Learn how to build a cool plunge pool with pallets and an IBC!

Above Ground Pallet and IBC Plunge Pool
Pallets, an Intermediate Bulk Container, and bingo… an instant plunge pool!

Has the summer heat got you daydreaming of spending all day in a pool? You can go to a beach resort and do exactly that but it would most likely cost a lot of money. And a frequent trip would not be practical if you are working like the rest of us.

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Well, we found a great solution – why not build your own inexpensive pool? Now if backyard space and maintenance are a concern, here’s a very simple DIY above-ground plunge pool that you can enjoy for years!

Above Ground IBC Pallet Plunge Pool

This DIY pool is simply made of a bulk container and some pallets. You can find secondhand parts to keep the total cost at around $100. But if you need or want to purchase new materials, this DIY project would cost around $500 which is a very low amount considering this plunge pool will last a long time!

You don’t need a very large yard to build it. It’s easy to maintain and the best part is that you can cool yourself down during the summer anytime you want!

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You’ll need these materials:

  • 1000L IBC (Intermediate Bulk Containers)
  • Pallets
  • Wood Trim Material (optional for decor)
  • 2″ Wood Screws
  • 12G Stainless Hex Drive Screws
  • Pool/Spa Suction
  • Provision Jets
  • PVC Pipes with appropriate fittings
  • Pool Pump

And these tools:

  • Reciprocating Saw
  • Circular Saw
  • Cordless Drill (with Holesaw that fits provision jets)
  • Heat Gun


How to build a plunge pool with pallets and an IBC!

Above Ground IBC Pallet Plunge Pool

Fitting jets and initial pipework: Ensure things are aligned with the gaps in your pallets, cut the holes, and then install your jets.

Above Ground IBC Pallet Plunge Pool

Make sure you tighten them up nicely. Follow the fitting instructions specific to your chosen kit.

Above Ground IBC Pallet Plunge Pool

Once the jets are in you can begin plumbing up your PVC pipework, make sure to use the appropriate PVC cement.

Above Ground IBC Pallet Plunge Pool

Constructing the frame and fixing the edges of the liner: Your IBC will be rectangular in shape so arrange your pallets as shown in the pics. The pallets should be almost exactly the same length as the long side of the IBC. This means the pallets on the short sides will sit with just the right amount of overlap for you to be able to fasten them together without having to shorten or cut them another way.

Use your drill driver, then screw the pallets together. The backside of one pallet overlaps perfectly over the end of another.

The gaps should be sufficient enough for the nosecone of your drill to get through.

Above Ground IBC Pallet Plunge Pool

Once this is done, you can cut the top off your IBC (if you hadn’t already) and cut vertically each of the corners down to the level of the top of the frame.

Using the heat gun, heat up the plastic.  Allow it to be folded over and screwed down onto the frame.

If you look at the finished product, you will see why this gives a much more professional look.

Above Ground IBC Pallet Plunge Pool

Connecting your pump: Small pool pumps are, for the most part, fairly portable. So just find some flat, even ground for it where it is reasonably well protected.  Ideally, place it close to an all-weather outdoor power outlet. Mine came in its own cradle, so all I had to do was put it where I wanted it.

I recommend the flexible hose connections just because they give a little bit of breathing room if you need to reposition or replace the pump.

Above Ground IBC Pallet Plunge Pool

I have fitted isolation valves, in case the pump needs to be replaced at any point. Those can be shut off and no water need not be lost from the tub.

Above Ground IBC Pallet Plunge Pool

If you do in fact wish to change the water, the IBC has a dispensing valve at its lowest point, which is just perfect. I recommend leaving a cut-out in your pallet/ frame for easy access to this 🙂

Above Ground IBC Pallet Plunge Pool

Capping it off: This bit is really as simple as cutting your wood to size and screwing it down so that you have an even amount of overhang all the way around the outside. Avoid too much inner overhang if you don’t want to encroach on the already small area.

Pallets aren’t generally engineered to exact standards. Hence, you may find yourself packing certain parts up with thin slivers of wood to get the capping nice and level.

I fixed mine down with 12G stainless hex drive screws. Not only because they look limp, but also because it’s the one area where the screws are likely to get splashed with water. And rust is U.G.L.Y.

Above Ground IBC Pallet Plunge Pool

Finish cladding exterior: Cut your lengths of “gap-filling wood” to size.  And using more of your 50 million timber screws, fasten them into place.

The wood I used was “whatever I could get my hands on”, so it turned out to be thicker than the slats of the pallet. I quite liked the effect as I think it added some dimension.

Above Ground IBC Pallet Plunge Pool

Fill and enjoy: Once you have the water level above your suction jets, it is safe to switch the pump on.

You will need to decide what water treatment strategy you are going to take. Personally, I am using chlorine tablets in a floater because by far, it’ the easiest, with really no fuss.

The challenge I set myself here was to keep costs down without compromising the quality of the end product. I am in the fortunate position of being able to get my hands on a lot of these materials for free. The pump was my only cash outlay at $100 for a good second-hand unit.

If you had to fork out for every single part, then this is probably a $500 project (assuming you already have tools).

Thanks to therealorson for this great project!



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