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Old 02-01-2016, 12:08   #16
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Re: "Alternative" marine toilet installation?

I have used an old and tried system during the early stages of building my house; an outhouse. They work fine for awhile, need no pumping and if you dig a new hole and move the "house" over the new hole, you're good to for awhile longer. Other experience I've had with outhouses are short term use during the summer which meant years of use. Eventually I built a proper septic system
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:28   #17
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Re: "Alternative" marine toilet installation?

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Originally Posted by mohave_steve View Post
Hey Everyone,

I know that this is a bit out in left field for the Cruisers Forum but I don't know anywhere else I can find the wealth of knowledge available here.

I have a mountain cabin of sorts. It started out as a 36' travel trailer and "grew roots" on our mountain property. We have built a nice covered deck and made it quite comfortable.

We collect rainwater for our water supply and drain waste from our RV tanks into a large holding tank. We have the "Porta-Potty" folks come up 3-4 times a year to pump out the storage tank.

This works great for short stays. I have the unfortunate task of attaching the macerator pump and pumping the tanks one time before we leave. No big deal.

Now that we are staying longer (5-6months) I have to pump the black tank once a week.

Now my 14 year old toilet is beginning to have issues that require seal replacement. Sorry... I am not going to tear that thing apart... I think replacement is a far cleaner option.

That got me considering the option of replacing our RV toilet that dumps into the small tank with a marine toilet and plumbing it directly into the large tank. That would eliminate my weekly fun and likely keep the head smelling a bit nicer in warm weather.

What are the potential downsides to using an electric or a manual marine toilet in this application?

How long of a horizontal waste plumbing run is practical?

How much rise in the waste plumbing will they tolerate?

I have pressure water. Will that be an issue?

Thanks!!

You will need a vented loop in the discharge to prevent odour from the tank. A Marine Head is a positive displacement Pump, so theoretically it raise effluent 20.5ft at a 2,000 ft elevation, no more than 26 feet at sea level. Doubt you need this much; however, the discharge line should be self draining after the vented loop.
Water supply normally operates under vacuum through a small plastic ball that seats automatically when flushing. Positive pressure from the supply would keep the ball open providing continuous flushing that you don't want. I suggest a simple on/off valve in the supply line to be opened to fill the bowl for flushing. The Head itself has a two position valve for flush/discharge that you will probably find not needed, leaving it permantly on discharge.
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:55   #18
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Re: "Alternative" marine toilet installation?

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You will need a vented loop in the discharge to prevent odour from the tank. A Marine Head is a positive displacement Pump, so theoretically it raise effluent 20.5ft at a 2,000 ft elevation, no more than 26 feet at sea level. Doubt you need this much; however, the discharge line should be self draining after the vented loop.
Water supply normally operates under vacuum through a small plastic ball that seats automatically when flushing. Positive pressure from the supply would keep the ball open providing continuous flushing that you don't want. I suggest a simple on/off valve in the supply line to be opened to fill the bowl for flushing. The Head itself has a two position valve for flush/discharge that you will probably find not needed, leaving it permantly on discharge.

I answered your request as asked. I have owned many homes with septic tanks, both cottages in the bush and houses on acreage, am also a yachtsman for over 50 years and there are maintenance issues with both systems when used frequently. You will have issues relating to the marine head and with the land tank and personally believe you should simplify and eliminate one set of issues. Posts here give you many options. Good luck.
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Old 02-01-2016, 13:33   #19
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Re: "Alternative" marine toilet installation?

Regarding composting toilets, do yourself a favor and perform a simple test. One small bag of Sphagnum peat moss and a 5 gallon plastic bucket. No seat, nothing but the bucket. Total investment of $20. Fill the bucket 1/4-1/3 with peat. deposit only solid waste in same, cover with a layer of peat [just like a cat in a litterbox], and if you are not amazed by the result, then proceed with whatever other option you decide. Watch some YouTube videos...
I did just that and could not believe the results. It takes a little bit of re-thinking of preconceived notions, but what an amazing alternative to complicated plumbing systems.

Seriously...
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Old 02-01-2016, 14:09   #20
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Re: "Alternative" marine toilet installation?

check out incinolet commodes it all gets burned up and no plumbing except for a vent and the propane
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Old 02-01-2016, 16:29   #21
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Re: "Alternative" marine toilet installation?

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Regarding composting toilets, do yourself a favor and perform a simple test. One small bag of Sphagnum peat moss and a 5 gallon plastic bucket. No seat, nothing but the bucket. Total investment of $20. Fill the bucket 1/4-1/3 with peat. deposit only solid waste in same, cover with a layer of peat [just like a cat in a litterbox], and if you are not amazed by the result, then proceed with whatever other option you decide. Watch some YouTube videos...
I did just that and could not believe the results. It takes a little bit of re-thinking of preconceived notions, but what an amazing alternative to complicated plumbing systems.

Seriously...
Good post. Composting heads are so simple & functional I'm not sure why it's even an issue.
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Old 02-01-2016, 17:19   #22
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Re: "Alternative" marine toilet installation?

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Good post. Composting heads are so simple & functional I'm not sure why it's even an issue.
Amazing, isn't it? I'm an old dog, and have been around a long time...thought I'd seen everything. I kept reading so many positive comments here on CF, that I decided to give it a try just to satisfy my belief that nothing could be so simple and actually work. I simply could not believe what my eyes [and nose] were telling me. I am now a true believer!
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Old 02-01-2016, 19:11   #23
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Re: "Alternative" marine toilet installation?

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Amazing, isn't it? I'm an old dog, and have been around a long time...thought I'd seen everything. I kept reading so many positive comments here on CF, that I decided to give it a try just to satisfy my belief that nothing could be so simple and actually work. I simply could not believe what my eyes [and nose] were telling me. I am now a true believer!
Well, here is another vote. Looking into the financial aspect of this post, the OP might consider the cost of a new septic system, which I reckon would be at least $2000. or more.
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Old 02-01-2016, 22:25   #24
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Re: "Alternative" marine toilet installation?

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I have read this before, but this has not been our experience. If you add water as needed, to keep the system moist, it does turn to compost.
I expect this is true, but unless you need the compost, why would you want to? Acting as a dehydrator keeps things way simple.

Another vote for C- Head. Could not get any more simple or effective IMHO.
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Old 02-01-2016, 22:52   #25
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Re: "Alternative" marine toilet installation?

If you have power, an Incinolet works good. No pumps, plumbing, waste. Just a plastic pipe vent to the outside. You put in a paper liner, do your business, flush (liner drops into burn chamber). At my dock, it costs about 7 a flush. Solo I empty the ash about once a week. Just a light grey ash, no smell. Even the burn smell, should you get a whiff, doesn't smell like sewage. Women's products, too much paper are not problems. Everything just burns.
I have one marine toilet, too. City women are forever plugging it with paper and other things. When the pump goes out, it's a nasty job.
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Old 03-01-2016, 05:15   #26
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Re: "Alternative" marine toilet installation?

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If you have power, an Incinolet works good. No pumps, plumbing, waste. Just a plastic pipe vent to the outside. You put in a paper liner, do your business, flush (liner drops into burn chamber). At my dock, it costs about 7 a flush. Solo I empty the ash about once a week. Just a light grey ash, no smell. Even the burn smell, should you get a whiff, doesn't smell like sewage. Women's products, too much paper are not problems. Everything just burns.
I have one marine toilet, too. City women are forever plugging it with paper and other things. When the pump goes out, it's a nasty job.
Do you only use it at the dock or do you run it on an inverter or generator? Looks like they only have an AC unit. Sounds like it would pull a lot of juice. Pretty expensive at a couple of grand but looks like it's well made.
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:57   #27
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Re: "Alternative" marine toilet installation?

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Originally Posted by morven55 View Post
Regarding composting toilets, do yourself a favor and perform a simple test. One small bag of Sphagnum peat moss and a 5 gallon plastic bucket. No seat, nothing but the bucket. Total investment of $20. Fill the bucket 1/4-1/3 with peat. deposit only solid waste in same, cover with a layer of peat [just like a cat in a litterbox], and if you are not amazed by the result, then proceed with whatever other option you decide. Watch some YouTube videos...
I did just that and could not believe the results. It takes a little bit of re-thinking of preconceived notions, but what an amazing alternative to complicated plumbing systems.

Seriously...
Per my earlier post: I have extensively researched and I do intend to try out a composting toilet when the weather gets warmer.

What I am not going to do is replace my one and only toilet with a composting toilet until I know that the Admiral will be comfortable with it. Nor am I going to ask her to walk through the snow to use an outhouse.
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:07   #28
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Re: "Alternative" marine toilet installation?

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Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
If you have power, an Incinolet works good. No pumps, plumbing, waste. Just a plastic pipe vent to the outside. You put in a paper liner, do your business, flush (liner drops into burn chamber). At my dock, it costs about 7 a flush. Solo I empty the ash about once a week. Just a light grey ash, no smell. Even the burn smell, should you get a whiff, doesn't smell like sewage. Women's products, too much paper are not problems. Everything just burns.
I have one marine toilet, too. City women are forever plugging it with paper and other things. When the pump goes out, it's a nasty job.
My neighbor has one and I have used it and talked with her about her experience. I did consider it but the only unit that will fit my application would require an extensive alteration to the existing plumbing to install. Total cost: $2500-$3000. A bit beyond my budget for a toilet at this point

I have had my share of macerator pump repairs due to "inappropriate" materials. Definitely a job I would not wish on anyone.
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:25   #29
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Re: "Alternative" marine toilet installation?

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I answered your request as asked. I have owned many homes with septic tanks, both cottages in the bush and houses on acreage, am also a yachtsman for over 50 years and there are maintenance issues with both systems when used frequently. You will have issues relating to the marine head and with the land tank and personally believe you should simplify and eliminate one set of issues. Posts here give you many options. Good luck.
Thank you.

I will only have about 4' of vertical rise and about 25' of horizontal run. So it should be fine.

When you say "eliminate one set of issues" I am not sure what you mean?

I am looking to simplify my current setup by eliminating one tank and the weekly process of transferring the contents of that tank to the large tank.

As to other options mentioned, I cannot install a septic system and am not quite ready to try the composting route. If I had two bathrooms in heated space I would gladly give one of them over to a "test drive" but with only one toilet it is not an option.

Good thoughts but, unfortunately, ones that I have already considered and discarded or postponed.

Thanks again for the info on the marine toilets.
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Old 03-01-2016, 15:46   #30
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Re: "Alternative" marine toilet installation?

After extensive cruising with standard head,I switched to composting toilet. Wish I'd changed 25 years ago. No more smells, inconvenient pump outs, maze of hoses and valves. What an improvement. Recommend that you check it out.
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