DIY PVC Frozen Ice Containers For Emergencies

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This is my DIY PVC frozen ice containers experiment that I just finished. I went to Home Depot because they are close to my house and the staff is always cheerful to help cut my stuff. I learned that Home Depot could not cut the PVC with their regular chop saw. These had to be sawed by hand. I have cut PVC at home with our chop saw but they have their rules and I totally get it, rules are rules. The employee just kept cutting by hand, although several contractors kept walking by and would tell the guy “you can cut those with your chop saw a lot faster”. We just laughed and talked while he sawed them by hand. I needed them 12 inches long. I bought a 10-foot PVC piece of pipe so there was no way I could take that home in my car. I love Home Depot!

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Today I am going to compare the 12 inch by 2 inch PVC frozen containers to a plastic 16.9-ounce size water bottle. Now, I must note that I had to open the water bottle and drink part of the water so it would not expand in the freezer. I measured the remaining water in the plastic water bottle. It had 1-3/4 cups of water in it with the lid screwed on tight. The 12 inch by 2 inch PVC tube I filled with 2-1/4 cups of water. I filled the 12 inch by 1-1/2 inch PVC tubes with 1-1/3 cups water.

DIY PVC Frozen Ice Tubes-easy to make for coolers and lunch boxes by FoodStorageMoms.com

Cut The PVC Pipes

As you can see, I have two different sizes of PVC pipes with the caps that go with them. I had all of them cut 12 inches. The glue is clear, and to be honest with you I would not drink the water if I had to break these open. I am sure some of the glue leaked inside the PVC tubes a little as I spread that little glue brush around. Plus who knows what is in the PVC pipe leaching into the water. I would not waste the water, I could use it for toilet flushing…

DIY PVC Frozen Ice Tubes-easy to make for coolers and lunch boxes by FoodStorageMoms.comClean The PVC Containers

The first thing you do is clean the PVC tubes as well as you can. They must be dry before you can glue the one end. My hubby is a real sport to help me when I come up with these projects!

DIY PVC Frozen Ice Tubes-easy to make for coolers and lunch boxes by FoodStorageMoms.comGlue The PVC Tubes & Caps

The next step is to quickly apply the glue around the tube and the inside of the PVC caps. Then quickly put them together and make a 1/4 turn/twist and then press down for 15 seconds to hold the cap in place. Easy peasy! Be sure and have some paper towels or newspaper for drips..lots of drips.

DIY PVC Frozen Ice Tubes-easy to make for coolers and lunch boxes by FoodStorageMoms.com

Let Dry 24 Hours

I waited 24 hours for the caps to dry to make sure they would not leak. Here is where the measuring comes in. I realize I put the amounts of water to add in the dialogue above, but here they are again in plain sight:

12 inch by 2-inch tube=2-1/4 cups water

12 inch by 1-1/2 inch tube=1-1/3 cups water

Water Bottle 16.9 ounce=1-3/4 cups water

DIY PVC Frozen Ice Tubes-easy to make for coolers and lunch boxes by FoodStorageMoms.com

Fill With Water

Now here is the tricky part. You need two people to fill the water and glue the caps on the ends. The PVC tubes move. Trust me, they move and spill doing it yourself. Just giving you the heads up. Ask for help to fill and glue. Wait 24 hours to let the PVC dry and place in your freezer.

DIY PVC Frozen Ice Tubes-easy to make for coolers and lunch boxes by FoodStorageMoms.com
Now my final results on which container would last longer in a power outage, in your camping cooler, your fishing cooler, etc. The 12 inch by 2 inches PVC frozen tube stayed colder for about 3 hours longer than the other two. Obviously, it has more frozen water in it. But the really cool thing, the PVC will not sweat. Nope, it stayed dry sitting on my kitchen counter for the frozen/cold temperature experiment. I put the different sized container tubes shown above in my freezer for a few hours. They are now ready to keep my perishables cold if they need to stay cold in an unforeseen disaster.

Now if you had children or someone who takes a lunchbox to work, you could cut these smaller and fit any size lunch box. You can cut them to fit your exact cooler. WooHoo! Put the fish you catch under these and they will stay cold and out of the water until you get home. These stay strong long after the regular water bottles freeze, crack and leak. WooHoo!

Frank’s (awesome reader) Idea

Unless you ever plan to break or drill into these containers, there isn’t much reason to worry about the water’s purity. If you wanted to spend a few dollars more, one could use a threaded cap and the adapter thus making them into both a canteen and a freezer pack. I’d replace the water every six months as recommended for stored water.
Just as when using the PVC for plumbing, you’d allow the glue to dry thoroughly and then I’d give each container a wash with soapy water since we can’t just run water through them as if they were delivering water to a faucet. So, I would glue, let dry, wash quickly and they’d be ready to use once you dry them off – at least the outside and the threads.

Thank you, Home Depot for cutting my PVC!

Survival food storage by Linda

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33 thoughts on “DIY PVC Frozen Ice Containers For Emergencies

  • October 22, 2014 at 8:20 am
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    Great idea ! Thanks for taking the time to do and share this. I usually use water/soda bottles as “ice cubes”. I like that these don’t sweat. I will try this.

    Reply
    • October 22, 2014 at 10:11 am
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      Hi Jackie, I like that they stack easily in my freezer and are ready to grab. I prefer the 2 inch for my large cooler. Blessings Linda

      Reply
  • October 22, 2014 at 9:26 am
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    Good idea
    P.S. what website do you mean.

    Reply
    • October 22, 2014 at 10:13 am
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      Hi Robt, sorry the only website I think I mentioned was Home Depot. Let me know what you mean, thanks so much. Linda

      Reply
  • October 22, 2014 at 10:57 am
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    Sorry about that
    I meant the one right below my e mail address on this page.

    Reply
    • October 22, 2014 at 11:01 am
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      Hi Robt, I am not real techy. I just made a comment and I cannot see a website. Linda

      Reply
  • October 22, 2014 at 12:20 pm
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    you said you wouldn’t drink the water out of these tubes. Think about it a while. These same pipes and glue are used all over for water supplies. If you look you might have some under your sink right now…..for the water supply and the drain.

    Reply
    • December 23, 2015 at 4:51 am
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      There are different types of plastic pipes used for potable (safe to drink) water. PVC is not one of them. CPVC is used for potable water and is safe. PVC is usually reserved for drainage or irrigation, not drinking water.

      Reply
      • December 23, 2015 at 11:33 am
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        Hi Joe, I would not use these for drinking water either. I use them only as an emergency to keep my freezer cold if the power goes out. Thanks for the tip on the CPVC pipe which is used for potable water. Linda

        Reply
      • August 2, 2017 at 2:10 pm
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        PVC is used for potable water, and CPVC for hot water. Water mains all over the country are PVC and distribute drinking water to homes, businesses and factories. There is absolutely nothing wrong with PVC when it comes to drinking the water. Where you came up with PVC not being safe is FALSE.
        Please research your comments a little better before posting as some people may take you seriously.
        Have a Great Day………

        Reply
          • August 3, 2017 at 6:46 am
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            Was from Joe concerning PVC pipe, not being able to drink from pipes made of PVC. Joe is the one that I was referring to as far as the research goes.

          • August 3, 2017 at 5:49 pm
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            Thanks, Jon, I appreciate your comment, people do need to know! You rock! All our pipes were PVC up north. Linda

    • October 24, 2014 at 4:33 am
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      Hi WandaAnn, I’m glad you like these! Happy Friday! Hugs! Linda

      Reply
  • October 26, 2014 at 2:45 pm
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    Great idea, Linda. When I first saw the tube next to the water bottle, I thought you were making small ones that would make ice “tubes” to slip into the bottle. Boy, was I wrong. You’ve always got great ideas. Thanks for sharing. Thanks to hubby, too, for his efforts.

    Reply
    • October 27, 2014 at 5:55 am
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      Hi Joyce, I was going to make smaller ones for lunch boxes but I didn’t get to that! Blessings, Linda

      Reply
  • October 28, 2014 at 8:53 am
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    Unless you ever plan to break or drill into these containers, there isn’t much reason to worry about the water’s purity. If you wanted to spend a few dollars more, one could use a threaded cap and the adapter thus making them into both a canteen and a freezer pack. I’d replace the water every six months as recommended for stored water.
    Just as when using the PVC for plumbing, you’d allow the glue to dry thoroughly and then I’d give each container a wash with soapy water since we can’t just run water through them as if they were delivering water to a faucet. So, I would glue, let dry, wash quickly and they’d be ready to use once you dry them off – at least the outside and the threads.

    Reply
    • October 28, 2014 at 9:52 am
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      Frank, I glad you brought this up. I just saw some threaded caps. Great idea! I am adding you comment to my post! Thank you so much! Linda

      Reply
  • January 13, 2016 at 6:35 am
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    These is very incredible and very clever. I love these idea. It’ unique but really helpful. Thanks for sharing these in your blog.

    Reply
  • January 27, 2016 at 8:53 pm
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    You know, if you were to add salt or alcohol to the water it will get colder and therefore also stay colder longer. Might be a useful alteration.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2016 at 11:59 am
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    Hi Linda, I just read about the PVC Frozen Ice Containers. I may have overlooked, but how long do these containers stay cold? How long will they keep items cool in an icechest?

    Thanks for your rely.
    Jeff

    Reply
    • July 6, 2016 at 12:22 pm
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      Hi Jeff, no you didn’t overlook how long the PVC tubes would last. There are so many variables depending on your cooler or freezer. I use them to take cold drinks directly from the frig and go to a park or family reunion and they stay cold. I don’t have to buy ice cubes or use the ice from my refrigerator. I love them because they are ready at all times from the freezer to grab and take. I like them also because they will keep my freezer colder longer if we have a power outage. I hope this helps. Linda

      Reply
  • November 5, 2016 at 7:41 am
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    I was looking for ideas for the young girls in our church group to make something for the leaders who give us so much help. This is a wonderful idea. I am thinking they can use permanent markers in their choice of colors to decorate and write words of thanks or gratitude on the pipes and end caps and follow through on sealing them. We can then spray with a clear sealant to help their artwork and words of gratitude last, make a treat and make a big deal of presenting their homemade and practical and, I am sure they will say “awesome” gift. Thank you for the idea and instructions.

    Reply
    • November 5, 2016 at 8:45 am
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      Hi Janey, this is a fabulous idea to give to those that help our youth in so many ways! I LOVE this idea for the girls to work together on a project that will show love at the same time! Hugs! Linda and

      Reply
  • April 10, 2018 at 5:13 pm
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    Could these be used to drop into a Yeti glass to keep liquid cold?

    Reply
    • April 10, 2018 at 6:42 pm
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      Hi Pj, interesting question, I would research what is in the PVC pipe where you purchase it before I put it in my water jug. Coolers are one thing, I’m not sure I would trust the safety in my drinking water. Linda

      Reply
  • September 2, 2018 at 9:00 am
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    How long do they stay frozen. I am truck driver and this would be a great savings.

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    • September 2, 2018 at 11:39 am
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      Hi Bill, they stay frozen for a very long time. It all depends on how well insulated your cooler is. I keep several in my freezer and of course, they never melt. They are great for times when the power goes out. They work awesome. Linda

      Reply

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