Portable Sink for events and camping: no plumbing but hot water (AVOID Doing this!)

Portable sinks, also known as handwashing stations, can be easily installed in any location that has no plumbing or access to running water. A flexible pipe can be used for this. They are also useful for temporary installation in locations without a traditional plumbing system. A portable sink can be installed by anyone with minimal plumbing expertise.

The only word of caution is to not leave these units unsupervised with children or the elderly. Although they don’t pose any serious danger, it is a good practice to be cautious. A flexible pipe is also more prone to leaking.

The use of portable sinks is grown in the past few years. Portable sinks have been helpful in maintaining sanitary standards at public transit, malls, institutions & offices. They have also been used in areas that are affected by natural disasters i.e. hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis etc. It can also be great to use them during parties or outdoors.

Portable sinks have some basic components. They have wheels, under sink storage of freshwater & wastewater, a metal bottom & connectors to the tap & sinkhole. Installing the drain is the biggest challenge as you have to find a way to store or remove the water. Sometimes a tank is used for this but you have to be careful so that it doesn’t overflow.

Use of a Portable Sink:

As the name suggests, this sink can be carried & used anywhere. Such sinks are common at daycare centers, salons & spas & food service operators. They are most commonly used for camping or travel. The following model is very popular and is often recommended by plumbers.

Additionally, they are useful at events or concerts. They can also double up as a disinfectant station. For example, it can be set up at every entry or exit point of a big building or residential area.

Pros & Cons:

No need for plumbing, possibility to avoid power supply & wheels to go anywhere. A portable sink does not require any complex installation.

Unlike leakages & losses to plumbing, a portable sink uses water efficiently & stores wastewater for effective disposal later on.

A portable sink is also modular in nature and the metal or plastic parts are easily replaceable. This adds longevity to a portable unit. Additionally, a damaged portable sink can be immediately replaced by another unit, without delay of repairs.

On the flip side, a portable unit may require sufficient water supply from a tanker. It may also require a power supply for delivering hot water. Both these costs increase the per unit cost of supplying water on a per-unit basis.

Choosing the Best Portable Sink:

Your choice depends greatly on your requirement. The first choice is to decide if you want a plastic sink or a stainless steel sink. Portable sinks are not made with breakable materials like ceramic.

A sink-toilet combination is perfect if you want to camp.

The basic reason is portability. Adults can move around a steel sink but the children & elderly may prefer a lightweight plastic sink. Many venues may also prefer sinks that inform users of low water levels or low power supply. While these units do not pose harm, it is a good practice to supervise their use & prevent any careless use of the said units.

While steel is more expensive than plastic, it is more hygienic & durable. While a new plastic sink matches sanitary demands, it may get unhygienic beyond its date of expiry.

A third reason could be the requirement for hot water. If you need hot water, you need a reliable power supply to heat the water. Some Portable sink variants have a plugin system, while others have a batter system or a propane power apparatus.

You have to see the most suitable, basin, decor & cabinet for the portable sink. It is easy to clean & maintain? Is it well insulated from the electrical system? If the sink is visible to visitors of the residence, office or institute, does it look attractive?

Do you need more space over the basin or in the cabinet? What is the water capacity of the unit? Do the sinks have the necessary certificates? Are they easily replaceable? All these questions factor into deciding the right portable unit.

Features & Companies:

Today, most companies give consumers the option to switch between steel & plastic sinks. This means that the sink module of a portable unit is interchangeable between metal & plastic. You could check out brands like Jonti-Craft, Ozark or “Monsam”. These three brands are the market leaders in portable sinks. In the case of fully automated portable hand stations, you could also try “Smixin”.

You can choose between various designs of single, double or triple basin units with exclusive water supply. Child-friendly units come with a height of 20 to 26 inches and some even offer complimentary step stools.

Add-on features include hands-free operations, sensitive faucets, sanitizer kits & even fill kits to transport the water units. Do check if you can replace water units easily during busy periods.

Handwashing may not require a deep basin like dishwashing & the elderly may require foot-powered switches & long swan neck taps with hand showers. There are countless options in the design & utility of portable sinks today.


The huge variety of options and features have also widened the price band of portable sinks. The lower-end units cost close to a thousand dollars while top-end units may cost tens of thousands of dollars. This is why a combination of different units is helpful in providing that price flexibility in your inventory. For example, you may not need hot water in the Summers or an extended Basin top at a daycare center.

Eventually, a portable sink is a useful substitute for permanent sinks, especially if you have to manage water usage, crowds & venues. It is a great idea to upgrade to a permanent sink if you use it often as these are sturdier and less prone to leaking.

If you want to go camping or want to throw a party in a remote area, a portable sink can come in handy. In this post, we have discussed some options that will work for your situation. There are quite a lot of things that you have to consider when you get a portable sink. These include size, price, and how they connect with plumbing pipes and drains.

Your plumber should be able to help you with this.

Dry sinks are not used often anymore but they might be an option in remote areas.