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Author Topic: Water butt tap washers  (Read 5993 times)
wookey
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« on: April 08, 2017, 11:29:29 PM »

I am getting a bit bored of having drain a butt every so often just to replace the crappy tap washer that has lasted less than 5 years. The supplied ones always crack after a while. Is there such a thing as better quality washers? Not sure if it is UV or age that is doing them in, but something that resists both well, with just the right resilience and creep to seal well and stay that way is in order.

I've tried a bit of net-searching with negligible success so far. BES don't obviously have anything fat enough in the right size, so I'm wondering if you lot have any bright ideas.

Which materials are best? Has anyone tried neoprene foam? I have lots of that, but I'm not sure how well it would seal - bit too squashy. I really don't care if they cost 3 each instead of 0.15, so long as I can ignore them for at least a decade.
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Wookey
oliver90owner
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2017, 08:46:48 AM »

Use gate valves instead?
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Philip R
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2017, 10:33:28 PM »

Gate valves leak for a passtime, they will be worse than the old vlaves with knackerred rubber washers!

How about some 1/4 turn lever operated ball valves.

Philip R
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wookey
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2017, 04:50:28 AM »

It's the sealing to the tub wall that's the issue. I've got to do that whatever valve is used.

Some more research found this lot:
rubberwashers.co.uk, who sell nitrile, EPDM, acetal, neoprene, rubber, silicone, polyurethane and Viton, and a have a handy pros/cons table:
 http://www.rubberwashers.co.uk/Material_Guide

So it seems that EPDM is probably the best material in this application. I have a load of that left over from some shed-roofing. Too thin, of course but but cutting out three washers I made something that is a bit squidgy, but has done the job. We'll see how it lasts.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 09:52:18 PM by wookey » Logged

Wookey
MR GUS
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2017, 09:03:57 AM »

Point well made wookey ...pointless emptying out ..no way of sticking it in a wheelie bin for a day rather than down the drain though?

Makes me think & wonder whether you had high u.v. exposure? Were only replaced one washer (& tap) in 17 years due to boxer pup chewing one, all ours are in fairly shielded sites bar one out front which gets afternoon sun, ..any idea from manufacturers what the design life of the washers are, they should be more than your getting from them! ...no additives ?(bleach to deter mosquitoes et al)

Have you considered simply using a gutter sealant if the new washer is capable of handling the compound with no Ill effect? (inside & out) ..works OK on guttering gaskets ...3 quid or so but doesn't deal with "cr*p product spec values" though.
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roys
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2017, 06:55:14 PM »

I fitted the valve to my barrel by using a bulkhead valve fitting which came with a fibre washer if I remember correctly, but I do remember that I had a tube of black rubber type silicone for fitting car wind screens, I gave the washer a good smear of it, that was 10 years ago and had no problems.
Wait see it wil start leaking tomorrow Smiley
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todthedog
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2017, 08:21:48 PM »

How about horse hair and plumbers mate?
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Nickel2
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2017, 08:42:55 PM »

My dad's water-butts all had black plastic conical seated taps, a bit like the old gas taps. They never leaked in umpteen years of service, and the butts were drained and cleaned before the frosts.
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MR GUS
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2017, 05:29:03 AM »

+1 Todd,  plumbers mait , great idea.
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jonesy
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« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2017, 11:04:35 PM »

I have 3 water butts that get sun all day and the washers are failing in less than 5 years.  I snapped the lever off one, so I  changed it.  It's a 500 l butt, so with a few bucket fulls removed, I could reach in and unscrew the nut.  A helper held the old tap in place, then swapped it over, and I screwed the nut back on.  I lost about 1 litre into a bucket.
Like you I failed to find any washers, but epdm o-rings came to the rescue. I think I'll put an old plastic bottle over the taps to keep the sun off.
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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2017, 06:21:25 AM »

I reckon most of the leaks round the outside of the tap happen because of the movement of the plastic tap when it's in operation.   After repairing leak after leak, I solved this on my old water butts by bodging about 45cm of flexi hose onto a bit of 15mm copper pipe.  The hose then attached to the water butt's plastic tap, with a suitable jubilee clip.  It was then an easy job to bang in a wooden stake and attach a proper brass garden tap plumbed onto the copper.  The water butt tap stayed permanently open and leak-free due to the lack of wobbling around. I linked 2 water butts together without using those nasty plastic linking kits - just used a 15mm copper tee.

A side-benefit was that I had space to put a bit of trellis in front of the water butts (better visually and also helping to shade the water/minimise the growth of algae) without having to reach through vegetation to get to the plastic tap...
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todthedog
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2017, 06:52:33 AM »

Great idea!
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