My Custom Hand Sink

Posted by Lilly on June 30, 2014 at 8:25 AM

One year ago, I wrote a blog post about the Awesomest Hand Sink for selling Italian Ice, which I was having custom crafted to finally become compliant with my Health Department's hand sink rule.  What I completely forgot to do was update you guys and show you the photos of the sink and how perfect it is for those vendors looking for NSF equipment who want a portable sink that doesn't need electricity.  This is a one-of-a-kind!


  • Uses the Coleman Hot Water On Demand unit - this means I don't need to find buy separate little parts, such as pump, water heater, and propane tank.  Nor do I have to become a plumber and figure how to put those parts together!  The Hot H2O On Demand is a single, portable unit that comes complete with a rechargeable battery, charger, pump, faucet, and 5-gallon clean water tank.  All I needed to buy in addition was a few mini-propane canisters (found at Big Box stores, virtually everywhere for roughly $3 each) and a 6-gallon dirty water tank for $10 (also called gray water tank).

  • Easily pushable on four casters - perfect for getting on and off loading ramps.
  • Weighs only 60 lbs. empty.
  • Has a shelf for extra supplies, like paper towels.  Also has front door with magnetic close, so you don't see all the guts.  Nice for presentation.  Makes my setup look very professional!
  • Fits in my SUV, and also on my cargo trailer with ease! - measures only 22" W x 22" L x 36" H.
  • NSF Rated
  • Needs NO electricity!

It's the ONLY existing hand sink made to use with the Coleman Hot H2O On Demand that is ready to go!  It's the quickest option for those needing only a hand sink, who don't want to build their own or don't want to be dependent on electricity.  While it's not cheap, being all steel, it's the answer for those Health Departments who mandate NSF equipment.  And the price is right in line with other stainless steel sinks sold on the market - all much larger, heavier and electricity-dependent.

Now, for the reveal!  Here are the photos of my sink!  For me, it was the long-lost piece in a puzzle I'd been working on for a year and half... and an answer to my prayers.  Give me your thoughts in the comments! 


Categories: Health Department, Equipment & Supplies, Cool Products

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Reply Magic City Sweet Ice
10:18 AM on July 1, 2014 
That is genius!!! Thanks for sharing the details!
Reply Jimmy
10:15 PM on July 20, 2014 
Hello! I am so happy for you that you have found ways to utilize the Coleman Hot Water On Demand as your hand sink! I actually discovered your old post last year and so glad you created this follow-up. I was curious if you could provide any tips or a guide on the build out for this hand sink you created? And maybe a cost estimate on how much a system like this costs? I want to use the Coleman as my hand-sink and having trouble on coming up with a solution, till I saw your post! Any advice or tips would be awesome! Thank you again!
Reply gvanover
4:35 PM on January 11, 2015 
Hi Lily - great website. In regards to your sink (exactly what I have in mind) however unable to find the cabinet that I need to setup similar to what you have done. Did you have this custom made?

PS: If you had the opportunity to change anything with the sink system now that you have been using it over the past while, is there anything different about the setup that you would alter.

Thank you

Reply zenos ice
10:40 PM on May 6, 2015 
That's a great looking sink. Just a note I found that working with my health dept. I built a three compartment sink with a separate hand wash sink using the on demand water heater. That they allowed me to be licensed as an STFU (Special Transitory Food Unit) so I don;t have to have a commissary. Also because I'm using a Nelson BDC-8 Which for all intents and purposes is a freezer. Also the STFU license ends up being less even though it costs more because here they require you to also license a commissary. So $330 to license your cart plus $350 to license the commissary plus the $150 the commissary wants per month to use their facility. Vs. $450 for the STFU license and about $600 spent on the sink set up. I'll be coming out ahead.
Reply Lilly
9:22 PM on May 7, 2015 

I did have this cabinet custom made at a metal shop that specializes with food vendors. If I could change it? It was supposed to be about 2" smaller all sides. I wanted as small as possible. Also, I would leave the back open. The reason is that then I could run the lines down and out and use a larger clean and dirty tank when I have bigger events. Other than that, I would have liked a lighter unit. Though this is only 75lbs, I can maneuver it effortlessly, but I can't pick it up alone to get it into places or up curbs, etc. Plastic is the way to go or aluminum.
Reply Uncle John's Italian Ices
3:33 PM on May 19, 2015 
This is great! Can you tell me if those measurements include the wheels?
Reply Martin
1:25 PM on June 28, 2015 
I have to recommend Concession sinks .com no spaces of course they do great portable sinks and a range of prices to fit your budget.
Reply Tiff
5:46 PM on November 4, 2015 
Hi, That is a great sink. My Health department is also requiring a hand washing sink but mine has to be attached to my cart. Does this one attach? Is this something that others can order?

Reply Lilly
5:03 PM on November 5, 2015 
Hi, Tiff! Sadly, no one can order this particular sink, as I had it custom made. As for a sink that's attached, you can try Cardinal Carts (see Pushcarts page). They sell a sink, though rather large, that "connects" to your cart, and that "connection" sometimes bypasses Health Dept. codes for being attached. But first, I'd really go over and over with your Health Dept. about what they may consider as alternatives. If they want permanent attachment, to ensure the sink ALWAYS is present when you sell, you will have to buy a cart with a sink built in. I had one of those made too. (sigh).
Reply Lilly
5:10 PM on November 5, 2015 
@UncleJohns Wow, crazy late reply! I'm so sorry. It's hard to stay on top of this site sometimes during the summer (selling season, baby!). Yes, the height of 36" does include wheels. My Health Department told me that to be able to sell in the county next door, they would require my sink to be 36" tall. So I had it made that height to open the door to future events in a larger geo-area.
Reply Tom
11:29 PM on October 12, 2016 
What a great and helpful site! I'm amazed at what you had to go through! One would think the government doesn't want people to create their own businesses and become self-sufficient!

I'm curious about the challenges you faced with your health department. Probably the biggest boogie man anyone wanting to push a cart must face. In all the videos I see on Little Jimmy's site as well as on youtube, NO ONE with a pushcart seems to have a sink! And yet, from what I can tell, just about every county requires them.

Do you have any thoughts?
Reply Lilly
6:59 AM on October 14, 2016 
That is a great observation, Tom. And now I'll reveal a hidden secret of some vendors. I hope they don't all throw eggs at my house. While many are required to have handsinks, most vendors hate them, toting heavy water and dumping the dirty after. It adds weight and setup/takedown time, just a general pain in the arse. I once worked next to a wood-fired pizza who had an onboard sink. I asked to check it out, always looking for ideas. When they showed me, it was full of... trash. That's what they used it for. They said, when the health dept. comes around then they get it ready, but since the HD can't be everywhere, they never encounter them and so don't use the sink. That said, there are also a lot of areas sinks are not required at all when selling Italian Ice, because it's got extremely low potential to harbor bacteria and hurt the public. Some get away from using a sink in exchange for wearing serving gloves. And some are allowed to use antibacterial handwipes and sanitizer. It really helps to ask for waivers and give alternate ways for your HD to consider. It's not always a fast rule Lastly, some HDs don't require a handsink if the event/location you are at has a sink nearby. You can just use that one and don't need to bring your own.