Electric toilet modification

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by Frosty, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    Location: California

    troy2000 Senior Member

    I did a lot of reading on the internet before buying a C-Head composting toilet for the boat I'm preparing to build (just ordered it last night, as a matter of fact). And a lot of people seem to be pretty happy with composting toilets aboard for singles or couples. But from what I remember seeing on various forums, I think 7 users would probably overwhelm the Nature's Head or Air Head toilets -- much less the smaller C-Head....
     
  2. MikeJohns
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    Location: Australia

    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Troy
    I can enough pax aboard at times to quite literally swamp a composting loo. But I could have one for just two of us aboard in long term anchorages. And another standard flush for the crowds.

    Looking at the links for the Natures head it looks like a nice setup.
    I wonder how clean do they stay and how much washing water do they tolerate ? If you have a bad case of the 'runs' you even have to scrub a flushing bowl and it might not be a pretty sight inside that container.
     
  3. Yobarnacle
    Joined: Nov 2011
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    Location: Mexico, Florida

    Yobarnacle Senior Member

    I considered a composting head.
    You have to have a supply peat moss or wood chips to scatter over the feces. On smaller vessels, this means more bulk supplies to stow. Composting toilets use a small vent fan and a heater to dry the effluent. Battery drain. Also, they separate the urine from the solids, so the urine bottle needs frequent dumping. Kinda like a porta potty.

    The best in my estimation, is the tried and true marine head and holding tank, with a lockable Y valve and pump to dischage overboard where legal.

    Good ventilation to holding tank eliminates odor.
    Don't put oil in your toilet, as some recommend.
    Aerobic bacteria doesn't cause stink.
    Seal the holding tank contents with an oil film, and you only have anaerobic bacteria, which creates the foul odor.
     
  4. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    Location: California

    troy2000 Senior Member

    I gather they stay pretty clean on the visible parts, because the solids drop through an open trap. Then you close the trap. If the solids in the bin get too soggy, you just add more medium -- peat moss or coir. I suppose if you got wildly inaccurate, you might have a clean-up job on your hands... but that's true of any toilet.

    Some people recommend keeping a spritz bottle of vinegar or something handy, and giving the urine catcher a quick shot after each use. I've also read that a spoonful of sugar in the urine bottle helps keep odor down.

    I'll probably pull the flush toilet in my motor home and install the C-Head toilet instead, when it arrives. Nothing like a good field test before it goes into the boat...

    I chose the C-Head because it's smaller overall than the Nature's Head or Air Head, and definitely has a smaller footprint. I also like the fact that you dump the results into a 5 gallon bucket to get rid of them, instead of having to carry the toilet's bin ashore or turn it upside down into a plastic bag.

    Of course, it's also about half the price. And the smaller size shouldn't be a problem; I believe I'll rarely have more than myself and one other person aboard at any given time.
     
  5. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    Location: California

    troy2000 Senior Member

    Since the Nature's Head, Air Head and C-head toilets separate the solids from the urine, they don't need to dry anything and shouldn't require a heater -- unless your loo regularly drops below freezing. Ain't gonna happen on the desert lakes I plan to be roaming.:)

    If you feel you need a vent fan, a small day/night solar fan is plenty big enough for the C-head, and probably for the other two also.

    Coconut coir comes in highly compressed bricks. A stash of it would take up considerably less space than the typical holding tank does.

    You're right about the urine bottle; I'll deal with it. It helps that the C-Head uses standard one-gallon plastic jugs, so you can store a couple of full ones for a bit if you need to. And you don't need to pay $40.00+ for each spare...

    Remember that I'm not going blue water cruising in my boat; I intend to putt around some inland lakes for a few days at a time max. Then I'll trailer it back. Unless the wife throws me out for building it, of course; in which case I may want to finish it in a hurry.

    sorry folks, didn't mean to hijack the thread and turn it into one about composting toilets. I'll let the forum know what I think of the C-Head, after I've had it in my motor home for a while.
     

  6. Yobarnacle
    Joined: Nov 2011
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    Location: Mexico, Florida

    Yobarnacle Senior Member

    I liked the idea of the composting head, untill I researched it and thought out the problems.

    Enjoy your C-head.

    :)

    It's not legal to discharge in port in US waters anywhere in US.

    BUT

    You can pee (but not crap) directly over the side. That's legal, just as long as you don't expose yourself to others. :)

    Hmmm, a live bait well in the head?
     
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