Friday, August 3, 2012

Powerless Potty?

Okay, I know this is a bit "irreverent", but I thought it might set the tone for this post:)  One of the issues that I have been concerned with in learning and making emergency preparations is in the area of hygiene.  In particular...what do you do with human waste?  Well, I have learned a great deal and have different options depending upon where we happen to be. 

Let me just say that there is a family recreation property....that is very popular.  It is a rare week when someone is not there.  Knowing that, the issue of "the potty" is a significant one.  

What a view huh?  Yes, it is the little out-house.

What lies behind that door?  Let's find out!

This is the Excel Composting Toilet by Sun-Mar.  If you have never been exposed to this before, let me show you how it works.

Certainly, you have a toilet seat. See large opening?  It is part of a drum.  The opening is where.....everything goes.

This container holds Peat Moss with a 1 cup measuring cup.  If you only go "#1", you address it, clean yourself with toilet paper (and we toss the paper into a trash container).  However, if you go "#2", this is what needs to happen.  

Get a cup of Peat Moss and poor it in.

Then, just under the toilet set you pull a handle out and rotate the drum until you see the opening again.  Replace the handle back into the unit.

It may interest you to know that a ventilation pipe runs from the top of the device to the ceiling....

And up through the roof.  Now, you may ask what the 'aroma' is like. Usually, there isn't a big issue, which was a surprise to me.  However, if it gets very hot, you can have an order issue....and some flies.  That is why there is a door and additional windows (with screens)  inside to help with ventilation.

Take home points:

  • This unit can cost between $1,600 and $1,900 depending upon where you order it from.  Several sites state that they charge a $75.00 or more shipping fee.  Then you have the cost of installation.  
  • It requires no electricity for the composting, however there is an option for power for a fan...which is a significant consideration.
  • I read that the "contents" can freeze in the winter time, but I personally have not had the experience.  It could occur if the temperature gets below 55 degrees.
  • Reportedly, you need to install a 'liquid drain' for obvious reasons.
  • has to clean out the contents from time to time.  .  (I personally leave that for the menfolk).
  • I read that some folks have these in their home in one bathroom, which is something I would have not considered.  
And....the first photo on this post is of a picture that actually hangs in our little 'privy'.  It keeps things 'light' when you are doing your business.  It is certainly something to take into consideration.  It may be worth saving your pennies for!


Devora Chana said...

It is my hope to have these toilets in our lake cottage and cabin someday - as it will be (hopefully) intact enough in a bug out situation for us to live there better than we can in the city. But in the mean time I have an emergency potty set-up readyand waiting in the wings (on the side of the house) in case we have an emergency situation come up and can't use the toilet for some readon. I bought a bedside potty chair like my grandmother had at a thrift shop for $7.00. It has the bucket under the toilet seat. It is regular height, so my grandkids would be ok with it, and I could use it as well. I think we could get by with triple bagging (good old Walmart bags) with a little kitty litter in the bag. Then, after going #2 we could just tie the bags closed, replace with fresh bags and kitty litter. We would have to dig a hole to bury the bags if the situation went on for very long, but it is at least doable in town or at the cottage. It might not be the best solution, but at least I have a plan that I think we can put into action if things require it. And I will keep saving my pennies to hopefully buy one of the toilets in your article.

Anonymous said...

Generally, if the toilet is maintained and the operating instructions are followed odor and flies are not an issue. If you need any suggestions on what to do to alleviate the small issues you are having with your Sun-Mar composting toilet, please call us toll-free at 1-888-341-0782 Ext 218 and we would be happy to assist you.

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