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  #51  
Old 10-22-2013
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

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Originally Posted by themerryonion View Post
which is more expensive in the short and long term?
I think this question depends on the size of the system and if you're going to hire someone else. For my boat, I think a standard head/holding system might be less but I'm still planning to get a composting head.


I just pulled my head out of the boat. Good thing I was planning to do it and didn't try using it. I discovered a 2" x 3" hole on the back side of the holding tank in a spot that could not have been inspected without the disassembly I just did.
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  #52  
Old 10-22-2013
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

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Originally Posted by themerryonion View Post
This is all great information and debate. One thing that no one has touched on is the fact that the boat currently has no holding tank. So I was wondering about installing that vs. a composting head. We are going to have to do something. Now that I've read about pros and cons of each, which is more expensive in the short and long term?
Full installation of a new marine head (toilet, plumbing, thru-hulls, holding tank, labour) will very likely set you back as much or more than a new composting head. If it were just the toilet, then you can do it cheaper, although good quality heads (not those cheapo Jabscos) are still in the $500 range. A Nature's Head or Air Head will cost around $1,100. CHeads are even cheaper.

In the long term it's really a no-brainer. You'll never pay for another pump out with a composting head. Unless you're dumping out at sea, a standard head will certainly cost more over time.
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  #53  
Old 10-22-2013
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

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Originally Posted by MikeOReilly View Post
Full installation of a new marine head (toilet, plumbing, thru-hulls, holding tank, labour) will very likely set you back as much or more than a new composting head. If it were just the toilet, then you can do it cheaper, although good quality heads (not those cheapo Jabscos) are still in the $500 range. A Nature's Head or Air Head will cost around $1,100. CHeads are even cheaper.

In the long term it's really a no-brainer. You'll never pay for another pump out with a composting head. Unless you're dumping out at sea, a standard head will certainly cost more over time.
Yea, I think if you are paying for labor there is no way you could in stall a full system for the price of an Airhead/Natures head let alone the cost of a C-head. I think if you are at all cost conscious and you don't want to build your own then the C-head is the way to go it starts at $519. Looks relatively finished as well. I don't like the look of the stirring mechanism, as it looks a bit home made, but seems to work well. No way you are going to get a system installed for under $520 with a traditional system.
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  #54  
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

I guess I wasn't clear. There is a toilet, but it just ejects into the water directly due to the lack of holding tank. But thanks for the feedback.
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  #55  
Old 10-23-2013
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

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Originally Posted by themerryonion View Post
I guess I wasn't clear. There is a toilet, but it just ejects into the water directly due to the lack of holding tank. But thanks for the feedback.
Well the toilet is only a small part of the expense. It will really depend on if you can find space for a stock size holding tank. Holding tanks are going to start at about $500(custom goes way up from there), vented loop at $100, Y valve at $50, hose is about $10 a foot(depending on set up, but figure at least 15 feet), macerator pump $200, deck fitting at $100 and figure at least $300 more in miscellaneous fittings and parts.

Here is a good article:
Installing a Head by Don Casey - BoatTECH - BoatUS

I don't see how you can get in a normal set up for under a grand even with your toilet, but toilets are only about $300 for a usable one. (keep in mind when yours needs to be rebuilt often easier and just as cheap to replace) You have to use quality parts, such as top of the line Trident Hose as anything else is going to stink in a few months or at least 2 years. You don't want to have to re do the hoses any time soon.

Sure you can build your own tank, and use cheaper hoses, but you will likely battle smell for a long time, then rip it all out and re do it properly.
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  #56  
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

Good points above^^^^, plus the installation of a composting toilet is very much within the abilities of any unskilled boat owner, while a wet toilet, holding tank and all the fittings etc. is a much bigger and more difficult task. If you have to call someone in to install it, it will most certainly end up more expensive than a composting toilet.

The C-head is cheaper, as someone has pointed out, but I think you should compare it very carefully to the Nature's Head before buying one. They are both good products, but not really an apples to apples comparison.
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  #57  
Old 10-23-2013
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

The hardest part about installing my Nature's Head was running the vent hose (I have it heading into the anchor locker...I will be repositioning it slightly this winter).

The worst issue of using it is peeing when on the wrong tack. The composter likes to be level or leaning forward to divert the liquid waste into the pee jug. It hasn't been a huge deal here in the Chesapeake. I imagine if offshore on the wrong tack for many days it could get terribly annoying.
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

Godot, I've read somewhere on a blog that a fellow put a bead of silicone caulk around the urine diverter to solve this problem. The bead of caulk raises the lip around the edge of the trap door. I can see how this would work. In fact, if I have any complaint about the Nature's Head (and I really don't- it's a great product!), it's that they could have raised the lip around the trap door a little higher to prevent any liquids finding their way into the composting chamber. My head is mounted in a for-aft orientation so I haven't found any problems with either tack, but guests sometimes manage to get some liquids into the composting chamber (peeing standing up probably!!).
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  #59  
Old 10-23-2013
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

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Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
Any thoughts on Lectra San?
Chef,

It's expensive, and you know that the Maryland legislature is gunning to turn the entire Bay into a NDZ, invalidating the use of Electra-sans, right?

The bill failed to pass in recent years, but people still haven't stopped pushing for it.
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  #60  
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

Thanks Bub, I didn't know that
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