Tag Archives: refurbishing

History of our Space Burrito

We’ve written a bit about the float tank in our basement, affectionately called The Space Burrito. It had been hanging out in some guy’s back yard for a couple months when we found it, and we didn’t know anything about it. (We’ll be getting shiny new tanks for the center, if you’re wondering.) Through the magic of the internet, and the generosity of the float community, we pieced together some of its history. The tank was manufactured by a company called Float To Relax, which was active in the 80’s. Our tank was probably  twenty-five or thirty years old… and still in pretty good shape, actually. These things last forever.

Today I got to learn a little more about our tank’s history, when I received this note:

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Pump problems

Last night I’m lying comfortably on the couch, playing a game, when Sara comes upstairs from her float.  “The pump, it made a weird humming noise and then the circuit breaker blew.  I don’t know where the breakers are.”

There are in fact several, both two regular circuit breakers and two ground-fault interrupters.  Turns out it was the breaker on the power bar, so I reset it and gingerly tried the pump again.  Nothing but a weird humming noise.  I turned it right back off.

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Getting up to temperature

The ‘one last obstacle’ turned out to be much more of a problem than I anticipated, but we got past it.

Our Float To Relax tank in the basement
The Space Burrito: our Float To Relax tank in the basement, wrapped with several layers of insulation.

We’ve got our demo tank running in the basement now, and Sara and I have both been in it!  It took quite a lot longer to it fully set up than we anticipated, but along the way it’s already been totally worth it as a test bed for the public center we’re building.

If you’re not on our mailing list yet, get on it!  Soon we will invite a few lucky names off it to help us give it a try for free.

Continue reading Getting up to temperature

800 lbs of salt

After a couple weeks of waiting, a lot has started to happen with our home float tank.

The Tank Movers
These heroes of the float revolution, the tank movers, helped shift the tank into our basement.

We’ve washed and moved the tank into the basement, and I’ve put together the electrical system and welded the plumbing, and I’ve made two trips out to Lexington to load half a ton of epsom salt in the back of my Hyundai, and we’ve spent a weekend pouring it fifty pounds at a time into the tank.

I had hoped to be able to announce today that my lovely wife was actually in the tank getting blissed out, but unfortunately we have run into another obstacle.  Progress, though.  Progress is happening.

A whole lot of fix-it detail follows.

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Testing the tank: pump and filter

The tank we acquired included a powerful pump and a swimming pool-sized filter.  Or at least, it had the parts, but for weeks I had no way to confirm whether they actually worked.  It can be harmful to turn on a pump with no water in it, and in any case would prove nothing except that it made noise.

Testing the pump on the Float to Relax
Churning water: testing the pump on the Float to Relax

To test it, I had to get new PVC piping to replace the parts that had been hacksawed up when the last owner took the tank apart.  Home Depot doesn’t carry 1½-inch flexible PVC for plumbing this sort of thing, though — it seems to be kind of a specialty item for hot tubs and saltwater aquariums.

Last week mail-order finally arrived, and I could cut up and dry-fit everything in the driveway.  Here’s the tank with water in it and the pump running at last. The picture hardly does justice to how powerful the pump is — that water is churning hard.

Continue reading Testing the tank: pump and filter