I’ve finally learned how a Gamma lid fails.

If you store long-term food, I’m sure you’re familiar with the Gamma Seal line of spin-on bucket lids. They seal airtight, and until today I assumed they’d last forever. Pricy, but worth it.

Noticed the line in the center of this one, didn’t realize it was an open crack until some flour got wet in a bucket that was supposed to be sealed.

Zoom in.

Zoom in.

Just stress in the casting, I guess. Temperature changes, maybe?

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to I’ve finally learned how a Gamma lid fails.

  1. Phil says:

    That ain’t cool, those are supposed to be like the ultimate bucket lid for preppers.
    It’s the first I have heard of one failing like that so leave it to your luck to find out they do break but there must a couple million of those things out there by now.

  2. Norman says:

    Mucho distressing. Any info on usage frequency and conditions? Was this the bottom bucket in a stack? If it contains your flour, I’m assuming you open/close it frequently, and also that it was stored away from UV. How old is the lid? I wonder if anyone here has experience repairing them.

    Where it cracked isn’t much of a surprise; given the design, the 4 raised areas act as reinforced areas and vertical force applied to them would have to be concentrated in the center because the rim won’t move – it’s held in place by the support provided from the threaded ring secured to the bucket rim. Rotational force is probably not a factor, assuming it’s applied within the lid’s plane and not accompanied by vertical force.

    So, once again the prepper’s maxim – “two is one and one is none” dictates maintaining a certain percentage of spare lids (I have no idea what that ratio needs to be but I’d guess about 5-8% spares, depending on usage frequency). I wonder if only the removable lids are available and cheaper than buying both parts since the bucket rim ring will probably be secure much longer.

  3. Ben says:

    So far anyhow, I would say that is quite repairable. If you think those cracks might continue to propagate across the lid, drill a nice smooth hole right at each crack end to stop them, and then patch by your favorite method to make the lid waterproof again.

  4. Joel says:

    Yeah, I’ll probably slather some Seal-All on it and demote it to the bucket with boxes of pasta or something.

    I’ve got a bunch of these, and some I bought and some (including this one) I inherited so I don’t know how old this one is but it ain’t new. It has done a lot of duty.

  5. Kentucky says:

    What Ben said . . . and just because belt and suspenders, I’d finish it off with a little duct tape.


  6. Judy says:

    Stacked something heavy on top that had something sharp on bottom? Guess I need to look at my gamma seal buckets.

  7. terrapod says:

    Hi Joel
    After 38 years of working with things that break (electronics, rail car brakes and automotive) after looking at the zoomed in pic the cause of the crack is the sharp edges left from the injection molding process used to make the lids, if you look real close you will see all kinds of miniature spikes around the dot left by the mold at that spot when it was removed. My estimation is that temperature changes over time stretched and shrunk the plastic enough to cause a crack to start, then propagate from the dot with spiky remains which are the point of origin. If something heavy was stacked on top that would just accelerate the process as it placed more tension on the lid. Ben has the correct solution, drill small holes to stop the crack from continuing, then seal the whole thing back up with something that sticks to plastic real well. It should remain airtight after that.

  8. Kentucky says:

    Search “gamma seal lid failures” for a gazillion threads on this. Apparently it’s a common thing, and there are other problems as well.

  9. MJR says:

    First I’ve ever heard of a Gamma lid fail so I went and googled it just to see if there were others in similar situations. Oh boy there are a few YouTube videos on this subject. I guess given enough time, temperature changes and throw in variations on humidity any plastic will fail. I’m sorry it had to happen to you but from a personal standpoint it’s something that’s good to know.

To the stake with the heretic!