Most of us in all probability have an outdated cooler mendacity round someplace. It’s seemingly been amassing mud and possibly we’ve invested in a brand new one. There are various cheap cooler choices obtainable, however they don’t final very lengthy, and so they don’t hold issues chilly fairly as properly both. Then, should you get a costlier cooler, what occurs when it leaks or cracks? Are you able to restore it?

Like several piece of outside gear, it helps to put money into a sturdy possibility. Nonetheless, supplies put on down over time, and excessive put on areas like handles are sure to interrupt. Discovering firms with restore insurance policies and warranties is a superb technique to keep away from repairing the cooler your self. Fortunately, most cooler repairs aren’t too intensive or time-consuming. Even those that aren’t essentially thought of “helpful” can do them.

To get probably the most out of your cooler, we compiled just a few of the most typical cooler repairs wanted and the best way to do them at residence. Lastly, we overview the best way to pack your cooler accurately. Whereas this may occasionally appear trivial (as a result of can’t you simply toss some ice and drinks in there and be finished?), there are methods to optimize the area to assist hold your drinks and meals colder for longer. 

Frequent Cooler Repairs

Hopefully, you received’t have to restore all 4 issues concurrently however use the data beneath for frequent cooler restore wants. 

Deal with Restore

In case your cooler handles are damaged, we advocate changing them utterly. You have got just a few decisions right here. You should buy a alternative on-line that matches the cooler model or the type. Most alternative handles you purchase will likely be plastic and should break once more. 

You too can make a DIY deal with of some sort out of rope. 

For many coolers, even the rolling ones, the handles are held in place with some sort of pin. To switch the handles, take away the pins to show the holes. When you bought a alternative deal with, observe the instructions supplied to exchange the deal with. Replacements must also include alternative pins, however save yours simply in case they don’t. 

A much more standard alternative possibility is to make use of some kind of nylon rope. Rope handles work properly on coolers which have handles that stick out barely from the aspect. When you put your cooler at the back of your truck, the place it has an opportunity to bang round, it’s simple to see how a plastic deal with might break. Rope handles are usually extra sturdy and may be extra snug to hold at instances. 

Discover a rope that may match by the pin holes. When you do this, string it by and discover a size you want. Go away some room on the surface of the pins so you possibly can tie a knot and safe the rope. As soon as the handles are tied off, lower off the surplus and burn any fraying. 

Fixing Hinges

The traditional Coleman or Igloo coolers typically come normal with flimsy plastic hinges. These are one of many first issues to interrupt on these coolers (apart from the handles). There are a number of alternative choices on-line, very similar to the handles, however they could even be plastic if they’re cooler-specific. Keep away from changing the damaged plastic ones with new plastic ones vulnerable to breaking with just a few makes use of as properly. 

Different choices embody utilizing stainless-steel hinges and even canvas fabric hinges. To switch the plastic hinges with stainless-steel ones, all it is advisable to do is:

  • Unscrew the outdated plastic ones and screw the brand new ones of their place.
  • Make certain the a part of the hinge with an embossed dot is on the underside half of the cooler and never connected to the lid.
  • Keep away from over-tightening the screws, so we don’t advocate utilizing an electrical drill of any sort for this. A traditional screwdriver is greater than ample for this undertaking.
  • Earlier than tightening the hinges down, verify how the lid opens and closes to make sure it’s the proper measurement in your cooler. 

To make use of a canvas fabric, the simplest technique is to chop up an outdated canvas rope belt. You’ll be able to style as many of those as you need or assume that you simply want. Line up the items of material and screw them into place. These is not going to maintain the cooler lid up as properly, and so they is probably not as sturdy, however it’s a simple and low-cost technique to substitute the hinges and repurpose an outdated merchandise. To assist the cooler lid keep open, you possibly can set up an inside cooler lid strap utilizing any extra belt. Connect the suitable size of the belt to the inside of the lid after which the within of the cooler. This can assist maintain the lid in place when it’s open. 

Drain Plug Leaks

The most certainly place a cooler will leak is the drain plug or spigot. To switch the cooler drain plug, buy the proper model, however on the very least, establish the required measurement earlier than shopping for one. 

To switch a cooler drain plug:

  • Take away the outdated drain plug.
    • Unscrew the drain cap
    • Push out the spout and grommet. That is the simplest to do from the surface. 
  • Set up the brand new drain plug
    • Set up a brand new grommet onto the spout with the flange going through the lengthy portion of the spout.
    • From the within, set up the grommet with the spout within the cooler. 
    • Hand tighten the nut and cap onto the spout onto the surface. 

Substitute drain plugs and spouts ought to all include directions on set up. Observe directions supplied by the producer for one of the best outcomes. The directions above are a simplified model that applies in most conditions however not all. 

Cooler Cracks

In case your cooler is leaking and isn’t coming from the drain spout, you will have a cooler crack. Cracks within the lid or on the underside of a cooler are the most typical. The commonest strategies are warmth welding or plugging the hole to repair a crack in a cooler. 

How one can warmth weld a cooler crack: 

  • Warmth welding must be finished exterior to keep away from inhaling poisonous fumes from the plastic. 
  • To prep, use a degreaser and clear the floor of the cracked space to take away any grime or oils. 
  • Then, sand the sides of the crack with fine-grit sandpaper. 
  • Utilizing heat-resistant gloves, maintain a steel rod over a warmth supply reminiscent of a gasoline range or grill (one thing with a flame). 
  • Whereas the rod is sizzling, utilizing parchment paper as a barrier between the steel and the cooler, maintain the new rod in opposition to the crack.
  • Repeat till the crack is not seen, and reheat the rod as wanted. 

How one can fill the cooler crack: 

  • Clear cracked space with gentle detergent and dry totally. 
  • Sand the sides of the crack with fine-grit sandpaper till easy. Proceed to sand about ¼ inch out from the crack to tough up the fabric some.  
  • You should use a plastic restore equipment or two-part epoxy putty to fill the crack.
    • Combine to make a paste for the plastic restore powder or use the producer’s directions for different kits. 
    • For the putty, knead it along with your arms till it molds simply. 
  • For both software, we advocate sporting gloves. 
  • Apply your alternative of filler into the crack space. Lengthen it barely out from the crack space, and when utilizing placing, it must be greater than the cooler floor. 
  • Let the putty dry or the paste remedy in response to producer directions. 
  • As soon as utterly dry, you possibly can select to sand the realm easy utilizing fine-grit sandpaper. 

Small cracks may be mounted briefly utilizing duct tape, however we advocate one of many strategies above if you end up residence for a longer-lasting repair. 

Cooler Cooling Suggestions

The way you pack your cooler issues. Even if in case you have the highest-end, fanciest cooler in the marketplace, you possibly can optimize your area and hold your cooler colder with just a few packing ideas. 

First, it is advisable to prep your cooler. Make certain it’s cleaned out and able to retailer your meals and drinks. You’ll be able to pre-chill the cooler by rinsing it with chilly water or letting ice sit in it in a single day earlier than your journey. This isn’t vital, however some individuals assume it helps. Operating chilly water over the cooler or rinsing it out could be most useful if the cooler is saved in a heat setting. 

Then, prep your meals and drinks. Take away any extra packaging. Transfer all meals into watertight containers, and freeze what you possibly can. If you’re bringing water bottles, freeze just a few water bottles. When you can’t freeze the meals or the drinks, hold them within the fridge in a single day, chilling them earlier than going into the cooler. 

Subsequent, prep your ice. There are various choices for ice, and we advocate utilizing some kind of reusable possibility. As talked about, freezing water bottles is a superb place to begin. Reusable freezer packs or blocks are a private favourite, however should you don’t wish to use these, you can too make your ice blocks to place within the backside of the cooler. To do that, seize a kind of aluminum casserole dishes, fill it with water, and put it within the freezer. If you need one thing that accommodates the melted ice higher, you can too freeze water in gallon Ziploc luggage. 

If you need free ice to place in drinks, hold ice cubes in a resealable bag to maintain it clear and entry it simply. 

One other ice tip: If anybody who makes use of any meal supply service, snag just a few of their supply ice packs. These are massive and reusable choices you can simply line the underside of a cooler. 

Though you seemingly wish to optimize your cooler area to assist hold contents chilly for longer, one of the best ice to meals/drink ratio is 2:1. That implies that you need to goal to have twice as a lot ice as there may be meals or drinks within the cooler. 

How one can Pack a Cooler

Now, we are able to get packing. Begin along with your block ice on the underside. You should use the reusable ice blocks, home made ones, or those talked about from meals supply companies. Line the complete backside of the cooler with ice both means. 

Add in a layer of meals or drinks as you want. Do not forget that we wish to get rid of as a lot air as doable when packing, so hone your Tetris expertise right here. You’ll be able to add some free ice to fill in any gaps with every layer of meals. We nonetheless advocate packing ice you wish to use for drinks individually in luggage to maintain it clear. Pack in just a few of your frozen water bottles right here too. 

For the highest, reusable ice sheets work one of the best. That means, they are going to lay flat and make it simpler to entry contents or shut the lid. When you wouldn’t have ice sheets, you should utilize reusable ice packs or water frozen in gallon Ziploc luggage. 

An alternative choice is to fill in layers with meals and ice as described after which lower a bit of Reflectix bubble foil insulation to suit the highest of the cooler. This can assist entice the chilly air from the remainder of the ice and stop as a lot from escaping whenever you open the lid. A moist towel can work for this as properly. 

Plenty of chilly air escapes when the cooler is open. So, just be sure you pack your meals and drinks in a means that is sensible. Stuff you entry typically must be close to the highest. You’ll be able to even make a cooler map in case you are with a big group to attenuate the size of time the cooler is left open as a result of gadgets are simple to seek out. 


Q: What can I take advantage of to plug a cooler gap?

If the cooler plug leaks or breaks if you end up tenting, it’s exhausting to exchange it except you’ve got a backup available. A fast repair for a cooler plug is utilizing some floral foam or putty inside a plastic bag. When you don’t have these issues, you can too use a bit of material in a plastic bag to plug up the outlet as tight as you possibly can. 

Whether it is nonetheless leaking some, attempt to not use free ice. Preserving ice in luggage or utilizing reusable ice blocks can forestall water accumulation because the ice thaws. 

Q: Why is my cooler leaking?

One of the crucial frequent areas for a cooler leak is the spigot or the drain plug. Different areas can leak if there’s a crack or a break someplace within the cooler. We advocate you verify the spigot first, and if that’s not the offender, search for different areas. You need to be capable to see the place the leak is that if the cooler is packed and leaking, however in case you are having a problem discovering the leak, you possibly can submerge the cooler to see the place air escapes or fill the cooler with water to establish the leak. 

Q: Are you able to repair a cracked cooler?

Sure, typically, you possibly can repair a cracked cooler. It could be too exhausting to repair if the crack is just too massive, however most smaller crackers may be mounted utilizing a warmth welding approach or filling the hole. Observe the directions detailed above for extra info on fixing a cracked cooler. 

Q: How do you take away rust from a steel cooler?

To take away rust from a steel cooler, you’ll find non-toxic residence cleaners designed to take away rust, or you may make a home made rust elimination paste at residence. To make the paste, use one half lime juice with two elements salt. Use this ratio and make as a lot as you assume you may want. Lemon juice may even work. Combine the paste in a bowl after which apply it to the rusted areas utilizing a towel. Let the paste relaxation for at the very least two to 3 hours, then wipe off. This paste shouldn’t go away any residue, however you could want to make use of a moist rag or sponge to take away any remaining salt.

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