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Old 08-07-2017, 16:24   #1
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What Toilet?

We need to either repair, or replace our toilet.

We live aboard about two weeks a month.

I've seen people talking about composting toilets, but, I'm worried about smells, how to take care of it etc.

What would you do? Thanks in advance
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Old 08-07-2017, 16:29   #2
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Re: What Toilet??

Electric macerating head. Make your life easier.
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Old 08-07-2017, 17:01   #3
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Re: What Toilet??

Depending on what kind of head you have, some are easily repairable with readily available parts, some are not.
I started with w PHII, turned it into a "fresh head" with their kit, however I don't know how but the Wife kept partially clogging the thing, so we ended up converting it to a Sea Era I believe, and so far it has been reliable and trouble free.
My opinion, but a lot of issues go away when you flush with fresh water, have to have an ample supply of fresh water of course.
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Old 08-07-2017, 18:04   #4
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Re: What Toilet??

Raritan Marine Elegance fresh water flush would be my choice. They have a reputation for reliability and are as comfortable and easy to use as a household toilet.

I'll pass on the so called composting toilets.
I scoop five litter boxes at home for my cats. I don't need to deal with human litter boxes.
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Old 08-07-2017, 18:12   #5
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Re: What Toilet??

Composting head works great for two to three people. Simple, safe, recover lots of storage space, no smells. Much better than carrying around a tank of toxic liquified feces.
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Old 08-07-2017, 18:36   #6
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Re: What Toilet??

Lavac !

They just work. Can go many years without any service.

We are a family of 4 living aboard for the last year with no problems at all.
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Old 08-07-2017, 22:49   #7
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Re: What Toilet??

This is an excellent use case for a composting toilet.

With two weeks between trips, you can really let it finish the composting (at least enough that you can see or smell nothing resembling the original deposits, just looks like rich loamy soil).

One of the big advantages to composters is they eliminate the smell. Also they eliminate the need for maintenance and repairs. There simply is nothing to break.

With two weeks between trips, you only need to empty the solids every 2-3 months. You might get 4 months since it has so much time to break down which reduces the volume.
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Old 09-07-2017, 00:17   #8
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Re: What Toilet??

We have a Raritan PHIII and a Blake Lavac on board. I have rebuilt the pump on the Raritan twice in the past three years. No maintenance on the Blake Lavac. It is simply a diaphragm pump with big joker valves on the inlet and discharge sides. It doesn't clog or leak. For me, these are the simplest and most trouble free heads available.

Cheers!

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Old 09-07-2017, 00:33   #9
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Re: What Toilet??

Lavac, nothing to service or repair, might need a new pump or seals after 10 years or so, never clogs with the manual pump. Never read any thread about composting toilets but can't see the point with them.
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Old 09-07-2017, 20:41   #10
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Re: What Toilet??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Composting head works great for two to three people. Simple, safe, recover lots of storage space, no smells. Much better than carrying around a tank of toxic liquified feces.
Mike, you left out the bit about it fermenting! There's an old horror story of one such actually exploding. Just thanking my lucky stars I had nothing to do with that!

To the OP:

Yes, indeed, Lavac's are very trouble free, but check your local restrictions, as they may not be strictly legal in some areas.

Ann
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Old 09-07-2017, 20:56   #11
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Re: What Toilet??

Lavacs are great if you always flush overboard but they fill holding tanks very quickly with flush water. I replaced mine with a Raritan Elegance and doubled the time between pump outs.

And while I never had a clog with the Lavac, it sometimes required hard pumping when too much TP had been put in the bowl by a guest. I've never tried but I expect the Elegance would be able to swallow the sports section of the newspaper without complaint.
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Old 09-07-2017, 21:07   #12
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Re: What Toilet??

Santana 30 right? How big is your holding tank now? I went through my own head and then a friends that had issues and leaks. For me, on a small boat, it was just no good. I was done. Since your boat is smaller, you might also consider a self-contained unit, and this one, if it fits, might be a good choice.
SeaLand 711-M28 Gravity-Flush Toilet System
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Old 09-07-2017, 21:40   #13
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Re: What Toilet??

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Mike, you left out the bit about it fermenting! There's an old horror story of one such actually exploding. Just thanking my lucky stars I had nothing to do with that!

To the OP:

Yes, indeed, Lavac's are very trouble free, but check your local restrictions, as they may not be strictly legal in some areas.

Ann
Ann, just curious, why do you think a Levac would ever be illegal?
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Old 09-07-2017, 22:18   #14
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Re: What Toilet??

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Mike, you left out the bit about it fermenting! There's an old horror story of one such actually exploding. Just thanking my lucky stars I had nothing to do with that!

Ann
Please source this story for us since you are presenting it as truth.

Since composting takes place in an oxygen rich environment (aerobic decomposition), the byproducts are CO2 and water and since the goal is to provide a continuous supply of oxygen any CO2 and excess water constantly vented overboard via large diameter vent hoses. There is nothing explosive in the system and it doesn't ferment.

The nasty smells associated with sewage all come from ANaerobic decomposition (closely related to fermenting). They also often generate flammable methane as a byproduct. It's quite common for your holding tank often goes anaerobic.

Neither is likely to explode on you. There are stories of dragons and fairies but they are more probable than your exploding composting head story.

PS: Even if the head never needs repair or maintenance (yeah right), eventually the hoses either leak or the smell simply permeates them at which point you have to either live with the smell or go thru the expensive nasty process of replacing them.
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Old 09-07-2017, 22:27   #15
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Re: What Toilet??

I believe Ann was referring to a holding tank horror story, not a composting head.
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