The BASCO Advisor Says...

Time to Play "Plugs and Gaskets"

This is a fun game, sort of like "Chutes and Ladders". You guess what plug and gasket is exactly right for your drum and product. Guess correctly and you get to keep playing. Guess wrong, and... you fall down the chute!

Round-head type steel plugs have a very thin gasket, and they have a stamped metal clip welded into the center; that's where the wrench goes. Hex-head steel type plugs have a six-sided shape, often with a heavy stamped bar welded in the center. Either the hex-head or the center bar is used to engage a wrench. Gaskets for these plugs look like big washers. They come in 2", 1 1/2" and 3/4" NPS sizes. "NPS" is the thread type, and it stands for "National Pipe Straight".

Ready for some confusion? All plastic plugs have a round shape, regardless of the bung opening they're intended to fit. What to do, what to do?

Look at the bung opening in your steel drum. If the base has eight sides, it takes a round-head type plug. If it's mostly round but has many little points around it, it takes a hex-head type plug.

Plastic drums usually have two openings: a 2" NPS opening that takes a PPA57GK plug, and another opening with some very heavy coarse, weird thread in it. This is the dreaded "buttress" thread that doesn't fit any standard faucets or pumps. Buttress threads are a holdover from the early days of plastic drums. Back then, it was difficult to precisely mold pipe threads directly into the drum. NPS plugs would leak, cross thread, or strip out when you tightened them. The heavy, strong buttress thread solved the problem. Today, plastic drum technology is vastly improved, and NPS plugs now perform just as well as buttress plugs.

There are three or four different types of buttress drum threads, depending on who made your drum. We have adapters to convert almost any buttress opening to accept an NPS-threaded accessory.

Not sure what's the best solution for you? Need advice? Please call our Customer Service Representative toll free at 1-800-776-3786 or email us here.