A pool is the sort of upgrade that can’t help but sound enticing—until you see the price tag. Add in the maintenance required, and your dreams of the pool life can fade quickly. With water use concerns also on the rise, a smaller plunge pool is an option more people are considering. To make this upgrade affordable, stock tanks have taken center stage as a pre-built container alternative. Because they’re made to hold water in the first place, they’re fairly easy to convert into a pool. Here’s what you need to know about installing a stock tank pool in your yard.
To install a stock tank pool, you’ll need a level area with no rocks or tree roots protruding. While some people will have a deck that’s built to support the weight of a tank filled with water and people, most decks are rated for about 50 pounds per square foot. An 8-foot stock tank holds about 700 gallons of water and weighs about 6,000 pounds, so it will exceed the weight limit on the average deck by 10 pounds per square foot before any people even enter it. Make sure the surface you choose can hold the weight of your tank.
Tools you need to set up a stock tank pool
Once you have your spot picked out, the next thing you’ll need is an exterior GFCI outlet to run the filter. Even though a stock tank is smaller than a regular pool, the water should still be filtered. You will also need a drill and a 2-¾ inch hole saw and some silicone caulk to seal around the filter. Make sure you’re able to safely run power from your outlet to the pool so you don’t cause a trip hazard.
To complete your stock tank pool, you will need a floating chlorine dispenser to keep the water clean, and a cover is highly advisable. Keeping the water clean in a stock tank is easier than in a larger pool, but it’s not automatic—keeping it covered will make it much easier to maintain. Last, don’t forget that even though filling a stock tank is cheaper than filling a full-sized pool, it’s not free. Make sure to take water-use restrictions into account as well as the cost of the water.
Other things to keep in mind
A plastic stock tank won’t rust, but a metal one likely will at some point. Using a sealant spray coat on the metal will help prevent rusting, but eventually, the chlorine in the water will cause some rust. A white or light color lining on the inside of the tank will also slow the absorption of heat from sunlight, so that’s an added benefit to adding a sealer. A well-sealed tank will last you a few seasons, but a metal tank that hasn’t been coated won’t be a permanent installation.
Adding any kind of pool to your property might require a permit, so make sure to check your local rules. Also, a cover or other safety barrier is always a good idea to avoid accidental drowning, especially for small children. Many municipalities will have a specific fencing or barrier requirement, but even if they don’t, you should make sure to keep kids at a safe distance unless supervised by an adult.