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Old 23-01-2011, 07:33   #361
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fanless composting toilets

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Originally Posted by At sea View Post
That's interesting; a query. Have you tried a fanless one in the confines of a boat? I'd be keen to hear if the natural updraught was enough there. I note Brent S below says he still used a fan.

Second, could you expand on the last phrase: "provided the system is built to take advantage of it". Not sure what that means. Thanks.
Actually I've tried them both in boats and in a small cabin, and they work fine.

In terms of taking advantage of the biothermal updraft ( a WONderful term that I just invented ) in order to have an updraft, you also need an air intake in the toilet body somewhere, and I've found putting a few screened holes in the base of the chamber holding the container (read: the box the bucket's in) and making sure the toilet seat seals when closed (I use some adhesive foam insulation on the bottom of the lid and toilet seat to get a seal). That way air enters the bottom of the chamber and is drawn up the flu by the heat generated by the compost.

I've got some good working drawings of a similar festival toilet we built for an event, which Ill upload as soon as I can figure out how to do that :b
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Old 23-01-2011, 18:21   #362
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Actually I've tried them both in boats and in a small cabin, and they work fine...
Thanks wildshore, that all makes sense. I'll put one together for a tryout. Cheers.
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Old 27-03-2011, 10:23   #363
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Ideas for vent location for forward composting head

Hi all, In advance, I apologize for the long post! I'm looking for some thoughts on vent placement for our new composting head, and AirHead (already in hand). Since this particular thread has so much info in it in general, and many posters who are familiar with composting heads, I thought I'd add on here rather than start a new thread. I hope you don't mind.

Yesterday, we finally ripped out all the remaining parts of our original system. Just to point out some of the issues with the design, the hose from the toilet to the tank was thirteen feet long! And the other hoses were similar--all very long runs that by design have low spots. By the way, the boat interior already smells better.

Anyway, we have a 1984 Sabre 34. The head is forward just aft of the V-berth. Typical of that era. The head compartment is relatively small. There is a dorade and vent through the cabin top above, though the "outlet", while near a bulkhead, is also close to the door to the head (so a hose run might be in the way).

So we have a few options in terms of vent placement:
  • Original Holding Tank Vent - We could run the hose forward to the original location. Downsides are that this would require a hose run of about 10-11 feet towards the bow, the outlet is only 1/2" (approximately), and it could get water in it due to its placement outboard at the bow. I'm concerned about this long a run and having issues with decent airflow, plus potentially water intrusion back to the Airhead.
  • Anchor Locker - Geoff from Airhead said some have chosen this option. Still would require 10-11 run, then tank would vent into the anchor locker, which isn't air tight plus it has a drain overboard. It would be protected from water intrusion. However, my water tanks also vent here, which makes me think I should move the water tank vents--not a small job. I'd also have to make sure that the anchor locker was sealed off from the boat interior (it currently is not completely, but could be corrected).
  • Current Dorade Vent in Head - As mentioned above, the location would end up sort of "in your face" as you enter the head. It would also required replacing the cowl vent with a mushroom vent on the cabin top dorade. It would have a shorter hose run, but might be in the way.
  • New Nicro Solar Vent in Head - I could run the hose through the cabinetry in the head, under the sink, and up through the countertop to the overhead liner. I'd have to cut a new hole in the cabintop, probably right where the current light is in the head compartment (I could move it elsewhere I suppose). Downside is the hole in the countertop (water could get through, especially when showering), and the Nicro solar vent might not be as waterproof in heavier seas (though we could close it temporarily). The location of the vent in deck would be forward of the mast, just aft of the V-berth hatch, and off to one side.

I see pluses and minuses to all of these options. Some of the longer run options offer hidden hoses with no threat of water intrusion. Shorter runs offer use of existing vent, or possible new solar vent that won't require continuous use of power.

I'm not sure if I've provided enough information to give you a clear image of the options, since you're not actually looking at our boat. But perhaps you may have some thoughts on the available options here.

Any thoughts? Recommendations? For others with a head forward on a monohull, what have you done?

I appreciate any input you may have. We're moving forward no matter what. We're through with the old head system, unless for some reason we just can't make the composting head work for us.

Thanks!
-J
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Old 27-03-2011, 10:40   #364
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Re: Composting Toilets

On our Westsail 28, with the head immediately aft of the v-berth on the stbd side, I ran the vent hose almost straight up, cut a hole in the cabin top, installed the supplied computer fan (Airhead), built a dorade box over the new hole in the cabin-top and then topped it off with a Nicro solar/battery vent fan with the "exhaust" blades. Works great.

Remember that, unless you remove the hose from the toilet when emptying the compost bucket, you need to have enough vent hose to be able to set the toilet top out of the way somewhere while you attend to the bucket.

-Steve
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Old 27-03-2011, 11:13   #365
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Re: Composting Toilets

J.
We have the same head placement in our Northstar 1000. I ran the hose almost straight up to a newly installed Nicro solar vent. Works like a charm!
Philip
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Old 27-03-2011, 11:43   #366
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Re: Composting Toilets

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Originally Posted by syoder View Post
On our Westsail 28, with the head immediately aft of the v-berth on the stbd side, I ran the vent hose almost straight up, cut a hole in the cabin top, installed the supplied computer fan (Airhead), built a dorade box over the new hole in the cabin-top and then topped it off with a Nicro solar/battery vent fan with the "exhaust" blades. Works great.

Remember that, unless you remove the hose from the toilet when emptying the compost bucket, you need to have enough vent hose to be able to set the toilet top out of the way somewhere while you attend to the bucket.

-Steve
Thanks for the tips, Steve. On our boat, the toilet is outboard (facing in), so straight up is right at the edge of the cabin top, and I believe the handrail is there. So we have run a little bit towards the centerline of the boat (not all the way, just a couple feet), which is why I was thinking to run forward under the sink cabinetry, then inboard, then up through the sink countertop to the headliner.

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J.
We have the same head placement in our Northstar 1000. I ran the hose almost straight up to a newly installed Nicro solar vent. Works like a charm!
Philip
Philip, did you also build or add a dorade box, or is your Nicro solar vent just on the cabin top? Also, did you leave in the original fan, or do you just use the solar vent?

Thanks to you both!
-J
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Old 27-03-2011, 11:48   #367
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Re: Composting Toilets

The solar vent is just on the cabin top and I left the original fan in as well. Up here in the northwest sometimes you don't see the sun for a few weeks! with the original fan installed I can run the vent off the 12volt system or the solar vent.
Philip
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Old 27-03-2011, 11:56   #368
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Re: Composting Toilets

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The solar vent is just on the cabin top and I left the original fan in as well. Up here in the northwest sometimes you don't see the sun for a few weeks! with the original fan installed I can run the vent off the 12volt system or the solar vent.
Philip
Thanks Philip. Our Airhead has the fan up at the vent location--I think you might have the Nature's Head? NH wasn't an option due to size/shape for us. Still, I think both fans would be good if we go with the solar vent.
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Old 27-03-2011, 12:01   #369
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Re: Composting Toilets

Yep Natures Head
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Old 27-03-2011, 19:19   #370
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Re: Composting Toilets

As far as the fan goes, I just wired up the little computer fan installed in the toilet in addition to the solar vent. We've had some cloudy days and after 72 hours or so with no sun (in San Diego, if you can believe it) the fan dies out.

With both the solar fan and the 12v, it moves a lot of air. We can lose the 12v or have some cloudy days, and there's still air movement. If you have the capacity and install area, try wiring up both fans. Works great for us.
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Old 27-03-2011, 20:22   #371
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Re: Composting Toilets

Thanks Rebel Heart. I went back out to the boat today, and spent a good bit of time taking a look at everything from all angles again. If I go the Nicro solar vent route, then the vent will be forward of the dorade/cowl vent. That could mean odors going straight back into the boat, especially at anchor.

I'm actually leaning towards the anchor locker route at this time. The run is longer, as mentioned, but it only has one turn in it. And sealing off the anchor locker from the interior is not too tough. It was originally sealed off when the boat was built, but a small wood panel rotted, so that's why it's open. I need to correct this anyway, so incorporating the vent is doable.

I mentioned that the water tanks vent to the same locker, but I realized today that moving the vent to the head sink would actually be fairly simple. I had been thinking of rerouting to the galley sink, which would require a lot of work. But venting to the head sink might actually be doable.

Anyone know any reason not to route to the head sink to vent? I can't imagine it's any different than the galley sink, which is done on a lot of boats, but I could be wrong.

Of course, I'm still thinking through this. Nothing's final yet.
-J
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Old 27-03-2011, 20:26   #372
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Re: Composting Toilets

When I installed our Nature's Head in our Newport 30 I used the original deck pumpout hose as the vent. Made a vent cap from plastic pipe fittings that screws into the deck fitting. The original holding tank vent fitting was too small. It's still there, just plugged.

Guy
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Old 27-03-2011, 20:27   #373
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Re: Composting Toilets

Josrulz;
Our water tanks are vented to the head sink, as are all Pretoriens.

Chris
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Old 27-03-2011, 20:38   #374
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Re: Composting Toilets

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Josrulz;
Our water tanks are vented to the head sink, as are all Pretoriens.

Chris
Hi Chris, Thanks for the input. That's very helpful. Any idea what one would call the sink outlet (this is really a question for anyone)? I know what it looks like, but have no idea how to search for/obtain one.

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When I installed our Nature's Head in our Newport 30 I used the original deck pumpout hose as the vent. Made a vent cap from plastic pipe fittings that screws into the deck fitting. The original holding tank vent fitting was too small. It's still there, just plugged.

Guy
Thanks Guy. Sounds like an interesting installation. Our pump-out fitting is at the bow, as is the old holding tank vent, which we also have to plug. Not sure how we'll plug it yet.
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Old 27-03-2011, 20:41   #375
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Re: Composting Toilets

I wound up with a handful of through-hulls that are now plugged. One day I might use a couple of them for a watermaker.

Guy
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