Best Eco-friendly Water-less Composting Toilet perfect for your Tiny House
It’s not only budget which you have to consider when looking for the best composting toilet for your tiny house. You also need to think about the quality of the unit and the comfort that it can provide. The size and width of the base should matter as well because it will be installed in a small space.
In relation to such factors, here are two composting toilets that are ideal for your needs. These are both waterless, self-contained, and are equipped with some aeration and ventilation features. Its compost capacity is good for up to 6 weeks or 90 uses. It also features urine diversion. Below are two composting toilet models that meet all your needs:
Highly Recommended Composting Toilet Models
Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet with Close Quarters Spider Handle Design
This Nature’s Head composting toilet model is designed to provide you comfort similar to a regular toilet that you will not feel awkward sitting down, particularly if you will be using it for the first time. It has a full-size elongated seat (22 x 20.5 x 21.7 inches) that makes you relaxed doing your own thing in the toilet.
You can rely on its robust construction and feel worthy of your spending because it is made of stainless steel hardware. Nature’s Head composting toilet comes with video to help you with installation and to ensure that you will not encounter problems during use. It does not require a specific type of toilet paper that you can buy anything you like. More important, it does not necessitate water that you can save on water usage and utility bills.
You will not have a problem with foul smell as it leaves no odor from human waste. You will have no need to empty container each time as it has compost capacity of approximately 90 uses. The urine is directed into a small built-in holding tank. As for ventilation, you will have to mount the vent at the side of the back of the unit and use 12V fan. This product of Nature’s Head, which cost $925, applies crank aeration. Check the installation video below.
Sun-Mar Compact Self-Contained Composting Toilet
This Sun-Mar toilet model comes elegant but more important, it is easy to clean and maintain. The fan helps in eliminating odor, which tiny house owners often complain about. You may notice sound coming from the fan, however. What you do is to install the factory supplied rheostat to slow down fan speed and therefore decrease noise.
If your tiny house does not use toilet heavily, Sun-Mar is ideal for you because of its lesser compost capacity than Nature’s Head. Otherwise, you may have to empty the container more frequently. What’s distinctive with this product, however, is that it comprises three chambers, where the composting process is completed on the third chamber. It makes use of supplemental air, heat, and mixing to guarantee waste decomposition. Sun-Mar mixes compost using a rotating drum.
It does not require the use of water that it helps in water conservation and in decreasing water bills. It boasts of its strong construction that many generations of users will benefit from it. Vent is mounted at the top of the rear of the unit. It is your choice to use 12V fan. Sun-Mar Compact Self-Contained Composting Toilet sells at $1645 – much higher than Nature’s Head.
Composting Toilet Installation Video ( Nature’s Head )
The package comes with an installation video so you don’t need to pay for plumber because you can follow the instructions and install the device by yourself.
Tiny house toilet dimensions
A typical American home is about 2600 square feet. A tiny house measures between 100 and 400 square feet. The International Residential Code encourages the minimum size requirement of 120 square feet which comprises of a living area, kitchen, sleeping loft, and bathroom. With its small size, bathroom ceiling height should only be 6 feet 8 inches tall so it can provide space for fixtures. Others built their bathrooms at 18 square feet in measurement while others were able to live with 2 feet x 3 feet bathroom.
How does composting toilet work?
Going back to composting toilet, here is how it works. It follows natural processes of decomposition without odors. It works to cut down waste by as much as 90% by turning human waste into a nutrient-rich fertilizer. It helps in addressing problems on water supply shortage as it does not make use of water for flushing.
Electric vs. non-electric
Electric composting toilet models comprise of heaters to assist in the decomposition process. It provides power to a fan, as well as to a thermostatically-run heating section at the bottom of the unit. Power consumption ranges from 80 to 150 watts. You switch the electric composting toilet off if you will not use it for a few days. An electric composting toilet has more composting capability because it offers additional heat and air movement to improve bacterial activity.
Non-electric composting toilet, on the other hand, can be vented; however, it lacks heater as well as power mixing – not like an electric composting toilet. This is ideal for areas where electricity is unreliable.
Prices of composting loo
The cost of composting toilet systems varies based on the design, brand, and complexity. The prices range from $1,500 to $8,000.
Safety measures in installing composting toilet
If you think you already have basic knowledge on installing composting toilet because you have conducted research or have set up one before, think again. Installation varies on manufacturers and brands or models. It is still best to read, understand and follow product manual. To avoid any issue, it is best to call the company in case of uncertainty. Make sure that you also have all the tools you will need for installation.
Tips in maintaining a composting toilet
The United States Environmental Protection Agency, in its Water Efficiency Technology Fact Sheet on Composting Toilets states that regular maintenance is important in composting toilet systems. During cold weather, these should be heated to levels according to the specifications of the manufacturer or designer. If used daily, a composting toilet is to be put in bulking agents such as grass clippings, finely-chopped straw, and leaves at least every other day. For one-chamber continuous systems, periodic mixing is recommended. Removal of the finished end-product (every 3 months for cottage system to every 2 years for a huge central system) is also necessary.
Safety precautions should be observed when handling the humus material. Waste materials must be discarded according to local and state rules.
Advantage of composting toilets over flush toilets
Primarily, composting toilets are more environment-friendly than flush toilets as they use little to no water that households decrease water usage by up to 50 percent. It makes it possible to convert waste into fertilizer. For this reason, homeowners promote more fertile soil. Composting toilets also offer protection on surface and ground water from sewage pollution – not like flush toilets that produce untreated raw sewage.
Not to be ignored are the benefits of 1) keeping our kids and the whole community healthy by providing a safe and clean place for people to defecate; 2) saving more human lives by providing clean water sources; and 3) breathing clean air and preventing flooding through saving more trees.
How does water-less toilets and non-use of toilet papers save environment?
Human waste is composed of 90% water. With the use of flush toilets, this polluted liquid ends up in ground water. With waterless toilets, this liquid evaporates and diffuses into the air. In the process, no contaminated water is released in our water supplies. Waterless toilets also save water and recycle nutrients. By not using toilet papers, you are also saving trees.
What are known problems of composting toilets?
Common concerns about composting toilets include odor, cleaning, and proper disposal. When your toilet smells, it indicates something is wrong. It can be that the fan is not plugged, there’s not enough humidity or compost material, and others. Clean the urine tank by placing 3-inch vinegar and 1-inch rocks. Shake. Leave it for a few minutes then shake again. Rinse, then wipe with toilet paper. Ask your local or state office about the proper disposal of solid materials.
How to clean?
Use vinegar or disinfectant to clean seat, tank, rim, and stool – similar to cleaning ordinary toilets. Take the plastic bowl liner away and clean it using the cleaner made for composting toilet. Rinse, dry then bring it back to the bowl. Brush the inner side of the toilet bowl with small amount of cleaner. Do not rinse with too much water to avoid placing extra moisture to the compost.
How to repair?
The need for repair is usually the result of error in installation. Read the manual again and check or recall everything that you have done during the installation; something must have gone wrong. Make sure that you follow manufacturer’s instructions including the installation and user guide. If all else fails, call the manufacturer because they can provide you with more specific answers to your concern.
Government regulations and policies about composting toilets
Still according to US Environmental Protection Agency, State and local regulations specify that humus, the soil-like material as a result of the use of composting toilet, must be buried or discarded by a licensed septage hauler. Several states also permit tiny house owners to install a smaller leach field, along with the installation of a composting toilet system. Waste materials should also be thrown out according to regulations, which vary per state and local municipalities or cities.