Brute water storage container color, does it matter?

Ecotech Marine

JReef3

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As the title says, I’m wondering if all Rubbermaid Brute commercial containers are safe for storage of RO/DI and mixed salt water. I searched briefly at first and thought they’d all be safe and decided to get a blue one as it seemed more in line with the water/ocean theme of the hobby (maybe a little silly but why not?). I ordered a blue 20 gal in preparation for the Fluval Marine 32.5 I’m beginning to set up and when the container arrived, I looked at the bottom and noticed it said LDPE (low density polyethylene) #4. When I was last in the hobby I used a gray Brute and thought I recalled it being HDPE (high density polyethylene) #4 so I began to wonder if the blue Brute would be safe. I compared it to the old gray one I had and both are LDPE #4 and both say ”NSF” on them. Since finding this I did quite a bit more searching and several people have stated that anything that says ”NSF” on it is safe. I went to the NSF site and to Rubbermaid’s site and it seems that NSF has different standards, some of which are rated for food grade storage and some that are not (NSF 2 vs NSF 21 respectively per Rubbermaid’s site).

From Rubbermaid’s Brute page:
  • Gray, White and Yellow are USDA Meat & Poultry Equipment Group Listed and assist in complying with HACCP guidelines.
  • Certified to NSF Standard #2 (gray, white and yellow) and Standard #21(all colors)
  • 5D319C8C-EF96-40BB-A711-01725634C5BC.png
This suggests to me that only gray, white, and yellow would be safe for our purposes which surprises me as I took a photo of the codes/specs on the bottom of a gray and a a blue and both seem essentially the same. I’m wondering if we have any plastics experts or anyone else with any type of knowledge on the matter that might be able to confirm whether or not a blue Brute would be safe for water storage.

BF153BF4-64FF-4B89-AD34-393662736B3F.jpeg 680C5262-355E-42C8-B4CE-F1638C133DB9.jpeg
 
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rusty hannon

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As the title says, I’m wondering if all Rubbermaid Brute commercial containers are safe for storage of RO/DI and mixed salt water. I searched briefly at first and thought they’d all be safe and decided to get a blue one as it seemed more in line with the water/ocean theme of the hobby (maybe a little silly but why not?). I ordered a blue 20 gal in preparation for the Fluval Marine 32.5 I’m beginning to set up and when the container arrived, I looked at the bottom and noticed it said LDPE (low density polyethylene) #4. When I was last in the hobby I used a gray Brute and thought I recalled it being HDPE (high density polyethylene) #4 so I began to wonder if the blue Brute would be safe. I compared it to the old gray one I had and both are LDPE #4 and both say ”NSF” on them. Since finding this I did quite a bit more searching and several people have stated that anything that says ”NSF” on it is safe. I went to the NSF site and to Rubbermaid’s site and it seems that NSF has different standards, some of which are rated for food grade storage and some that are not (NSF 2 vs NSF 21 respectively per Rubbermaid’s site).

From Rubbermaid’s Brute page:
  • Gray, White and Yellow are USDA Meat & Poultry Equipment Group Listed and assist in complying with HACCP guidelines.
  • Certified to NSF Standard #2 (gray, white and yellow) and Standard #21(all colors)
  • 5D319C8C-EF96-40BB-A711-01725634C5BC.png
This suggests to me that only gray, white, and yellow would be safe for our purposes which surprises me as I took a photo of the codes/specs on the bottom of a gray and a a blue and both seem essentially the same. I’m wondering if we have any plastics experts or anyone else with any type of knowledge on the matter that might be able to confirm whether or not a blue Brute would be safe for water storage.

As the title says, I’m wondering if all Rubbermaid Brute commercial containers are safe for storage of RO/DI and mixed salt water. I searched briefly at first and thought they’d all be safe and decided to get a blue one as it seemed more in line with the water/ocean theme of the hobby (maybe a little silly but why not?). I ordered a blue 20 gal in preparation for the Fluval Marine 32.5 I’m beginning to set up and when the container arrived, I looked at the bottom and noticed it said LDPE (low density polyethylene) #4. When I was last in the hobby I used a gray Brute and thought I recalled it being HDPE (high density polyethylene) #4 so I began to wonder if the blue Brute would be safe. I compared it to the old gray one I had and both are LDPE #4 and both say ”NSF” on them. Since finding this I did quite a bit more searching and several people have stated that anything that says ”NSF” on it is safe. I went to the NSF site and to Rubbermaid’s site and it seems that NSF has different standards, some of which are rated for food grade storage and some that are not (NSF 2 vs NSF 21 respectively per Rubbermaid’s site).

From Rubbermaid’s Brute page:
  • Gray, White and Yellow are USDA Meat & Poultry Equipment Group Listed and assist in complying with HACCP guidelines.
  • Certified to NSF Standard #2 (gray, white and yellow) and Standard #21(all colors)
  • 5D319C8C-EF96-40BB-A711-01725634C5BC.png
This suggests to me that only gray, white, and yellow would be safe for our purposes which surprises me as I took a photo of the codes/specs on the bottom of a gray and a a blue and both seem essentially the same. I’m wondering if we have any plastics experts or anyone else with any type of knowledge on the matter that might be able to confirm whether or not a blue Brute would be safe for water storage.

BF153BF4-64FF-4B89-AD34-393662736B3F.jpeg 680C5262-355E-42C8-B4CE-F1638C133DB9.jpeg
For any thing containing or running water go dark and for storage make sure its air tight. We just replaced all lines in my wife's tank. We went clear months ago and n that time horrible algae growth . so food grade blk lines for me. Also we store our water in 5,;gal water jugs w screw lids, and store them in a dark place
 
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JReef3

JReef3

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For any thing containing or running water go dark and for storage make sure its air tight. We just replaced all lines in my wife's tank. We went clear months ago and n that time horrible algae growth . so food grade blk lines for me. Also we store our water in 5,;gal water jugs w screw lids, and store them in a dark place

Thanks Rusty. I agree, staying away from clear containers for water storage would make sense for controlling algae. Glad to hear you got your storage worked out.
 
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kenchilada

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There are “food handling” brute containers produced by Rubbermaid.


I do not know if ALL brute containers are food safe or only some if them. Years ago I thought it was the latter.
 
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JReef3

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There are “food handling” brute containers produced by Rubbermaid.


I do not know if ALL brute containers are food safe or only some if them. Years ago I thought it was the latter.
Good link, thanks! Still a bit unclear to me as the only one that seemed to be available on the site listed as food safe was the gray. They mention all the other colors as being available but they way they write it makes it sound like the other colors are for other purposes. “Available in gray, blue, white, red, yellow, green and black to complement your facility's recycling, sortation, and organization needs.”
 
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JReef3

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I think I read recently that all Brute cans are food safe. I bought the 20 gal blue and it's been fine so far.
That’s exactly what I bought, a 20 gal blue but then I started second guessing it. I really hope the blue is safe, I prefer the look of it over the gray. If you look at the photos of the bottom of the blue and the gray ones in the first post, in the upper left corner, the gray one has a fork and wine glass symbol that I’m thinking may indicate it is food grade whereas the blue one doesn’t have that symbol. How long have you been using your blue one?
 
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JReef3

JReef3

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the number 4, is food safe. that is something I was able to google.
Saltyfins, thanks for the reply and keeping the conversation going. I've done a bit of googling myself and found several sources suggesting the same. I'm just second guessing this since Rubbermaid's Brute page says, "Gray, White and Yellow are USDA Meat & Poultry Equipment Group Listed and assist in complying with HACCP guidelines". To me, that suggests that the other colors (including blue) aren't for some reason up to those standards or perhaps they just haven't been tested/approved for those standards yet. Also, based on the photos of the bottom of the gray and blue containers in my first post, the gray has the "silverware" symbol that I'm thinking may refer to it being food safe while the blue one has identical markings but is missing that symbol.
 

Mjp83

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Funny thing, I just happened to borrow some brutes from work to make water for my new 525xl. I was gonna grab a blue one, but ended up w a gray (already full of water), and a yellow one! The yellow one sure says: NSF STD. 2 food contact: white, gray, yellow.
NSF STD. 21Refuse: no color restrictions. and this one also has the #4 in the triangle w the LDPE under it.
so what I can gather, the yellow one I have here definitely is for food storage. (We also have used the white ones for flour storage).
 
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JReef3

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#$*(&^#$

My red and blue brutes are not certified for food only garbage.. UGH!

Well, I haven't had issue in the past year... guess I know what I'll be buying today.
Hard to say for sure I guess, no ill effects to this point but possible, I suppose, that other colors contain something that could be harmful to your reef over time. I still wonder if the other colors have just not yet been tested/certified for food storage. It seems like the are made out of the same material as far as I can tell, one just had the silverware stamp on it and one doesn’t. I guess the cost of a gray Brute is pretty minimal compared to livestock so it may worth playing it safe.
 
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JReef3

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Might wish to read THIS. If it were me, I'd be using that blue Brute!
Thanks very much! That’s a great link with some good discussion in it. I’d love to use the blue Brute and I’m sure I’m just being paranoid but I can’t let go of the fact that some colors are rated as food safe and some are not. I wonder why Rubbermaid wouldn’t put the food safe rating on all colors If they are all truly safe.
 

outhouse

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Been using cheap green trash cans for 2 decades, had salt water that sat in it for 6 months once, tested the water, and nothing leeched. Stored/cooked live rock in them for 6 months once, and the LR is over 30 years old 25 in my possession. I would not use them for permanent use, but for mixing or storage or moving, me thinks many people over think this whole color thing.
 
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