Diy Stock Tank

cowboycasey

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Jul 3, 2013
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A balboa system would work perfect for you, 5.5 KW heater for 220v power... Just over $400

And it will do 120v or 220v motors :)

 

mwemaxxowner

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Apr 15, 2020
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I have some interesting data.

I got home yesterday afternoon at 5:30 pm and went to check the hot tub. The temp controller was calling for heating, the pump was running, but it was 93 degrees. Oh no! Is my heater bad??

Well after just a minute I figured out that the filter had become clogged enough for the flow rate to drop and no longer kick the heater on. Easy fix, I dropped another filter in and the heater came on.


I can look back through my Duke Energy app and easily see when the heater is running and when it isn't. It went off about 7:30 PM Thursday night. I have it set to 104 with a 1° differential, so from 7:30 PM, to 5:30 PM yesterday it dropped to 93 degrees.

The temp Thursday night was about 35 if memory serves correctly, and I think we got up to 55 or something like that yesterday. That comes out to about 1/2 degree loss per hour with the heater off.

I have the supplies to build a better cover this weekend but the weather may not cooperate. Right now I just have 1.5" of XPS foam board cut loosely enough to sit in easily with a tarp over the top.

I have 4" of XPS insulation that I'm going to try to cut well enough with a taper to seal, and I have pool noodles to attach and make the seal better. With the tank being recessed into the deck, there's no way to have a skirt that fits tightly around the tank.

I may try to devise a skirt with snaps though that snaps to the decking.

Also, I fashioned an adapter to make my Pool Devil Pro work with the Intex return fitting, since I don't have a skimmer. I was no longer using the PDP since it gets tangle up with Xena (my Warrior SE).
 
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mwemaxxowner

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A balboa system would work perfect for you, 5.5 KW heater for 220v power... Just over $400

And it will do 120v or 220v motors :)



It says it's 4kw. That'd be an improvement for sure, but if I'm going to spend that much I'd prefer to step it up more than that.

Edit-the link you posted says 4kw, the PDF file says 5.5. I found another page advertising several different versions of this, and the heading will list 4kw, the details underneath will say something like "includes 5.5kw heater". What's correct?
 

mwemaxxowner

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Apr 15, 2020
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Thank you!

Little tip for anyone who might happen to want to attempt this. I assumed my 8' round stock tank would be a roughly 96" diameter circle. Plopped it in place and started building around it.

Well, turns out, it's not true at all. Looks round to the eye, but it's all whoppyjawed 😂. I could have/wish I would have worked on true-ing it up before I framed around it. This is making fabricating a nice sitting cover that fits tightly down into the tank on the edges difficult. And, it will have to always be installed clocked the same way.

I have it done but I had to give myself more wiggle room than I wanted. So I'm going to have more material extending past the edge and have it also seal to the top of the deck, and make sure I'm air sealed nicely from the tank to the decking boards and the gap between the decking boards around the edge.

What I've done is created a large loop of pool noodles with 1/2" irrigation tubing running through to hold them together. I make a loop of that fit just inside the rim of the tank, placed two sheets of 2" xps foam over that and attached the noodle ring. I removed that, and cut two layers of 1" xps foam (seams alternating) to fit loosely inside my noodle ring on the underside of my 2" top layer. I filled the gap between the 1" layers and the noodle ring with expanding foam and trimmed it flush. The foam I guess pushed my noodle ring outward a bit so it wouldn't "pop" down into the rim of the stock tank. It was just sitting on top. I trimmed my noodle seal all around so now it sits down into the tank but it's not a good deal like I planned. It overlaps the hole a little bit but not enough on the 4 corners where 8' was just barely enough. I'm going to add material there and make my seal on the deck surface, not inside the ring of the top of the tank like I wanted.

I'll get it but it threw a bit of a monkey wrench into it.

It's still working great! I turned the controller down to about 90 and my daughter played in it like a pool most all day Sunday. It's nice to use out pool/patio area even when the pool is cold again.
 
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mwemaxxowner

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I think it's just a typo on their website. I found that same model number somewhere else that does list it as 5.5kw.

It does give me options but options of 120v or 240v and the 240v option is listed as 4kw. Screenshot_20210303-124340.png

I'd need a big pump upgrade too to use something like the Balboa spa pack. It would wind up snowballing my costs and complicate the setup more and more. I may hold off on making that a goal for a while.
 
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cowboycasey

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My 6kw heater was ran by a 1/8 hp iron might 24/7 circulation pump 230v, they also have a 115v 1/15 version that should also work with no issues... Both do 40 gpm.. :)



don't confuse the circulation pump with the jet pumps
 
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mwemaxxowner

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Apr 15, 2020
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I just noticed that I need at least 40 gpm. I'm nowhere near that!

The pump that I have is 1500 gph (about 1000 gph after the filter) and paid for 😊. It uses very little electricity, and was very simple to wire (plug in 😋) and plumb. I could do the plumbing and purchase the pieces I need to totally design it now, but that pump coming with all fittings, valves, through wall fittings, filter and everything made it oh so easy! That was the big draw for using Intex. Now I know how to switch between intex and pvc pretty easily and how to purchase the plunger valves, through wall fittings and whatnot individually. It was all sealed by gaskets so a nice clean install!

If and when there is a failure we'll look at upgrading. At those prices I'll come back to this thread and those will be the first two I consider!
 
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mwemaxxowner

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Apr 15, 2020
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After some experimentation, I've decided it uses more energy to have the digital temp controller control my heat by turning the pump on and off. I monitor the energy use by day, and compared that method to just turning the pump to "ON" and letting the thermostat built into the heater do its job. It uses a little less electricity per hour doing it that way.

The old way I depended on the temp controller to kick the pump on, and then inadvertently the pump would kick the heater on via the flow switch. The temp controller cannot handle enough amps to control the heater directly.

I suspect this is due to the pump not turning on and off since it takes more energy to start a motor than it does while it's running stead. It's probably also easier on the pump, so I'm moving to this option. I'm just going to let the pump run and fine tune the tstat on the heater. This makes it less convenient to make changes in the desired temp but it's not difficult to crawl under and access my heater.

I also discovered it's way less economical to turn it down very much when not in use and then turn it back up before a use. After a bit of research I see that that is common knowledge in the hot tub world, but I have confirmed it 😂.

Soon I will be turning it down to about 85 or so I guess and just keeping a solar cover over it as summer approaches and it goes into full on kiddie pool mode.
 

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
1,212
Cabool, Mo
The old way I depended on the temp controller to kick the pump on, and then inadvertently the pump would kick the heater on via the flow switch. The temp controller cannot handle enough amps to control the heater directly.
I'm not sure if I have said this already, but a home-made control system is dangerous. The description of it's function makes it clear that yours is such.
Let's assume, for a moment, that your pressure switch shorts out. This, by your description, would cause your heater to run even with the pump off. That melts pvc, the water leaks out, then the heater catches on fire. What safety devices do you have to protect your family from a house fire? And will your insurance cover the damages from the use of a homemade non UL listed appliance that caused the damage (That answer is "no" btw)?
I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is to have the right controls, with the right safety devices, redundancies, and equipment, controlling the function of your spa.
I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is to have the right controls, with the right safety devices, redundancies, and equipment, controlling the function of your spa.
I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is to have the right controls, with the right safety devices, redundancies, and equipment, controlling the function of your spa.
I'll say it a few more times if it will help it sink in...
 
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mwemaxxowner

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The pressure switch is built into, and part of, the heater. If the switch burns out, the circuit is broken and none of it gets any power.

The heater has built in overheat protection, and the built in flow switch,and it's all double gfci protected.

It's running exactly as intended right now. The built in pressure switch and built in thermostat on the spa heater are being used on conjunction with a filter pump that is on 24/7.

I have fire extinguishers in the house, but this is 300' from the house, sitting on a concrete pad in a corner of the pool patio away from all structures.
 
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A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
255
Kershaw, South Carolina
After some experimentation, I've decided it uses more energy to have the digital temp controller control my heat by turning the pump on and off. I monitor the energy use by day, and compared that method to just turning the pump to "ON" and letting the thermostat built into the heater do its job. It uses a little less electricity per hour doing it that way.

The old way I depended on the temp controller to kick the pump on, and then inadvertently the pump would kick the heater on via the flow switch. The temp controller cannot handle enough amps to control the heater directly.

I suspect this is due to the pump not turning on and off since it takes more energy to start a motor than it does while it's running stead. It's probably also easier on the pump, so I'm moving to this option. I'm just going to let the pump run and fine tune the tstat on the heater. This makes it less convenient to make changes in the desired temp but it's not difficult to crawl under and access my heater.

I also discovered it's way less economical to turn it down very much when not in use and then turn it back up before a use. After a bit of research I see that that is common knowledge in the hot tub world, but I have confirmed it 😂.

Soon I will be turning it down to about 85 or so I guess and just keeping a solar cover over it as summer approaches and it goes into full on kiddie pool mode.
I have mine at 104 degrees 24/7/365.. but thats me..
 

mwemaxxowner

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Apr 15, 2020
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Well in the summer we're going to have it just at pool temperature. We'll probably lounge in it and relax as adults while the kids go hog wild in the pool, and sometimes I'm sure the kids will be playing in it. And it will be an option for younger kids who come over and may not be comfortable in the IGP yet.

We may occasionally fire up the propane heater at night for a soak if we are in the mood for it and it's not too hot out. It's really humid in the summer here which makes me not feel like being in a hot tub much, even into the night.

During what I'll call "hot tub season", that's how ours will be set also. Set and forget at 104.

When this began, I feared that might be too hot for the kids. And, on the other hand, I thought my wife might want it turned up. Her bathwater would melt my face off, and if she doesn't look like a lobster after a shower it was "too cold". She seems to like 104 just fine though.
 
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Bperry

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Aug 20, 2020
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Curious if household fiberglass insulation would work better than carpet padding for insulation? (And be a bit less likely to hold mold when wet?)
 

Mdragger88

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Jun 1, 2018
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Well in the summer we're going to have it just at pool temperature. We'll probably lounge in it and relax as adults while the kids go hog wild in the pool, and sometimes I'm sure the kids will be playing in it. And it will be an option for younger kids who come over and may not be comfortable in the IGP yet.

We may occasionally fire up the propane heater at night for a soak if we are in the mood for it and it's not too hot out. It's really humid in the summer here which makes me not feel like being in a hot tub much, even into the night.

During what I'll call "hot tub season", that's how ours will be set also. Set and forget at 104.

When this began, I feared that might be too hot for the kids. And, on the other hand, I thought my wife might want it turned up. Her bathwater would melt my face off, and if she doesn't look like a lobster after a shower it was "too cold". She seems to like 104 just fine though.
I thought I would turn mine down in the summer too but never really have had it below 98degrees. The sun seems to maintain it even if i were to turn it down.
I just don’t stay in quite as long. It has been really great to warm u up in the “shoulder times” of pool season as well.
 

A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
255
Kershaw, South Carolina
I thought I would turn mine down in the summer too but never really have had it below 98degrees. The sun seems to maintain it even if i were to turn it down.
I just don’t stay in quite as long. It has been really great to warm u up in the “shoulder times” of pool season as well.
I'll turn mine down to 103 sometimes in the summer if it gets real hot! but mostly 104. We dont even get in if its 101 or less.
 
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