1993 - Volume #17, Issue #4, Page #19[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Grain Bin Swimming Pool
"It's better than commercial above-ground models," says Portner, who built the "grain bin" pool behind his house five years ago. "We previously had a small above ground metal swimming pool for a few years, but it was starting to rust out and was so flimsy that we couldn't lean on it without breaking it. I wanted something that was built stronger. Our grain bin pool holds 10,000 gal. of water. We fill the pool on Memorial Day weekend and drain it on Labor Day weekend, and the water stays nice and clear all summer long. We installed a pump that filters water at the rate of about 16,000 gal. of water per day.
"Whenever we're not using the pool we cover it with a solar blanket. It absorbs the sun's heat and keeps the water about 10 degrees warmer at night. However, last summer was so cool that even the solar blanket couldn't keep the pool warm enough. I solved the problem by running the water through a wood stove made out of a gas water heater that I set up next to the pool. I made a wood burning chamber under the heater out of sheet metal and connected the water heater fittings up to the discharge hose on the water filter. The filter pump pushes water through the water heater and back into the pool.
"I paid $60 for the bin panels. Total cost for the 21-ft. dia., 4-ft. high pool, including the concrete floor, solar blanket, and pump and filter, was about $1,000,"
Portner bolted the seven, bin panels together and sealed them with 'silicone. He also used silicone to seal the inside of the panels to the concrete floor and used black tar to seal the outside of the panels. He put 3-in. dia. plastic drainage tile, split length over the top edge.
The concrete floor has a PVC drain at center that leads outside the pool. To drain the pool, Portner pulls a plug at the end of the pipe. He uses Hilex to scrub the floor clean before filling the pool each spring.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Andy Portner, Rt. 1, Box 210, Winthrop, Minn. 55396 (ph 507 647-2543).
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