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  #61  
Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Air Head Composting Toilet or Similar Mfg.

Here's a shot of my C-Head installed in my beat-up, ancient motor home. The only problem is that when someone rewired and re-plumbed the old beast years ago, they ran a wiring and plumbing chase across the back of the toilet stall, that holds the unit out from the wall. So the toilet seat lid doesn't lean back on its hinges far enough to touch the wall. Eventually I'll install a small shelf on the wall at a convenient height to act as a lid stop; meanwhile it hasn't been a problem. I don't normally lean back like I'm in an easy chair anyway, when I'm on the pot.\.

By the way, keep in mind that this toilet only gets used by one person. And even when I move it to the boat, it shouldn't get more than occasional weekend use by a couple. If I were plumbing for a crowd, I might go with something bigger and fancier...
...
...
Well, ratz. Apparently I don't have permission to post images yet, because I haven't made the required minimum ten posts.

Last edited by troy2000; 04-08-2013 at 12:26 AM.
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  #62  
Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Air Head Composting Toilet or Similar Mfg.

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Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Agreed on the first 2 points.

As for number 2 (your second point, not THAT number 2, well, actually yes that kind of.... oh never mind!) diarrhea will add more liquid to the solids chamber but not usually enough to cause problems. I've often wondered what I would do if I drank too much rum, or got a stomach bug or seasick and had to barf? That seems like too much liquid to compost! Luckily for me I keep the rum consumption in enough moderation, haven't got a stomach flu aboard yet and haven't gotten seasick. I guess I'd go for the kitchen sink...


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I like the idea of the composting toilets.. that but that is my question. I have Crohnes disease so watery deposits are a way of life for me. Not to get gross.. but it varies from day to day from almost normal to the worst case of the runs you can imagine.

So you can understand my wondering if a composting toilet can handle that?
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  #63  
Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Air Head Composting Toilet or Similar Mfg.

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Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
I like the idea of the composting toilets.. that but that is my question. I have Crohnes disease so watery deposits are a way of life for me. Not to get gross.. but it varies from day to day from almost normal to the worst case of the runs you can imagine.

So you can understand my wondering if a composting toilet can handle that?
I think one should. I had a bad case of something a couple of weeks ago, and was basically liquid for a couple of days. My toilet handled it just fine.

At worst, you might have to add some extra medium (peat moss, coir or whatever) on your bad days, so your toilet might neeed to be emptied a little more often.
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Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Air Head Composting Toilet or Similar Mfg.

that doesn't sound so bad. I might get the cheaper one talked about earlier for the sea sprite I am buying to give it a try
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  #65  
Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Air Head Composting Toilet or Similar Mfg.

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Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
I like the idea of the composting toilets.. that but that is my question. I have Crohnes disease so watery deposits are a way of life for me. Not to get gross.. but it varies from day to day from almost normal to the worst case of the runs you can imagine.

So you can understand my wondering if a composting toilet can handle that?
I think that the pooh powder (mentioned earlier in the thread) would be the solution if things got too wet for the compost to handle. Haven't tried it yet, but plan to get some.



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  #66  
Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Air Head Composting Toilet or Similar Mfg.

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Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
The problem is that the unit needs to be coastguard certified as a type II MSD. I asked about this with the designer of the Nature's head. Both the Nature's head and Airhead are type III, which is the same as a portapotty as far as the USCG is concerned. You can't (legally) dump the contents of a type III overboard within US waters.

Also, the Nature's head and Airhead don't compost the fecal matter to a safer level than fresh fecal matter. Mostly they store and dry it. In order to safely compost human manure it must be composted at high temperature. See also: "thermophilic composting". For further reading I HIGHLY recommend "The Humanure Handbook."

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Good points...but if I may clarify a bit...according to the Humanure Handbook, the hot composting is only required to make absolutely 100% certain that absoultely no pathogens whatsoever exist in the material. This is only required when the stuff is going on edible plants. After 12 weeks of summertime temperatures, the material should be very much compost, and quite suitable for non-edible plants. The Nature's Head and others do require secondary composting for this 12 week period, when no fresh matter is added. When I empty my Nature's Head after 6 weeks or so, only the most recent deposit or two looks anything like poop. The composting of the older matter is well underway.
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Re: Air Head Composting Toilet or Similar Mfg.

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Originally Posted by troy2000 View Post
I installed a C-Head in my motor home about four months ago, as a test run to see if it would be suitable for the boat I'm building. And it seems to me you're passing on some misinformation....

For starters, I empty my C-Head about once a month, not once a week. I get a lot more than 10 or 15 uses each time. And it most definitely isn't 'a bucket of fresh poop' I pull out. The C-Head is a desiccating toilet, which means the solids dry out rapidly. As you churn the contents after each use, you wind up with balls of material up to the size of a baseball, that mostly look and smell like plain old peat moss.

The C_Head is easy to empty, too. I just open the unit's lid, grab the bin's handle and pull it out. Then I take it outside, pop the lid off my accumulation bucket, and pour the stuff out of the container. Set it back in the toilet, add peat moss, and I'm good to go for about another month. It takes me less than five minutes, and there's none of this stuff about slipping plastic bags over the bin, then turning it upside down to empty it -- which sounds like a guaranteed recipe for a spill sooner or later, to me.


The gallon jugs work just fine. They're easier to handle than the two-gallon custom units used in the Air Head and Nature's Head -- and a whole lot cheaper. I replace them regularly anyway, so I'm not worried about how durable they are. And since I buy milk and water anyway, I have a never-ending supply of them....

If by 'looking cheap' you mean the C-Head doesn't look as fancy as the others, I suppose you're right. But it looks fine to me with its clean, simple lines. It also cost me a whole lot less; it takes up less room; it weighs less; it works fine; and I bought it so I could sit on it -- not so I could leave the door open and admire it between uses.

The hard part is going to be deciding whether to install this C-Head in my boat as planned when my build is complete, and reinstall the original toilet in my motor home, or keep this one where it is and spring for another one to install in the boat. Decisions, decisions.....

add: those 'sturdy plastic bottles' the others use last forever? Don't you believe it. I've read a couple of posts on other forums from people who said theirs started leaking, and they aren't cheap if you have to replace them -- or if you simply want a couple of spares for convenience.
Glad you like it. The main thing is that it is working for you. The emptying once a week bit comes from the builder, not me. If you are getting more out of yours, that is great. The longer you can wait before emptying, the less like poop the contents will be. My Nature's Head holds 6 weeks worth of material, with two people almost full time (not large people, mind you, and we will use a toilet ashore if the opportunity presents itself, so our success rate might be skewed a bit high). But 6 weeks! That is soooo good. The head on my boat went from being the biggest pain in the butt, after the engine, to being an almost unnoticed thing. And, I now have 30 gallons of fresh water where that holding tank used to be. (in a new tank, of course!)

Regarding leaks from the bottle...hmmm that is strange. I would think they overfilled it. The extra bottles, if you chose to buy one (I did not, no need) are $40, I think. It's nothing like a milk jug, it's quite heavy duty, and I like that. To make it leak, I think I'd need a drill or a saw. It's heavy, molded plastic (there are no seams) so there is really no way for it to leak.
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Old 04-08-2013
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Re: Air Head Composting Toilet or Similar Mfg.

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Originally Posted by richardb123 View Post
Glad you like it. The main thing is that it is working for you. The emptying once a week bit comes from the builder, not me. If you are getting more out of yours, that is great. The longer you can wait before emptying, the less like poop the contents will be. My Nature's Head holds 6 weeks worth of material, with two people almost full time (not large people, mind you, and we will use a toilet ashore if the opportunity presents itself, so our success rate might be skewed a bit high). But 6 weeks! That is soooo good. The head on my boat went from being the biggest pain in the butt, after the engine, to being an almost unnoticed thing. And, I now have 30 gallons of fresh water where that holding tank used to be. (in a new tank, of course!)

Regarding leaks from the bottle...hmmm that is strange. I would think they overfilled it. The extra bottles, if you chose to buy one (I did not, no need) are $40, I think. It's nothing like a milk jug, it's quite heavy duty, and I like that. To make it leak, I think I'd need a drill or a saw. It's heavy, molded plastic (there are no seams) so there is really no way for it to leak.
If I remember correctly, Sandy (the builder) says the unit is good for 10 or 15 uses per person if a couple is using it. Which sounds about right: a couple using one for two weeks equals a single person using it for a month. Although I could use it longer than that, if I needed to. I empty it whenever I start feeling some resistance to the paddle as I crank, but that's just a convenient signal... I'm guessing I could fill it twice as full. As easy as it is to empty, though, there's no real point in doing so.

No, the complaints about leaky urine containers were definitely because they were leaking, not because they were overfilled. I was surprised myself, when I read them. Do they have some sort of valves or slip fittings that can go bad?

Milk jugs and water jugs are also molded in one piece, you know... I've never had one leak on me in the fridge, unless it had been severely mangled before it got there. So I don't expect them to leak in the C-head either, especially since I replace them whenever I have an extra jug handy. I do so because I'm too lazy to rinse them out, not because I'm afraid they're going to fall apart on me.

I'll admit that because I'm using one-gallon jugs, I usually empty them every other day. And if two of us were using the C-Head, I'd probably empty them daily as part of my morning ritual. But all I have to do is (again), just lift the lid and grab them. Then I can either cap them for later disposal and throw a spare in, or empty them and stick them back in the toilet.

When I take to the water with my new boat, I plan to stash drinking water in a row of the same type of one gallon jugs (I won't be making any ocean passages; it's going to be a lake boat). So I don't anticipate any future shortage of urine jugs...

As far as actual composting goes, I've been doing that in my secondary collection bucket, which has a vented lid. I just dump the new batch into it, and sprinkle a little water in to get things going.

edit: oops, my bad. The owner's manual does say 10-15 uses. But I definitely get a lot more than that out of mine, with no problems.

Last edited by troy2000; 04-08-2013 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 04-08-2013
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Re: Air Head Composting Toilet or Similar Mfg.

My air head goes 60 uses, the top removes to get access to the bottom half which has handles, it can either just be dumped or where this is not possible, the sales rep pointed out the bags designed for trash compactors fit perfectly to dump it into.
The Nature's head failed miserably with the previous owner for several reasons, [1] he cleaned it out rather than just dumping it (removing all of the "starter" [2] It was used in a house with poor heating in winter [3] It was used by one man and two woman, which didn't give it time to "do it's thing".
Interestingly enough a composting head is classied the same as a "port-i-pottie", techinically it is not legal to dump it overboard, even though it is legal to pump out macerated waste.
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Old 04-08-2013
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Re: Air Head Composting Toilet or Similar Mfg.

I wonder how would sawdust work in composting toilets?
Is there a preferred ratio of poop to coconut fiber or peat moss?
Which one of the composting toilets is the smallest (best able to fit in a small boat)?
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