Hello! Welcome back! Hope you had a great Monday! Mine was productive, which is always a great way to start the week. =)
As promised today is the second part of the composting toilet issue. As I mentioned yesterday the composting toilet, while a good choice for sustainability, is a bit too much maintenance for me at this point since I do have the option to connect to the septic system. When I go off grid in the future this will be the perfect situation.
I use this website called Thumbtack.com to get contractors or others to do little projects on my house. When I go through the bigger companies (think plumbers, electricians, etc) my projects are a little too small and “below” them (ok not worth their time per money ratio) so they usually don’t want to work on my house. I get it! I’m a little house with little problems and I can’t blame them for wanting the bigger and more $$$ projects. Anyways, I’ve had success with finding random contractors on thumbtack when I was first getting things set. I used that service last week to find a plumber who would come out and give me an estimate to drill a sewage line and install an RV toilet. Yup, I decided to go with one of these guys…
I tried out one of these bad boys at a friends tailgate a few weeks ago and it’s kind of an upgrade from a composting toilet – that starting the idea in my head. Anyways, I had a meeting scheduled with a plumber for Saturday afternoon and the plumber had to cancel. Sidenote: this plumber is a female which I think is pretty darn cool because you hardly hear of female plumbers. So I was all set for this meeting and getting a quote or even seeing if it’s possible and doing some google “research” and discovered that maybe a gravity toilet isn’t the way to go if I’m hooked up to the septic and not a black water holding tank. First, I am NOT doing a holding tank. They are worst than a composting toilet AND require quite a few chemicals AND I then have to dump it. That eliminates my whole issue with the composting toilet. I ruled out that option right away. Since I am currently hooked up to a septic I originally thought a gravity toilet would feed through RV waste line – no problem because I remember as a kid we would do that camping. And I see a lot of campers doing it…. the price for a gravity fed toilet is around $125. However, after reading many reviews and blogs I came across a macerating RV toilet.
This pretty much pushing the waste through to the septic. It’s designed to use when your not over a black water holding tank (my set up). The problem with these toilets is that they require more water than the gravity fed system (.17 gal per flush) AND require electric. Just a 12 volt and it’s only during the flush not all the time like my current composting system. I’m unsure of the water usage of a gravity fed unit but it’s less than .17 gal per flush. In comparison a standard residential toilet is around .75 – 1.5 gal per flush. The price for one of these guys is around $500.
So with a no show plumber and my recent google research efforts I’m not sure what to do. I like the composting toilet for zero water consumption, however, it does take power to operate the fan and heater. I have it set up on the solar panels but on Sunday, while I was gone all day, I returned to unhappy solar batteries beeping at me that they were exhausted. I may have left the toilet plugged in the previous night AND then that day though even though it was a sunny day. So this is not a good long term fix as I have to remember to plug and unplug the toilet from solar. Second option is the gravity toilet. However, I don’t think this would work due to my logistics and I don’t want to have any issues down the road if I’m going through the trouble of installing a toilet now. My third option is the macerating toilet that isn’t the “greenest” option – but maybe comparable to the composting if we think of energy and water usage together.
What would you do in my situation?