Pandemic summer woes have many on the hunt for above-ground-pools, in hopes of staying cool as many public pools and water parks remain closed. But, the heightened interest in outdoor water activities has caused many pools to sell out, online and in stores, leaving folks wondering how they can still make a splash and keep cool this summer.
Enter the stock tank pool – aka the redneck pool, cowboy pool, hillbilly pool, or trough pool. For those wondering what a stock tank pool is, get ready to be amazed by this creative and economical summer trend.
What Is A Stock Tank Pool?
Homeowners looking to beat the summer heat, without dropping a lot of cash should consider repurposing a galvanized steel livestock water trough, into a down-home, country chic stock tank pool.
These humble yet stylish, Instagram photo-ready pools will add some serious curbside appeal that a traditional above-ground-pool or chintzy inflatable kiddie pool could never do.
Before you get too excited about purchasing a stock tank pool, be aware that it’s slightly more involved than just plopping down an everyday farm staple in your backyard, filling it with water, and calling it good.
Stock tanks will need some MacGyvering to transform this into a trendy backyard oasis, that’ll have your friends and neighbors wanting to join in on the fun.
Where To Buy A Stock Tank Pool
Although a stock tank pool won’t be as cheap as an inflatable pool, it will cost considerably less than your average above-ground-pool, making it an appealing alternative for many homeowners.
First, you’ll need to purchase a steel water trough or stock tank at your local farm supply store, Tractor Supply, or online at TankAndBarrel. Keep in mind that stock tanks come in an assortment of sizes ranging from three-feet to 8-feet in diameter with a depth of about two feet at an average price of $300.00.
If you’re not keen on a round stock tank, capsule-shaped stock tanks are also available for purchase but are narrowly shaped, perfect for soaking.
How To Set Up A Stock Tank Pool
Once you purchase the stock tank pool, you’ll need to scope out a home to place the pool. When you’ve chosen your desired spot, proceed with making sure that it is solid, and has a level base. Having a smooth, level, and solid surface that can handle the weight of a filled stock tank pool is imperative; we recommend compacted sand or paved patio.
There are a few other things you’ll want to consider in regards to your stock tank location. First, plan on putting the drain port somewhere where the land can handle several hundred gallons draining over it in a relatively short amount of time. Next, you’ll need to make sure you’re able to plug in the filter pump, so an outlet should be somewhat nearby.
Next, you’ll need to remove the drain plug that was originally in the stock tank. Replace the plug with a hose bib with a shutoff switch that has a similar thread pattern. Replacing the standard plug with a hose attachment will allow you to attach a hose and have more flexibility as to where you drain the pool. Don’t forget to wrap the new hose bib in plumber’s tape to ensure a leak-free connection. Complete the sealing process by adding some plumbing putty around the edge of the hose bib.
The next step requires you to cut new holes in the stock tank for the pump and filter ports. Find out which size hoses the pump and filter you buy require, then shop around for a stepped drill bit that can cut the size you need. Stepped drill bits cut a wide range of hole sizes, so you’ll need to be careful not to drill the holes too big. Once you have the holes drilled, attach the hoses, and set the pump up. Seal the holes where the hoses are with plumping putty.
Fill the tank up and check for leaks. Give the test a few minutes before declaring it a success. If there’s any water leaking, you’ll need to drain and re-seal the leaky spots before filling it again for another test.
Once you’ve tested the system for water-tightness, it’s time to prime the water pump. Most water pumps won’t work if there are air bubbles trapped inside. Look for an air release valve. Loosen it until water starts coming out, then tighten it back up again. Now your pump is ready to plugin and turn on. Your stock tank is now ready for regular chemical treatments and everyday enjoyment!
How To Spruce Up Your Stock Tank Pool
The all-natural look of a galvanized steel stock tank pool sitting in the backyard may be offputting for some. After all, it’s true purpose is a giant water bowl for livestock. If you’re hoping to tone down the redneck-ness of this unique DIY pool, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to spruce it up to your tastes.
The common way to add more life to a stock tank pool would be to paint the siding. However, galvanized metal isn’t the easiest to paint due to an oily layer that prevents white rust. To achieve the appearance of a uniquely-colored pool, you’ll have to sand down the sides, apply a metal primer, and use a paint specified for galvanized metal.
Some people construct a rounded deck around the pool to give it a more upscale look. You can also surround the tank with smooth river rocks. For an expanded DIY challenge, turn your stock tank pool area into an oasis with outdoor furnishings such as lounge chairs or zero gravity chairs. Add some outdoor tables to hold drinks and finish up the area with a collection of tropical plants and solar outdoor lighting.
Adding a stock tank pool is an inexpensive and creative way to get some much-needed relief from the heat this summer. It will also give you a chance to brush up on your DIY and construction skills before you need to use them in your home.