One of the most common ways to prevent water from freezing in a portable toilet and causing damage is to add a brine solution of rock salt and water. Most portable restroom operators mix a large batch of brine at their home shop, fill up their truck(s) there and store the remaining brine for future use. Mixing a brine solution isn’t difficult. To learn how to do it, check out this infographic.
A rock salt and water brine is just one of a handful of ways to prevent freeze-ups. To learn about the others and for more information on winterization, read our article. You can also download our winterization white paper from the JohnTalk Vault. For free access, sign up for an account and log in.
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Option 1- Mixing/holding tank with agitator or auger
Option 2*- Mixing/holding tank, sump pump and ½ inch hose
Option 3**- Mixing/holding tank, 55-gallon drum and pipe
2. Determine the Appropriate Salt-to-Water Ratio
½ pound rock salt/gallon of water protects down to 26°F
2 pounds rock salt/gallon of water protects down to 0°F
Note: A brine solution isn’t effective for sub-zero temperatures
3. Mix the Solution
Option 1- Fill the tank with water, add the salt and mix with the agitator or auger.
Option 2*- Fill the tank with water. Connect the hose to the sump pump, place the pump into the tank and loop the hose back into the tank so that the water can re-circulate. Turn the pump on, let the water re-circulate and start adding the salt slowly.
Option 3**- Cut out one end of the drum and place it into the tank with the open end up. Put a pipe in the drum and add the salt to the drum. Run water into the pipe so that the water comes up through the salt, overflowing the top of the drum as a brine solution.
4. Pump the Solution Into the Truck
To avoid salt water buildup in your pump, run fresh water through it after each use.
The brine is corrosive to steel, so you must use stainless steel or aluminum tanks and corrosion-resistant fittings on your trucks or the brine will corrode them.
When brine dries, it leaves a white chalk stain, so be sure to wipe everything down with fresh water. Also, don’t clean toilets with a brine solution. Use a windshield washer fluid mix.