Background

IBTL Water Tank Hot Tub

IBTL Water Tank Hot Tub

Ivri obtained an industrial, (IBTL Water tank) plastic liquid tank of 1 cubic meter in a metal frame (for free). The original concept he had was to cut off the top section and just to heat up water from an old bathtub (behind the cube in this photo) with a simple DIY copper coil. This was going to be over an open fire under the bath and the loop going between the bath and the tub.

However, Ivri then decided he would go the whole hog. He Googled: “DIY Garden Jacuzzi” and found www.buildahottub.com

Initial Contact

September 1, 2020 Ivri found Andi at www.buildahottub.com , contacted him and he responded within 24 hours. Subsequently, after talking with Ivri, he explained that no other firm abroad or in Israel could offer a DIY solution for him.

Always up for a challenge, and believe it or not, this is not the strangest request we have received to date, Andi went ahead with the project.

This photo shows the first location standing above ground near olive trees in Ivri’s front garden.

Scope of Work

The scope of work for Andi and www.buildahottub.com is the custom design of the IBTL Water tank hot tub, plus full plumbing diagrams for Ivri as well as supplying the plumbing parts. What Andi also did in this case was pre-assemble a lot of the parts for Ivri so that the plumbing is a bit more of a “Kit Form” than a part-by-part assembly. This was a great weekend project!

Below, you can see that the jet bodies have been assembled in the workshop and numbered for the assembly instructions.

IBTL Water Tank Hot Tub

IBTL Water Tank Hot Tub

As well as pre-assembling the jet bodies, Andi also pre-configured the Spa Pack for Ivri to make it more of a plug and play system when he received it in Israel. What you can see below is the expansion board that has been added to the Balboa system in order to add a blower into the mix. This is to give the full Hot Tub experience – in a water tank!

Balboa Expansion Board

Balboa Expansion Board

The parts were all packaged up and then Ivri collected them to export to Israel. All went smoothly without a hitch.

September / October

Some comments from Ivri “During September and most of October 2020 emails went back and forth between Andi and myself. I asked a lot of questions and was satisfied with Andi’s replies. He sent me CAD design drawings and assembly instructions which were all tailor-made to my requirements. The plan was to install 8 jets, 2 on each side of my tub.

While communicating with Andi, I also checked out shipping companies and took time to understand the delivery process from the UK to Israel.

After agreeing on a price, I ordered the complete plumbing kit of a water pump, blower, spa heater unit, and filter with made to measure plastic piping and connectors. From pick up time at Andi’s by the shipper DHL, door to door service took about one week. This photo shows the well packed palletized boxes containing all parts with no breakages after arrival on my veranda.”

November 2020

Ivri Explains – “When mounting future steps to get into the open tub, the upper half of my body would become entangled in the olive tree branches above. So I decided to dig a deeper hole in that same location. I started deepening the initial rectangle that you see here.

Then I discovered water and sewer pipes – just below the surface.  900 liters of water would definitely decimate or crack them. So I selected a new location for my hot tub.

I chose my small front garden area at the drop-off end of my veranda and dug a second hole. Apparently I enjoy digging holes. I dug down 45 centimeters – no water or sewer pipes! That depth was calculated to include a concrete base of 10 centimeters thickness which was needed on soft ground as a solid base plate to avoid subsidence, tilting and cracking of the plastic plumbing that Andi had supplied.

Here I am after completing digging the new hole, and before mixing and spreading cement to make a reinforced concrete base plate for the tub. November 18, 2020″

December 2020

The next stage of the build for Ivri was to lay a concrete base 10cm thick for the Tub and for the Control unit. The IBTL Watertank was going to hold 850 litres of water which of course means 850KG or 1873 lbs.

He then cut off the top 15 cm / 6″ of the plastic tub so that we were left with vertical walls instead of curved tops.

The plan was to have a tight seal between the top of the plastic walls and the encasement wall wood or stone topping.

IBTL Watertank Hot Tub

IBTL Watertank Hot Tub

IBTL Watertank Hot Tub

IBTL Watertank Hot Tub

With the tub ready for the plumbing, Ivri laid out all of the piping and accessories to double check that all parts were available.

Pipes and Plumbing

Pipes and Plumbing

He cut holes, inserted the jet heads and drain fixtures, and screwed them tight to the tub walls.
Jets and Drain Holes

Jets and Drain Holes

All items were screwed in place as per CAD drawings supplied by Andi.

CAD Drawings

CAD Drawings

Ivri then fitted out the tub with the flexible, plastic piping for vertical and horizontal lines, using some but not all, black 90 degree angle and T-shaped connectors. Although many black junction connectors were supplied with the kit, Ivri reasoned that fewer junction connectors would give him fewer risks of leaks if a malfunction occurred. Ivri then used plastic ties to secure the piping close to the tub walls, thus ensuring a 30 cm / 11.81″ gap between the plastic tub walls and the future wood or stone encasement wall to be constructed later. Following that Ivri moved the tub onto the concrete base in the front garden.

Water Tank Hot Tub

Water Tank Hot Tub

The control unit of spa heater, water pump, filter and blower, were assembled behind the tub at a distance of 1.8 meters / 6ft from the tub.

All three pipes were inserted and glued in place.

Frame, cover & walls were assembled to prevent tub water splash and rainfall coming into contact with electrical components.

Control Unit

Control Unit

Stage 3 coming up, electric connections and power line prior to tub testing.

January 2021

The New Year for Ivri, like many of us has it’s challenges of national lockdowns due to the COVID pandemic. Israel is no different and this has slowed things down a little for Ivri’s Hot Tub project.

Lockdowns meaning that his friend and local Handyman was not able to assist has meant that Ivri has has to concentrate on other aspects of his Tub.

Electric heating of a tub does take time. So, what Ivri wanted to do was add a secondary heating source for this tub so he has created a wood fired hot water tank from an old oil drum.

You would even know that it is there now!

Ivri has also been spending his time making his tub look less like the water tank that it began life like! Take a look at this. How fantastic does it look? This young man (he won’t mind me telling you he turns 75 next month) has an eye for up cycling. Where he lives in Israel there is a lot of building going on so there is no shortage of wooden hot pallets. He has used the pallets to clad his tub. Looks superb!

March 2021 – The finishing touches

Firstly, happy 75th Birthday Ivri this month. I am sure you will not mind me sharing this with the visitors to www.buildahottub.com

With the rainy season and some more national lockdowns in Israel, the final progress was a little slower than hoped. for Ivri. However, to celebrate is 75th birthday he did manage to take a dip for the first time – with a salmon sandwich and cold drink I may add!

The end result is far cry from the IBTL water tank that he started with. It looks absolutely fantastic.

Here is an extract from the message Ivri sent me “all in all, I’m very happy with my tub. I just step out onto my veranda, relax with a cold drink and smoked salmon sandwiches, listening either to country music or watching a video blog on YouTube – and I’m as happy as a pig in sh**.

I guess it doesn’t get any better than that. Ivri plans to add some further plantation and shrubs around the tub.

IBTL WaterTank Hot Tub

IBTL WaterTank Hot Tub

Do You Need Some Help with your DIY Build?

If you need some help with your build then let us know. Drop me an email at andi@buildahottub.com or use the chat. We can help with plumbing designs. We can supply the specialist parts that you need. We can even convert your sketches into 3D CAD so you can better visualise what you are trying to build. Take a look at our plan options here.

Happy Hot tubbin’