How to: Plumbing for a Concession Trailer
Due to the possible health concerns in a mobile food service environment, the plumbing requirements for concession trailers should be addressed. While the actual plumbing system can be quite complex, including multiple sinks, additional hot water heaters or other components, all concession trailer plumbing systems share a basic set of common system components. The specific set-up of your concession trailer's plumbing system needs to meet local health guidelines. Your specific needs may require additional components.
Things You Will Need
Fresh Water Reservoir
Grey Water Reservoir
Hand Washing Sink
Three Well Sink
Lay out the design of your plumbing system, putting each component in a rough approximation of where the final installation will be. This gives you the ability to assess the layout for any flaws such as inadequate working space or a bad location before you make any permanent changes to the structure of your concession trailer.
Install your freshwater reservoir according to the manufacturer specifications. In the majority of cases, a freshwater reservoir can be installed inside of a cabinet on the same side of the trailer as your main sink, but this can be adjusted to meet space requirements or local health department guidelines. In some areas, a portable freshwater reservoir is acceptable, allowing the vendor to carry several tanks of water to avoid running out of water during peak operating times.
Install your water pump according to manufacturer specifications. Install a divider or T joint coming from the outlet side of the water pump. The inlet side of the pump should be connected to your fresh water reservoir. The water pump is used to provide pressure to your concession trailer plumbing system and should be securely mounted to prevent damage. Make certain that the power supply to the water pump is turned off until step 7.
Install your water heater according to manufacturer specifications. Connect the inlet side of the hot water heater to the divider on the outlet side of the water pump. Do not connect the power supply of the water heating unit yet because this could cause damage to the system.
Install the three-well sink and the hand-washing sink. Plumb the lines from the cold water side of the faucet to a divider on the water pump and the hot water side to the outlet side of the hot water heater.
Install the grey water reservoir according to the manufacturer's specifications. This is the collection point for all of the waste water in your concession trailer plumbing system. Connect the drain outlets of your three-well sink and hand sink to the inlet of the grey water reservoir.
Charge the system with water to check for any leaks by filling the fresh water reservoir with water and priming the water pump (if necessary). This step also fills the water heater. Open the valves on both sinks to allow the air to be forced out of the system.
Connect the power supply for the water heater when you have allowed the water heater to fill with water and satisfied yourself that there are no leaks in the system.
State and local health officials have varied requirements such as minimum distances between the hand-washing sink and the three-well sink or other components of your plumbing system. Always consult health codes before starting this kind of project.
Using cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) pipe, a flexible plastic water line, and easy connect fittings makes this task much easier. Since the pipe comes in color variations, one can easily plumb the system with a color code to make future troubleshooting less of an obstacle.
Working with water and electricity can be dangerous. Never connect the power supply to unnecessary components until you are sure that there are no leaks.