Portable sinks, also known as hand wash stations, come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, each catering to a specific clientele. In this video we’ll provide a quick overview and discuss the proper ways to deliver, service, and transport some of these popular sink options.
To get started, let’s talk delivery. When you arrive on site, you’ll need to locate the sink on your truck for delivery. Most sinks, with the exception of a few oversized construction sinks, are stashed away inside a restroom to maximize your vehicle’s load capacity. They are also strategically loaded to your vehicle to align with your route stops. To identify which restroom contains a sink you’ll need to look for the restroom which has the door flipped to face the rear of the vehicle. Sink locations will also be indicated on your load sheet.
Once you’ve located the sink on your truck and safely lowered it to the ground, you’ll want to visually inspect each unit to identify any damage that may have occurred during transport. You’ll be looking for things such as cracks in the plastic, damage to the faucets, missing soap dispensers, broken lids, missing rivets, and/or missing drain plugs.
Leaky drain plugs are a common nuisance in our industry and can create an unwanted customer complaint if not properly addressed. To ensure each sink has a working drain plug, you’ll need to visually inspect the plug to make sure it has the standard black O-ring attached and is properly threaded. If it’s missing an O-ring, or the threads are stripped, you’ll need to throw it away and use a spare plug that can be found inside your tool bag.
Once you’ve confirmed the plug has been set and is in proper working condition, it’s time to fill the sink.
To fill the sink, you’ll first need to identify the fill location. This can be a in different spot, depending on the type of sink you’re filling. Once identified, you’ll need to remove the lid or the cap and fill with your fresh water hose. As you fill the tank, it’s important that you continue to visually inspect for any leaks that may have gone unnoticed, especially around the drain plug area. If you spot a leak, do your best to fix it. If you’re unable to fix it, it’s important that you notify dispatch and await further instructions. Also, If the sink appears to be dirty, you’ll want to wipe it down and make sure it appears welcoming to the general public.
Once you’ve finished rinsing the sink and you’ve confirmed the fresh water tank is full, you’ll want to restock it with supplies which include paper towels, soap; and on rare occasion, hand sanitizer. Supply dispensers can often be found on the outside of larger sinks, but for smaller sinks you may have to unclip the top to access them. When restocking, we encourage service techs to use a minimum of 2 paper towel packs and refill the soap dispensers when they are less than one-fourth of the way empty.
Congratulations, you’ve now filled and restocked the supplies as needed. Before finishing, it’s important that you do a quick test on each foot pedal to make sure they are all in working order. If all checks out, you’ll want to sign the date sticker, then dolly the sink to its desired delivery location as specified on the work order. It that location isn’t ideal, or level, try to find a spot near the delivery location that makes sense.
When it’s time to service a sink, or pick it up, you’ll want to make sure the units you’re about to service match the unit numbers listed on your work order. This is an important, and often overlooked, step that creates unnecessary work for techs when not properly followed.
If the unit numbers check out, you can then begin the service. You’ll start by pumping each unit dry, removing any gray water that’s collected during use. This procedure is accomplished a few different ways, depending on the sink you’re working with. We’ll cover more of the specific while in the field, but for most sinks you’ll need to remove the top lid and insert your pump wand into the waste holding tank. Once it appears you’ve pumped most of the water out, you’ll then want to remove the drain plug at the bottom of the unit to release any additional water on to the ground.
The unit is now dry and you can refill and restock as needed, or pick it up for transport.
When transporting a sink it’s always important that you pump it dry first. This greatly reduces it’s weight and makes is easier to load to your truck or trailer. Once on your vehicle, try to find a restroom that you can put the sink into as this will help you maximize your load capacity. After the sink is securely placed inside a restroom, it’s time to strap it down and head to your next stop.