Winter-Weather Service Tips

It might not be easy to keep restrooms and trailers in service in freezing temps, but with these tips it can be done
Winter-Weather Service Tips

A Royal Flush skirts the bottom of its restroom trailers with wood to keep heat concentrated under the trailer and to prevent snow and ice buildup underneath. (Photo by Chris Ploof)

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The winter season is different for all of us. A Royal Flush has multiple locations across the East Coast. It may be hard to believe, but all of those locations experience very different weather. 

No matter what the weather or how many feet (yes, feet) of snow are on the ground, we handle the winterization process the same. We have worked on this for over 20 years and we think we have it down to a science.

For the portable restrooms it is pretty easy. We don’t rent our PolyPortables sinks or PolyJohn VIP Flushing toilets because the lines are too small to properly winterize. Once they freeze, the units can be damaged, so we just store them for the winter in our yard.

For the Satellite Tufways, which stay out year-round, we use a salt-water solution in the waste tanks. Freezing is almost impossible to prevent in our northern locations, but this allows our service drivers to pump out most of the waste and service the restrooms to the best of their ability.

The restroom trailers and the electric flush systems for office trailers are a little bit different.

For our restroom trailers, mostly JAG Mobile Solutions and Black Tie, we heat trace all the waterlines. We then place a heater under the trailer to prevent freezing. We explain to all our customers that this heater must stay on 24/7. 

The last step in the process is to skirt the bottom of the trailers with wood. This stops the snow and ice from getting under the trailers and cuts down on the wind, which can be brutal in the Northeast. It also keeps all the heat contained under the trailer and focused on the waterlines.

The electric flush or fresh flush systems are handled in a similar manor. To clarify, this is the system that is used in most office trailers. Everyone calls them something different but they are generally made up of a low-flush toilet, a pump and holding tanks.

We put pond heaters inside the waste tank and inside the water supply. This prevents freezing and requires constant electricity throughout the winter. When a customer calls in to say the system isn’t working, nine times out of 10 someone unplugged the heaters.

In addition, we wrap heat trace around all the waterlines to ensure the lines are properly protected. Then the tanks and waterlines are wrapped in insulation. Finally, the lines and connections are duct taped to prevent the strong winter wind from moving the insulation around.

All these steps ensure that freezing is prevented, even when Massachusetts gets a record 144 inches of snow like last winter! So run out and buy the necessary supplies and then you can count down the days till spring like all of us at A Royal Flush.

About the Author: Alexandra Townsend is co-owner of A Royal Flush, based in Philadelphia.


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