making stock waterers from tires : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hope someone can help me with this. I have seen stock water tanks made from huge tires but am wondering how they plug the bottom. I recently scrounged 3 huge, worn out earth mover tires which would make lovely tanks for my mares. Problem is I don't know how to seal them. I saw tanks like this for sale at the Denver Stock Show and was asking about them but never found the secret out. Regular stock tanks of this size can be costly so it would really save me a bundle. I was also told that you can bump these tanks with a tractor and break the ice without doing any damage. BTW, these tires are much too big to flip inside out. They are about waste high and 6 feet across. Thanks in advance!

-- Elle (, July 13, 2000


wow, good question, how about, applying alot of vasoline to the bottom inside rim,,, cutting a piece of plywood, an inch or so larger than the hole, set a sand bag or something on, it for weight,, may not hold when you "bump" it,, but should work most of the rest of the time, curious how anyone else would seal it

-- Stan (, July 13, 2000.

Stan may be on to something. My modification would be to go to a sheet metal shop and get a piece slightly larger than the inside diameter of the tire. Instead of vasoline, put a very generous amount of silicon sealer on the inside bottom rim. Flex the sheet metal down on it and use self-tapping sheet metal screws (such as used to put metal panels on a roof or building) every couple of inches. A piece of pipe can probably be used to break up the ice layer on top.

-- Ken Scharabok (, July 13, 2000.

We put in two of those big tires this past year. You pour concrete in the bottom. They work perfectly. Only complaint - any livestock that accidently get in there -(and, they will, and they do) - are not getting out. We have seven springs developed with the 500 gallon concrete tanks - sides are straight - some livestock can get out (not sheep). With these tire/tanks, the curved sides with the rim extending inward - they don't get out - not pretty when you find them.

We would recommed concocting a grid to drop over the tank - so they can drink, but not get in.

-- homestead2 (, July 13, 2000.

Can't you cut the upper sidewall off? The grid would help, but if the water level got low, would keep the animals from being able to reach the water. Or do you have a constant supply to the tank?

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, July 14, 2000.

To answer Kathleen, These are spring fed tanks. Water runs 24/7, and the tanks are always full. Two stand up pipes in the tank. One with water coming in and one for the water to go out. Tank is always full.

But, yes, ideally, you could cut the part of the lip of the tank that extends in and down, but very few will tackle it. It's a tough cut and quite a job. We know a few folks who did it. One place where we get the skidder tires for the tanks will cut the rim for $50.

Our other complaint about the tire tanks is strictly about aesthetics. The big concrete tanks are nice and actually good to look at. The tires (even though full of precious water) are still just big old ugly tires and that's all they will ever be. When we were developing our last two springs, there was a two month waiting period for the concrete tanks. That's the only reason we went with the tires. They did the job, they hold the water, we live with it.

-- homestead2 (, July 14, 2000.

I think that concrete is the best bet. I'm pretty sure that is how they sealed the ones I saw for sale. I know they aren't "pretty" but when you're short on $$$... My tire tanks would be used for horse waterers so I don't think I would have too much trouble with stock getting inside, but I can imagine finding a lamb stuck inside YUCK!! I was hoping to be able to cut the top sidewall out to make it more accessable for foals, but will have to see how difficult that is. Another question I have is is is possible to clean these out? I guess you would have to let the stock drink them nearly empty and then suit up, get inside, and start scrubbing. I'm not anal about cleaning the tanks, but don't like my mares drinking too much slime. How about moving them? Would this break the cement seal?

-- Elle (, July 14, 2000.

To answer Elle: You can clean the tire tanks or regular concret tanks any time. You shut the water off from going into the tank and then dip it out or siphon it out -- rinse, scrub, dip and repeat -- rinse, scrub dip, until it is clean.

About moving them. Ours are all permanent because the water from the springs comes under them and up through the center and the drain goes down through them. All buried lines and moving the tank is out of the question. The lines are up through the cement. If you are using the tire/tank to simply store water - first, they are really, really heavy and you would be moving them with a tractor and it is very unlikely that you could do it without breaking the seal you created when you poured and smoothed the concrete.

-- homestead2 (, July 14, 2000.

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