:44 PM
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I've been using 2-liter soda bottles for that for 4 years now. I fill up all available space in the chest freezer with them. I give them a little squeeze before I put the cap on so that when they freeze they can expand instead of bursting. When I go car-camping, I pull a couple of them out and throw them in the cooler... ice for food with no mess of melting ice!
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldawgburns View Post
I like that idea. if there is nothing much in there i would put several jugs in there and some frozen entrée of your choice. let all of them freeze solid and then unplug it. to see how long it would last without power.
Thats what I was wondering too. As long as the outside temp isn't over 90 and baking the inside of my garage, I'd bet things would stay cold for over a week, or maybe more!
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:24 PM
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I always keep jugs of water frozen in any spare room that I have in my freezer , and you are right it will cycle on and off a lot less.
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StormWatch View Post
2-liter pop bottles, on the other hand, would work out fine in a freezer. Only fill them 3/4 full, as the water will expand when it freezes. I'd guess you don't have to worry about rotating your water store if it's frozen. Plus you have a bunch of ice to keep food cold if you lose power.


We use that trick when fishing. No need to buy cubed ice for the fish in the cooler, plus, as the water melts, you have drinking water.
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Old 11-06-2010, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jane333 View Post
USRealist, I found one of my freezer milk jugs cracked after several years' use. Of course, I've had a bottle of cooking oil spontaneously leak after about 3 years on the shelf at room temperature. What a mess! Maybe it's just me.
Lady, be thankful. We forgot to put out milk for the Wee Folk, and they turned my lady's birth control pills into aspirin on us.... All you had to do is clean up a mess. Dirty diapers.....
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:19 PM
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I have both my freezers 1/2 full of water.. in milk and juice bottles. Like said above.. only fill to 3/4 as they do expand. Milk jugs have lasted 2-3yrs so far with me, with no damage noted.
It's very helpful in power outs, keeps food cold longer without power, reduces power needed in long run and of course the beni of water if needed.
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:35 PM
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Would my rubber (I think they are rubber) military surplus water bags leave a tainted taste to the water or even work (fall apart) in the freezer?
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:59 PM
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Would my rubber (I think they are rubber) military surplus water bags leave a tainted taste to the water or even work (fall apart) in the freezer?
Cold will make 'em brittle.
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:48 PM
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I did not want to try it and destroy the bag.
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:41 PM
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I've read elsewhere not to use milk or juice containers to store water, only soda or water containers. Has this advice changed? I also keep bottles of water in the freezer, to take up air space and as a reserve, and to use in the cooler.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:16 PM
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I went looking and found nothing but hoaxes. You can use any plastic bottle to freeze and store water. Snopes disproved it and John Hopkins University also. I guess you can't believe everything that you get in emails.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:46 PM
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I used milk and soda bottles full of water to keep my freezer full. Never had a problem with the plastic, but the water tasted very bad.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:53 AM
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The only bottles I've found to work well in my chest freezer are the clear 2-liter and 1-liter type water bottles. The thin plastic 12-20oz water bottles tend to crack frequently as to plastic milk jugs. The milk jugs also tend to make the water taste poorly. 2-liters on the other hand will keep frozen for years. My chest kept meat frozen for almost a month when my chest freezer was accidentally unplugged about two years ago. Ambient temp at the time was 50-60F.
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