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  #31  
Old 02-04-2014
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

We switched to a composting head after 3 years, 100+ hours, and $3000+ dollars of trying to eliminate odors from our conventional holding tank system. We finally gave up. Our tank is only 18 gallons. If we could pump it out twice a week, or install a 50 gallon tank, then I think we could have make it work. Neither is practical for us however.

As Mike often points out, the "composting" head does have a learning curve. As pointed out above, the urine separating heads are not really composting heads, but rather desiccating. Either way they are completely odor free (at least for the solids) which is the solution we were looking for.

We are only a few months into ours, but so far it is by far the best head we have had. If your wife wants to talk to my wife, just IM me and I will give you her email.
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Last edited by RainDog; 02-04-2014 at 10:14 PM.
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  #32  
Old 02-04-2014
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

Composting or dessicating...call it what you will...in my view the composting head is the way to go. I have been using my C-head for eight months. It beats my old throne and flushing piping and holding tank and pump out piping and macerator pump and three way valve and sea **** for salt water flushing and sea **** for overboard discharge and associated electrical wiring in the following ways:
- No smell
- Simplicity of use
- Simplicity of "discharge"
- Almost zero maintenance and maintenance expense
- No flooding risk (no thru hulls and sea cocks)
- Lower initial cost
- Frees up space for additional battery and storage

YMMV.
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  #33  
Old 02-04-2014
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

We installed a C-head brand dessicating toilet on our boat nearly one year ago. Our boat had overboard disharge only and we wished to become compliant with the laws, be more neighbourly when at anchor and got tired of making the morning run to shore to use facilities......
The cost of a custom holding tank that would have very little capacity led us down this road.
I find as a girl, that I have to be more mindful of my positioning than my male counterpart, and sometimes some urine does end up in the wrong place, however with the ease and frequency of emptying the C-head this has posed no real problems and a little extra peat moss will take care of it.
We have one at our land based full time living quarters as well, so are very familiar with the unit. We have had a fruit fly infestation at home and on the boat. That was not pleasant, but easily remedied on the boat, we cleaned the whole unit well and hung the poo bucket in the sea for a day,(after emptying it) no more fruit flies, at home it took longer to get rid of them, I think because we were not too interested in really scrubbing the poo bucket and we should have soaked it like we did the other.
It takes some commitment and willingness to use these separating toilets, but I am quite certain that the gross factor is alot less than a portapotti.
Regarding odors, we have not yet got around to connecting the ventilating fans on either unit as there is little to no odor from either unit. I will start to notice a bit of smell when it is time to empty the bucket.
One of the reasons we chose the C-head was for the ease of emptying it. No unbolting of the whole unit as with airhead and natures head. The trade off is that it has to happen more frequently. That becomes a matter of personal preference I think.
From my point of view this is the simplest and least problematic solution to human waste storage on board a boat, especially a smaller boat.
If you do chose to go with a "composter" I would recommend spritzing the urine diverter with a mild vinegar solution after each use, this will prevent an unsightly mineral build up on it. You can tell your guests its just like flushing!
Regards, Tanya
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  #34  
Old 02-21-2014
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

We also have a C-Head, decided on it after a tedious amount of research on all sorts of waste treatment options, and so far, after over a year and a half, are quite pleased with it. It is compact, lightweight, sturdy, requires no special carpentry or platform, and its construction is blessedly simple. It's easy to empty, easy to maintain It isn't 'gross' or unsightly, and certainly nowhere near as objectionable as sewage-permeated hoses and pumpout stations. Ugh! The learning curve for its use is no steeper than that for any other marine head. Ours doesn't have any odor at all. It is easy to use. Due to the rather shallow bowl men DO have to sit to use this gadget-- or head for the lee rail. No two ways about that. But then real sailors generally do, right? We haven't had any gnat infestation, but I should think a quick spritz with Raid, and a bit of airing out would cure that. Have also heard that a sprinkling of diatomaceous earth in the peat kills larvae. Also, perhaps using a medium other than garden-center peat might be worthwhile. Removing the containers takes all of 30 seconds, tilting up the seat, lifting the milk jug out, and, if necessary the solids container, dumping and replacing. Easy as can be. I don't understand the objection to the 'small' container. For one thing, a larger one takes up precious space, and for another, who wants to save that stuff, and why?
If you're far out at sea, it's perfectly legal to dispose of it overboard. If you're inland, dump the solid lumps into a plastic bag and pour it into a shoreside toilet, pour it onto a dedicated compost pile, or put a permanent lid on the bucket and chuck it in the nearest dumpster. Urine is as easy as screwing the lid on the disposable (free) gallon plastic jug and pouring it out at the next opportunity. So far, we arent seeing the downside of this thing, and are grateful that we won't have to fix broken mascerators, worn flapper valves, or burned-out pumps. To each his/her own!
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  #35  
Old 02-21-2014
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

"Should we do it"?

NO.

They stink.
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Old 02-21-2014
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

Well Doug, care to elaborate your experience?
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

Weren't you paying attention? These heads stink IF you insist on peeing standing up, aiming at the big hole in the back of the bowl....duh! Here's your free clue: It is the urine that smells bad, especially if mixed with the solid waste. The idea behind the so-called composting head is desiccation. If you don't get the composting/drying medium wet, I believe you will find there is no problem with odor, especially if you bother to do ordinary decent housekeeping.
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougSabbag View Post
"Should we do it"?

NO.

They stink.
The main selling point of a composting head is they do not stink. Pretty much all conventional heads stink unless you pump directly overboard. The composters have many downsides, but the lack of any odor is the reward you get for putting up with the them.
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainDog View Post
The composters have many downsides

What are those, in your view?
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

There is no reason that a holding tank and traditional head must stink. Most, however, have no idea how to properly use them and care for them.

There is no guarantee that a composter won't stink (or for that matter attract flies). Again, you must use it correctly.

Stinking is not the deciding factor.

Downside to composter?...... teaching the squeamish guest how to use it, cleaning skid marks (no water), dealing with diarrhea, how about your guest's diarrhea. I'll stop there. Traditional heads will flush these all way without you ever knowing about them.
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