Zip Ties, A PRO’s Best Friend

Zip Ties, A PRO’s Best Friend
Figure 1. To prevent the toilet paper bar from being stolen or to prevent it from falling out when changing toilet paper, place a zip tie between the two outside walls of the paper dispenser.

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Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, and dog might be man’s best friend, but for the portable restroom operator the inexpensive plastic zip tie is our best friend. 

Have you ever dropped off a restroom only to have your customer call later complaining that the unit was dirty or used? Avoid that argument all together with an inexpensive zip tie. 

One of the most obvious uses of the zip tie would be to lock up a restroom after delivery to deter access for anyone who would casually like to use it. We use this technique extensively when delivering restrooms to parks or other public events where the customer isn’t around to accept the order. We’ll drop it off, zip tie it up, place a separate zip tie somewhere in the restroom and leave. When the customer is done with the restroom they simply zip tie it back up to avoid any additional damage or graffiti vandalism charges. 

There are some more creative uses for zip ties, however, that I would like to share. My personal favorite is to prevent the toilet paper bar from being stolen or to prevent it from falling out when changing toilet paper. In this technique (Figures 1 and 2) place a zip tie on the toilet paper bar between the two outside walls of the paper dispenser. Use a decent sized zip tie and really tighten it on there, which will stop it from sliding off. This is a very cheap deterrent for the casual vandal looking to steal the toilet bar or simply dump it in the holding tank. 

With this method, you won’t need a toilet paper lock either. When placed correctly, it holds the bar so tightly that you simply need to bend the wall of the dispenser to “pop” the bar. It’s a similar technique to what some restroom units have in their toilet paper bar so a lock isn’t required. The same technique can also prevent the toilet bar from dropping out when you want to change the toilet paper; simply fasten another zip tie on the rear of the bar (where the stopper or bend is) before the toilet paper dispenser — this will prevent the bar from slipping out that direction. 

Other uses for zip ties include:

  • Prevent hoses from coming out of barbs in a pinch (instead of hose clamps)
  • Hold back hoses from dangling or rubbing
  • Use in place of rivets in certain circumstances
  • Make seat cover holders 

You can get zip ties from your local retail or discount department stores and online. Make sure to get plenty of them; you’ll never want to be caught without them. 

Brian Schmidt

Rent-A-John Portable Toilets – Santa Rosa, CA


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