1. Mike taets
  2. DIY Float Tanks
  3. Monday, April 24 2017, 01:53 AM
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Hi all

Building a tank in my basement and would like your thoughts on the design and help with some component questions.

The tank will have an upper and lower section and be made of 2” foam board sandwiched between ½” outside and ¼” inside exterior grade plywood. Pressure treated plywood in contact with the cement floor. Interior of the base section will be 18” high. I’ll get a custom made liner going up the 18” side and over the 2 ¾’ wall. I’ll use a waterbed heater under the liner. It seems like people get stressed when the heater needs replacing so I am putting an access door on the side of the tank corresponding with the heater location. It will be high enough to get my hands in to remove the old and install a new heater without draining the tank. The power cord, thermostat and wiring for transducers will come through this access.

I could use your thoughts on this. 4’ x 8’ is all the room I have for the tank, so will this work?

The upper section will be a Samadhi style with a 30% slope. At the low end of the top I will build a deck to mount the ½ hp. pool pump with salt water seal and 25 sq. ft. cartridge filter. Both will sit on a tray that will drain any leaks back into the tank. I won’t put any insulation under the pump area which will keep the water in the pump warm to keep the salt in solution. I’ll build an insulated removable cover for this area. I’m thinking of letting the ventilation port out through the pump area unless the humidity may damage the pump.

Now a couple questions for the pros.

If I use ozone do I need H2O2? The tank will just be for family.

Those of you who know have convinced me that yes I need a PID controller. Do you know a supplier I can contact to get the right controller for my situation?

Thinking about adding a wake up light on a timer too.

OK that’s the plan. The wood is in the garage and I’m about ready to start. Any input is appreciated.

Thanks

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So I tried the heater swap because of your question and chickened out. The liner was a little stuck to the tank bottom due to the water temp and the latex paint used for the inside of the tank. It would release but added to the water weight. I didnt want to damage the heater or thermocouple just for a test so I'll update the results when the heater dies. (Hopefully not for a long time)

Update on the rest of the tank.

The pump and filter mounted on top of the tank have worked great. I used the drain line from the pump and filter catch container that drains back to the tank as the ventilation outlet. Since it was less than a foot above the inlet it did not have sufficient air exchange. I added a computer fan on the outlet which made the atmosphere very comfortable.

Went with just H2O2 and no ozone.

The tank has a false wall that hides the pump and works great to mount some control switches. Since this is for my family who never shut anything off I put all the functions on timer switches. I put in color changing lights on a timer that can be set to turn on when you want to get out. Timer for the tank vent to turn off after 2 hours. Timer to run the pump after you are finished floating. Timer for a room exhaust fan. (Just finishing the shower adjacent to the tank). And a 7 day timer so the pump runs 10 min every day to keep stalactites from growing on the days it's not used.

Got some pics in my phone but I'm not very techy so if anyone can tell me how to post them I'd appreciate it.

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  1. more than a month ago
  2. DIY Float Tanks
  3. # 1
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Just wondering how you plan to remove the heater when the tank is full of water, even with a hatch. Will you be able to lift the liner enough to replace the heater?

I have similar plans, but have moved away from a liner, and plan to use woven fiberglas fabric and epoxy instead. It will be cheaper and last longer I hope. And I get a cool woven surface which hopefully has "anti-skid" properties. Can also add color to the epoxy, or put in a poster/print beneath a final layer of clear epoxy. Maybe even add led-lights within the epoxy if I make it thick enough. (might be problems with heating)

For heating, I will connect it to out water floorheating system, with its own control system. https://i.ytimg.com/vi/1BpH65IsNy0/hqdefault.jpg

If I do end up using waterbed heaters, I will put in a spare one, so that is ready in place if/when the frist one(s) break.

Why ozone, and not just use H2O2?

I think just one of these are needed. Ozone might be harmful in a tank, and reduce air quality. It is also very short lived.

Ref: http://www.floattanksolutions.com/basics-float-tank-sanitation/

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"Just wondering how you plan to remove the heater when the tank is full of water, even with a hatch. Will you be able to lift the liner enough to replace the heater?"

This is achieved by removing the water into a holding tank. Easier for a commercial facility that can have them on hand.



"and plan to use woven fiberglas fabric and epoxy instead. It will be cheaper and last longer"

a couple things to consider here. Fiberglass has low thermal conductivity. You might have to do some testing to get the right heating, especially with PEX. If PEX heating is connected to water heater, it may be a drain on the heat and might not be energy efficient. If it has its own heating element, be sure it is strong enough to heat through the fiberglass.



"If I do end up using waterbed heaters, I will put in a spare one, so that is ready in place if/when the frist one(s) break."

Generally a good idea. Keep both clear of the thermocouple.



"Why ozone, and not just use H2O2?"

Ozone is a spectacular sanitizer AND oxidizer. It is gaseous so it fully distributes into the solution and evaporates into the cabin to kill molds/mildews. Coronal Discharge O3 is also regenerative, meaning the cost is very low compared to H2O2. The amounts of H2O2 to oxidize organic matter can become costly. I would recommend monopersulfate shock for this purpose.



"Ozone might be harmful in a tank, and reduce air quality. It is also very short lived."

Concerns about ozone are over stated. Ozone would need to be very high levels to oxidize lung tissue, and like you state, it dissipates quickly. The concerns for floatation are very low. If it is something you are concerned about, you can get degassing components. Ozone is an excellent method of sanitation for pools, spas, and float tanks and has been used for decades without issue. One would have far more concerns from chloramines.

  1. Kane Mantyla
  2. more than a month ago
Most commercial tanks are fiberglas, so this should work ok I think? Will be able to add inline heating if the pex/water beneath is not enough. Will be able to push 50 degrees celsium water through those pipes, so should be good I think.



Ozone, ah.. I didnt know this. Good point regarding mold/mildew. Will have to read up on Ozone/monopersulfate combo.



The plan is anyway to add a good ventilation to the tank.. I feel the worst think during a float is heavy/moist air during. :-) So no moist air and no ozone during floating will be the goal.
  1. Runar Botnen Totland
  2. more than a month ago
yeah, lots of fiberglass tanks now, but also lots of heating issues. I'd run some tests before doing a full build. Simply do a 2' square of pex as you intend to lay it, with fiberglass over it. If you can get the temp above 105F (40.5C) on the surface of the fiberglass, you should be fine.

Yeah, we've used ozone as our primary sanitizer for 11 years with great success. It still requires a balance of other additives for the load.

Ventilation is key. It's also difficult to achieve without disrupting the float environment. You can go active ventilation, but make sure you baffle the motor and diffuse the outflow so the movement isn't perceptible. Passive (convective) ventilation also works. Simply make sure the inlet and outlet are at least 2' vertical distance from each other.



Oh, and MOST IMPORTANT... post some pics of your build ;) good luck and feel free to ask any more questions.
  1. Kane Mantyla
  2. more than a month ago
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. DIY Float Tanks
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