FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Our Cowboy Pools are 6', 8’, 9’, or 10’ wide by 2’ tall. They look cool, they’re affordable, they’re SO MUCH easier to maintain than a real pool, they’re sturdy, and they are the perfect size for: Easily stepping in and out of the pool, sitting on the ledge and putting your feet in, sitting in the pool all day and keeping cool, children who may not be great swimmers. A 5’6” adult will be covered in water to their upper chest when seated.
Generally, not really. The pool should not get too hot to the touch in the sunshine, though we do suggest keeping the pool at least partially shaded. Put it under a tree or try one of our umbrellas for shade. You can use foam noodles you can place over the rim of your Cowboy Pool to add cushion and protection.
Generally, not really. If left in direct sunlight, water can get to a lukewarm bath water temperature. We suggest adding a little fresh water or a bag of ice if your water is warmer than your liking. Keeping your water flowing, your pool shaded and using a fountain in the pool will keep the water temperature fairly cool. Check out our Recommended Products on the Shop page for links to some of these items.
In Austin, most likely no, but you'll still want to check on your HOA and city/county regulations to be sure.
You just need a standard 110V outdoor GFCI outlet to plug into. 2 outlets if you’re considering our heater system in addition to a pool package. We have GFCI adapters if your outdoor outlet is not a GFCI. Our filter pumps draw 12 amps and our heater systems only need 1 amp. You just need at least a 15 amp breaker. We provide extension cords up to 100', or you could provide a 14/3 gauge outdoor extension cord if you prefer to use your own.
Yes, ONLY if you use a quality outdoor extension cord that is at least 14ga and can handle at least 13 amps. This is important, as a lesser quality cord can malfunction and cause problems to the filter pump, and can potentially spark or cause a fire.
As a matter of fact we do! We recommend calling Johnny at 254-791-3455, he's great!
Remember to register your product with your Waterway filter pump and your Hastings stock tank once you’ve received it. Our stock tanks and filter pumps come with their own manufacturer warranties, which you’ll receive upon delivery. Cowboy Pools offers service on any issues that arise due to faulty installation within 21 days of installation, only to those in the Austin area. Any issues that arise thereafter, are not due to installation of the product and pool component warranties should be reviewed. Your Cowboy Pools comes with a set of instructions that can walk you through maintenance and any common issues that may arise. We also have this information on our website. Any leaks from hosing, from your filter pump or from where the inlets and outlets meet your pool, may be easily addressed and fixed.
Waterco & Waterway Filter Pump Warranty Information: For detailed information on your filter pump instructions, please refer to the brochure or Owner’s Manual. You may register your Waterway filter pump at: http://warrantycard.waterwayplastics.com:59520/. Your Waterco filter pump structure, as sourced through A-Tex Pools comes with a 1 year warranty through Waterco and a 30 day warranty for pump motor malfunction, both of which can be inspected by at A-Tex Family Fun Center in Austin. Tell them you’ve got a Cowboy Pool!
Hastings Stock Tank Information: All Cowboy Pools stock tanks have been inspected and found free of defects prior to leaving the manufacturer warehouse.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer support team using our online form. We will help you navigate any issues with your Cowboy Pool.
PREPARING FOR YOUR POOL
Find a spot for your pool and make sure it’s level. Search FAQs for placement information for more info on pool and equipment placement.
To install a Cowboy Pool, you need a solid, level surface, outdoor 110V GFCI outlet, and a clear pathway for us to roll in your tank at least 2 ft wide and at least as tall as the diameter of your pool.
You will need to get your ground professionally leveled with space at least a few inches wider than the diameter of your pool (6', 8', 9' or 10'). The base of our tapered Cowgirl Pools is about 1 ft narrower than the top diameter (8' or 10').
For help with leveling and landscaping, we recommend Matthew at SNAP Lawn Care : 512-413-8578 -
If you're leveling the space yourself, the best way to double check that your ground is indeed completely level, is to use a long level or a long straight 2x4 and put a level on top, and check from all directions. If any leveling does need to happen, this needs to be done ahead of time.
A Cowboy or Cowgirl Pool can sit on pea gravel, decomposed granite, gravel, earth, sand, grass, or cement as long the space is completely level from all sides and the rock is not too large or pointy that it could dent the bottom of the tank. A cement slab is not necessary to place a pool, and it's also good to note, if you have a cement slab already in your yard, it may not be completely level.
Stock tank pools are shallow and so they weigh significantly less than a deeper pool per square foot, but still about 6000-9000+ lbs when filled. You’ll need to ensure that the location can support all that weight. A wooden deck may or may not be able to support it.
Cowboy Pools should not be placed above any gas lines or water lines that could not support this weight.
POOL & EQUIPMENT
An 8’ Cowboy or Cowgirl Pool can easily hold 5+ seated adults. A 9’ can fit 6-8+ A 10’ can fit 8+ seated adults. This depends of course on the size of the people and the spacing between them.
Our filter pumps can be placed just about anywhere from right next to your pool within 50 feet of the pool and within 100 feet of the outdoor GFCI outlet. Please let us know if you plan to place your filter pump further than 25 feet from your tank, so we know to use a stronger pump for your pool installation.
We’ll run a heavy duty extension cord (up to 100’) from wherever you decide to place your filter pump to your outdoor outlet. Determining factors of filter pump placement also include aesthetics and sound, though it makes a fairly quiet hum. We will bring all the extra hosing you may need for whatever you decide. There will be two hoses from the pool to the filter pump and an extension cord from the pump to the electrical outlet. There are 3 holes drilled, but the 2 suctions are connected and then 2 hoses extend from there. We’ll need to access the water source with 100’ garden hoses just to fill up the pool. Then the pool water will recirculate itself.
Cowboy Pools use 8', 9' or 10' wide by 23.5" tall Hastings Black label galvanized steel stock tank pools. Our Cowgirl Pools use 8'x2' or 10'x28" Hastings polyethylene stock tanks. Our Waterway TWM-30 filter pumps are 33" tall x 28" long x 17" wide and will need to sit on level ground. If you are building around the pool and filter pump, please note that we will need full access to the top valve of the filter pump and the sides where the hoses connect. We will also need access to the outside of your pool where the 3 hoses will be attached on one side of the tank.
Our stock tanks are made from galvanized steel. Galvanization is the process of applying a protective zinc coating to steel, to prevent rusting, and these tanks are meant to hold water. If you follow our directions for maintaining your pool, you should have no problems for many years! Our tank manufacturer quotes 10+ years with proper care.
These tanks contain NO LEAD. This information is confirmed by the manufacturer, Hastings. By EPA standards, they’re safe for livestock to drink from, and they’re safe for humans to swim in!
Stock tank pools do just fine in winter in most climates. There are a few options: You can heat your Cowboy Pool with one of our heater systems. You can keep the pump running to keep the water flowing, so the pool water doesn't freeze. You will need to keep your pool water maintainted throughout that time. Or you can drain your pool and pump of water and keeping it covered until you're ready to use it again (this option we do not recommend, because there is a higher risk of the tank rusting over time).
We recommend keeping your pool filled with water and having the water pumping throughout the year. Surprisingly, keeping water in the pool at all times minimizes the chance of rust. Because it doesn’t freeze in Texas for long periods of time, it’s a good idea to keep your Cowboy Pool filled with water and circulating, rather than “winterizing" your pool.
In the cooler months, you need to use much less chlorine. We recommend about one tab per week to as little as one tab per month when it starts to cool down.
In freezing temperatures, switch your timer to "On" to program your pool to circulate, until the temperature outside rises above freezing. *You do not want freezing water in your pool or pump.
How a sand filter pump works: Manufactured with high grade fibreglass and resins for durability, this filter will give you years of clean pool water. Depending on the choice of media, this medium filters out everything larger than 3 - 40 microns. Sand/media still remains the most popular choice on the market for their durability and simplicity in maintenance
Pros: Durable and easy to clean, as it does not need to be disassembled like other types of filters. Filter’s multiport valve to give you control of water flow through the filtration circuit
Cons: Filter media needs to be replaced approximately every five years. Needs to be backwashed regularly.
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING GUIDANCE FOR PROTECTING YOUR COWBOY POOL EQUIPMENT IN CASE OF A FREEZE
IN THE CASE OF A LIGHT FREEZE LASTING 1-2 DAYS:
- Flip the switch on your timer to "On" so that the pool water continues circulating during freezing weather. Stagnant water means frozen water. Keep the water flowing until the temps rise above freezing. Flip the switch on your timer to "On" so that the pool water continues circulating during freezing weather. Stagnant water means frozen water.
- Keep the water flowing until the temps rise above freezing For additional insulation and protection against the elements, cover your pump, filter and hoses with blankets or towels. If you have one of our Heater Systems, and as long as you keep your filter pump running (Step 1), water will be flowing through and there's no need to follow freeze protocol just yet.
IN THE CASE OF AN EXTREME FREEZE LASTING LONGER THAN A COUPLE DAYS:
- Unplug your pool pump.
- Plug the inside of your pool with your three twist-on plugs.
- Unscrew the clear pump pot basket lid from your pump. This will help prevent the water in your pump from expanding and cracking the unit. If your lid is frozen, pour a cup of warm water over the top to help loosen it up.
- Put your filter multiport valve in WINTERIZE position. For Waterco pumps, this is between Rinse and Filter. For Waterway pumps, this is between Waste and Closed. If your valve is frozen, pour warm water over the top to help loosen it.
- If you have a heater, unplug the drain plug on your heater. It is a long, gold metal piece at the bottom of your heater unit. Remember, every part is replaceable or repairable, and we can help you navigate any issues that arise with your pool or equipment.
Remember, every part is replaceable or repairable, and we can help you navigate any issues that arise with your pool or equipment.
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING MAINTENANCE INSTRUCTIONS
- These pools should be properly maintained to ensure proper sanitation measures are taking place. Without proper pool maintenance (which includes circulation and treatment of water) various pathogens can grow. If you’re looking for a hands-off, worry-free option, we’re now offering a .
- PLEASE NOTE, IF SOMETHING EVER DOESN’T LOOK OR SOUND RIGHT, UNPLUG THE PUMP.
- Only use the minimum amount of chlorine needed to keep your pool clean, about 2-3 x 1-inch tablets per week, less in colder months. DO NOT put your chlorine tablets directly in the pool! Place them in a chlorine floater and keep it at the lowest setting (or all the way closed) to release the chlorine slowly through the holes in the bottom. If your pool water does start to get cloudy or turn green, you may use a higher dosage of chlorine to clear it up, or throw a splash of liquid chlorine in the pool water.
- If your pool starts looking a little cloudy or green, it doesn't necessarily mean you don't have enough chlorine. Here are some maintenance steps to keep your pool clear in such a situation:
- First, backwash your pool. Make sure you backwash it enough to lower the water level a few inches. See detailed instructions.
- Add fresh water to your pool and test your water chemistry.
- You may need to add between 1/8-1/4 a gallon of liquid chlorine to a cloudy pool and add about a 1/2 a gallon to a green or brown pool. Liquid chlorine reacts differently with the water than chlorine tablets do, and will help clear up your pool.
- DO NOT mix chlorine and bromine in water. This can cause a dangerous chemical reaction. If you’re going to switch from one to the other at any point, you’ll need to drain and clean your pool, and do a line flush.
- Check the pH and chlorine levels of your water regularly (every week or so) with a test kit. The kit will have instructions on the safe ranges to look out for. The testing strips also come in your Cowboy Pool Package. If the pH reads too high or too low, you can use products like pH Up or pH Down to balance levels.
- Every so often, you may need to scrub your tank with a non-abrasive brush to ensure that your Cowboy Pool is clean of algae and any slimy stuff.
- Your pool comes with a high-performance above ground sand filter pump. We recommend that you run the filter pump 1-2 hours on and 1-2 hours off during the daytime. All the information you’ll need for using and maintaining your filter pump are in the instructions manual with purchase.
- Fill your pool using a hose connected to a municipal water source. We do not recommend using rain or well water in your pool because it has a very low PH and is very acidic. Keep your water level above the suction and return, especially when your pump is on an automatic timer, as the pump should not suck in air. You’ll need to backwash the air bubbles out if your pump has accidentally pumped in air.
- After a period of time, dirt accumulates in the filter which causes resistance to flow and which makes it necessary to backwash the filter.
- Conditions for backwashing:
- When the pressure gauge reading on the filter raises 7.2 PSI higher than the initial start up pressure.
- The flow rate through the filter decreases and is not sufficient
- If you ever see sand that you don’t recognize in the pool.
- If the pool is cloudy
- Changing the sand in your sand filter is recommended about every 4-5 years, or when your sand has worn out and fails to capture contaminants from your pool. You’ll need to replace with 100 lbs of filter sand (about $20).
- To backwash, unplug the pump, then push and turn the filter valve on the filter to BACKWASH. Plug the pump back in and water will be pumped through the backwash hose. When the water in the sight glass on the left side of the filter is clear unplug the pump. Then push and turn the filter valve to rinse and plug the pump back in for 10-15 seconds or until the sight glass is clear again. Lastly, push and turn the filter valve back to filter and the plug the pump back in. Take note of the pressure gauge on the filter after cleaning.
- Cleaning the pump basket regularly is important to the overall maintenance of your swimming pool. Clogged baskets make your pump have to work harder to try to cycle the water. This can decrease the life and stress the seals in your pump.
- Unplug the power to the pump.
- Unscrew the suction and return covers that are inside the pool.
- Insert the supplied plug fittings to block the water from exiting the pool.
- Unscrew and remove pump basket lid.
- Pour out leaves and debris from the basket or use a garden hose to wash the basket.
- Replace pump basket with the opening hole facing the hose.
- Replace pump lid and o-ring. Do not over-tighten.
- Remove plugs and replace suction and return cover fittings to the inside of the pool.
- Plug pump back in to power.
- To drain your pool, unplug your drain using pliers to unscrew the drain plug. Use a shop-vac, a sump pump or siphon water with a garden hose to get any remaining water out. We do not recommend draining your pool for Texas winters.
- Winterizing: We recommend keeping your pool filled with water and having the water pumping throughout the year. Surprisingly, keeping water in the pool at all times minimizes the chance of rust. Because it doesn’t freeze in Austin for long periods of time, it’s a good idea to keep your Cowboy Pool filled with water and circulating, rather than “winterizing" your pool.
- When the temperature drops below freezing, or when there is a freeze warning, switch your timer to “On” so that the pool is programed to circulate until the temperature rises. For added freeze protection, cover your hoses and filter pump with a blanket. See freeze instructions with your Camplux heater handout.
- In cooler months, you're going to need to use less chlorine in your pool. We recommend about one tab per week or less when it starts to cool down. You’ll notice the chlorine won’t dissolve as quickly as it did in warm weather.
We recommend a complete water refresh of your pool every year. Chemical build up, body oils, and other phosphates can build up in your water and on your tank. Draining and refilling your pool every year will extend the life of the galvanized metal.
Keep in mind maintaining a metal pool is different than a traditional pool and you'll want to use the minimum amount of chemicals to balance the pool to avoid damaging the galvanization.
*Never use a salt chlorination system in a metal pool.
*Never let a chlorine tablet rest directly on the bottom of your metal pool.
*Never add any algaecides or clarifiers without consultation with Cowboy Pools
pH and alkalinity tend to follow one another. If you're primarily using chlorine tabs in your pool you will most probably see low pH (and alkalinity) because tabs are acidic. pH can be raised with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). Start with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of baking soda to raise the pH and always have pump running when adding chemicals (chlorine also) swirl around and let pump run for 30-45 minutes. Then retest to see the change. Fresh water can also be added since most city water is on the high end of pH.
In warmer months, using just chlorine tablets alone may not be quite enough to keep your water clean and clear. We recommend stocking some liquid chlorine, that can be found at Lowe's, Home Depot, Amazon and other online retailers. One to two gallons should last you the summer season.
Use between 1-1/2 cup to 2-1/2 cup of liquid chlorine every week to supplement your 2 tablets. Pour it into your pool while your pool pump is running and keep it running for at least an hour. To run your filter pump, flip the switch on your timer to the ON position, then back to TIMER mode afterward. This will help clear up or prevent any murkiness and green water. As always, make sure your tablets are kept in a floater, so tabs don’t fall to the bottom of your tank.
It is also best to chlorinate in the morning or evening hours out of direct sun. Backwash your pools weekly instead of bi-weekly in the summer months.
DO NOT use pool shock, muriatic acid or algaecide on your Cowboy Pool as it can damage the galvanized coating on the steel. Shock powder can be tempting, but it’s much too powerful for our small pools and is full of calcium which can lead to scale buildup. Pool shock is meant for larger in-ground plaster pools only.
Balancing the chemistry can be tricky but baby steps to correct is the best method. Always lean to light side when adding things to the pool - remember these are very small bodies of water and more chemicals can be added later.
Heater System Includes:
- 10L or 20L Camplux Digital Display Tankless Water Heater
- Rain Cap
- Pump & Hosing System
- Pool Thermometer
- a 20lb Propane Tank: Contact Propane Taxi to get propane delivered to your door, or exchange you tank at a convenience store. We’ve developed a heating system for your Cowboy or Cowgirl Pool that doesn’t require draining your pool, drilling extra holes, upgrading your outdoor electricity or tons of steps for you to remember.
All of our heater units are meant to live outside and will need to be mounted upright on a sturdy post or a wall of some kind.
You’ll have to keep in mind that these are heated pools and not hot tubs. While you can get the temperature of the pool up into the high 90’s or low 100’s within a few hours they are not insulated like hot tubs and will lose a lot of the heat over night.
It totally depends on the starting temperature and the time and fuel you're willing to go through. If the outdoor/water temperate is in the 40s or 50s it may take 4-5 hours and a full propane tank to heat into the 90’s. If the starting temperature is in the 60s or 70s, it may take just a couple hours and 1/4 or 1/2 a propane tank to heat your pool to your desired temperature. We recommend keeping an extra propane tank or two on hand.
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS FOR OPERATING YOUR COWBOY POOL HEATER
- Turn on your pool pump by putting it in the “On” position on your timer switch. This is located on the timer, not on the pump.
- Ensure your propane tank hose fitting is firmly tightened to the tank.
- Fully open the valve on the propane tank by turning the knob counter-clockwise until it stops.
- Plug in (or turn on) your new heater pump. You will hear your heater turn on which sounds like a few clicks and propane ignition.
- Warm/hot water will now be flowing into your pool. On the heater unit you can adjust the water flow, gas flow and there is a knob to switch between “Full” and Eco.”
We recommend the following settings:
Adjust the “GAS” and “WATER” knobs to your desired temperature. We recommend somewhere between 130°- 140°.
- *Only operate the pool heater with the pool pump running.
- ** Do not let water temperature from heater exceed 150°.
- When you are finished heating your pool:
- Unplug or turn off your heater pump.
- Turn your pool pump back into the "Timer" position.
- You can leave your propane tank valve open when not in use.
- Even in warmer seasons, we suggest firing up your heater at least every month to ensure the equipment is flowing and working properly.
- We suggest to sit on your heated water to keep the water warm in colder weather.Purchase is limited to Cowboy Pools customers only. You must have purchased or plan to purchase a pool system from Cowboy Pools. Otherwise this set up will not work and we can not install. See our page for more information about maintaining your pool
DELIVERY / INSTALL
Once you place an order for your Cowboy Pool, you must prepare your space for delivery. That info can be found above in FAQs. We will also send that information in your order confirmation email and have you submit photos of your space when it's ready for delivery. Once we schedule your delivery, we set up your pool, a process that can take 2-4 hours. We do not do any landscaping or digging. We are currently only delivering in the Austin area, free of charge.
We’re currently at a 4-5 week turnaround time for pool installs of our current availability. The lead time is an estimated time frame after you purchase your pool package, from when you are ready to schedule your installation to our first available time slot. This does not apply to pool packages that are pre-sold for future delivery dates. You can always reach out to us if you have a reliable leveling/landscaping completion date, and we will do our best to tentatively schedule around that.
Please see "How do I prepare my yard" for more information.
Our Cowboy Pools and heaters are available for delivery in the Austin area, including Travis, Williamson, and Hays Counties in Central Texas.
Contact us to inquire about anywhere within 1.5 hours driving distance from South Austin and we'll do our best to accommodate if we're able!
We do offer accessories that can be delivered nation-wide.
If you’re ready to make your purchase, you can shop for your pick of any pool package and accessories we offer, and we'll invoice for the delivery fee later. Questions? Ask us here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for our email list to keep informed of any updates on that!
HELPFUL TIPS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR COWBOY POOL EXPERIENCE...
Make sure to review our safety & warning information prior to entering a Cowboy Pool.
Go easy on the chlorine to help your tank last for a long time. DO NOT put your chlorine tablets directly in the pool! Place them in a chlorine floater and keep it at the lowest setting (or all the way closed). See all maintenance tips in .
Shade is important to keep your pool cool and keep your shoulders from burning. Try one of the umbrellas listed in our recommended products!
Give your Cowboy Pool an environment that brings you joy. Set the scene and make yourself comfortable. Pick your vibe and go for it. Maybe hang some lights, grab a neck pillow, a cold drink, plant some plants, play some tunes. Make your space delightful. Cowboy Pools pair perfectly with a backyard oasis.
Cover your Cowboy Pool to keep out the leaves & debris. Cowboy Pool Covers coming soon!
Don't pee in your Cowboy Pool. Just don't. Studies suggest that urine can combine with the chlorine in swimming pool water to make potentially harmful chemicals. Find a tree (or a toilet).
Keep the water flowin'. A good rule of thumb is to tune your timer to 1-2 hours on, 1-2 hours off during the day and off at night. The pump provides plenty of circulation for your Cowboy Pool which also keeps the temperature of the water lower.
Don't paint the inside of your Cowboy Pool. I know it's tempting, but we have not come across any paint that will adhere to the inside of our pools. It will eventually flake off and that isn’t fun to have in your pool. If you’re willing to take the risk to provide extra protection to the inside of your pool, you can try a marine-grade outdoor paint. But be prepared to make touch-ups or re-paint every couple seasons.
Wear sunscreen or a large floppy hat. No shame in a sun shirt! We want you to spend all day enjoying your Cowboy Pool with no regrets.
Share your space with friends and neighbors, responsibly of course. See how quickly your Cowboy Pool becomes the place to be.
Rinse your body & wipe your feet before hopping in the pool. Sweat and dirt can react with the chlorine to cause unwanted bacteria
Don't place your Cowboy Pool on a porch or balcony unless you know it can handle 6000-9000+ pounds of weight (depending on size of your pool and weight of swimmers). That’s about two to three times the weight of a mid-sized sedan. Water is HEAVY.
Do not use a shock treatment to clean your Cowboy Pool. It is very abrasive and can cause rusting in the steel pools. We recommend cleaning with the sponge or soft brush that comes in your maintenance kit + a mild dish detergent if it looks like it needs a scrub. Use a couple extra chlorine tablets in the floater if the water starts to get cloudy. Also refer to #5 and #10.
We do not recommend using rain or well water in your pool because it has a very low PH and is very acidic.