View Full Version : Planned obsolecense

Kev Williams
01-16-2016, 2:35 PM

This may seem trivial, but- I've had a 10 quart plastic bucket with a handle around here for several years. Use it for every bucket purpose.

So 10 minutes ago, I find one of my flood-coolant containers is needing a refill. So I fill the bucket about 2/3 with water & oil, carry it over to the container to fill it, and as I grab the bottom of the bucket to tip it, the handle broke in half above the pivot. Followed immediately by the opposite pivot breaking apart. So now I have 2 gallons of oily water heading for the floor so I attempt an interception, and my hand goes right thru the side of the bucket...!

Last time I used it (not that long ago), it was still flexible. Today it's as fragile as sugar glass. Glad I wasn't carrying paint in it...

I'm sure I got my money's worth out of it, but I have to wonder if the plastic was purposely engineered that way. I've been told by more than one inventor that it does their business no good if what they sell never wears out or breaks! ;)

Frederick Skelly
01-16-2016, 4:26 PM
Has it been sitting in sunlight? That will make some plastics turn brittle.

Bill Orbine
01-16-2016, 5:00 PM
Has it been sitting in sunlight? That will make some plastics turn brittle.

Yes, that is true! Also true if the plastic is very cold as cooler temps makes plastic less pliable.

Roger Nair
01-16-2016, 5:00 PM
Plastic buckets, such as, 5 gal. paint or drywall buckets are first packaging for consumable commodities that are used directly after purchase so long life span is not a leading design concern. If you really want a life long service from buckets then stainless milk pails or dipped galvanized steel buckets will be able to last through hard daily service, just be prepared to pay a far higher price.

Wade Lippman
01-16-2016, 5:47 PM
There are dozens of companies selling plastic buckets. Maybe hundreds.
Why would the company that sold your old bucket make it wear out prematurely so you would have to buy another bucket, which almost certainly wouldn't be one of theirs?

Many plastics, such as polyethylene (which I presume your bucket was), gets brittle. It is not a conspiracy.

Tom Stenzel
01-16-2016, 6:28 PM
When my older brother was a baby my mother needed a bucket to put the dirty diapers in. Disposable diapers weren't invented yet and wouldn't be for some time. The bucket was used when I was a baby and both my younger brothers. She got a yellow plastic bucket with a steel wire handle.

I use it to wash the car, clean the grill, just about any outside job that needs a bucket. The plastic is still pliable. It's over 60 years old.

Value engineering. BAH! It's a conspiracy I say! And get off my lawn.