Home Made Cold Exposure Tub - 6 Easy Steps

Home Made Cold Exposure Tub - 6 Easy Steps

Posted by Tim Edmunds on 4th May 2022

Home Made Ice Bath

I’ve heard all of the benefit of the ice plunge for about a year. The thought of getting into a bath with ice sounded so painful to me…..but the benefits sounded absolutely amazing. Before committing to the full ice bath, I started with cold showers. I would take a normal shower and would finish with 2 minutes or so of a cold shower. I worked up to the coldest temperature and also worked up to the duration of time I spend in the shower. It was hard to do, but after about a week I truly started noticing the benefits. 

I’ll save the benefits that I experienced for another blog post, but for today, I’m going to share with you how I built my tub. 

First, the idea of investing $8-10k for an ice bath was hard for me to wrap my head around. I knew there’d be a way to spend a fraction of that and have a tub I could use on demand. With the weather in Ohio 6 months out of the year it would stay naturally cold (ideal water temps are between 39-65 F) but the other half of the year I would need to find a better way than keeping it stocked with ice. Also having a tub outdoors you have to worry about algae and bugs. 

Here's what I did 

1) I found a 100g galvanized tub from a tractor supply type store. Tub ran me about $150.00 

2) If you’re going to use a galvanized tub you’ll want to seal it. This prevents leaks but also treats the sides of the tub to prevent rust.

3) Next, I got a 1,000 gallon per hour pump and filter. This will keep the water clean and help pump the water into my chiller.

4) Then I went with a ½ HP chiller. From all of the reviews it appears that this could get my tub from warm to an ideal plunge temp in about an hour or less. I’m sure you could use a ¼ HP chiller but cooling times may take longer. 

5) Lastly, I kept on hand extra flex seal tape to put around the hose fittings, some metal clamps to attach to the hoses and some extra tubing to run from the chiller to the tub

6) For the final touch I ordered some chlorine free water sanitizer to clear it from germs and algae.

Here’s a video of everything together. These components together cost less than $1,000.00. The chest was built custom and really isn’t necessary unless you want to keep everything looking sharp.