Looking for a Porta Potty for Sale? Here’s the Ultimate FAQ
If you are looking for a porta potty for sale but have questions, you’ve come to the right place! At PolyJohn, we are fully aware that customers sometimes need several answers before they commit to a porta potty purchase. For starters, it’s a big financial decision and one you want to get right. There are a variety of portable restrooms available on the market today — both in terms of style and customization options. In addition, you must decide which of the quality manufacturers you want to give your business to. With the choices available, this process can be overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve put together this Ultimate FAQ. It’s a compilation of some of the most common questions from buyers, along with in-depth answers from industry professionals. Scroll through, and you will find all the information you need to make an informed purchase decision. If you happen to have additional questions, feel free to contact us at 1-800-292-1305. One of our helpful customer service representatives will be happy to assist you.
Where can I buy a porta potty?
Now is a great time to make a porta potty purchase because the marketplace is competitive and there are a handful of proven manufacturers. PolyJohn is a dependable source due to our high-quality products, excellence in customer service and the best warranty in the industry.
PolyJohn has many ways to learn about our products and place an order. Our website has in-depth information about our entire product line, and we have a digital product guide you can download, along with the option to request a hard copy. When you’re ready to make a porta potty purchase, just call 1-800-292-1305 and ask for Sales. You can also contact the regional sales manager in your area or fill out and submit this quote request.
I’m looking for a porta john for sale. What are my options?
Traditionally, most restroom service companies include some or all of the following four types of units in their fleet.
This is your basic portable toilet seen on most construction sites and other industrial settings. These units provide a static-type waste tank and a toilet paper dispenser. Some include features like a mirror, hand sanitizer and coat hook. These units are the core of your fleet and should be built to last and pleasing to the eye. These units need to be able to withstand the rigors of constant loading and unloading, as well as heavy use in rugged construction and industrial environments. Units need to be durable, provide adequate ventilation, and be constructed of materials that can withstand all types of weather and the harsh chemicals used for cleaning.
Special Events Units
Many service providers choose to offer a separate and distinct type of unit for use at festivals, fairs, weddings and the like. These units often include amenities like handwashing sinks, a hands-free flushable tank, solar lighting and other items that make the user experience top-notch.
Enhanced Access Units
Federal law requires in many applications that units provided are wheelchair accessible. These units are somewhat larger than a standard portable restroom and are equipped with handrails as well as enough interior space to allow a wheelchair to easily get in the unit and maneuver. These units also sometimes include a baby-changing station, hand sanitizer and other amenities to enhance the user experience.
High-end construction projects and many special events require or desire more than a traditional portable restroom. There are many trailer configurations available that include multiple stalls, multiple urinals, shower stalls and more. Most of today’s restroom trailers create the “like home” experience. Heating and air conditioning are usually standard fare, and many of these units include beautiful decorative fixtures, flooring, etc.
To view video overviews of PolyJohn products, click here.
When looking for a porta potty for sale, should I focus on new or used?
Your customers will judge the quality of your business on your products and your service. Your inventory will
be one of the largest financial investments you will make, so you want products you can depend on, that are durable, easy to use and work with and appealing to your customers.
Obviously, purchasing new will provide you with the highest probability of obtaining a quality porta potty that will last you for years to come. However, if you are a diligent shopper and purchase from a trustworthy source, you can get a unit that is “like-new” at a lower price. The JohnTalk Classifieds, Pumper Magazine, PRO Monthly and Pumper Trader are go-to sources of used equipment, as are Facebook and Craigslist.
How much do portable toilets cost?
The cost of a porta john for sale depends on a number of factors. For a new porta john, manufacturer, style and number purchased can play a role. You may be able to get a discount for purchasing a certain bulk number. For a used porta john, price can be influenced by age of the unit and condition.
Here are some of the current single-unit costs of PolyJohn’s portable toilets for reference:
- PJN3 standard portable toilet- $677
- Fleet luxury portable toilet- $757
- Comfort XL handicap accessible portable toilet- $1,575
In the porta john industry, is it true that you “get what you pay for?”
While you may get lucky and find a porta john for sale at a bargain price that will meet all your customers’ needs and remain in service for many years, this is more the exception rather than the rule. Durability is frequently a factor in price. You may spend more initially for a durable porta john, but it will pay off in the long run. You’ll appreciate the steady performance, as well as not having to constantly order parts or make repairs on the fly when you’ve got a long list of other things to do. You’ll also appreciate getting customer compliments instead of complaints. If you’ve ever worked with a cheaper unit that wasn’t built to last, you’ll likely agree that you wish you would have paid a little more to avoid the headache.
At PolyJohn, we regularly perform durability tests on our products and those of our competition, and we’ve found that competitors’ products do perform well on average. They have pros and cons. But overall, PolyJohn outperforms the rest because our units are built for a marathon, not a sprint. Durability is in the details, and we sweat every detail!
Don’t believe us? Just ask Jennifer Corrigan, co-owner of JW Craft Portable Restrooms. One of her PolyJohn units disappeared from a job site during Hurricane Irma. It was recovered after being submerged in a canal for a month. The barnacle-covered unit – already more than 10 years old at the time – was cleaned and revived. It’s back in service and generating revenue! Jennifer said, “The PolyJohn units are beasts!”
What is the expected lifetime of a portable bathroom?
Many portable bathrooms can withstand 20-30 years in the field. Portable toilets are generally made out of plastic resins that are engineered to withstand the harshest elements. In addition, many portable restroom manufacturers have integrated design features that help the longevity of the units they produce (i.e. stronger door jambs, springs, corner extrusions, etc.)
If your restrooms do experience any wear and tear or vandalism and need to be repaired, almost every part is replaceable! It is best practice to order replacement parts from the original manufacturer of the restroom. Throughout the lifetime of the unit, you will certainly need to do regular cleaning and maintenance to keep the units looking and smelling their best. Your equipment is truly an investment.
When I make a porta potty purchase for my new business, how many should I buy?
The answer depends on you. First, you have to know your goals. Most startups have one of three goals in mind as the main reason they want to enter the portable sanitation market:
- You want to earn extra income, perhaps with an eye on expanding in the future
- You already own another business and are looking to expand into portable sanitation
- You want to own and grow a full-time portable sanitation operation
If you are planning to keep your current “day job,” then you could easily begin with 10 units. It’s not enough to sustain a full-time portable sanitation company, but the cost is not excessive, and you’ll earn extra income and get a good feel for what it takes to succeed in the industry.
In the second case, good examples of current businesses entering the portable sanitation market as a “sister service” are septic-cleaning services, sanitation companies or rental companies. Since you already have a profitable enterprise to support you, you could begin with a single unit if you so choose. We’re also familiar with some larger companies that started with several hundred units.
For many PROs, here’s how the numbers add up – their first purchase is 28 toilets, or multiples of 28.
Why is 28 the lucky number? Because 28 is the most number of units that will fit on a 53-foot semi. Filling the semi completely is the most cost-effective method of delivery. (Some first-time PROs might decide to start with 20 units because their delivery trailer may have a 20-unit maximum capacity.)
Your first 28 units give you the inventory for full-time operations. If you begin with 28, it’s realistic to assume that you could have 20 or so on rent within the first few months. After delivery and setup, it should take you one day to cover your route and clean the 20 units, giving you time to sell your service on the other days of the week. You’ll have an additional 8 units to work with as you grow.
What do I do if I need replacement parts down the road?
This is a good question because smart shoppers think about the future and don’t rush to make a purchase after finding a good porta potty for sale. Asking, “Where can I buy porta potty parts?” is just as important as asking, “Where can I buy a porta potty?” because the integrity of the porta john is dependent on the reliability of its parts. In a best-case scenario, your unit will hold up and need limited replacement parts during its lifetime. But let’s be real, it’s common for portable toilets to take a beating and need to be fixed up. With this in mind, choose your supplier carefully, and make sure that getting replacement parts when you need them isn’t a hassle.
PolyJohn sets a high bar by manufacturing most of our own parts or purchasing parts only when they meet our lofty standards. Our products are designed to hold up longer than competitors’. However, we are always prepared in the event that our customers do need replacement parts. Our inventory includes:
- Nuts, bolts and screws
- Plugs and caps
- Plumbing parts
- Rivets and washers
- Component parts
- Decals and plates
- Discontinued and previous model parts
- Electrical parts
- Exterior components
- Skids and bases
- Small parts bags
All PolyJohn products and parts are manufactured in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
What kind of warranty should I look for with my porta potty purchase?
It is recommended by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that you compare warranty coverage just as you compare product styles, prices and characteristics. You may want to avoid pro-rated warranties, as they decline in value over time. For example, a pro-rated warranty of 10 years (120 months) may drop in value by 1/120 every month. So, in 30 months (less than 3 years) the warranty would only cover 75%.
By contrast, PolyJohn’s warranty covers the major plastic parts of our portable restrooms, including the plastic front, wall panels, roof and tank, against breakage or other problems that prevent it from functioning with usual practices and in their intended manner. The warranty provides 100% coverage for an entire three-year term, making it the strongest warranty in the industry.
Here is the PolyJohn portable restroom warranty in its entirety:
POLYJOHN PORTABLE RESTROOMS LIMITED 3-YEAR PRODUCT WARRANTY
PolyJohn Enterprises Corp. warrants the major plastic parts of its portable restrooms (plastic front, wall panels, roof, and tank) against any breakage or other problems that prevent the PolyJohn portable toilet from functioning in accordance with usual practices used in the portable toilet industry and in their intended manner. This warranty covers any damages in material or workmanship for a total period of 3 years (36 months). This warranty extends only to the original purchaser of the PolyJohn portable restroom. Proof of purchase, serial numbers, and photos will be required.
Coverage under this warranty is for a total of 3 years (36 months) from time of manufacture. A part or repair supplied under this warranty will assume the balance of the original warranty period.
During this time period if any major plastic parts covered by the warranty incur damage that prevent it from functioning, PolyJohn will provide replacement parts. Purchaser is responsible for any freight, labor, or other costs associated with replacement.
PolyJohn’s terms of sale are FOB (Free on Board Shipping Point). Meaning buyer takes on responsibility once it leaves PolyJohn’s shipping dock. The carrier is wholly responsible for any damage incurred during transit. Important notice: All concealed/non-notated damages must be reported within 5 business days of delivery (1st day is the day of delivery) as per the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) – Rule 300100 - for a damaged claim to be filed. Reporting after this time will void a claim.
In order to prevent warranty disputes follow these steps immediately when receiving your products:
- Inspect the shipment immediately and insist that visible damages be indicated on your copy of the freight bill. If they are not noted on the freight bill it is very likely a claim will be denied.
- Open the shipment if necessary, and inspect for any concealed damages.
- If there are any damages that you cannot operate with you may refuse shipment. After you do this contact us immediately
Filing Process for Warranty
PolyJohn reserves the right to request inspection of products for verification of defect, which may include returning some or all of the parts with shipping paid for by the purchaser. Once the items have been returned, inspected, and PolyJohn is found at fault shipping costs will be reimbursed. You may contact PolyJohn to arrange for return shipping if desired.
To file your warranty claim follow these steps:
- Go to polyjohn.com/warranty/
- Fill out necessary contact information
- Fill in invoice number, date of purchase, product, and product serial numbers.
- Upload an images of affected products
- Submit and someone will be in contact with you as soon as possible.
What is Not Covered By Warranty
This warranty does not cover damage or failure contributed to or caused by: Not following PolyJohn assembly procedures, unauthorized modification, acts of God, mishandling, misuse, use of incompatible solvents or other damaging chemicals, vandalism or accident. In no event shall PolyJohn be liable for labor costs or for incidental or consequential damages.
**THIS WARRANTY IS IN LIEU OF ALL PRIOR WARRANTIES EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED**
What is the chemical used in portable toilets?
The blue water you see in a porta potty is a chemical compound that controls odor and breaks down waste and paper. Most people in the industry simply call it “blue.” It contains biocides, which prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria and gets its blue color from a dye that is added. The color helps to hide the waste collected in the tank. Blue can come in a variety of fragrances and four forms: packs, pucks, tabs or liquid. Blue is non-toxic when diluted and is effective for up to 7 days. Blue can come with and without formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is not as good for public or environmental health and may not be accepted by waste disposal sites.
How do you clean a porta potty?
Cleaning a porta potty isn’t difficult. It takes less than 10 minutes per unit. Here is a summary:
Step 1: Record the date of cleaning where necessary (service log, unit sticker, etc.)
Step 2: Remove any debris in and around the unit
Step 3: If graffiti is present, apply graffiti removal chemicals and leave them for a few minutes
Step 4: Pump waste from the unit
Step 5: Clean the unit inside and out with a cleaning solution and scrub off graffiti
Step 6: Rinse the unit
Step 7: Restock the toilet with chemical “Blue” and fragrance enhancers
Step 8: Add water to the tank (typically 5 gallons)
Step 9: Restock the unit with supplies (toilet paper, hand sanitizer, etc.)
What are portable toilet rental prices?
Estimates for portable toilet rentals can vary greatly depending on location, the economy and your business goals. Here are some ballpark rental rates for a single day or weekend event, as well as a long-term rental:
Standard portable toilet- $100
Handicap-accessible portable toilet- $175-$250
Luxury portable toilet- $225
Construction portable toilet- $75-$100 per month
How many different kinds of porta potties should I offer?
Certainly, diversifying units in a fleet is a good idea, but at its core, the “standard” unit should be the portable toilet that is the most prevalent in your fleet, by far. A standard unit can easily be used for both construction contracts as well as special events with add-ons or as is. These standard portable restrooms include the toilet tank and a urinal, while typical add-ons for standard units include features such as a mirror, hand sanitizer or solar lights. Using a combination of slightly enhanced units alongside standard units is an effective strategy.
As your business grows and expands, it is smart to add a third product line to your fleet used for parks, schools and other recreational sites. Why? These units are used for lengths of time that are longer than most special events, but probably not quite as long as construction contracts. Also, some contracts or areas may prefer a color that doesn’t match your brand colors (green for example). There is just as much foot traffic, though, so at the end of a rental period a fleet will need to be inspected for damage, scratched and eventually cleaned and sanitized.
After I make a porta potty purchase, what are some accessories I should consider?
A great way to increase revenue for your portable restroom rental business is to offer add-ons. They are a win-win for both you and the customer because you make a bigger sale while the customer is able to better serve their employees or guests. The following are some of the most popular add-ons: