Water Frequently Asked Questions



Where should the 2.5 gallon Samson Stackers be stored? The 2.5 gallon Samson Stackers are ‘neutral’ in color meaning that they do not have the dark blue pigment needed to stop UV light. Store these drums in an area with little or no sunlight, either indoors or under an opaque dark tarp. A closet would be ideal.
Where should the 5, 15 and 55 gallon drums be stored? Store your drums on a solid surface. The weigh a lot when full. It is best to store them in a cool or shady spot. They can be outdoors. Remember that this is for earthquake preparedness. When an earthquake hits, will the drums roll down and become inaccessible? Will the building fall on top of them? In our area we have a lot of hills. If you store outside, consider chaining the drums to something solid, like your house.
Should I cover the drums? Yes, use the shower-cap style covers or a tarp to cover the drums. You want the top of the drums to be clean so you don’t have to clean them before opening the caps and using the water.
How long with the shower-cap style covers last? The shower-caps the we sell are standard, 4 mil food-grade LDPE caps. If used outside, they have a life of a year or two, depending on sun exposure. Inside they should last longer.
I already have a 150 gallon flat bottom tank I used for yard irrigation. Can it be cleaned for drinking water? Yard irrigation tanks, like rain barrels, are usually considered not suitable for drinking water. With that said, some may still want to repurpose these containers for drinking water use.
I have an old water drum that I want to clean and refill. How can I do this? A common sanitizing wash is 1 cup of bleach to 4 gallons of water. In cleaning round drums, insert the bleach solution, screw on the bung caps, then roll them on their sides for several minutes. Repeat rolling a few times at 30 minute intervals. Make sure the bleach mixture saturates all surfaces, including the inside top. Rinse thoroughly at least twice before filling.
Where should I store my wrench, pump and spigot? Preferably indoors, out of sunlight, near your drums in a secure location that will be accessible following a quake.
Can I store drums in my garage? YES, but there are a few things to think about. Storing directly on a concrete floor is fine. The concrete cannot leach through the HDPE plastic drum material. However, if you also store paint thinner, gasoline, or other hydrocarbons in the space, make sure that you elevate your drums. Try putting them on a wooden platform so no spilled hydrocarbons can attack the plastic drum.
How do I dispense water from a 15 gallon drum? There are 2 ways. You can use a siphon pump or you can use a spigot. To use a spigot, you need to knock out the center from one of your drum bung caps. There is an instruction sheet on the Water Drum page. The spigot instructions are at the end. You then put the bung cap back into the bung hole and screw the spigot into the cap. Then tip the drum on its side. You need to have blocks under the drum so you can get a container under the spigot.
How often do I need to refresh the water? Water has no expiration date. Grocery store water has a date because of the plastic bottles made from PET. Our HDPE drums have no expiration date. Once you fill your drums, add the bleach and seal the caps, the water never needs to be replaced.
How much bleach do I need to add? Do not use scented, color safe, or bleaches with added cleaners or gel. Most bleach sold today is 6% or 8.25% sodium hypochlorite.For 6%, use 0.616ml per gallon. 2.5 gallons = 1.5ml  5 gallons = 3ml  15 gallons = 10ml  55 gallons = 35ml
For 8.25% we normally use the same amount for extra safety.
What is the size and weight of the drums? 2.5 Gallon Samson Stacker – 8″ x 9 1/4″ x 11 3/4″ High, 1.2 lbs. empty, 22 lbs. full
5 Gallon Samson Stacker – 12” x 11” x 15” High, 2 lbs. empty, 44 lbs. full
15 Gallon – 15 ½” Diameter, 21 ¾” High, 7 ½ lbs. empty, 127 lbs. full
55 Gallon – 23 ¼” Diameter, 34 ¾ High, , 21 ½ lbs. empty, 465 lbs. full