Homemade Pool , Outdoor Tub , Water Filter




About: I have always lived a life of making whatever i need, when i need it. after discovering this site i have sung it's praises from the hilltops, trying to get others to come check it out. I plan to build my own...

Welcome to my instructable on diy homade outdoor tub / pool / hottub , water filter construction.As always, I am always looking for ways to save money. My goal is to live like a king,on a poor man's budget.A while back i constructed an diy outdoor water tub,in order to allow myself and my family to relax in our areas 100plus degree weather,(more on that here, https://www.instructables.com/id/Beat-the-summer-heat/ ), we have enjoyed it very much and it has survived the extremes of seasons quite well so far.However, a few days ago as we went out to enjoy another afternoon soaking in the homemade outdoor tub,I became aware that the water was a bit slow on circulation. Further investigation revealed the problem, the filter was once again starting to clog,there is only so many times a filter can be cleaned and re-used.As i removed the filter in readiness to toss onto the discard pile,I noticed how large the discard pile had become.I had no choice, my attention deficit disorder left me feeling compelled to count. I had over fifty filters all used over and over again(I live in the deep woods and have to clean them for reuse quite often). Here is my problem,I want to live on a poor man's budget and these things cost five dollars apiece,and come in a package of two for the outragous price of ten dollars.
Well my grandfather always said neccessity is the mother of all inventions, so i decided right then and there i was never going to buy another one,because I was going to make my own re-fillable homemade outdoor tub / pool / water filter.
I have place several videos at the end that show this homemade water filter in action and will show an improved model within a few days.

Step 1: Materials I Had Available to Begin With

1. Wire screen, I had an old crawdad trap that was made from strong wire screen and was very heavy material,and was comprised of very small holes.
2. Wire cutters, scissors would have worked in a pinch'
3. Needle nose plyers,in my case when doing small work I use hospital tweezers,very heavy and very small.
4. Patience,determination,and the ability to keep a four year old entertained as I worked diligently on my money saving idea.
5. Imagination, it took me about twenty minutes of figuring to come up with a way ,using only the stuff i already owned.
 And thats about it, once i had the idea and the supplies figured out, the time it took from concept to finished was about two hours,but now i believe i could make one in about twenty minutes now that I have gone through the first one.
 Oh yeah I almost forgot, you will also need the secret ingredient,which i will name later on in this instructable.

This will be the results of our build today http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0QUuvgOpSs

Step 2: Old Pool Filter to Dirty to Be Reused

The pool filter in the first picture is the enemy,but in order to defeat this enemy I need to make a copy as close to the same size as I can.
Picture two  shows the hole that fits over a water inlet on top of the pump setup,I also need to copy this as close as I can in order to get my homemade water filter to have a snug fit.
 Other than that, it is my choice for materials used and since this will spend most of its time inside the pump and out of site,cuteness does not need to apply. My favorite of all the rules.

Step 3: Getting Started

After dismantleing my crawdad trap and flattening out the wire, I cut a section as long as the old pool filter,and long enough to wrap around.
This was to become the tube that holds the filter elements that I had chosen.
Picture two is only to show that I have copied the size and shape of the original filter,I will not leave it in there but,wanted to show it was a tight fit.
Picture three show a slightly blurry, but close up of how I left overhanging wire from cut sections and used the same overhanging wire as it's own clip to hold everything together.

Step 4: Pool Filter Hinged Lid

Well I guess, if I dont want the stuffing to float away when the pool pump is not turned on , I will need to make a lid to keep every thing in place. I used the" eeny, meeny, miney, mo" method of decision making to determine which end will now be refered to as the top of my homemade water filter from now on.
After this age old method of choosing was done ,I cut out a square of screen larger than needed to cover the top of my homemade filter.
Picture two, I chose to only attach with a couple of wire tips, which now act as a hinged lid.I also wanted this lid to have a little weight so the rest of the overhanging material is just folded over, into my best effort to make a circle slightly larger the the cylinder. All wire tips on this lid were then squeezed,flattened,twisted ,torqued,and otherwise placed in angles to put them out of harms way.

Step 5: The "it's to Big" Section

Along about now I have come to the conclusion that, since my secret ingredient( which will still be named later on),will be so good at filtering the water, then the filter does not have a need to be as tall as the original.So, since I have already used the "eeny meeny, miney, mo" method once already ,I will now use the "ehhh,this looks about like the halfway point ", method to cut my filter to half it's original size.

Step 6: Bottom and Nipple (hole in Center of Water Filter)replicating

It is now time to make a bottom for this water filter.Useing the same method as I did on the top i cut a slightly larger than needed square to serve as the bottom. On this bottom layer I will also need to make a hole that will allow the water only to pass through. It basically boils down to, I need to make a cage that fits over the nipple on top of the water inlet of the pump,and place it center of bottom so I have the best fit and most use of the filter.
In picture one i have cut and wrapped a cylinder the same size as the hole I am copying.
Pictures two, three, and four, I snipped down one side in three places and folded them over to make a cage dome.
 picture five I attach my dome to the center of bottom screen. Notice the wire tabs I left long to be bent over and used as it's own fastening clips. Remember each wire tab must be bent and folded in a way that the tip is no longer a dangerous snag point.
 Picture six has the bottom not attached yet but reversed to show the cage I have just made.
 Photos nine and ten show the bottom as I trim and bend wire tabs all the way around to make a permanent bond.
 And finally I have included a photo of my copy beside the original pool filter, remember the top is hinged and the bottom is locked on permanent.

Step 7: Super Secret Ingredient Time

I am sure the suspence has had you foaming at the mouth and wishing I would just stop rambling on and on and hurry the heck up and name the secret ingredient already. So I will leave you in suspence no more. My next step is to fill the homemade water filter with pillow case stuffing, tight enough to seal off open air flow ,but not so much as to restrict my water from filtering through.Here is were I save money, if you remember I said the store bought water filters cost five dollars apiece. Well the pillow case stuffing cost about 99 cents for a large pillow and I use about a large handfull,so it would be fairly safe to say less than a pennys worth goes into this and the cage is re-useable from now on.
The stuffing also comes in flat sections that can be cut to size and rolled up to fit snug into the homemade water filter,when the circulation starts to drop only the outer most edge of this roll needs to be replaced as it is the part that catches the most impurities. This will be even a bigger savings as now I am in the range of tenths of a cent for just replacing the outer most edges. When I tested this filter I had left the outdoor tub off for four days to allow some grunge to build up, after installing and turning it on in about fifteen minutes the water smelled better and was back to clear again.

First try at installing, a perfect fit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYqiqAZ3b5k

Water circulating a little slow but adding water to outdoor tub greatly improve this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-p7jMZdO-k

Here is a link to how I made the tub it's self. https://www.instructables.com/id/Beat-the-summer-heat/

After adding water to raise the level about two inches circulation is great now. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krdpistN3Jw

Fifteen minutes have gone by and no more smell and water is a lot clearer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhHERTG_plQ

Stay tuned as i will show the improved version in a couple of days with flat rolled up stuffing compared to this bulk packed stuffing.



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    15 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Interesting, I might just try that out if the weather bothers to change for the better. But for the people who don't want to build their own filter I found that you can clean these filters a few times with bleach. It seems to do a better job than the soap the manufacturer sells. You just need to be sure to clean them very well afterwards as to avoid getting any bleach in your actual pool. (And leaving the filters in bleach for too long isn't a good idea either for obvious reasons.)

    3 replies

    Actually, Bleach wouldn't hurt your pool. the main ingredient in Bleach is chlorine. And, the BBB method actually uses bleach instead of pool chlorine, because it is usually cheaper, and does the same as the commercial chlorine.


    6 years ago on Step 7

    Does the " pillow case stuffing" have another name ? I just want to make sure I am using the correct material . Great instructable !!!!

    1 reply

    Necessity being the mother of invention, i just ripped the paper off of my filter , wrapped a bit of polyfil batting around it then stuck it in an old tube sock. The sock seemed to catch all the big stuff well and was easy to wash and slip back on. Great ible!


    6 years ago on Step 7

    i have been doing a similar thing for a couple of years now and it works great. I just cut the paper from the filter top and bottom, it separates into 3 pieces, the top, bottom, and center tube. I drop the bottom in place inside the filter housing, put the tube in, then stuff with cheap polyfill from the craft store, put the top of the filter on to center the tube and close it up. Your idea is great, because it's probably a lot less messy to clean out than donning the rubber gloves like I do. Anyone who has doubts about polyfill working ought to see how nasty my filter looks after a week.

    2 replies

    About a week is all I get also but welcome the change of new filter material,exspecially since it is cheaper.This thing has really shown an improvement over the store bought one


    Reply 6 years ago on Step 7

    My mother is a quilter, she saves all the scraps of batting that she can't use in her quilts for me. I've used it for filter medium for years! ;D


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Old filters become almost brand new if washed in 20-50% Hydrogen peroxide.
    Be careful not to wet your hands. Also the filter becomes rather hot. Use enough till it stops sizzeling.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea! I will be adapting this technique and making a shop-vac filter this afternoon!

    bobby sissom

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for the kind words,for drinking purposes I would recomend making the inner column a complete one, from top to bottom and filling with a charcoal center.
    a little bit up stuffing on the bottom would prevent charcoal from entering the drinkable water supply.Or maybe even more than one filter in line one after the other,you can never be to cautious when it come to your drinking water.

    1 reply

    It is very hot today and i have just finnished re-filling with fresh cold water (I really need to start on that cooling tower)lol, My wife ,daughter, and I are fixing to go outside and jump in the tub as soon as the shade reaches it


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Good job! I love it when I see practical solutions like yours applied to ornery applications such as this. I might try this as a pre-treatment for cleaning water to use in drinking, bathing, cooking, etc...thanks again.