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Make A Your Own Rustic Stock Tank Hot Tub For Less Than $50!

hot tub in action

Do you have dreams of making your own stock tank hot tub that requires zero electricity? You have come to the right place. Through trial and error, we have learned what works best for this kind of project. So read on to learn how you can make your own rustic hot tub!

This DIY hot tub makes use of a simple passive water heating technique. 

Water is heated by fire and heat exchange. The cold water in the tub is sucked up into a copper or steel pipe that is coiled through a hot fire and is sent back to the top of the tub. 

The water cycles through until the tub reaches the desired temperature. Materials you'll need to make this stock tank hot tub are:

  • Copper pipe and sand OR steel pipe and elbow fittings
  • Two bulkhead fittings
  • Large animal stock tank
  • Fire ring (we used an old tractor wheel)
  • Copper fittings
  • Teflon Tape 

You will also need: water, wood, matches, and a hot tub thermometer.

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The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Copper Coil Versus Steel Pipe With Elbows

The nice thing about copper coil is that you can easily coil it into the fire ring. 

One winter, however, our copper coil froze and burst so we had to re-adjusted our coil. 

Instead we used 10 six-inch sections of steel pipe attached to 10 elbows.

Not only was this coil easier to build but it heated the water much faster. The results were amazing and it worked much better than the previous set-up! You can build yours out of either type of pipe.

How To Make The DIY Stock Tank Hot Tub

If using copper pipe: pack the copper pipe full of sand and coil it so it can easy sit in the fire ring. GO SLOWLY! The trick to this is patience. Leave the ends of the pipe about two feet long.

If using steel elbows and pipes: Screw the elbows to the pipes to make a steel coil. 

After the pipe is coiled and sits comfortably in the fire ring empty out the sand (if using copper pipe).

Drill two holes in the trough: one near the bottom of the trough and the other near the top. Make them as far apart as the copper coil is in width and height. The goal here is to have the pipes slide easily into the two holes in the stock tank.

Using two bulkhead fitting, tape and copper fitting, connect the pipe to the tub. Make sure it is as watertight as possible.

Now set the the coil in the fire ring. We used an old truck wheel that we got from Les Schwab for our fire ring. Fill the tub with water. Arrange your wood in the ring so the coils will get hot. Start the fire.

It takes about 4 hours to get the tub to 100 degrees. 

For Extra Glamour...

You can also wrap your stock tank hot tub with wood board to give it added rustic beauty. (Plus, this helps with having little children around who might burn themselves on the tub!)

Enjoy Your New Unique Stock Tank Hot Tub

Hot tubbing like this is quite an experience. It is fun to build the fire, feed the fire, then finally enjoy the tub. All the waiting is worth it when in the evening you can jump in the hot tub right before you go to bed.

Some of the boys like to roll around in the snow before getting in the hot tub to experience the temperature difference. 

One word of warning, however! Always stir your stock tank hot tub before jumping in. The hot water all ends up in the bottom and, if unstirred, will unpleasantly surprise the first person to get in by being cool on the top and burning hot on the bottom. So...always stir.

Also, if you live in a cold climate you should consider either making an easy way to drain the tub or some way to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting. 

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