DIY Swimming Pool Cooler.




Build a mechanically drafted, counter-flow cooling tower for your swimming pool. These would be especially useful to people living in gulf coast states and the SW deserts.

For more detailed instructions: DIY Pool Cooler


Step 1: Obtain or Build Some Kind of "tower".

First you will need a "tower". Pictured are a couple of options we have used. The first was made from a couple of HDPE barrels. The second is made from PVC pipe, fittings, and corrugated roofing material. Your tower will need to have some sort of catch basin at the bottom, and area for fill material in the center, an area for a water sprayer systems, and finally you'll need a fan that fits the top.

Learn more at:

Step 2: Cut Up the Fill Material.

The fill material is the most critical part of getting this to work right. We used 26" by 96" sheets and cut them down to five smaller sheets of 21" by 16.25". These smaller sheets are cut on the bias of the corrugations (see photo). The sheets are stacked with sheets alternating their corrugations.

For more details: DIY Pool Cooler

Step 3: Next Install the Water Sprayer System.

Construct either a fixed manifold of pipes with holes to spray water or a rotating spray arm. The picture should give you the method for building the rotating arm.

Additional info can be found here.

Step 4: Top It Off and Try It Out.

Finally, top off your creation with a cheap box fan (I prefer the "weather resistant" variety that comes with a GFCI on the cord). Our versions return the water to the pool using gravity, so you have to set it up next to the pool. Good luck and enjoy a pool that doesn't feel like bath water.

Complete details:



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56 Discussions


3 years ago on Introduction

You know, there's nothing quite like talking to someone who's already been there and done that. I hadn't really thought through the slope of the trash can sides, therefore, I was headed for a trainwreck. Thanks for the valuable tip.

I'm living "down south" and it was 106 here yesterday afternoon. Good news is, it was only 102 in the shade. My spa has a spillover into my pool. The spillover runs with a very low water volume. After the water sits in the spa and marinates in the wicked hot afternoon heat, it's easily 5 degrees+ warmer than the pool itself as it runs over and back into the pool. I'm using a couple of evaporative fountains on the pump return in the pool proper, and they do a pretty good job. I see approximately a 5-6 degree drop in pool temp during the day after the humidity drops mid-morning. Problem is, I'm solar-reheating my water as it circulates back through the spa. They don't call it a hot-tub for nothing!

Your rolling solution to the cooling tower is perfect for "as needed" cooling of the spa before expected kids or guests arrive.

I look forward to your further posts to this thread.

Thanks again.


3 years ago on Introduction

This is literally ingenious. My family has been pool builders in san antonio for over 24 years, and we have never seen anything like this. If you've ever been to Texas you know how hot it gets in the summers too. Wow, just goes to show what a little creativity can bring.


5 years ago on Introduction

hey dave, please let me know what is the temperature drop u get with this device. as well as, if we use various cooling pads will there be any variation in the temperature drop? its imp as i am working on a project based on evaporative cooler


7 years ago on Introduction

I also live in Dallas my pool temp 93 it feels like bathwater.Great ideal !!! I was thinking of a tower letting the water run down pine slats with the tower open allowing the wind to be your evaporating fan..??do you think that would work??


7 years ago on Step 4

looks like you turn the fan down ..... blowing over the water tricling across the fillers(coils)... in that your making a radiator ( some what ) right.


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

It cools the pool and in turn, cools me! I am just about to hook it up and run it for the a third season, with some minor modifications to improve efficiency (fan is now integrated into the barrel to remove nearly all parts that could rust, larger pipes for better water flow, etc.),. If I get around to it, I will post some pictures of the current version.


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

im with Bartboy, i have never heard of one of these however it seems like it would work, very cool


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Well, I might use it in my house in Ontario, but I don't have a pool there. In Canada, we pay a fortune for pool heaters...


8 years ago on Step 4

I assume the fan blows up (based on some other internet research)?


8 years ago on Introduction

you could do the reverse with a metal jug and your old baseboard heaters


9 years ago on Introduction

Im going to give this a shot, in a smaller size for my worm hotel.   Composting worms slow down when they get too warm.  There is another Ible that details building an ice chest based worm hotel that is plumbed with cooling tubes fed from an iced water bucket.  This system would eliminate the need to periodically fill a feed bucket with ice.  Run all the pumps off of a battery that is solar charged, and viola.  COOL IBLE!!