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Old 20-02-2016, 17:17   #31
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Re: Composting Toilets - Tell All

Before I decide which one to order, how do I tell if it is the right stuff?

Worm Factory or Beats Peat? Is Coir all the same stuff? Silly question, I realize, but I don't have much experience with palm trees or coco-nuts.

Edit: I re-read wakefield post and Beats Peat is the right consistency.
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Old 20-02-2016, 17:29   #32
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Re: Composting Toilets - Tell All

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According to my reading of Marpol it is unlawful to dump ANY untreated sewage into territorial waters (3mile limit). CFR 140.3 defines as sewage as, "human body wastes and the waste from toilet and other receptacles intended to receive or retain body waste. From everything I can read of the CFR it is just as illegal to dump urine as it is to dump feces regardless of the actual ecological impact.
In all honesty I have never heard of anyone being prosecuted for peeing in the ocean, or even the navigable waters of the US or Canada...whereas dumping solid waste is virtually a capital offense.
I don't spend much time in marinas, and would certainly never consider putting anything into the water in a populated area like that, but really don't have any issue with introducing a little urine into the water "out there".
If I had any concern at all it would be that urine may [possibly] kill "good" bacteria, but considering dilution, it is hardly a factor.
Just an opinion...
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Old 20-02-2016, 17:57   #33
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Re: Composting Toilets - Tell All

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Question, as I am not an internet wizard by a long shot. This forum gets a lot of repeat questions, (mono-hull versus Multi-hull) (composting heads), and a couple of others.
When I saw this thread pop up, I wondered if I should spend my time reading it since I already knew the answers and who was going to say what.

I am glad I DID read the discussion because, while I knew much of what has been discussed, I learned something new...

Liquid laundry bottles have a secondary use.

Later,
Dan
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Old 20-02-2016, 18:52   #34
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Re: Composting Toilets - Tell All

You might want to steer clear of coco-nuts or even coco puffs.

I have never seen coconut coir offered in finely chopped or whatever. Just comes in a brick that when fully expanded is 12-13 times bigger than the brick.

I make a bricks worth and let it air dry, (remember that 2-3 cups of water to get it expanded in the firs place), then store it until needed with it's container lid a little loose to allow continued drying.
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Old 20-02-2016, 18:57   #35
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Re: Composting Toilets - Tell All

CocoTek is great. I use very little water to reconstitute. Patience is a good thing here. To turn bricks into very very dry peat use very little water in gallon zip lock bags, about 2-3 tablespoons for these 1" thick 8x10ish bricks. Make sure there is a good air pocket in the ziplock baggy. Can take up to 24 hours to get it in soil form but it will be bone dry. Should be able to break it up into smaller and smaller chunks as the coir/peat reconstitutes. Bone dry peat is essential in desiccation, which is what your dry head is doing.
Hope that helps.
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Old 20-02-2016, 19:19   #36
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Re: Composting Toilets - Tell All

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You might want to steer clear of coco-nuts or even coco puffs.

I have never seen coconut coir offered in finely chopped or whatever. Just comes in a brick that when fully expanded is 12-13 times bigger than the brick.

I make a bricks worth and let it air dry, (remember that 2-3 cups of water to get it expanded in the firs place), then store it until needed with it's container lid a little loose to allow continued drying.
I spend so much time fighting with the intuitive spell check on my Macbook that I must have lost my head...but on the other hand could we safely say that coco-nuts are folks that use Coir rather than peat in their desiccating heads?
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Old 20-02-2016, 19:22   #37
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Re: Composting Toilets - Tell All

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CocoTek is great. I use very little water to reconstitute. Patience is a good thing here. To turn bricks into very very dry peat use very little water in gallon zip lock bags, about 2-3 tablespoons for these 1" thick 8x10ish bricks. Make sure there is a good air pocket in the ziplock baggy. Can take up to 24 hours to get it in soil form but it will be bone dry. Should be able to break it up into smaller and smaller chunks as the coir/peat reconstitutes. Bone dry peat is essential in desiccation, which is what your dry head is doing.
Hope that helps.
Erika
Good info...while patience has never been one of my virtues, I will at least know what to expect with the Coir. The best part is how little room the unreconstituted Coir takes up!
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Old 20-02-2016, 22:00   #38
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Re: Composting Toilets - Tell All

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Originally Posted by Ocean Girl View Post
CocoTek is great. I use very little water to reconstitute. Patience is a good thing here. To turn bricks into very very dry peat use very little water in gallon zip lock bags, about 2-3 tablespoons for these 1" thick 8x10ish bricks. Make sure there is a good air pocket in the ziplock baggy. Can take up to 24 hours to get it in soil form but it will be bone dry. Should be able to break it up into smaller and smaller chunks as the coir/peat reconstitutes. Bone dry peat is essential in desiccation, which is what your dry head is doing.
Hope that helps.
Erika
This is what I do as well. I first started by adding a lot more water. But this produced material that was already fairly moist. It's easy to handle, but then doesn't absorb as much moisture in the composting/dessicating process.

I add as little water as possible, let it soak in a sealed bag in the sun for a while (sorry morven55 ) and then mechanically rip the blocks apart using a knife to wedge the blocks apart. I then add about 1/2 the block into the head to start, and about 1/2-way into the process (about 2-3 weeks) we start adding small amounts after every deposit.

Using this approach we manage to get at least 5 weeks out of each cycle; usually longer.
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Old 20-02-2016, 23:56   #39
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Re: Composting Toilets - Tell All

I have had an AH since their first. The company has even sent out a few better quality components to me years later .... free. Source of compost is rotted wood at the base of old trees or trunks which has worked very well and scented as a stroll through a British Columbia rainforest. If similar turf for you....give that a try.
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Old 21-02-2016, 05:46   #40
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Re: Composting Toilets - Tell All

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Great info Mike...I had no idea that it is possible to store six months of "kitty litter" in that small a space. The Peat I use takes up much more space [2.2 cu. ft/62L] and lasts about 2 1/2 months...it might just be practical to have Coir shipped if such a small volume produces a six mo. supply. Maximum use of space is always an issue. Although the part about putting it in the sun might be a problem in this part of the world! Maybe I could just set it out on deck for a bit and let the fog/rain/drizzle/humidity/gloom do the hydration?! LOL!
If you have a micro wave, add the water and heat it until warm and let it sit. (Or perhaps add hot water to start it off) Takes just a few minutes to heat up. I don't try and hydrate and use the same day. I usually keep a hydrated batch on standby in a plastic bag.
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Old 21-02-2016, 07:26   #41
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Re: Composting Toilets - Tell All

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I like the C-Head. It obviously works as well as the other brands, and most DIY versions. I probably would have gone with CH over our Nature's Head. The price is about 1/2, and they use standard bottles for urine (not the proprietary ones used by NH and AH).

The key stroke against CH for me is/was the smaller holding tank. NH's (and AH) holding tank is about twice the size of CH. This means I can go twice as long between dumps. I like this, but if this is not important to you, then CH is probably a better deal. We get at least five weeks, and have gone as long as seven, with just the two of us on board full-time.

BTW, there's not much complexity with AH or NH. They should be vented, but I just ran it through the existing deck cap for the old holding tank's pump out. Wiring for the fan is as basic as it comes, and it hardly registers as a draw on my Victron amp meter.

morven55, the issue with peat isn't so much that it gets returned to nature quickly. It's that it takes nature a long time to create peat. It accumulates at the rate of a few millimetres per year, so a peat bog can take many decades to hundreds of years to grow to harvestable size.

Coir, on the other hand, is plentiful and quickly renewable. Best of all, it is already considered a waste product in the coconut business, so using coir actually turns waste into something useful. And as a final benefit, coir appears to be less succeptible to bug infestations that sometimes plague composting heads. People who've reported bug problems often trace it to the peat.
Hi Mike,
Just curious what kind of fitting you used to keep water out of your vent?
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Old 21-02-2016, 09:02   #42
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Re: Composting Toilets - Tell All

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Hi Mike,
Just curious what kind of fitting you used to keep water out of your vent?
I installed a simple mushroom vent on the deck. If we are headed into some green seas I simply screw the mushroom down to keep the slosh out. So far so good.
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Old 21-02-2016, 10:15   #43
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Re: Composting Toilets - Tell All

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I installed a simple mushroom vent on the deck. If we are headed into some green seas I simply screw the mushroom down to keep the slosh out. So far so good.
I thought that made the most sense. If I need to install a vent that's the way I'll go.
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Old 21-02-2016, 11:09   #44
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Re: Composting Toilets - Tell All

We have an AirHead in the forward area and a DIY in the aft quarters. You know the price of the AH, price for the DIY was US$126 for the separating toilet seat and $16 for two computer fans and then you could add a few incidental dollars for wood etc. (which we had lying around anyway), we're using old milk jug or whatever fits for urine.

We are just beginning the comparison/experiment today. If it doesn't work for any reason we will order another AirHead, but I'll let you know in a month or two what the consensus is.

Great leads on the coir. We ordered 3 TINY bricks for $11 from Depot and were feeling ripped off - knowledge is power!
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Old 01-03-2016, 19:21   #45
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Re: Composting Toilets - Tell All

There is actually an economic benefit to switching to a composting toilet in pumpout cost savings. In our area, the AirHead pays for itself in only 2 years--you teally can't go wrong. It's almost a "no brainer"!

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