Posted in 1 Garden, 2 Home

Installing a Garden Tub


Under the grape arbor is a nice private place for a summer tub – so we cleaned out a 2′ x 6′ x 2′ horse trough we had stored, brushed out the rust, and painted it with rust-proof gray paint.  It looks nearly new!

Because it was old, though, I wanted to make sure that the seams and any rust-weakened spots wouldn’t be stressed when the tub was filled with water and the weight of two people, as it might be on an uneven surface, so I took extreme care to level the site and make sure all the bricks were well-supported.  (The shadows in this photo cast funny angles, but the bricks were leveled each to within 1/32″ of an inch of each other and across their span.)

01 block foundation

Each block was checked for areas where it might span an inch or two without much support (as seen in the one on the left).  Each then had a handful of small stones and sand shoved under any of those edges.

02 block cu 03 block cu filled

Next, we laid one layer of cardboard over the bricks to cushion the metal from rough edges.

04 cardboard

Then, holding the cardboard square and neat, we set the tank in place and filled her up… but that wasn’t enough.

06 me in tub side 

07 tub n plants

Container plantings of catnip and comfrey brought us the greenery to make this humble item beautiful as well as refreshing on a hot day!  But that’s not all….

Next we’ll install a solar water heater between the open rafters above, plumb it from the kitchen line in the wall right there, and give ourselves hot water for winter tubbing – as well as solar hot water straight into the kitchen!  Save us money, save a mountainside and all that pollution.  Yeah!

We’ll post about it, of course.

And probably plan a workshop for its installation. Will teach participants how to take a pressure tank out of almost any “old” water heater (destined for the landfill or, at best, recycling – though a pressure tank has SO much more value than that), clean it up and prepare it for an insulated box, build the box, orient it properly, plumb it, and use the solar hot water (better have a pressure valve – they can actually get that hot).  We’ll have this one to demonstrate, another one to take apart and prepare, and we’ll install this one and do at least some of the plumbing and demonstrate the rest.  Will probably take a half day.  When would be best for you?

Write if you’re interested, and we’ll try to schedule it for the greatest number of people’s convenience.




Artist, author, and speaker.

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