What is a Gamma Lid
Gamma Seal Lids (UPDATED – color choices shown below), also known simply as “gamma lids“. They will effectively create an airtight seal for a typical 5 gallon plastic bucket with the convenience of a screw-on lid.
Also, 5 gallon gamma lids fit UN Standard 3.5 Gallon, 5 Gallon, 6 Gallon, and 7 Gallon Buckets with a 12″ Diameter.
Once installed, Gamma seal lids enable easy-on, easy-off because they simply screw-on and screw-off (spin).
Gamma seal lids convert 5 gallon plastic buckets into airtight storage containers with easy access – of which the benefits and uses are numerous.
Note, in the context of prepping and preparedness (using buckets for storing dry foods long term).. It is recommended to store these foods within a sealed Mylar bag fitted inside the 5 gallon bucket, along with a 2000 cc oxygen absorber in the bag.
In other words, don’t solely rely on the gamma lid seal for long term storage (e.g. wheat, rice, etc..). Rather, the gamma seal lid provides excellent easy access for AFTER you’ve opened the Mylar bag. It will keep everything dry and free from further oxygen accumulation as you begin to consume what’s inside.
Keep reading for other common uses..
Gamma Lids come in various colors
Colors may assist in quickly identifying contents.
The following looks to be the best price as of this post for a set of six 5 gallon food grade buckets.
Durable 90 Mil thickness:
How To Install & Use Gamma Seal Lids
The outer ring “snaps” to the top of the bucket with the help of a rubber mallet.
First remove the inner threaded lid from the ring (the two pieces come screwed together).
Place the bucket on a solid surface. Tap the portion of the gamma lid with the O-ring – hard enough to seat it all the way around the bucket’s diameter.
Work your way around the ring until it all ‘snaps’ in place.
Tip: It will be easier with a warm bucket and lid rather than cold.
Then, simply spin on the detachable lid portion.
Tip: Before installing the snap-on ring, be sure there’s a gasket (O-ring) seated inside. This is what provides the main bucket-to-lid air-tight seal. Also be sure there actually is an O-ring around the perimeter of the spin on/off lid (in case it fell out). This provides the air-tight seal of the removable lid.
Gamma Seal Lid Features
- Air tight to a reasonable extent (due to the rubber gaskets)
- Easy and Fast to open (spin on/off)
- Variety of colors may assist inventory control
- Stack-able to an extent
- Re-sealed over and over again
- Protects contents while providing easy access
- Keeps dry foods fresher longer (eg dog food)
- Leak proof (two gaskets, one on each part)
- Keeps insects and moisture out
- BPA free and Food Grade safe
The Many Uses For A Gamma Seal Lid
- Dry pet food storage
- ‘Working’ inventory storage of dry foods (rice, wheat, beans, oatmeal, sugar, salt etc..)
- Very handy when accessing every day items
- Emergency supplies
- Camping and Fishing gear
- Bulk Laundry Detergents (larger sizes save you money)
- Potting/Planting Soil Mix
- Boating (keep towels dry, part spares, etc.)
- Pesticides, Chemicals
- Chicken Feed
- 100’s of other uses!
Tip regarding sugar storage: Some time ago I had purchased a big bag of sugar and dumped it in a 5-gallon bucket for long term storage. Eventually it turned into a brick. Maybe because that bucket was on a cold concrete floor – possibly creating condensation to some extent (enough to brick the sugar). Nowadays I just buy the small bags (4 pounders?) and set them in the bucket without dumping. Set bucket on piece of wood resting on concrete floor.
A Few More Tips
STACKING Gamma Lid Buckets: With Gamma Seal Lids, avoid stacking buckets too high if the contents are heavy. This puts additional stress on the threaded lids. A typical 5 gallon pail of rice or wheat weighs about 30 pounds. If you stack them more than two high I would simply place a board between each one so the weight is transferred to the bucket’s edge (no problem).
LABELS: While color coded gamma lids help, we label each and every bucket. It’s easy if you use “white artist tape” because it will peel off readily later on, and a Sharpie writes on it quite well.
LUBRICATE GASKETS: To extend longevity and pliability of the rubber O-ring gaskets, DO NOT use petroleum jelly or petroleum based lubricants because this will eventually ruin (eat) the rubber. Instead use a silicone lube such as silicone plumbers grease:
Are Gamma Seal Lids Worth It?
Are they worth the money? Yes, I believe they are worth it.
In my opinion there are uses where it’s so convenient that it is worth the money.
If you seal a bucket with the standard snap-on lid, it becomes very difficult to remove and is certainly NOT convenient for accessing its contents from time to time.
Tip: For standard lids, you need a special tool (bucket lid wrench / pail opener). This one is a better one because it’s metal (aluminum). Whereas the plastic one’s aren’t as good:
Winco Pail Opener
What about you? Do any of you use Gamma Lids?