composting toilet report - Page 22 - SailNet Community

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  #211  
Old 08-17-2010
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The head on DII is located to starboard just behind the V-berth. There is a riser where the original marine head was installed. This does increase the height of the new head but is manageable for the wife.

As for the vent, I installed a 3" Nicro Day/Night vent about 12" behind the forward hatch and routed the vent hose up the inside corner of the head. The new footprint is larger than the original head so I had to slightly turn it so it does not face directly aft.

I also ordered two liquid tanks. One is plumbed and can be connected to the original holding tank, while the other is not and is manually emptied. My thoughts for the plumbed tank was to be able to divert liquid-only waste to the holding tank via a foot pump for extended time between dumps if needed .

As the unit is waterless, we keep a diluted spray bottle of vinegar to rinse the bowl after use as it neutralizes any liquid waste odor. Other than a periodic wipe down and the occasional addition of peat, this unit has proven to be worry free....
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  #212  
Old 08-17-2010
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"Slightly gross job"

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebelheart View Post
Will do. From what I'm hearing, we're expecting "80 sanitary uses" out of the system, which I figure is somewhere in the ~1.5-2 month range for two people.

My rationale, for what it's worth:

I'm not expecting it to be a wonderful experience, but neither is changing out head plumbing and knocking deposits clean from the fittings. I'm fine with a slightly gross job once ever 60-90 days compared to an excruciatingly gross and painful job every 2-3 years.

I also have a new daughter who would never be able to flush a marine toilet for years (arm strength), and will certainly drop all kinds of things in that should never go into a marine toilet, increasing the frequency by which I'll need to clear it out.

I'm trading a bag of problems for another bag of problems, but having lived with wet systems for ~8 years, I'm ready for a new bag. I can always go back if it gets that bad; no one's chopping off his/her arm.
Reb ... it doesn't have to be even "slightly" gross. If you want the "deluxe" setup, get an extra bottom to the unit and rig it up with the air vent.Set it aside when filled let it compost for another couple of months = DIRT!! Not gross at all.

With only a single unit: I just emptied mine for the first time a few weeks ago.
It had about - shall we say - 35 man/days of deposits. It sat for two weeks idle before I emptied ... absolutely NOT GROSS ... smelled like damp soil even though it's not truly composted enough.

I still do a nose-check on mine once in a while ... open the trap door and take a whiff ... even as close as an hour after a depsoit and I still smell nothing.

An Old Salt down the docks from me goes so far as putting his TP into a ziplock bag instead of the head. Don't know if this method is for everyone, but the TP degrades slower in the head than other deposits ... and TP is a good percentage of the volume of stuff considering the other "stuff" is a good percentage water ....
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  #213  
Old 10-05-2010
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After much detailed measuring of my head compartment, I've come to the disappointing conclusion that there's no way the Nature's Head would fit comfortably. The Air Head is even worse as would be any self-built solution I could make with an Ecovita Privy Kit.

The problem is that the side of the head compartment steps up about 9" to a flat platform on which the existing traditional head sits and then follows the slope of the hull up behind that. That works well with the existing toilet that's bowl shaped and only 13" high (putting the seat at a still high but manageable 22" above the floor). To accommodate the Nature's Head, the unit would stick farther out into the compartment and would put the top of the seat at an uncomfortable 30" above the floor! I could use a stool, but with less than 6 feet of headroom in the head, that's not a very realistic solution.

Seeing how many boats have stepped and/or sloped toilet platforms, I'm surprised the marine composting toilet makers have not done more to address both the bulk and the height of their products. It might be time to introduce "lite" versions that trade off some solid waste capacity for a smaller footprint.
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  #214  
Old 10-05-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4arch View Post
Seeing how many boats have stepped and/or sloped toilet platforms, I'm surprised the marine composting toilet makers have not done more to address both the bulk and the height of their products. It might be time to introduce "lite" versions that trade off some solid waste capacity for a smaller footprint.
Same issue that stopped me. The height of the Airhead pushed the user's head and neck into a protruding bulkhead that was out of play with a regular marine toilet. Would love to see a "squatter" version.
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Old 10-06-2010
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The Nature's Head and the Air Head will both be at the Annapolis Boat Show. I think I am going to voice my concerns and see what kind of feedback I get. Surely the companies must be aware of the issue.
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Old 10-06-2010
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Originally Posted by genieskip View Post
...So this is what my experience has been after one season. I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination but if asked if I would do it again on my next boat (if there is a next boat), I would say yes.
Just a quick note to say "Thank you!" for a great post.

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  #217  
Old 10-09-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4arch View Post
The Nature's Head and the Air Head will both be at the Annapolis Boat Show. I think I am going to voice my concerns and see what kind of feedback I get. Surely the companies must be aware of the issue.
Any feedback on the "squatter version"?
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  #218  
Old 10-09-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmendoza View Post
Just a quick note to say "Thank you!" for a great post.

Carlos & Maria
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Glad to help. Going into my third season with the AirHead and still loving it. Beats the plumbing version in just about every way. Yes, it is a bit high and when I sit I sometimes feel like I'm back in kindergarten and my feet didn't reach the floor, but I can put up with that.
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  #219  
Old 10-09-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Genieskip,

Thank you very much for taking the time to "compose" that outstanding write-up. That is hands down the most informative piece I've ever read on composting toilets. I'm sure anyone considering one of these units will find this very helpful.

Interesting pros and cons. I'm someone that has never had any real issues with conventional marine toilets (except holding tank capacity with our family 0f 5 ), so I tend to view composting toilets as a solution in search of a problem. When it comes to bathroom functions, I prefer the "fire-and-forget" approach, whereas the composters seem to require a "man-in-the-loop". Reminds me too much of changing diapers. Been there, don't ever want to go back.

But I'm sure one burst holding tank could convert me...
Well, John, that's the way way I felt about diapers till I became a granddad a couple of months ago and now all I can say is - been there, and glad to be back!
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  #220  
Old 10-09-2010
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My first season with the NatureHead. I love the thing so far. I keep the boat on a mooring, aligned with wind. I didn't connect electric fan, but I put small air intake (shell type) and routed it into toilet. No odor at all, my boat finally smells fresh. Albeit usage is light, weekends only. The thing is high, throne like, but I got used to it.
I just wonder how often new users open the trap door, put their face next to it, sniff it and smile? I do it regularly
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