There are three kinds of composting toilets. These toilets are available in either self-contained unites or central composting systems.
Self-Contained Composting Toilets
A self-contained composting toilet is installed directly into the bathroom and they come in both electric and non-electric versions.
The electric versions will plug into an outlet to power a fan and a heating element in the base of the unit. If you aren’t planning on using the composting toilet for a few days you should unplug it. How much power it takes will depend on the size of the unit but it is usually between 80-150 watts.
The composting capacity also varies between toilets. Electric units will usually have a higher capacity than non-electrical units because of their extra warm and the air movement that enhances bacterial activity.
While you can double the composting capacity for a short time you shouldn’t do it too often. As such it’s recommended that you buy a unit that has a higher capacity than you expect to need.
Advantages of Self-Contained Units
- No Plumbing Required
Because these units are waterless there’s no need for plumbing or a water connection. It’s quick and easy to install a self-contained unit as the only time consuming task is to assemble the vent stack.
You don’t need to purchase a second toilet which means that they are more economical than their central unit counterparts.
- Better Suited for Winter
Self-contained units work better in the winter than central composting units as it’s often easier to keep the bathroom warm compared to warming up where the central composting unit is contained.
- No Need for Approvals
During seasonal operation many units will evaporate all liquids. Because everything is recycled you will most likely not need to gain approval to install the unit.
- Easy to Clean
Self-contained units will come with a bowl liner beneath the seat. This is easy to remove and clean when you need to.
- Attractive high-gloss finish
The high-gloss fiberglass finish on a self-contained unit looks great and is guaranteed for 25 years.
Electrical Requirements for Self-Contained Composting Toilets
- If you have an 11 volt power supply? Then you need an Excel, Compact or SpaceSaver model.
- If you don’t have this power supply you need the Excel NE (Non-Electric) model
- If your 110 volt power supply is intermittent, such as a generator that isn’t on all the time, or you’re planning on getting a power supply in the future then you need an Excel AC/DC model.
Central Composting Toilet Systems
Central composting toilet systems are two-piece systems that give you a traditional looking toilet that also happens to be connected to an environmentally-friendly central composting unit you can store either in your basement or in your garden.
There are two different types of central composting toilet systems:
- 1 Pint Flush. This is the more popular model because the flushing liquid and the water seal on the toilet make it look and feel most like a traditional toilet. The 1 pint toilet is connected to the Centrex composting unit which should be kept within 15 feet of the toilet. They are connected using a 3” plumbing pipe.
- The waterless model is the other kind of central composting toilet system. As you’d expect from the name it doesn’t need water to run. There is an Air Flow version which connects to a Centrex A/F composting unit using a 10” diameter pipe. There is a partial vacuum in the toilet that keeps air flowing down to prevent odors from building up. These Centrex A/F models are most popular in places where there isn’t much water, such as in water shortage areas
Post supplied and written by the guys at Toiletable.com.