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Old 10-01-2012, 06:53 PM   #1
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How do I pour an in-ground concrete tub?


I am just about finished digging a 4 x 6 x 3 foot hole (HARD AS ****)

I want to pour concrete sides and a floor, then paint it with a 5 gallon thing of swimming-pool type paint.

It will never freeze.

I'm thinking I might be able to get away with pouring it 4" thick without rebar, and relying on the clay soil and concrete to hold in the pressure of the water - but I'm not sure. I also don't really know how to pour it -- I was thinking:

- Pour a 2-3 in bottom just to create a solid, level surface for the forms.
- Build wall forms out of plywood and 2x4 (the inside would be plywood, the outside would be dirt)
- After the walls cured and the forms were removed (how do you get the plywood off the concrete?), pour a deeper floor, for better waterproofing.

Does this sound at all right? On one hand, I can't see it cracking, just because the clay soil is so damn hard -- I just want to make sure I do it right though, figure it will be holding almost 3,200 pounds of water!

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Old 10-01-2012, 07:06 PM   #2
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How do I pour an in-ground concrete tub?


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Originally Posted by tibberous View Post
I am just about finished digging a 4 x 6 x 3 foot hole (HARD AS ****)

I want to pour concrete sides and a floor, then paint it with a 5 gallon thing of swimming-pool type paint.

It will never freeze.

I'm thinking I might be able to get away with pouring it 4" thick without rebar, and relying on the clay soil and concrete to hold in the pressure of the water - but I'm not sure. I also don't really know how to pour it -- I was thinking:

- Pour a 2-3 in bottom just to create a solid, level surface for the forms.
- Build wall forms out of plywood and 2x4 (the inside would be plywood, the outside would be dirt)
- After the walls cured and the forms were removed (how do you get the plywood off the concrete?), pour a deeper floor, for better waterproofing.

Does this sound at all right? On one hand, I can't see it cracking, just because the clay soil is so damn hard -- I just want to make sure I do it right though, figure it will be holding almost 3,200 pounds of water!

Not a good idea,your better off getting one of the plastic jobs from HD or Lowes,they come in different sizes.

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Old 10-01-2012, 07:47 PM   #3
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How do I pour an in-ground concrete tub?


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Originally Posted by Canarywood1 View Post
Not a good idea,your better off getting one of the plastic jobs from HD or Lowes,they come in different sizes.
I'd have to take out a wall and a floor to get it down stairs.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:51 PM   #4
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How do I pour an in-ground concrete tub?


What are your plans for keeping the water from constantly leaking out of it, or dirty ground water from leaking in if it's empty???

Contrary to popular belief, concrete is far from waterproof........
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:17 PM   #5
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How do I pour an in-ground concrete tub?


You spent all that time digging the hole before doing the research to see if it would even work

Clay one of the worst soils to have under a slab or any concrete. It shrinks and swells.

How do you plan on getting the water in and out of this?
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:32 PM   #6
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How do I pour an in-ground concrete tub?


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
You spent all that time digging the hole before doing the research to see if it would even work

Clay one of the worst soils to have under a slab or any concrete. It shrinks and swells.

How do you plan on getting the water in and out of this?
Water line and a sump pump. There was already a polyethylene tank there (above ground), but it was only 100 gallons (biggest one that would fit thought the door)

This new one is HUGE! I tried to make it bigger than needed, just because it won't be practical to expand it later.

Should I lay a bed of gravel before I pour the floor? I've seen that done, but never really knew why.

Keep in mind, this is inside and below the frost line.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:38 PM   #7
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How do I pour an in-ground concrete tub?


This is a great project. I love it. Just let all the criticism roll off you. Those other guys are just jealous.

First thing, I think you need to dig some more. What size do you want the basin to be in the end? You mentioned a 6x4x3 hole. Does that mean 3' deep? Or will you be coming up off the surface with the basin?

I would just plan on some overdig of 4" on the sides. Dig down 4" deeper than you want to be. Then put in some 2x4 forms for some 16" wide footings. Then dig down in the formed up 16" wide area another 4". Put 2 lengths of 1/2" rebar in this 8" thick footing all the way around. Have rebar sticking up vertically from the footing where the cores of your concrete block will be. Fill the footing with concrete, then strip the forms.

Now you have your footings 4" above the grade with re-bar in them and sticking up out of them. Next put in 4" of rock, so it is level with the top of the footings. This will give you a nice, clean, smooth area to work in. Your footings are 16" wide. In the center of the footing, lay 8" concrete block all around your basin, up to the height you want, minus 4". We'll cap this with 4" cap blocks later.

When you are done laying the block, fill the block cores with concrete. You'll have rebar in these cores as well. Just put a rebar in every core, why not?

Now pour 4" of concrete on the floor. This will rest on the footing edge and against the concrete block.

Next you'll want to waterproof the basin and up over the cap blocks as well, and backfill the 4" overdig with more rock.

You can now fill it with water and do whatever you had planned on doing next.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:25 AM   #8
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How do I pour an in-ground concrete tub?


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Originally Posted by cleveman View Post
This is a great project. I love it. Just let all the criticism roll off you. Those other guys are just jealous.

First thing, I think you need to dig some more. What size do you want the basin to be in the end? You mentioned a 6x4x3 hole. Does that mean 3' deep? Or will you be coming up off the surface with the basin?

I would just plan on some overdig of 4" on the sides. Dig down 4" deeper than you want to be. Then put in some 2x4 forms for some 16" wide footings. Then dig down in the formed up 16" wide area another 4". Put 2 lengths of 1/2" rebar in this 8" thick footing all the way around. Have rebar sticking up vertically from the footing where the cores of your concrete block will be. Fill the footing with concrete, then strip the forms.

Now you have your footings 4" above the grade with re-bar in them and sticking up out of them. Next put in 4" of rock, so it is level with the top of the footings. This will give you a nice, clean, smooth area to work in. Your footings are 16" wide. In the center of the footing, lay 8" concrete block all around your basin, up to the height you want, minus 4". We'll cap this with 4" cap blocks later.

When you are done laying the block, fill the block cores with concrete. You'll have rebar in these cores as well. Just put a rebar in every core, why not?

Now pour 4" of concrete on the floor. This will rest on the footing edge and against the concrete block.

Next you'll want to waterproof the basin and up over the cap blocks as well, and backfill the 4" overdig with more rock.

You can now fill it with water and do whatever you had planned on doing next.
Funny you mentioned using concrete block, I had originally thought about this but thought the mortar joints would create more problems than simply using forms.

Not sure why my idea is getting any criticism thb, I believe basement foundations are poured in a similar fashion, and those are a magnitude larger and have to deal with the elements.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:28 AM   #9
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How do I pour an in-ground concrete tub?


Hate to step in and quash enthusiasm but you have not disclosed the lay of the land to us. Are you on flat land or is this concrete pit you plan to build subject to whatever forces the ever so slight slope you plunk it in might put on it. And you expect the walls on that side of lateral forces to hold for how long without reinforcement?

And you are planning to add the weight of how much water? Water is one of the most wonderful but dangerous substances on the planet. A major part of all of us is water. It, more than just about any substance I can think of adapts to live load changes almost instantly but can trasmit and transfer them in the next heartbeat. The thought of you thinking you can contain those loads without reinforced walls is just plain scary. Even on calm days water just wants to respond to gravity. Anywhere in the World, if it could, it would go home and get back to sea level or below.

I used to design features like you have in mind in to landscape designs all the time. Then I handed my drawings over to pool designers with engineering staff to make them work---safely. Would your ego be totally done in if you admitted you were in over your head (pun intended) on this and sought out a local pool, spa, whatever designer to help you with this? Your idea sounds like it could turn out to be spectacular. I know we guys don't like asking for help but if you find the right pool/spa guys you will end up with what you really want and for a lot less money than fixing this approach you have in mind when it is floated south on whatever you put in this tub concept.

Last edited by user1007; 10-02-2012 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:41 AM   #10
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How do I pour an in-ground concrete tub?


I have a 1909 Kohler cast iron tub you can have to bury and the hole you've dug is about right. Bring pizza and at least 4 strong helpers to load. It takes 2 just to turn it over.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:47 AM   #11
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How do I pour an in-ground concrete tub?


"I know we guys don't like asking for help but if you find the right pool/spa guys you will end up with what you really want and for a lot less money than fixing this approach you have in mind when it is floated south on whatever you put in this tub concept."


If you really want to do this project,i'd take sdsester's advice and contact some pool/spa builders,for it to hold water it should be a monolithic pour,not a two part pour,better yet gunnite would insure it being water tight.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:14 AM   #12
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How do I pour an in-ground concrete tub?


I wana see pics of the hole
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:55 AM   #13
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How do I pour an in-ground concrete tub?


Sounds like this is either in the basement of a house or in the crawlspace?

I want to see pictures to.

Building a water tight concrete tub into the ground has me asking a simple question..........how high is the water table in your area. I am not talking about now, I guess its dry as you are digging a hole in it, but will it rise?

If it does rise your tub will turn into a boat and start floating.

As for building a water proof tub, I am sure you can find some direction fairly easily by searching the subject.

http://www.ehow.com/how_4690387_buil...-hot-tubs.html

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Last edited by Jackofall1; 10-03-2012 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:17 PM   #14
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How do I pour an in-ground concrete tub?


Very interested to see this, post some pics ASAP
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:27 PM   #15
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How do I pour an in-ground concrete tub?


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Very interested to see this, post some pics ASAP
I will once I'm finished digging.

Question though - what about skipping the concreting completely and just getting a pound / swimming pool liner? Or concreting, then using a pound liner, since your have a way to glue it.

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