Making a Stock Tank Pool

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Introduction: Making a Stock Tank Pool

About: I am an obsessed DIYer, Woodworker, and home flipper. I am not a professional or have any training, so I just pick the project I want to tackle and figure it out step by step. I picked up my first project at…

This is the greatest project I have every worked on and today I'll be sharing how to build one EXACTLY like I did.

The entire project only takes a couple of hours - for the pool. I ended up adding a deck around half of it which really capped off the entire thing, but this is all about the pool itself because everything outside of the pool is completely up to you and your specific needs.

Enjoy!

Supplies

Step 1: Level Out the Area for Pool

The first (and maybe most important) step is to flatten the area you are wanting to put the stock tank pool.

  • If you don't level the pool out now, you'll have to drain the water to level it later.

This is actually a simple step. Just lay down some paver sand, smooth it out, and use a level to check that the ground is level. If you don't have a long enough level, use a long piece of wood to stretch across the ground and set the level on top of that board.

I also cleared out some of the low hanging branches too. Anything to prevent leafs from getting in the pool, you know what I mean?

Step 2: Set Down the Pool

Now you are good to lay down the pool on top of the flattened area.

Once this is laid down, check the level again by placing a board across the rim and checking with the level tool.

Step 3: Install the Inlet and Outlet (jets)

The trick to making this all work is the placement of the inlet and outlet.

The inlet should be toward the bottom 2/3 of the tank side wall while the outlet should be towards the top 2/3 of the tank side wall (in the 1st image you can see the inlet on the left and the outlet on the right)

  • The reason for this is that you want the inlet to suck in the colder water on the bottom of the pool as well as the debris on the bottom
    • The cold water will then be circulated towards the top of the pool and help keep the water cool
    • Additionally, the debris will now get sucked into the filter easier

To install these pieces, get a 2 3/4 Hole Saw and cut out the 2 holes where you want them to be placed. The smoother the surface you can find the better because this will eventually need to be water tight.

Then slip in the inlet and outlet into the holes and use the gaskets and plastic nuts to twist on to the ends and just hand tighten a little - leave it a little loose for now.

With these loose, go ahead and squeeze as much caulking as you feel comfortable with behind the inlet/outlet and then go ahead and tighten the nuts all the way.

Once tight, caulk around the perimeter of the inlet/outlet for a final water tight seal.

This is optional but it may be a good idea to fill up the tank with about an inch of water to test for leaks before you bust the caulking out.

Step 4: Hook Up the Intex Pump

The stock tank pool is pretty much set at this point - at least for the "hard" parts.

Let's finish hooking up the actual pump now.

Screw on the 2 plunger valves, 1 onto the inlet and 1 onto the outlet.

Screw on the 2 hoses, 1 onto the inlet and 1 onto the outlet.

Then screw the 2 hoses to the Intex pool pump. The process is easy - the inlet hose goes into the wide section of the pump (labeled with a red arrow) and the outlet hose goes into the tall canister (labeled with a blue arrow).

Don't plug in or turn on the pump until you have enough water filled in the pool to cover the inlet/outlet!

Another side note, the purpose for the plunger valves is so that you can stop the water from flowing through the hoses when you are changing out the filter or messing with the pump (if you ever need to).

Step 5: Fill Up the Pool

After the caulk dries for at least 24 hours, you are clear to fill up the stock tank pool to the level you want!

Once the water fills up past the inlet/outlet, you can then turn the pump on and water the water circulate!

Step 6: Building a Deck

This tutorial is all about the pool, but I just wanted to demonstrate one of the many possibilities you can do once you have the pool up and running.

I thought it'd be nice to have something to sit up on and just dip my feet into the water when I don't want to get all the way in.

It's also a great place to set down a cold beer.

You may also be able to see in the background where we xeriscaped much of the area behind the pool, added a retaining wall, and re-painted the shed.

Step 7: Maintenance

The maintenance on here is very easy - compared to a real pool.

I use a 3" chlorine tablet that I put in a chlorine floater. Once it runs out, I re-fill it with another tablet.

I also have a net for cleaning up the bigger pieces that won't go into the filter.

AND THAT'S IT!


I really appreciate you checking this out, please watch the video at the top of this instructables if you would like more details or comment below.

A FREE way for you to support me is by subscribing to my YouTube HERE

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37 Comments

0
deannpettit
deannpettit

Question 1 year ago on Step 3

Can you make this 6 ft deep by stacking another one on top?

0
Danish M1Garand
Danish M1Garand

Answer 6 months ago

Not really. The walls are as thick as they need to be for three feet high not six. That is an enormous amount of welding as well. The tank is zinc coated also. Welding zinc can make you very sick.

It would be better to find a tank that was six feet tall from the beginning.

1
hashish16
hashish16

Answer 1 year ago

Yes and no. It would have to be welded, but welding galvanized steel would destroy the zinc oxide coating (also very toxic to weld without proper respirator). The weld can be painted though.

1
Kelly Concepts
Kelly Concepts

Answer 1 year ago

I'm sure it could be done by a master welder. You'd have to cut the bottom of one, shave any sharp edges, then wrap a metal band around it to weld it, and then would probably need some extra side bracing to keep the tank from bulging out with the extra water weight. Wouldn't be worth the money or time probably, but would make for an awesome video

0
independent58
independent58

Question 1 year ago

What about rust? Will it happen, and how can it be prevented?

0
Danish M1Garand
Danish M1Garand

Answer 6 months ago

Stock tanks last decades on a farm. They are also cheap enough that after 25 years you just scrap it to be recycled and buy a new one.

0
wannabemadsci
wannabemadsci

Answer 1 year ago

I'm not sure a galvanized stock tank will last as long as expected with chlorinated water in it. Chlorine tends to eat everything. Just concerned.

1
frankvanw1
frankvanw1

Answer 1 year ago

The tank is galvanized metal; should last a long time.

1
micked1
micked1

Answer 1 year ago

Stock tanks are made of galvanized steel. Galvanized steel is steel treated with a zinc coating which inhibits rust. The tank is intended for outdoor use to provide water for cattle and other livestock. Rust will come, but not in the near future. Perhaps in the 5 to 10 year range rust may show, but should be able to be controlled for a time.

1
jeanneambro
jeanneambro

6 months ago

I hope to use your instructions to make a Japanese soaking tub from a smaller tank - when the weather warms up! Thanx for sharing.

1
EricB10
EricB10

11 months ago on Introduction

QUESTION? Did you ever consider first coating the inside of the tank with a thin layer of a product similar to "Flex Seal™ Spray" {any color but black :-)} to eliminate the chemical reaction(s) between the metal and the chlorine pool treatments?

0
house washer
house washer

1 year ago on Step 1

Something as simple as flattening out the place you put it is often overlooked...
Glad you included this first......

1
wannabemadsci
wannabemadsci

1 year ago

I like your idea - very novel. Nice looking pool - especially with the deck!
I have had several above ground pools with my largest 22 ft dia and 54 in deep. They can be a pain to set up and maintain. I like your idea for a simple place to cool off - complete with filter! Very nice Instructable!

However, my local Tractor Supply sells a similar stock tank (8 ft dia, 2 ft deep) for about $370. Various big box and DIY stores sell an Intex rigid side 8 ft dia. by 18 inch deep 'kiddie pool' for $20 - $32. So if you are willing to compromise on depth you can have a vinyl pool and replace it every year, if needed, for 10 years for the same cost. And the initial investment is far less. Just a thought!

P.S. I think you need to reduce your liability by warning readers not to jump off the roof into this type of pool ;-)

0
WandersonA3
WandersonA3

1 year ago

Pintar internamente com tinta epoxi seria bem adequado... ficaria mais protegido também... ou seria exagero?

0
sheba92766
sheba92766

1 year ago

Aren't the bottom of these tanks really rough, enough to skin up feet & knees?

1
Kelly Concepts
Kelly Concepts

Reply 1 year ago

The whole tank is actually very smooth and slick on the inside and out. It makes it really easy to clean as well since there's no rough edges to hold in dirt.

3
kayakdiver
kayakdiver

1 year ago

These Stock Tank pools are great... the initial investment in the metal tank is much better than dealing with an (almost always) leaky vinyl pool!

The 8-foot Intex Pool Cover is kinda crappy, but it will work... Get an old bar stool to place in the middle of the tank and drape the cover over it to keep the cover from from sinking into the pool as it has vent holes for draining. The stool should be cut down to hold the center of the cover 8-12 inches above the water. Better yet, get yourself a stack of 2X2s and some screen and make a screened-in room for your pool! To solar heat your pool you can simply drape a piece of 40 mil plastic across the surface of the water.

The drain being above the bottom of the pool will eliminate the ability for your pump/filter system to clean the bottom of the pool without a vacuum attachment. It will also eliminate draining the pool completely with the pump only; you'll have to tip the pool or use an external pump, or (better yet) a large wet-dry shop vac to finish the job.

So... You might think about putting the drain in the middle of the floor with these caveats: Be SURE to use a pool type cover over the drain (vented) to prevent being sucked down onto the drain (very dangerous, hope the reason is obvious!) and add a second drain on the side connected to the same line to relieve the main drain line a bit and reduce the chance of serious injury due to someone sitting on the floor drain. Also... When you "level" your yard for the pool, put a slight funnel shape (no more than a couple of inches side to center) into it that the pool can form into. In operation, you can walk in a circle around your pool to create a whirlpool that will eventually cause most debris to go to the center and down the drain. You can also configure your pump input (think elbow joint) to blow towards the side (circumference) of the pool to create that whirlpool whenever the pump is on. In the northern hemisphere, the water should be moved in a Counter-Clockwise direction (due to Coriolis effect).

Other thoughts:
Use a Two-Part dark epoxy paint if you plan to paint the inside. Go darker, depending on how hard it is for the sun to heat your pool to the temp you like.

Don't skimp on the Intex, or other pool pump... The smaller Intex pumps are VERY weak! Go for 1500 GPH, at least. You might also consider a sand filtered pump to reduce filter maintenance, especially if you think this will get years of use.

The dryer you keep the outside of the metal tank, the longer it will last. Use plenty of sand under it (drains well), and around it if you plan to bury it part way. If you can, put a drain under the sand and tank (leach line) that leads to a lower elevation to move water out of the sand and away from the tank.

Buy yourself a Chlorine Tablet Duck and add one or two 1-inch tablets to it whenever the previous ones are found to be depleted. Adjust as needed for your climate and pool covering habits. If the Chlorine seems to be damaging the zinc coating of your tank, you might try using Bromine instead.

0
FabrizioB4
FabrizioB4

1 year ago

Very cool project, indeed! I can see just one drawback: do the metal become hot when the pool is under the summer sun all day long? Here it warms a lot and maybe you risk to "boil" within the pool..

0
Kelly Concepts
Kelly Concepts

Reply 1 year ago

it does get a bit warm but not anything crazy. Still refreshing to sit in. Also, last fall we dumped a couple 20lb bags of ice and it had a decent impact.

0
brazell
brazell

1 year ago

I notice that your pool has a cover to keep out leaves. Did you manufacture that?