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"Galvanized stock tanks as swimming pools"

Current question:

June 22, 2021

Q. My husband is a welder, so we know the dangers of zinc toxicity from galvanized metals. My question is, with the trend of using galvanized stock tanks as pools, in the hot summer, is there cause for concern with this? I know it's not heated to the same extent. I just wonder if this is considered safe?

Brooke Davenport
Concerned Wife - North Salt Lake
^


June 2021

A. Hi Brooke. Zinc is not a poison or a toxin; rather it's an important micronutrient. Cold-easing tablets for example are zinc and are deliberately ingested.

Water boils at 212 °F and only exists as clouds of vapor in the air, not as a liquid, at higher temperatures than that.
Zinc boils at 1665 °F and only exists as clouds of vapor in the air at higher temperatures than that.
If your husband were to weld zinc-coated things with poor ventilation or an improper welding hood he could inhale those clouds of zinc vapor and get sick, but the hottest of hot summer days can't get the tank to remotely approach that temperature; your house and yard would burst into flames before you were halfway there :-)

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^




Closely related Q&A's, oldest first:

2001

Q. I am thinking of using a large galvanized stock tank as a small, above/in ground swimming pool. I would like to paint the inside of the tank with pool paint to increase it's water retention and to improve it's appearance. I am not sure what type of primer I should use that would be compatible with an underwater+galvanized metal surface application.

Any info would be appreciated.

Debbie Greene
- Sacramento, California
^


similarly 2004

Q. I came across your question as I was researching the feasibility of using a stock tank as a swimming pool. I am not able to answer your question, but if you are willing to share your experience using the stock tank as a swimming pool, I would love to hear it.

Andy Forstie
Personal - Phoenix, Arizona
^


2004

Q. As I've noticed in postings by others who have visited this website, I'm trying to use a large galvanized stock tank as a small, above/in ground swimming pool. I would like to paint the inside of the tank with white pool paint to increase it's water retention, and to improve it's appearance. However, I'm not sure what type of primer I should use that would be compatible with an underwater+galvanized metal surface application. Any info would be appreciated.

Jim Whisenant
home owner - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
^


affil. link
Latex Self-Etching Primer

A. Hi folks. Galvanizing can be difficult to paint for several reasons, but one of the problems is that zinc (galvanizing) plus alkyd (oil paint) "saponifies" (turns into soap). Obviously this soapy layer at the interface of the galvanizing and the paint makes for an impossible situation, and you may have seen paint slide right off of galvanizing because of it. You must use a latex self-etching primer after scrubbing the surface down and rinsing it, but preferably after letting the galvanizing age for a year.

This is still not an absolute guarantee of success (in industry, zinc which is going to be painted is first zinc phosphatized), but at least you'll have fair odds with the latex self-etching primer :-)

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


2005

Q. I purchased a brand new stock tank for use as a backyard pool in 2001. We used it without any paint or sealer for 3 years, and it worked nicely. I purchased a pond filter and treated it with chemicals. During the off season, we drained it and flipped it. It started to get some white rust, making parts of the bottom rough, so last year I decided to paint it. I primed it with galvanized metal primer and then painted it with two coats of blue pool paint. It stayed on for most of the season, but started to chip by the end July. This year it is even worse. My hardware man says that it is the zinc in the tank that will always repel the paint. He suggests that this time I prime it with Linseed Oil [affil. link to info/product at Rockler] which will make it extremely sticky, then use the pool paint over that.

Cynthia D. Alexander
- Friona, Texas
^


9486-1aga

A. Hi Cynthia. I am not familiar with that, so I can't call your hardware man wrong. But the American Galvanizers Association has a nice webpage explaining the situation and the suggested approaches ==>

Luck & Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


June 25, 2008

A. Poly stock tanks are available now. They would not need to be painted for water retention, but I don't know how you feel about the aesthetics. The ones I have seen are a light green in color.

Amy Camp
- Mitchell, Nebraska
^

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