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Archive for October 18th, 2010

Water Bottles: Adding a Vent Plug

Those water bottles turned out to have an unexpected feature: the vent hole dribbles when they’re laid sideways. I think it’s an unfortunate side effect of a product cheapnification: the spout is slightly concave on the side that could seal the vent, so surface tension sucks water out of the hole.

The hole is to the right of the spout, in the center of the transverse ridge. Looks like a little black dot here; clicky for a somewhat bigger image.

 

Water bottle cap showing vent hole

Water bottle cap showing vent hole

 

The solution is to put a silicone plug at the Spot Marked X on the spout, which I marked by running a small punch through the vent hole and scarring the spout. You might be able to see the tiny mark on the spout if you look closely.

The spout comes out of the cap with a firm pull, but the sockets in the cap are obviously not intended to take much of that abuse. It’s not clear to me that the designers of these things ever take cleaning into consideration; past experience says you must completely dismantle fluid-facing components to get the crud out.

Anyway.

Chuck the spout up in the Sherline mill, align over the spot, and mill a 1/8 inch diameter flat-bottom hole 0.100 inch deep. The spout has a large finger-friendly flange directly underneath the Spot Marked X, so this setup isn’t quite as precarious as it looks.

 

Milling socket for vent plug

Milling socket for vent plug

 

Dab in a little silicone caulk, leave a mostly flat surface standing just higher than the spout’s concavity, and we’ll see how well it works.

 

Vent plug

Vent plug

 

The little nub just to the left of the new plug (on the ball-shaped part of the spout) engages the edge of the socket in the cap to sorta-kinda hold the spout closed. Doesn’t really accomplish much, but it’s a nice thought.

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