Hippie-Redneck Solar-Heated Swimming Pool Slash Hot Tub

In need of a jacuzzi to complete your backyard but just don’t have the cash? Need a swimming pool for the little ones but tired of the cheap plastic ones popping and leaking all over the place? Look no further than [inexplorata]’s self-explanatory “Hippie-Redneck Solar-Heated Kiddo Swimmin’ Pool And Hot Tub“.

The pool uses a six-foot-diameter metal stock tank, provided by a neighbor. After some liberal use of JB Weld, the tank functions as a makeshift pool on the cheap, but the magic doesn’t end there. [inexplorata] found a solar thermal water heater that someone was getting rid of and snagged it to heat up the water, which is almost a necessity for most parts of the Northern Hemisphere right now.

A sump pump in a bucket handles water circulation, and [inexplorata] points out that the single water heater is more than enough to keep the water nice and warm (“hot enough to poach a rhino” is the scientific term used on the project page) so if you’ve got the means, this might be a welcome addition to the backyard! The build was posted on Reddit, the users of which had some helpful suggestions for improving the pool if you want to tackle this yourself. If you don’t have a solar thermal water heater, you could always make one of those too.

16 thoughts on “Hippie-Redneck Solar-Heated Swimming Pool Slash Hot Tub

  1. We used to have a 12′ stock tank that we hooked a Jacuzzi pump/filter up to. That and a little pool chlorine once a week kept it nice and clean all season long. I always wanted to try two additions… have it coated with bedliner (cover the nasty galvanized steel, in a dark color to absorb sunlight) and figure out away to use the AC compressor to heat the water. I figure when the pool is needed most, the AC will be running most, and it’s just dumping off all that heat … might as well dump it into the water.

    1. i have a funny feeling that if you did this, your AC system would operate more efficently? i mean coolant=cooler”hotside” and less work pumping, greater time between “compressor-switch-on’s” and thus less chance of pipe-freeze, allowing an overworked system to work-harder.

      pools and patio-doors left open seem to go together, mmm

      PS: im NOT advising anyone put refregerant in a pool for people, im talking about using water to cool the existing radiator, thus if it leaks, it leaks water into water

      1. Yep, it does operate more efficiently. So long as you can prevent corrosion of the coils due to minerals/chemicals in the water, and the mass of water is large enough that it doesn’t heat up too much with the amount of cooling required. In practice (at least in the southern US where I live), this requires a LOT of water, and a heat exchanger with water in a plastic secondary loop, much like you surmised. Have seen it done redneck-style with garden hose and a backyard pond.

  2. Just be sure if you build one of these you follow any rules set in your location regarding pool fencing. Just because its an old tank full of water and not something sold as a pool doesn’t mean its not a pool in the eyes of the law.

  3. We had a 16′ diameter 4′ deep pool that we added a pump to push the water through 500′ of black tubing on a tar paper covered board in the sunniest part of the yard. It kept the pool 5-8F warmer.

  4. He said it’s into a GFI outlet because safety…

    I did the sump pump trick (although not nearly as pretty…mine was an old cat litter container) when the little crap pump they sold with the Intex pools wasn’t pushing water at a decent rate. When I added the Craigslist find of a DE filter for $10…..I had the 5000 gallon pool from green to clean in 1 hour.

    Nice job. Hope his kiddos take a lesson from it.

  5. I may have missed it, but just in case the information isn’t there, here goes:
    Warm water can breed potent pathogenic organisms, like amoeba. It is essential to chlorinate (or possibly peroxidize) the water in this bath. This should be no different than for any hot tub. I don’t want some poor unsuspecting kid to have his brain eaten before he’d hardly learned to use it:
    http://www.webmd.com/brain/brain-eating-amoeba
    A TRUE redneck might not notice it if his brain was eaten, but anyone clever enough to rig up this solar hot tub would probably miss his gray matter…

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