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How to Winterize Portable Sinks
Photo courtesy of JC Pitts

The demand for portable sinks is high, and your customers may ask about using them year-round. While restroom operators may try various solutions to winterize portable sinks, there are no guaranteed ways to protect your equipment once temperatures drop below freezing.

However, if you live in an area where temperatures hover around freezing or above, winterizing solutions may allow you to keep your sinks outside longer. Review your options and consider alternatives before making a decision.

Pros and Cons of Winterizing Portable Sinks

Since there’s a huge market for sinks, offering them through the winter is a great way to satisfy your customers. It allows you to earn extra income on equipment rentals and stay busy during a slower season.

However, it’s risky to leave your sinks outside during the winter. Freezing temperatures can damage your equipment, making it expensive or impossible to repair. Most PROs in colder regions don’t rent sinks or flushing toilets during the icy season as the benefits don’t outweigh the risks.

Ways to Winterize Portable Sinks

Good choices exist for winterizing portable toilets, like using de-icing additives or brine solutions. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to winterize a sink, and no options are 100% proven to work. Yet, you may want to extend your season by trying:

  • Saltwater solutions: Salt water may help you keep your sinks in use longer. A simple solution with one part salt to nine parts water offers some protection against chilly temperatures. But once temperatures drop below 0⁰ F, the solution freezes and will likely cause damage.
  • Add a fish tank heater: If you have access to electricity and can safely install a fish tank heater, this may help lengthen your season and avoid equipment loss.
  • Talk to your vendors: Some suppliers may offer sink additives that are safe for consumers and equipment. These products are fairly new and not available in all areas, so ask around to see what’s on the market.

Regardless of the solution, it’s important to protect your units from outdoor elements and check on them much more frequently. Plus, remember to supply extra disposable hand towels so users can immediately dry off and prevent frostbite. 

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Alternative Methods to Winterizing Sinks

In many cases, it’s simply impossible for areas with below-zero temps to keep using sinks through the winter months. Instead, consider placing sinks inside a heated enclosure or building.

Or, offer clients an alternative hand-cleaning option. For example, PolyJohn offers winter sanitizer, which is alcohol-based and less likely to freeze. Add a sturdy stand and dispenser, and your customers can still keep their hands clean and sanitized while forgoing the sink.

Protect Your Equipment This Winter

Keeping clients happy is what helps you stay in business. But PROs must weigh the risk to equipment when making decisions. Talk to your vendors about your options, then discuss alternatives with your customers. Although it may not be worth it to winterize your sinks, you can upsell other products or services. Once you’ve weighed the benefits versus risk, make the right decision for your portable restroom business.

Looking to Take Your Portable Restroom Business to the NEXT LEVEL? Download our FREE Guide: “Your Guide to Operating A Portable Restroom Business.”

Thinking About GETTING INTO the Portable Restroom Industry? Download our FREE Guide: “Your Guide to Starting A Portable Restroom Business.”

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