Is a stock tank pool worth it? The backyard pool trend

stock tank pools

The galvanized stock tank is having a moment. Once reserved for farmers and rural settings, the tank has been converted into an urban chic pool alternative.

Partially a product of pandemic shortages, the popularity of DIY stock tank pools has grown in the past couple years. The farm troughs were readily available and could easily be converted to a pool over the course of a weekend. 

But is this adult version of a kiddie pool the backyard oasis you have been longing for?

Before you head to the tractor supply and hardware stores to pick up the equipment for a stock tank pool, explore these backyard ideas and tips to see if it’s worth it.

DIY Stock Tank Pool

Do you remember those hard plastic pools of your childhood? A stock tank pool feels a little bit like that. But preparing your backyard requires more than strapping it to the roof of your car with a bungee cord and rolling it into your backyard.

The first step you need to take to build a DIY stock tank pool is to prepare your site. While you don’t need to pour concrete, you should ensure that your space is level and can support the weight of the tank. 

Popular backyard set-ups include using pea gravel or crushed limestone for the base and pavers to create a walkway. (Or, keep reading to check out ideas for a custom deck built around the stock tank pool.)

Once your space is ready, the equipment you will need is plumbing tape, metal file, an inlet and outlet valve, plunger valves, marine-grade adhesive, and a pool filter. You will also need a drill with an attachment to cut through the metal.

The basic assembly of a DIY stock tank pool includes drilling a hole near the top of the tank and another near the bottom for the inlet and outlet valves. You will use a metal file to take care of any sharp edges. Apply the marine-grade adhesive to the valve fittings and install the fittings. Follow the directions to assemble and install the pool filter.

Is a stock tank pool worth it?

It’s hard to deny the appeal of these tank installations. They are chic, modern, and easily customizable. And it’s not a project that takes weeks, much less months, to complete.

But there are some things to consider to determine whether a stock tank pool is worth it for you.

Cost

The kiddie pool at the big-box store is, maybe, $20. An 8-foot stock tank in 2021 is about $400, plus the cost of the equipment. And, those are just the initial costs. You should expect to budget for site prep and any landscaping that will add to your backyard design.

There are other tank sizes and materials, though, if you want a more budget-friendly option. A 3-foot by 8-foot oval tank is just less than $300. Alternately, you could choose a plastic trough for less than $200. However, the plastic troughs lack the appeal and aesthetic of the galvanized tanks.

However, if you aren’t interested in a DIY project, there are companies such as Cowboy Pools, that sell tank pool packages. The Cowboy Pool package starts at $2,150. The company offers accessories, as well, such as magnetic cup holders and elastic covers.

Water volume

Do you want a place where you can relax on a float with your toes dipping in the water? If so, a stock tank pool might be worth it for you. One factor to consider when weighing the benefits of a tank pool is how much water it will hold. The biggest galvanized tubs will hold about 700 gallons of water. By comparison, an above-ground pool that’s 15-feet round and 4-feet deep will hold 4,645 gallons of water. An in-ground swimming pool will likely hold more than 10,000 gallons of water.

Maintenance

Any time you have water sitting in your yard, you will need to find a way to keep it clean. Just like any backyard pool, you will need to use chemicals to keep the water clean and clear. Untreated and uncovered, the standing water can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes and algae.

Materials

The galvanized tank is made of metal, and it will be exposed to the elements when installed in your backyard. The combination of chemicals, if not added properly, can be corrosive and cause the pool to rust.

Above all, you want to think about the end goal of the backyard project. The expense and time might not be worth it if you plan to install a bigger pool in the future. However, if you have a small backyard, a stock tank pool can help you make the most of your space.

Stock tank pool and deck ideas

Homeowners are getting creative with their stock tank pool installations. From digging the pool into the ground to custom deck installations, these tanks go from functional farming equipment to a buzz-worthy summer hangout.

A popular idea is to build a custom deck surrounding the stock tank pool — emphasis on the word surrounding.

An 8-foot stock tank weighs about 175 pounds and can hold 700 gallons of water. Considering a gallon of water weighs just over 8 pounds, your stock tank pool will be almost 6,000 pounds. A traditional deck will not be able to support the weight, risking your structure and safety.

However, these pool deck ideas are perfect for weekend warriors and those who want a custom stock tank pool install.

This backyard dipping pool features a rock wall border, colorful annuals, a boho beach umbrella and lounge chairs. But where do you put a drink if you are relaxing in the water? The homeowner built a low-level deck around the frame so that you can grab your lemonade or have a place to dry off.


This resort installed two stock tank pools with a deck to create a cohesive space. The deck features cozy outdoor pillows, poofs, and multiple beach umbrellas for shade. One of the features that adds interest, though, is the horizontal slats that were used to create a back wall. The overall look is simple and modern.


This cozy, intimate deck is ideal for entertaining — whether you want to take a dip in the water or relax on the outdoor cushions.


This backyard is straight out of a magazine, with its lush tropical pants, oversized shade sail and built-in tank. A low-level deck built around the stock tank pool provides the look of a custom look. The tropical greenery, which are planted in a raised bed, offer plenty of privacy so that you can soak solo. Or, you can consider enjoying a relaxing afternoon in your backyard.


Looking for boho backyard ideas? This stock tank pool set-up absolutely dreamy. With a deck built around the pool, the homeowners chose a combination of outdoor pillows, Turkish towels, and an ikat rug to dress up the space. In addition, a grass wall creates privacy and defines the space.

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