Check your long term shelves when you check your stored food

JayMcB

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A check of the pantry this weekend....I bought the 'heavy duty' plastic shelves from Home Depot years ago. Some came from my last house, so some date from before 2010. I have added more units as storage has expanded.

The instruction manual at the time of purchase said the 18" wide shelves could hold up to 150 pounds per shelf, (distributed evenly), and the 24" wide ones up to 200 pounds distributed evenly as well. I picked plastic at the time for corrosion resistance. Bad call.

Those weight claims are a demonstrable lie.

I was careful to stay under 125 on the 18" and 175 on the 24" ones, and I still had a catastrophic failure, where the upright plastic pipe between the bottom and next up shelf collapsed (bent) where it went into the horizontal shelf. The falling cases and cans took out 2 other shelving units in a domino effect. Even the remaining loaded shelves all have evident sag, and one other unit has a pronounced lean. I've tied it so it won't crash down, but it looks like it's time for new shelving...this time in metal.

What a damn mess.

Lost some (glass) canned food to breakage, lost some vacuum dry canned mason jars also to breakage, and there's rice, beans, sugar, tomato and canned bacon [crying] all over the floor. I can't even sweep it up and feed it to the chickens - because of broken glass. A whole bunch of metal cans are dented from the tip over. They can't go back to long term storage, but at least that's people/dog/chicken food.

It also screwed up my FIFO stacks, so now they've got to be hand date reviewed before being re-stacked. Ugh.

Check your shelves. The food you save could be your own
 
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Sorry that happened. I've had several of those plastic shelving fail over time. I figured it was due to the sustained weight, and that the plastic will give if it's past a certain point.
 
Ugh, sorry to hear it.

I had a bunch from HD that sagged in the middle over time despite holding only 1/3 the advertised capacity. Originally went for plastic so they wouldn't rust, but now any shelves I own must be metal.
 
I’ve done the Home Depot plastic shelves. Found that the Time it takes to put together some 2 X 4 and plywood variants and paint with hi gloss cabinet paint is well worth it in the long run.
 
Not a big fan of home depot but they have some good metal shelving units that will take whatever food you want to stack on them
 
I buy the metal shelving from Home Depot then I put 3/4 plywood in for the shelves. It's about $150 per shelf to do this, but they are sturdy.

 
Sorry to hear this happened, Jay. But I guess now is the time to find out issues with food storage instead of when it's a SHTF situation.
I ended up taking home a large print/paper storage cabinet. Thing weighs a ton but has draws that pull out and a hinged front door per shelf that locks. There's a cable that runs down the back of the draws so only one shelf can be opened at a time.
It's a safety so too much weight on the draws pulled out wont tip the cabinet. Heavy to moves but a bullet proof can goods storage cabinet.
 
we have ones like these in our pantry.. no sag at all

and this one in our basement.. again.. no issues at all. I think it comes with MDF as shelving.. has been fine for our cleaning supplies


both going on at least 12 yrs in our current house..

I also built shelving for bankers boxes out of 2x4s and plywood.. these are working well, but are not subject to the same weights as the pantry/basement shelving.
 
These are what I use. I like shelving on wheels.

 
got those EXACT shelves in my basement. Thanks for the heads up. Thinking of adding in some 2x4 support beams to lessen the load.
 
we have ones like these in our pantry.. no sag at all

and this one in our basement.. again.. no issues at all. I think it comes with MDF as shelving.. has been fine for our cleaning supplies



both going on at least 12 yrs in our current house..

I also built shelving for bankers boxes out of 2x4s and plywood.. these are working well, but are not subject to the same weights as the pantry/basement shelving.
I went similar, and just finished upgrading to this one to store ammo: Husky Red 5-Tier Heavy Duty Steel Garage Storage Shelving (48 in. W x 78 in. H x 24 in. D)-MR482478W5-R - The Home Depot

It was nice because nearly all of the ammo that's not otherwise secured is now consolidated there. Discovered 2 Herter's 500 round spam cans of .223 I forgot I had and also had mis-marked a couple of cans that have the Korean 150g Garand 30.06 in them

These are what I use. I like shelving on wheels.

Bought 3 of the HDX version of this. HDX Chrome 6-Tier Heavy Duty Metal Wire Shelving Unit (48 in. W x 72 in. H x 18 in. D)-SL-WSUS-136 - The Home Depot one is now wall-secured because it's not storing FIFO and the other 2 will be on wheels when deployed. I have a few more of these units that look kinda saggy, and I'll be checking the same units up north this week. Literally spent 7 hours cleaning up the mess today from 3 collapsed shelving units, and I still have one to go to get the space back where it was/I want it to be.

I wonder if the wheels flat spot if they sit for a while...I'll see, I guess.
 
That totally sucks, but thanks for posting. I have a bunch of those plastic shelf units. I don't think they're loaded to the max but I'm going to be careful with them. I am planning on getting more, but I think I'll go metal, or build with wood. I'm sorry this happened to you, but I appreciate the heads up.
 
Those were the same plastic HD shelves I had sagging under 1/3 the quoted capacity. Left them at the old place we sold. Now I hope the next to be the last home we buy. Thinking about these shelves (link). Reviews show people storing three window ACs, dumbbells, an animal shelter's dog food supply, and bags of soil without any sag.

Screen Shot 2021-02-15 at 5.46.38 AM.png

AC's.jpeg

Weights.jpeg

Dog Food.jpeg

Bags.jpeg
 
We just replaced the plastic shelves in our pantry, (that look an awful lot like OP's pic), with metal shelves from ULINE.

Not cheap, but incredibly strong and expanded capacity.
 

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Got rid of plastic a couple of years ago. These are from HD, I flip each shelf over annually View attachment 451063

i guess I know who to talk to when I having a hankering for quick Oates. Seriously though buckets are awesome. I store a few packs on dehydrated blueberries or blackberries right in the same bucket as the oats.
 
i guess I know who to talk to when I having a hankering for quick Oates. Seriously though buckets are awesome. I store a few packs on dehydrated blueberries or blackberries right in the same bucket as the oats.
Rice, elbow pasta, kidney beans & quick oats. all in mylar bags, about 2lbs each. That way product stays fresher longer. Rather than having a 5gal bucket loaded with rice, etc. And if you need to open one, you're only opening a 2lb bag
 

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I do the opposite. I store everything in 5gal buckets in 5gal mylar. I just keep 1gal ziplock bags and 1gal mylar pouches in a bin in case I want to parse out portions to someone. The 5gal mylar bags can be resealed as you use it. It's not a one and done thing. All yoy need is an iron.
 
I'd NEVER trust plastic, or sheet metal, shelves with any real weight. All my shelving units are the wire mesh and I make damned sure to NOT load them close to the listed maximum per shelf. I've had some for more than a few years, without issue.

IMO, biggest issue with plastic is it WILL degrade with age. Just because they were rated at X# at manufacture date, doesn't mean they can handle that N years later.

Most of the shelving I have is free standing. But I did put some up on the wall above the washer/dryer. I made sure I got ones that were rated well above what went on them and used much stronger screws to secure the runners (for installing the shelves) into studs. Zero issues after 5+ years with them like that. The ones that were there before were rather flimsy.
 
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