HOW TO DIY A HASTINGS STOCK TANK POOL
We would first like to start by saying there is a lot of great information all over the internet on this same subject. We will be sharing several ideas and tips from many of our friends in the Stock Tank Pool industry and DIYers alike, while adding some of our own knowledge and experience of what is working successfully for us.
1) Prepare & Level Ground
2) Drill Filter Pump Holes for 1.5" Hoses
3) Connect Equipment (Intex Crystal Clear 1500 GPH Filter Cartridge Pump)
4) Fill Stock Tank With Water & Check For Leaks
5) How To Maintain Your Stock Tank Pool
1) Level the Ground Beneath the Stock Tank
Do the best you can and the tank will not lie once you add the water... If your waterline is pretty equal all around, then you did a great job. If it is not, then it will be obvious and you can leave it or drain and make the necessary base corrections. An unlevel tank and waterline should not create any issues other than maybe aesthetically unpleasing. You can get as crazy as you want with this step... Some people just place stock tanks on grass or dirt and call it done and others pour a custom concrete slab or make a paver area and some will even install drainage rock under the base layer material...
Here is a simple and probably the most common method - (Use Leveling Sand or Paver Base)
Check if the ground is level using a long straight board and a level. Check in several areas and if not, spread bags of leveling sand (from your local home improvement store) and level and compact until the area is nice and flat. Our recommendation would be to place your stock tank on a minimum 1" to 3" compacted and level surface (with no exposed rocks under the tank)...Whether that is all leveling sand, paver base or a combination of paver base material and a top layer of leveling sand, etc... For an 8' tank this could be about (10-20) 50# bags of sand for a 1-2" base.
2) Drill Your Filter Pump Holes (on Hastings Stock Tanks)
Safety Disclaimer: Stock tank Pools should be located at least 6 feet away from any GFCI electrical outlet or power source for safety and per most national & local building codes. (Please check with your local building department). The Intex Filter Pump has a 25 foot power cord for convenience and should be plugged into an outdoor rated GFCI outlet. It is not recommended to use any additional extension cords.
Once your tank is positioned in place or if you know where you want your equipment holes...Measure and mark them with a sharpie (making sure the whole valve diameter surface will sit flat and be clear of any tank reinforcing ridges) and drill your holes in the middle section of the stock tank using a 2-3/4 inch hole saw. You can choose to make them level (Fig 1) to each other or you can slightly offset (Fig 2) the intake hole lower and the outlet hole slightly higher (which is our preference). Make sure the right side hole is the lower hole since this is the intake and the hose will connect to the pump which is on the left side and this will make sure your hoses do not have to cross each other. We recommend 12" to 60" apart (we usually drill 24" apart). Keep your hose management in mind when you pick your hole spacing distances. The closer the holes are together the smaller the equipment footprint will be, if you want to hide the equipment in a box, or in landscaping, etc. TIP: You will need a powerful and high RPM (fast spinning) drill to get the job done. An old-fashioned corded drill and most newer 20V cordless drills work, but not all will have enough RPM's...Wear safety glasses! It's also not a bad idea to place a drop cloth or plastic, etc. in the tank under the area you will be drilling to catch the metal filings or you can drill with the tank positioned upside down.
Put a lot of pressure on the drill and carefully ramp up to full speed after the pilot hole gets started and push with two hands until you break through. You may need to pulse the drill trigger to get the hole saw teeth to get cutting once it engages. After you drill the holes, carefully clean out the inside of the tank making sure you clean up all the shards of metal left behind. It is also a good idea to deburr the edge of drill holes carefully using a file, emery cloth, or sand paper. Be very careful of sharp edges! This will help you get a good clean seal between the tank and the valves.
Tip: This is a great time to wash your tank with a degreaser like Simple Green or a mild soap (dawn dish soap) and water before you install in its final place. Never use any harsh chemicals or solvents as this may damage the zinc coating on the metal. The tanks come from the factory with oil residue and other coatings due to the manufacturing process.
3) Connect Your Inlet and Outlet Valves (we DO NOT use silicone sealant like many others on any of our connections including the large intake and outlet holes)
We recommend using RectorSeal T Plus 2 on all of the threaded equipment connections. This is a non-hardening thread sealant. We apply to all male threads prior to threading together.
Follow the directions that come with the Intex model 28635EG 1500Gph pump to connect your inlet valve & outlet valve to the wall of the pool. It’s a simple connection, put the gasket on the inside of the pool & the nut threads on the outside of the pool. Hand tighten and then give a final 1/4 turn (oil filter rules) with a pipe wrench or channel lock pliers. Do not overtighten!
VERY IMPORTANT TIP!
AIR JET VALVE
AIR JET CAP
The Intex manual does not cover this so please pay careful attention to the following:
If you use the Inlet Valve Kit referenced below it will come with an Air Jet Valve and so will the Outlet Valve provided with the filter pump. Do not install the the black cap on the Outlet Valve, but DO install the black cap on the Intake Valve. This will prevent your whole system from sucking in air creating air locks and causing a very loud and rough sounding pump.
The Air Jet Valve introduces air into the water at the outlet to create more bubbles so you want the outlet side to be uncapped. But please remember to cap this if you have one installed on the intake side to prevent sucking in any air.
*Filter pump - Comes w/ 1.5" hoses & outlet valve, the outlet valve pushes filtered water back into pool
*Inlet valve - (paid link) Kit is sold separately, Sucks the dirty water back through the filter to get cleaned & recirculated
*Intex Large Pool Plunger Valve - Shuts off the water back-flow to allow equipment maintenance
Connect One Plunger (shut-off) Valve to the Outside of the Outlet Valve & the Inlet Valve
The plunger (shut-off) valves allow you to close off the water flow during routine cartridge filter cleaning or in case you need to disconnect your hoses without draining your pool. One additional Plunger Valve will need to be purchased and the other will come with the inlet valve kit.
Connect the Hoses to the Plunger Valves on One End & the Filter Pump on the Other End
Follow the picture in the instructions for the pump filter to make sure that you connect the inlet hose & the outlet hose to the right holes on the pump filter. (Intake hose to the motor (pump) side / Outlet hose to the filter side). Make sure to close both plunger valves.
4) Fill Your Pool With Water and Once the Water Line is Above Both Valves Test It
We recommend first installing without using silicone to seal up the large inlet/outlet hose connections. Hastings tanks have flat surfaces and this should make a good seal. But, if after filling with water and checking for leaks and making sure everything is tight and you have a leaking issue... Then, you will have to drain the water and disconnect the fittings and use a good waterproof silicone sealant on the inside of the tank between the gasket and fittings and try again after waiting the cure time.
Please read all the Intex safety instructions prior to connecting your filter pump to any electrical power source. Make sure the filter is switched off. Connect the power cord (please read all wiring precautions in the owner's manual).
Important to prevent air lock: Open the intake plunger valve first (counter clock-wise) and then the outlet plunger valve. Open the the air release valve, wait until water starts to flow out of the air release valve, then close air release valve. This will purge the system of any trapped air.
Turn on the pump and check for any leaks around all of the connections. You should see the water flowing out of the outlet which should be directed in the opposite direction of the intake. You should also feel good suction on the intake grate. The pump should be operating smooth and fairly quiet. If it is rumbling and noisy without good water flow you may have trapped air inside of the system. Follow the troubleshooting guidelines in the owner's manual. (check to make sure all of your connections are tight, check to make sure you the inlet/outlet hoses are not reversed, open the air release valve, wait until water starts to flow out then close.
5) Stock Tank Pool Maintenance Tips
Use the least amount of chlorine necessary to keep the water clear. Use 1" mini chlorine tabs and they must be used in a floating chlorinator! Normal is 1-3 tabs per week. Never use a shock treatment or liquid chlorine which can damage the galvanized metal. Never let a chlorine tab touch the metal surface as this can cause damage as well. Get a pool water test kit and test the water once a week and adjust as needed. Rinse and clean the cartridge filter every 1-2 weeks and replace as necessary. Brush the floor and walls with a pool brush as necessary to help prevent algae growth and make sure to skim out any leaves or debris on a regular basis. Cover the pool when not in use to help keep it clean. Add clean water as needed.
Please contact us if you have any questions!
Thanks & Cheers!!! 🥂