How to keep H2O containers from freezing? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

If there is no power or heat, unheated water in the winter will quickly freeze. How do you get ice out of 55 gal drums (if they don't burst first)?

This means the water bags and drums need to be kept unfrozen. THis means they need to be near your heat source. If your heat source is a wood burning stove or fireplace in one room of your house, what does this mean, you need to have all your water containers circled around the hearth and filled on New Year's eve? What does all this weight mean to your floor? And IF their is still power, how do you empty those containers and move them out without messing up the carpet?

-- Si (, October 31, 1999


I put my barrels in the basement on cement blocks (so I could get the containers to fill from the foset near the base). Placed them next to my washing machine-- that way I can fill from the water supply there. If there isn't a problem I figure I could toss the water into my washer as part of that process and let the machine pump it out a few gallons at a time----if the washer complains, then I guess I will carry it out a gallon at a time.---I sure make enough trips to the basement to accomplish that within a reasonable time. When empty, the water barrels will come up from the basement and go to a catchment area where I will collect for the garden for the growing season---no more horrendous watering bills for me if there is no problem, and if there is, I have a system that could hydrate me and my garden---(IF it rains.)If the city water problem goes on longer than a year, I will place some of the barrells in the basement again as it gets cold and at that point, I suppose I will have to transport the water from outside, downstairs, in order to prevent freezing---that plan needs some work! Actually, there is a window in the basement and I could connect the outside barrel with a hose and let gravity feed the water to the basement barrel. Ta DA!! If all this fails there is a river within a reasonable distance, however I am concered about hauling it.

-- catherine plamondon (, October 31, 1999.

Providing you leave enough air space in the barrels, there shouldn't be any freezing problems, should there? I'm not sure how much water expands when it freezes--surely someone knows? Twenty percent? To be on the safe side, I've left about 25 percent space in my containers.

-- Old Git (, October 31, 1999.

Old Git, I filled mine to the top. I read that it keeps any fungus, etc from forming because everything in the barrel is covered by the water (w/ bleach in it) Now I'm not so sure. Never considered freezing since they're in the basement w/the wood stove. Needs research I guess

-- (, October 31, 1999.

Ol Git, I've had even half-full drums freeze and bulge the bottoms out to the point they leak. The problem is if they are sitting on the ground, the bottom freezes last. With the top and sides of the water already rigid ice, down is where the expansion goes. Locating smaller, more manageable containers in a non-freezing area (crawl space) seems to be the best option.

FWIW, I think the percentage expansion is about 10% - the same amount as the part of an iceberg *above* the water.


-- Moontana Joe (, November 02, 1999.

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