Introduction: Outdoor Foot Bath
Got dirty little feet running in and out of your pool this summer? Check out this cool and easy to build footbath I came up with. Simple cheap and easy to build. The kids love it!
Step 1: The Need.
We have 5 kids and live on a lake in Central Florida. We also have a pool. During the summer (most of the year really) the kids go from the lake to the pool and back. This non-stop little parade of dirty sandy feet marching in and out of our pool. I grew a bit neurotic with my "WASH YOUR FEET!"...there has to be a better way. I want to apologize because I didn't take any before and after pics. I'm bad about that. Something tells me though, if you're on this site you really don't need it.
Step 2: The Whole.
You have to dig a drainage pit. I dug a square hole the same as the inside dimension of the 4 x 4 wood I was using. I dug down about 4 feet. I then filled the hole with a mixture of sand, volcanic rock, pea gravel, and then the top layer with the white river rock (the wife liked the color). This mixture drain pretty well with one exception. I did not anticipate how popular the foot bath would be with the children. As they trekked back-and-forth from the lake a line would form and the water would stay running. This created an issue with drainage. The rock pit could not drain fast enough to sustain the volume of water. So I had to dig out the front of the footbath and insert this long metal plate. It goes down about 3 feet. This creates a barrier or a wall that allows the water to stay in the bath and not flow out underneath the wood. The only reason I folded the metal over-the-top is I couldn't get it down any further. When you make your footbath I would definitely do something like this. I would do it during the initial process though, that way you can get it all the way down.
Step 3: The Plumbing.
The plumbing is self-explanatory. If you can sweat in copper piping you should be able to replicate this no problem. Before I made the copper ring I put the pipe on my bandsaw and made little cuts at equals points to create the water-jets.
If you can't sweat copper then you can use PVC. My first attempt at this was using PVC. It worked great but I just did not like the look. So I cut it out and made this copper ring. I also made the ring very tight so I didn't need any kind of pipe hanger. Thought it looked better this way
I should note that the brass arrow pointing the direction of exit was an afterthought. The kids would rinse their feet and then step out backwards into the dirt and sand again and then walk right into the pool. After I made that arrow the kids stop doing that.
Step 4: The Valve.
The reasons for the big handle on the valve are threefold.
1. I wanted a way to be able to turn the water on by just using your foot.
2. I wanted to make the handle kind of heavy so that when the kids turned it off it basically shut itself off. Gravity would basically pull it down and shut the water off.
3. I also wanted a way that I could see if they didn't shut it off. I wanted the handle to be big enough that it stood up and was clearly visible that the water was still on.
Step 5: Final.
So there you have it. There's my custom foot bath. Honestly it works great. It works so good in fact, the children always want to use it. They almost never forget to.
You will also see that there is a landscaping light attached to it. This was an afterthought. It was one that I had leftover from another project. Because it kind of sticks out into the bath, I left it loose so you can rotate it out of your way if you need to. If I had to do it over again, I would get some kind of LED light strip that would circle the inside of the foot bath.
I also bought 4 foot pieces steel bar. I had planned to drill holes through the 4 x 4 and anchor the footbath down. I found out after watching the children use the bath that it wasn't really necessary. The weight of the 4 x 4 pieces of wood were heavy enough to keep it anchored.
* there was already water plumbed to this location. We have a hose and outdoor shower there already. Because there was already a water supply available this project only took one day. Okay two days, because I had to cut out the original PVC ring and make one out of copper.
Nevertheless this was really easy. Have fun and enjoy.