Water Bottle Leakage


Experience From - Tropical John Medinger, Karl King, John Thieme#1, Chuck Zeugner, George Beinhorn, Jon Moore, Kevin Setnes, Ian Stevens, John Thieme#2,

Tropical John Medinger

Tom Andrew wrote:

"Does anyone have a remedy for hand or belt pack bottles that leak around the screw threads? Tightening them further is not the answer. Thanks in advance; I hate to throw out dribbly bottles but this is getting annoying!"
Hints from Heloise: try putting a little Vaseline on the threads to form a water-tight seal.

Karl King

If bottles are thrown in with the other dishes and cutlery for washing, the top of the bottle gets nicked, probably by knife edges. The nicks allow fluid to leak out regardless of how tight the lid is screwed down.

Prevention: wash bottles by themselves

Rejuvenation: place the top of the bottle on a square of wetted, fine sandpaper. Move the bottle in a figure 8 motion, keeping the bottle top fully on the paper. This polishes out the nicks. You may find this a long and boring task, less interesting than buying a new bottle.

John Thieme #1

I have the same problem with some of my Ultimate Direction (UD) bottles but I notice that it is only the grey ones have developed this problem. The milky white ones, some of which are far older than my grey ones and have been thru the dishwasher and freezer many more times, seem to hold a seal no problem.

Chuck Zeugner

I only discovered hand bottles a year ago. I, and three friends, started training to run ultras last year. We all have Ultimate Direction bottles in hand carriers and in butt packs. That adds up to a dozen or so bottles. They are all the white ones. I think they ALL leak and have leaked since they were new.

I think the packs are great, even if the bottles aren't.

George Beinhorn

If I screw down the white bottles real tight, they don't leak.

Hmmm, pardon me for thinking along plumber lines (shades of duct tape), but I've used pipe thread compound and pipe thread tape. Surely there's some squishy, edible (or at least non-toxic) substance that would work on water bottles. How about a rubber band?

Jon Moore

I personally tend to use plastic 'pop' bottles (Coke, Pepsi, etc),if I need something sealed tight - they're cheap (and hence disposable), readily available, universally threaded, come in a range of sizes, and you can even get 'nipple' tops for them. I tend to use them either to top up my hand-carried bottle, or else when I want to drink a lot in one go.

Kevin Setnes

I have about 15 Ultimate Direction bottles in use at various times and none of them leak. I have also run with an individual who claimed his did, only to find that he was simply not tightening it down. Sometimes the nozzle is not pushed in all the way. I would suggest you first check the caps tightness and then the nozzle.

If it does still leak and has not been nicked by anything (per Karl's post), then it would be considered defective and Ultimate Direction is very good about backing up their warranty. If you got the bottles from me at Ultrafit, then let me know the details (offline).

Ian Stevens

The bottle that came with my Ultimate Direction fastback leaks !! It is of the milky white kind that UD makes. Even when the top is screwed tight it leaks. Also the fastback (holder) has split near the part that goes around the neck of the UD bottle. Of course duct tape has resolved that. Both are less than one year old; but the fastback is an awesome idea.

The best bottles are the ones made by or for the bike company Specialized.

John Thieme #2

I tried 2 quick tests of the seals on several Ultimate Direction bottles today.

Test 1: I left 2 partly full bottles on their sides in the bed of my pickup truck in full sun with temps in the 90's. The bed of my truck is black plastic so the bottles were subjected to serious heat and swelling of their contents. Both bottles were tightened firmly and the nipples were shut. Both were of the milky white variety.

The results: one bottle had a little trickle of water leaking from it between the bottle and the cap. Nothing that would be noticed when running down here because we sweat big time. I then checked this bottle for nicks on the inside of the bottle and the cap and none were apparent to by sight or touch. The other bottle, which held its seal actually seemed to have a "rougher" edge on the top of the bottle than the one which leaked.

I then took a grey UD bottle that I think leaks and filled it part way with water, screwed on the lid as tightly as I could, double checked that the nipple was shut, and squeezed it firmly. There was an audible hissing sound and, when inverted, bubbles of water and air escaped from between the top and the body of the bottle. By visual and tactile inspection this bottle was no rougher or smoother than others which were tested in the heat of the back of my truck.

I'm not sure that the roughness of the top of the bottle is the key to a firm seal. I will sand them according to Karl's directions and see if there is an improvement. By observation it appears that the bottles that don't hold a seal seem to form a gap and pull away from the cap.