Eureka! Hillbilly Hot Tub
They say Archimedes had his breakthrough “Eureka” moment while sitting in a bathtub. Seeing the water level rise as he got in, he realised he could measure the volume of irregular objects by measuring how much water they displaced.
In our previous home, I used to really enjoy the occasional bath. It’s wonderfully relaxing, and it gives you some quiet time to reflect, plan, and come up with new ideas. Being on tank water in our new house, we can’t afford the luxury of wasting so much water, so we don’t have a bath installed. Short showers just aren’t the same!
Little wonder then that this idea took me three years to come up with – seeing as I didn’t have a bathtub in which to think it.
I got an old pressed metal and enamel bathtub from the tip shop for $30. I temporarily mounted it on besser blocks (cinder blocks) on a concrete pad behind the house. I filled it from our garden water tank (not drinking quality, but still pretty clean). Since the tank is full and we’re in the middle of a rainy patch, we can spare the water at the moment.
Then I lit a fire under it:
About an hour later, it was nice and toasty. A hillbilly hot tub!
Lying in a bath, watching the stars, listening to the frogs and crickets: pure awesome.
An unanticipated side benefit is that the fire keeps the water warm for much longer than a normal bath would. So you can stay in for hours!
One tip: you need to find a flat piece of wood to sit on, or you’ll scald yourself on the hot metal directly above the fire.
This was such a success that I’m planning to find a permanent spot for it in the garden. I’m thinking a privacy screen of bana grass, sugar cane and banana trees would be nice, and the water outlet could be piped to a nearby fruit tree.
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