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post #11 of 19 Old 01-03-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Orientation for Composting Head?

SVTatia -
Right, thats exactly what I was thinking about. Does anyone else wit experience using the Nature's Head have any ideas about whether or not the "pee trap" will function as designed if the boat is heeled?
Thanks all! I've never been so excited to install a toilet before
g
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post #12 of 19 Old 01-03-2013
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Re: Orientation for Composting Head?

So, this is probably more than you want to know, but, here goes. Everyone pees sitting down on Zephyr, which helps ensure that urine goes directly into the pee holes. If a little goes into the barrel, no biggie. As long as you're not drenching the peat, it won't really have an effect anyway. But, having everyone sit down seems to work well for us.

Also, at the end of a sailing day, I'll usually empty a little water down the pee holes just to make sure the urine is "flushed". Then I wipe out the bowl with a clorox wipe. Easy easy.

As for comparisons with a marine portipotti... We had a normal marine head before, and you can read the horror that I found when I tore that thing out. I was always disgusted by that thing. The composting head is very clean, and very easy to maintain. It never seems "gross" to me.

** Edit: I wanted to also add that getting rid of the sanitation hoses and ripping out the holding tank really helped clean up the air in the boat too.

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Last edited by jslade8581; 01-03-2013 at 01:56 PM. Reason: Adding more information about clean air!
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post #13 of 19 Old 01-03-2013
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Re: Orientation for Composting Head?

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Originally Posted by Lake Superior Sailor View Post
So what makes the Porta-Potty disgusting,and you think a new Composting Head won't be? Isn't that up to operator error? ........Dale
Well to start with the Porta-Potty is a wet mix of urine and feces along with a "deodorant" liquid that is just about equally gross. A composting Head that is operating correctly will have almost odor, and certainly less messy than emptying a Porta-Potty for sure. The thought carrying a sloshing Porta-Potty is scarey thought to me. While the bucket from a dry composter will be like a bucket of dirt especially if it has not been just freshly used, but even if it has if it is well turned in it will not be like there is a fresh pile on top. The bottle of liquid waste has a nice screw on top to make the trip up the dock pretty worry free. Also dumping a Porta-Potty (and most marinas I have been to explicitly do not allow you to dump them in the bathrooms) is a very delicate process, don't want to spill that all over.

So the big difference is the separation of liquid from solid. While I agree that a freshly used one is not really composted yet, it is still quite biodegradable so I have no issue with throwing it in a dumpster in a bag. Heck I looked at using a composting toilet system in a house I was looking at as it was very cheap due to the fact that it had a failed septic tank and no room on the property to put a proper septic tank and leach field. The house was located right on the river, so it was closely environmentally watched. But I was looking at one that dries the liquids out and dumps into a larger centralized collection container.

Last edited by miatapaul; 01-03-2013 at 02:09 PM.
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post #14 of 19 Old 01-03-2013
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Re: Orientation for Composting Head?

Yes, But; you still have to clean the area, so if it's disgusting it would be (Operator error!).......Dale

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post #15 of 19 Old 01-03-2013
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Re: Orientation for Composting Head?

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Originally Posted by sfbaysailing View Post
SVTatia -
Right, thats exactly what I was thinking about. Does anyone else wit experience using the Nature's Head have any ideas about whether or not the "pee trap" will function as designed if the boat is heeled?
Thanks all! I've never been so excited to install a toilet before
g
Lots of information but we are still unclear about what was asked in the OP - can anyone that has the composting head help with the orientation question from an usability standpoint when heeled?

Last edited by SVTatia; 01-03-2013 at 03:28 PM.
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Re: Orientation for Composting Head?

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Originally Posted by SVTatia View Post
Lots of information but we are still unclear about what was asked in the OP - can anyone that has the composting head help with the orientation question from an usability standpoint when heeled?
If it faces athwartships , when heeled one way you are on your back. When heeled the other way you are face down, trying to avoid sliding off the thing.
Facing fore and aft , heeled either way, you have a little extra weight on one shoulder or the other; far more comfortable.

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post #17 of 19 Old 01-04-2013
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Re: Orientation for Composting Head?

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Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
.... Facing fore and aft , heeled either way, you have a little extra weight on one shoulder or the other; far more comfortable.
I guess this was the point I was trying to make earlier. Whichever setup on a particular boat allows you to best brace yourself, is probably the answer.

Assume, however, that the head is in the middle of the salon. That's not really a stretch on some small boats, where it is under a v-berth cushion, with nothing around you to brace. I think athwartships is probably the best option with zero bracing.

I just hate using the head when heavily heeled, period. It's the most likely thing to get me nauseous. I love being down below underway, especially seeing green water go past the port lights. However, enter the head and I'm on a timer........ weird.


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post #18 of 19 Old 01-05-2013
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Re: Orientation for Composting Head?

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Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
If it faces athwartships , when heeled one way you are on your back. When heeled the other way you are face down, trying to avoid sliding off the thing...
Thank you Brent, but I have used a NORMAL head underway more than I care to admit and I know exactly how it feels. I am however, referring to a COMPOSTING HEAD where liquids are supposed to go one way and solids another. Things change at an angle of heel that could influence its operation, therefore, pee could end up in the bucket, a thing you try to avoid. I am just trying to understand if a COMPOSTING HEAD facing athwartships would cause any issues. I think the question in the OP refers to this issue, not about ergonomics.
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post #19 of 19 Old 01-05-2013
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Re: Orientation for Composting Head?

It seems to me that with the complaints of the Nature's Head not completely separating the liquid from the solid because the lip is not high enough, then it seems the for/aft or aft/for orientation should have less effect as the motion would mostly be side to side, not shifting the liquid to the solids collection as much. Have you thought to ask the manufacturer, it may not be worth rearranging the head over it as I can't think of many heads that would allow for much modification without major work as it is normally pretty tight.
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