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How to Patch a Hole in a Bucket

SinDelle runs the Georgia Herb & Egg Co. on her homestead in Dublin, GA.


Most of the time, if a bucket gets a hole in it, you would just go buy another one. But what if you can't? What if you're on your homestead, miles away from town and no stores are open? What if your chicken's automatic watering system gets a hole in it in the middle of the night? (It happens.) What if you accidentally drilled a hole in the wrong place and don't have another bucket? There are a few situations where you might need to fix the hole in a bucket. We'll tell you one way that works and only takes a few minutes to do, with things you already have lying around.


  • drill
  • drill bit, should be bigger than the hole
  • bolt with a nut & washer, close to or the same size as the drill bit
  • gasket or piece of soft rubber, any kind as long as it's flexible & can be cut


  1. Making sure your drill bit is slightly larger than the hole, drill the hole out.
  2. Clean up the edges so that the hole is smooth & the bolt can fit snugly.
  3. If you don't have a gasket: Cut a circle out of the rubber and then cut a hole into the middle to push the bolt through. This will be the gasket to ensure it doesn't leak. It must fit tight around the bolt. Don't make the circle too small! You can always trim it later if you want.
  4. Push the bolt through the gasket and pull it tight against the bolt head.
  5. Push the bolt through the hole in the bucket, pressing the gasket flush against the side.
  6. Push the washer onto the bottom of the bolt to create a seal on the other side.
  7. Screw the nut onto the bolt, tightening it with pliers or a wrench until it is secure.

That's it!

There you have it! The tighter you make the nut, the more it will force the rubber into the hole, creating a water- and air-tight seal. Again, if you don't have a gasket, part of an inner tube or any flexible piece of rubber will work. We cut a piece off of a flat rubber suction bathtub stopper because that's all we had at the time. It worked great.

You could also use an epoxy like Gorilla Glue along with the rubber to patch the hole, but epoxy has to sit for a long time and may leach into liquids put into the bucket. This works in seconds. No leaching and no drying required!

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This fix will also work for many other things, including rain barrels and water tanks. If you are going to use this fix on something that will store water for long periods of time, rust should be a consideration. It isn't toxic, but it probably tastes bad.

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