5 Things You Need to Know About Portable Sinks and How They Work

Cleanliness is an essential virtue that we must all maintain to ensure that we keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy. It all starts with washing our hands properly at designated handwashing stations.

Unfortunately, most of the handwashing stations in malls, offices, at home, at school, and other establishments are commonly stationary inside washrooms and toilets. Now, this will not be an issue if you are the only one using it. But it is a whole other thing when you must line up for how long until you get your chance. Remember that these areas are communal areas, and most of the time, others are using it. Not to mention, most malls and offices only have one or two washrooms on each floor. However, portable sinks that can help mitigate the problem.

What are Portable Sinks?

A portable sink is an alternative handwashing station for areas where stationary sinks are not viable. This sink supplies both hot and cold water without the need for running water or plumbing.  

But why should you buy one? Well, for starters, they are a great alternative to stationary sinks. Specifically, these sinks are:


  1. Installation-free

Because these handwashing stations do not connect to any plumbing, it is not necessary to install them in place. All you need to do is to fill the attached water tank with water and deposit the sink on your desired area, ready to use.


  1. Cost-effective

With its no drain sink, portable sinks do not need plumbing. It can help reduce any possible expenses for installation and set-up, which stationary sinks have. The absence of pipes also cuts the cost of hiring professional plumbers. And since these sinks come with water tanks, it also removes the need for running water, such as this Portable Hand Washing Station with a 6.3 Gal Water Tank.  


  1. Highly adaptable

These portable washing stations are highly adaptable in the sense that you can use them for work, business, or at home. For businesses, this can be a worthwhile investment as it cuts the expenses allotted for washrooms. Instead of building a stand-alone toilet with a traditional sink, business owners can just buy these sinks and station them in a stand along with washing stations. In the case of company events, festivals, and outings, these sinks can be quite handy.  


  1. Movable

Most of the portable sinks for sale come with wheels. It makes it easy to move them around effortlessly. An example of a wheeled portable sink is this Portable Hand Washing Station with Wheels. Some also have detachable parts, commonly the water tank, which makes it easy to store them when not in use as well as transport them to the desired location.


  1. Easy to maintain

Portable no drain sinks are very low-key when it comes to maintenance. These sinks are self-sufficient and already have everything needed for it to work. The water tanks are mostly dual-use, which can hold both clean water and wastewater. Disposing the waste tank and refilling the freshwater tank is also easy as these tanks are detachable. Larger containers also have wheels for mobility. You can even have multiple tanks on standby as a replacement during hectic events.  


  1. Eco-friendly

One of the main problems that most traditional sinks encounter is outdated plumbing. It can cause water to leak from pipes and valves, which wastes water. Finding and fixing these leaks can also be quite expensive. Hence, investing in portable washing stations is not just economically but environmentally friendly as well.


How Do Portable Sinks Work?

All portable hand washing stations are self-contained. Most portable sinks do not require electricity and work through stepping on a foot pump. Some require power, especially those that can supply hot and cold water.


For those that are non-electrical (HDPE material), the unit pumps the water towards the faucet though the supply hose connected to the water spout. Stepping on the dedicated foot pump pushes the water from the clean water tank towards the water spout. The wastewater drains towards the separate waste tank through the drain hose. Most of the freshwater tanks from these sinks connect to the sink while the waste tanks are different. However, there are also those with single large containers with compartments for waste and freshwater.


Those that run on electricity, battery or propane, works a bit differently as they can supply hot water. Some built-in heaters and pumps are inside enclosures. Electric sinks cannot provide hot water without electricity, while battery-operated and propane sinks need either to recharge or a refill of gas for the heater to work. Water delivery works like the mechanism of a shower with the water tanks in place. There are also separate tanks for waste and clean water. Electrical, battery-operated, and propane sinks are also heavier than the regular HDPE ones.

More details about How Do Portable Sinks Work?  

Where Can You Use Portable Sinks?

Portable, no drain sinks are highly adaptable. You can use it anywhere. The fact that they are mobile and self-contained makes them ideal replacements or temporary substitutes for traditional stationary sinks. Some of the places where these sinks can be useful are:


  1. Schools and daycares. It is ideal to have portable washing stations in schools and daycares. It can help improve the proper hygiene of the students as well as save on the cost compared to building more washrooms or toilets. They also save space and can also be useful in training children how to maintain the cleanliness of their hands. Schools can put one sink in every classroom or have one or two situated in hallways. 


  1. Commercial establishments. Offices and commercial establishments can benefit from portable sinks as it reduces the need to add more toilet and washrooms in the area. A room designated for an additional restroom can be an extra office space instead.


  1. Foodservice areas. Canteens, cafeterias, and other foodservice areas can benefit well with portable washing stations. It can save people time in washing their hands and eating utensils during a limited lunch break. It is especially essential in malls where the toilets are sometimes too far from the food court.


  1. Medical rooms. Medical offices or patient treatment rooms can benefit well with portable sinks as these places require to be always clean. Doctors, nurses, and patients alike can use these sinks to maintain proper hygiene. Having these sinks inside treatment rooms will also help decrease the time needed for doctors and nurses to clean their hands before treatment.


  1. Camping sites. Since camping grounds usually do not have running water, having these sinks can help mitigate that problem.  


  1. Outdoor events. Having a sink ready for use in festivals can make it more convenient for people to wash their hands. Most festivals have many people in the same area, which increases the competition for the washroom and toilet. If the purpose is just for hand washing, then portable sinks can cut the line and waiting time shorter.


Set-Up and Operation

A standard portable sink has separate hoses for draining and water supply. The foot pump dispenses freshwater. There are two tanks, one for freshwater and one for wastewater. The waste tank connects to the sink itself through a drain hose. Some portable sinks also have soup dispensers. An example of this set-up is this Portable Hand Washing Station.      

For sinks that need electricity, the tanks and other parts are mostly inside an enclosure like a cabinet. Within the enclosure, you will find the two tanks, the water heater, and the pump. Most of these portable electric sinks come with faucet knobs instead of the foot pump. Although it can still work without plugging it to an electrical source, the water will not be hot.

Some run on battery or propane. The mechanism is like portable electric sinks. The main difference is that there is no need to plug the unit to get hot water.

The Importance of Portable Sinks During COVID-19

Because of the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, people must maintain a proper distance from others and keep to themselves. However, crowding at the washroom or toilet increases the risk of catching the virus. But with portable sinks, you can significantly increase your chances of catching the COVID-19 virus. Instead of going to the washroom, you can just put a sink in your room if you only have a communal washroom and toilet at home.


Business management can also decrease the risk of infection to the employees by putting separate sinks for every department in the company or one sink for every two to three aisles. The same thing can happen in schools that are already resuming classes. Portable handwashing stations can decrease the chances of students crowding over toilet sinks and increase the frequency of handwashing.



Whatever your reason may be for purchasing a portable sink, it is undeniable that at the current state of things today, the value of theses sinks skyrocketed. With the increasing number of people getting sick, people must invest in a portable, no drain sink to maintain proper hygiene.

If you buy a portable sink, make sure to consider which type you need first. Will you need the regular HDPE one? Or, perhaps you need hot water, so you may as well get an electric, battery-operated, or propane one. You should also consider how many people will be using the sink. It is excellent to invest in two to three sinks, especially if you have many people who will be using it.

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