A Guide to Outside Washing Areas
Whether you’re designing an outside hand wash area for a caravan park, or an area outside for a public washroom, you’ll need to bear in mind a few key factors in the specification stage.
Outside wash stations are often much busier than your traditional washroom hand basin and as such need to be able to cope with increased footfall, exposure to the elements, and high volumes of grease and dirt. Here, we take a look at the three main considerations to bear in mind:
Preparation for dirt
If your site requires an outside hand wash area, chances are, your users are going to be washing off more dirt than your average washroom hand basin. Whether it’s to rinse fingers at an al fresco rib shack, or caked-on mud from an adventure playground, your wash station is highly likely to see a lot of dirt. It’s therefore important to consider how this dirt will be got rid of.
Grease and oil can build up and cause blockages, as can large volumes of soil. In dining establishments, it can be useful to install a grease trap, where oils can sit above the waterline of a small tank, allowing cleaner greywater to escape beneath it. Another option is to have a catch mesh within a floor drain or have the waste pipe drop onto a floor drain that has an integral grid-like surface. You’ll also need to ensure a good source of hot water is present to help rinse away grease and soil.
Considering the weather
Britain is renowned for its unpredictable weather and your external wash site will need to be ready for it all. While metal is a great wash trough option for durability, you’ll want to make sure it’s shaded from the sun so it doesn't get too hot in the summer. You’ll also need to consider the potential for large puddles on the floor in front of the wash trough.
Large format rubber floor matting can work incredibly well in outdoor sites as it protects the earth from erosion, which over time can create uneven ground prone to deep-set puddles. You’ll also want to make sure your dispensers are all watertight to protect paper hand towels from getting waterlogged, and soaps and sanitizer gels from being watered down.
Temperature control and pipe lagging
We’ve already mentioned the need for hot water when cleaning down your wash station, but warm water is a necessity when hand washing outdoors. TMV3 mixer valves should be installed at the taps to make sure the water is a safe temperature and prevent the risk of scolding. When the temperature drops outside, cold feeds can sometime freeze. It’s therefore important to make sure your external mains water pipework is lagged in insulation.
By bearing these three key points in mind, your outside wash station will have a huge head start in its functionality to both your business and users.
If you would like further assistance in selecting the best items for your project or would like to talk about our full design and specification service our team are at the end of the telephone for all your queries and questions and have a wealth of knowledge they’re happy to share with you. So if you need some guidance, or would like to talk over your options, you can give them a call on 01202 650900.