Envirolet Composting Toilets

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PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content Moderatora 10000+ points - Super Pooperb 9000+ pointsc 8000+ pointsd 7000+ pointse 6000+ pointsf 5000+ pointsg 4000+ pointsh 3000+ pointsi 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb
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Scott from Envirolet emailed me about his company's composting toilets.

You see, when you live in a cabin or somewhere off the grid, you can't rely on the municipal sewage system to carry your crap down to the devil. You can install a septic tank, but I know from personal experience that those tend to leak at inopportune times.



So that's why you get an Envirolet. According to their site, "Envirolet" reduces wastes up to 90% via composting and evaporation. Waste is approximately 90% liquid. When this 90% is evaporated, the 10% remaining is turned into a dry, compost material."



That means that you crap into this box, and once a year you empty out some lovely fresh compost into your garden. Brilliant!



We need to pay attention to technologies like this. Everyone says that water shortages are going to really hurt humanity in the 21st Century. Even low-flow toilets waste 1.6 gallons per flush... when there's perpetual drought, that will be unacceptable.

140 Comments on "Envirolet Composting Toilets"

healthy 1's picture
j 1000+ points
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I have looked at these toilets, they are very expensive. Sun Mar makes a "micro flush" composting toilet.

Composting poop also keeps excessive nutrients out of our water supplies. I believe that in another 30 or so years, most houses will be composting poop. The big thing is, 99.9% of the bublic was brought up believeing that poop is this terrible substance that has to be eradicated, not true.

Poop can be used for many great things, even as a fertilizer. It cannot be dumped carelessly, or enter the drinking water supply, it is then that poop can be down right deadly. But if resposibly handled, it is a great natural resource.
_______
A man who farts in church, sits in his own pew.

"Two percent of the population think; three percent of the population think they think, and 95 percent of the population would rather die than think."

BioPete's picture
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Howdy!
Love your site. Just wanting to let you know about another sign that composting toilets are going mainstream. BioLet, the original Swedish composting toilet can be purchased through national chains like The Home Depot and ACE Hardware. It's another step in the right direction to get people to accept this technology. People in Sweden, where BioLet has been sold for aver 30 years, accept composting toilets as an acceptable alternative to regular flush toilets.
Poop on...
Peter
P.S. Good shit happens!

Humanure Newbie's picture
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There are many composting toilets out there- but almost no reviews. Why? If any of you poopsters out there have a composting toilet and would like to share your first-hand experiences I would greatly appreciate it.

poop'n steve's picture
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I have had a envirolet electric model for over 5 years. I hate it, the unit does not work as advertised. I have babyied it for the whole time calling envirolet numorous times looking for help. I have to use a stick to move poop to the back of the unit all of the time. The unit does not move the "mound" to the back of the unit. It just piles up and won't let the door close. Also, the unit needs to be emptied frequently the they say. I'm going with someone else. Please send advise. Steve G.

Tiva's picture
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I also have an envirolet self-contained electric model. Two of my neighbors do as well. We all have frustrations with these units. Just as poop'n steve mentioned, you need to use a stick to move the poop around. The mulcherator doesn't work well. The unit needs to be emptied frequently, and because it's a continuous composter, you always get fresh, uncomposted poop mixed in with the stuff you're trying to get rid of. Flies get in, but if you screen the vent to keep flies out, the unit leaks water back inside and makes a mess. The rake bar usually gets stuck, so you can't use the nifty emptying tray, and instead you need to empty the unit with a trowel, mixing fresh poop in with your composted poop. I have a PhD in ecology, and I've been composting out in the garden for 20 years. But I still find this toilet incredibly fussy. Either it gets too dry, and the poop turns into rocks and stops composting, or else it gets too wet, and turns anaerobic. Toilet paper doesn't break down. On and on. Don't get me wrong--I'm all for composting toilets. But get a remote model! And get a batch model, so that your poop can compost separately before you empty the unit. Continuous, compact models don't work.

MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points
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Are these units really supposed to process paper as well as pee and poop? I always pictured a bag next to the unit to receive the used t.p.; when the bag gets full, you burn it. I would expect these units to do better with poop and pee only, not paper.

A story: While in real estate, many years ago, I heard about a company that had an instrument called (I think) a Destroilet that operated by electricity, burning up feces and paper when it was flushed. One patron reportedly had a mild heart attack when, after a b.m., he flushed the facility and was rewarded with a loud BOOM and a blinding flash as his turds were incinerated. Anyone familiar with the Destroilet?

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points
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MSG.......I was stationed in Keflavik, Iceland back in the 1960's. I was in air traffic control and worked in the control tower. Some of my fellow controllers worked in GCA (ground controlled approach), which was a radar unit about the size of a small mobile home that sat close to the main runway. We had a flush toilet in the tower but the GCA unit had a "turd incinerator".

My friends who worked in GCA would tell me horror stories about the fumes that wafted through the unit after their supervisor cleared his colon of the massive amount of beer and good greasy NCO club chow that he had consumed the night before.

I don't know about the Destroilet but I
wonder if it also fills the air with the aroma of toasted turds? My pals insisted that the normally foul smell of poop was magnified by a factor of at least ten when baked into oblivion.

_______
Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points
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Regrettably, the reports I got about the Destroilet didn't mention odor; only that the blazing electric impulses left a grayish powder residue and that was all. I guess there should have been a warning that it would make a flash and a loud noise.

Squat-n-leaveit's picture
Comment Quality Moderatork 500+ points
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Commercial compost toilets are terribly expensive, and not as good as they should be. Home built composters are usually not much more than a bucket with a seat. I would love to see plans for something in-between. I have built he simple ones, to save cold outside trips to the outhouse. Once I built a very nice one for my boat. 12 volt fans, 110volt heating coils (for at the dock) a sealed and a ball bearing stir device. It worked very well. (Did it mostly to piss off the Coast Guard! another story!)

Le's picture
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I've had an absolute terrible experience with the Envirolet toilet and the company also. They spend a lot of time marketing on the Internet and doing PR BUT beware they do not treat their customers with the same zest. Just a few of the problems with our Envirolet: 1) It costs too much (obviously), 2) The wires in the electrical version blew out within a month of use (only using the fan, not even the heater) 3) It NEVER composted correctly despite heavily limiting use to only 1 person (and having to pee outside and even poop elsewhere) - on this note, we tried at it for about 6 months with various methods (some recommended directly from the company). This led to at least once a month dirty cleaning of uncomposted poop 4) on several occassions the toilet was completely full of flies and other bugs that would crawl out the top and bottom of the toilet - this also despite us following instructions from the company 5) the pee drain got stopped up despite correct installation and was overflowing on several occassions! That was also not a fun experience to clean up 6) the company is extremely hard to deal with and determined to find a way to blame you for the toilets manfunctions....I could go on but you get the message!!

I don't know about the other manufacturers, but I do know this one isn't good and doesn't work.

I LOVE the composting toilet idea and have since just taken my $2,000K+ as a loss and built my own compost toilet. Not only was it less than a few hundred dollars to build & install (versus several thousands), but it actually WORKS! And, really, it's much easier to just build one yourself than depend on a system from a manufacturer that will just give you grief when their parts don't work or they don't honor their warranties.

Hope this helps all you future composters out there! Don't make the very messy, costly, and time consuming mistake that I made while trying to be green! :)

Anonymous Coward's picture
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yep.. just bought a Multoa60 (Biolet XL in the states I think), Swedish technology, about a month ago for our cottage. Nothing but problems so far. Have already had to replace a faulty thermostat. It is simply incapable of evaporating the urine even at the highest temperature setting and the composting chamber is just a big pile of very soggy poop-mulch which strains the mixing arms. I'm sure the pin on the drive arm will shear soon.

I'm still working with product support to iron out the issues but have lost all confidence at this point. I will re-post an update if/when issues are resolved but am not betting my bottom dollar...since I'm broke after paying an arm and a leg for this boner...

Ken

RoboCrap13's picture
l 100+ points
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Reminds me of the Victorian era's "Earth Closet".
(Do a Google on "Earth Closet". Fascinating Shit!!)
_______
You have the right to remain Silent but Deadly....

You have the right to remain Silent but Deadly....

Artful Dodger's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorl 100+ points
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I've been looking at an interesting alternative that has an internal incinerator. No mess, no fuss, no complex installation, just dump the ashes into the trash once a week. At least this is the company line.

Judging from their promotional material this looks promising, although I have several questions in regards to energy consumption and such. The units are relatively expensive so I doubt I can talk them into letting me have one in exchange for a review, but I'm sure they would be willing to provide all the reading material I can handle.

steve the pirate's picture
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What do you guys think of "The Humanure Handbook?" In addition to finding it an extremely interesting read, I felt the author did an extremely good job explaining and justifying composting humanure and actually using it on edibles. In addition, the simple toilet seat over a 5 gal bucket system seem like the best solution. Alas, the real problem is people are so freaked out with the notion of composting poop, let alone crapping in a bucket, that they just cover their ears and yell so they cannot hear people like me parroting the validated information regarding thermophillic bacteria in our guts that kill off any viruses and germs during the composting process. My wife is one of these people. I tried to put the 5 gal bucket system in our 2nd bath during a recent remodel, an I almost got whacked in the head. I will tell everyone, that I am using the system form my cat box. I have three cats, and they can stink! However, I use a sifting cat box that screens out the poop, which gets dumped into a 5 gal bucket. I cover this material with some pine shavings (described in the Humanure Handbook) and put the plastic cover back on the bucket. I primarily do this to avoid disposing of the cat waste in the toilet every day (especially since the box is in the garage). I can fill up the bucket (after a week and a half or so) and it then gets dumped in the trash-yes, should compost this, but "baby steps" right now. The point is, that the pine shavings do an effective job of sealing any smells. In addition, I can have a bucket full of cat poop in my garage and no one will know as long as I have properly covered the "gifts" with pine shavings. It should be noted that, prior to disposing of the cat waste in the bucket/pine shavings my wife can tell when a cat has just finished their business from the otherside of the house.

Ok, long story short: water is going to be in dire shortage soon, humanure is safe to compost, and the multi $k machines don't work. We have to change societies paradigms on humanure.

Poop n Scoop's picture
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We are looking for an alternative to a regular toilet as the landlord will not allow us to dig a hole in his property for toilet installation.
What does anyone know about San Mar? Are there any decent, commercially manufactured composting toilets we can count on?

Squat-n-leaveit's picture
Comment Quality Moderatork 500+ points
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How fat is your wallet? Commercial composting toilets are ridiculously expensive, and not worth it. I build, and rebuild boats and kayaks. These fiberglass toilets would be simple and easy to do. I hope to see as part of the green revolution to see them built better, and cheaper, and in America!

THEHIGHWAY's picture
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I am looking into the envirolet (they are on sale this month)..composting toilets for my garage / studio I'm building. Septic systems are outrageous and the taxes are unbelievable. Some composters don't use electricity at all, and you manually turn the compost mixer...some incinerate, but that seems a backward step in green ecology, and some
have heat and fans etc..like the envirolet, that leave you with , they say,
the need to only empty it once or twice a year. I have been in outhouses
that stank to high heaven, and some that smelled good and earthy
and woody. Where is the balance here, and why can't people make their own, or buy certain components, the housing (if a 5 gallon joint
compound bucket won't do, and why not?)...fans, screens and mixers..does anyone out there know of a do it your self indoor compost toilet?

Maine Hunter's picture
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We have had the envirolet for a couple of years now and it is horrible. The rakes are useless especially the bottom one which you have to be a weight lifter to pull in and push out. We use it in a hunting camp that we use for a week or two at a time. The tray fills up with pee, and my husband pees outside, so it is only me using it. Forget more than one person peeing in it, unless you want it to overflow (NASTY)! Takes forever to evaporate. The excelerator is expensive and doesn't seem to do anything except excelerate your cash flying out of your wallet. Poop and pee overflow the tray and end up underneath and over the sides of it, if you're lucky. If you're not lucky, the pee will eventually hit the floor. We put the toilet paper in a trash can we keep next to the toilet, because all the toilet paper does is get wrapped around the rake. We even tried camping toilet paper, which is supposed to decompose itself, but it feels like sandpaper. And the smell! Anyone walking into our front or backyard knows we're in town and the toilet is plugged in. Sure makes hunting difficult, as the deer can smell the camp a mile away! Enviolet's customer service people (at least the ones we've talked to) know less about the toilet than we do. Obviously they haven't used them. On the up side, they did deliver it on time!

crapacarp's picture
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It would be helpful if those of you posting reviews of the envirolet toilets would mention the model you're using. I'm considering the low-water remote electric system for my soon to be built house. As expensive as it is, it is far more expensive to install a septic system. Given the complaints I'm reading here against the company, I will probably spend my money elsewhere, but all the same, please mention the model you are using when posting a review.

poopmachineowner's picture
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I installed an envirolet remote 120v system in jan 2006. Since then I have experienced the sum of all of the complaint, I have read at this site. Very frustrating. At this moment, this unit is only good to store our wastes,the composting (if there is any) is so slow,it just cannot deal with (the mainly) one person's wastes.
The idea appears to be right, but it seems the manufacturer didn't bother to actually test their product. The pre sediment filter clogges up in no time, then comes the mess. To prevent this I installed a 1 inch drain line with a clean out,but often the compacted pee-poo mess prevents the fluid to go through the bottom of the unit to reach the drain. I am also contemplating to throw this envirolet machine out, and build a way larger batch composter.

But - Still Interested's picture
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Disappointed there are so many bad experiences reported. Was planning on buying a composting toilet this month for our cottage, but now undecided. What about the SunMar option that has a rotating mixing tub rather than a bar or rake type system? Alternatively, have others had any good experience with the Multoa 60? Looking forward to your responses!

Mainegirl's picture
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We have an Envirolet waterless remote 12VDC and have had all the problems mentioned above, both with the toilet and with the company. One of my biggest beefs relates to the inadequate evaporation of pee. Our unit is spec'd out for 6 people using it on a residential basis and each using it 3 times a day. Now, I don't know about you, but I tend to use the "facilities" more than that, but perhaps I'm just a pee machine. Be that as it may, I looked up how much the average adult human pees in a day-- 1.5 liters or 6.3 cups per day (The Mayo Clinic says so). So, if Envirolet developed their toilets based on that figure, that would mean that our unit for six people would have to evaporate 2.25 gallons of pee per day. Of course, it can't possibly do this, so the overflow drain is supposed to get rid of the excess. All problems described above regarding the drain apply to our system as well--desiccated poop on top of the aerator bars and an over-abundance of pee that doesn't get evaporated or drained off to the black water pit.

My disappointment with the company centers on what seems to be deceptive advertising. Their website indicates that the Envirolet toilet will evaporate 90% of the liquid and the rest of the waste will be composted. Our system isn't even used by 6 people on a residential basis-- it's just 2 people Monday through Friday and 6 people on the weekends, and just for the summer at that. So, when we purchased this model, we felt confident that it would meet our needs-- even with my, perhaps, overactive bladder.

I haven't given up on composting toilets yet. Our neighbor chucked his Envirolet last year and bought the biggest unit that SunMar makes. He seems pretty happy with it, no problems at all, but then again, it's only been one season. We'll see what happens this year.

I hope this additional rant helps.

porchhound's picture
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Bought an Envirolet electric model about 9 years ago and had nothing but trouble with it. Rake bar quit working almost immediately...bottom tray got filled with the NASTIEST poop sludge imaginable and had to be hand emptied...only person peeing in this toilet was my wife and my mother..the guys went outside. Envirolet put us through the gauntlet with one worthless suggestion after another and then....when nothing worked...REFUSED to honor the warranty and would NOT accept the toilet back (health hazard I think they said..not sure now). I had to hand empty this useless crapper for years until this Winter when I built a bucket system scavenging the fans off the old envirolet for air flow...cost $150.00. I hand empty this bucket into my compostin bin using the "handle" so I don't have to touch the crap like I did when i dug it out of my envirolet.
I believe the problems with these composting systems is that the companies try to sell you on the idea that they are almost maintenance free....not my experience for sure. I DO NOT recommend Envirolet for the above reasons.

Alaskacrapper's picture
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We had a Biolet 20 Deluxe (US version of Mulltoa 20). It had 120v electric fan and a heater with a thermostat. We are off-grid and found this piece of sh_t to eat our batteries, as the fan required the inverter to be on constantly, and the heater draws 250W.

Biolet USA did call me, long distance, once to address a customer support email I sent. They claimed it was installed wrong, or the vent was blocked, or the room was too cold, on and on.
I did not know ahead of time the bathroom needed to maintain at least 64 degrees- I heat with wood, and while gone all day it's impossible to keep the bathroom 64 deg F while it's -40F outside!
Also, it did not evaporate the piss fast enough, so we ended up with it overflowing the tray once, plus the "indicator tube" leaked, so the pee left the tray and was pooling in the bottom of the unit.
We are a couple, using the toilet on weekends and peeing outside and TRYING to wait and poop at work on weekdays- it still doesn't work. The tray contained soaking, stinking (horrible) wet raw sewage all three times I emptied it in 4 months. This unit was advertised as needing emptied once every 6 months with 3-4 people and full-time use.
Bottom line is that once I was fed up and tried to contact Biolet again, they did not answer emails.
I sold it, and bought a separating toilet, called "Nature's Head". At least this gives us an easy way to deal with liquid and the design is much, much simpler. It uses an incredibly small 12v fan (however, I'm considering adding a stronger fan, as it's pretty weak). No heater, and is manual stir. The top comes off, and it can be dumped upside-down into a 13 gallon kitchen garbage bag.
Not sure how well it will work, but with the kitchen bags, I can start to do a batch-style final compost outside in summer.
Envirolet and Biolet seem to have very similar problems. I don't recommend anyone spending their money on those.

Or build your own. Nifty kit here that I would like to try.
http://www.ecovita.net/products.html

poopispoop's picture
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I can't tell you how disapointed I am with the Envirolet 120 volt low flush system.Installed it with vent straight up added the turbo invent fan and still the system never worked.I since uninstalled it and went back to septic tank .With only two of us I had to hand clean it every two weeks.The raw sewage smell would fill my house and I had to purchase a gas mask to perform the nasty task . The last time I had to cart the whole thing out of my basement with a dollie to clean and almost gave myself a hernia.Do yourself a favor and don't waste your money on composting toilets. It is what it is, poop and pee and if you think that you will want to spread this around your flower bed give your hesd shake.

Researching in Colorado's picture
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I've been reading this site and others with interest as my husband and I recently purchased a cabin without a septic system. I don't have any experience with composting toilets, but it seems that much of the problems have to do with the pee and the poop being collected in one container. I have found a couple of models where the two are kept separate and have actually found some positive information posted from actual users. See links below:

http://www.ecovita.net/

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/36281-air-head-composting-toilet.html

http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-63264.html

I've never used a composting toilet so I can't vouch for these models personally, but perhaps someone who does know about them can comment.

poopmachineowner's picture
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5 weeks ago I searched this site out to rant about my frustration regarding the Envirolet remote low water composting system I own.
Besides of venting my exasparation, I learned a whole lot from this site.
The Humanure Handbook was very helpful understanding the composting process.What I learned from it led me to start using my envirolet system differently, and I must say, with succes. It is a valuable reading,and I am not going to go into details, but what I found was that the Envirolet instructions (rather casually) mentions to add a quarter of a cup of peat moss (the carbon part of the composting) per person per day to the composter. It is way too inadaquate for the composting to occur. Now, The Humanure Handbook is not very practical regarding the exact quantity of carbon (wood shavings, etc) to be added, so I started to add 3 palmful of sawdust per day. Voila,the smell is gone,and after 5 weeks a lot of composting has happened. How do I know? Becouse the composter is filling up at an alarming rate, so today I had to empty it. With the one inch drain line and the sawdust the fluid buildup is not there any more. So,now it seems the composting is happening, but the unit is not large enough to process the whole load, before it has to be emptied. And I am alone in this house...Peat moss doesn't do the job, maybe we produce a different set of bacteria here....
I guess now I have to start reducing the carbon somewhat, and see the results.
Summerising,I still do not think very highly about Envirolet, one shouldn't have to go through all that frustrations after doling out $2000, and having to experiment with poop for years to come.
In the age of microprocessors I would imagine some company will come up with a smart composter, monitoring the conditions, add the necessary carbon, etc. maybe even empty into a separate container,and test their product extensively, before market it with a permanent Sale offer.

Poopmachineowner's picture
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A message to LE, who posted last aug. 12th
Could you please give us information about the composting toilet you built? Maybe dimentions too! How long is it in operation, and how satisfied are you with it after all this time!
Your reply would be much appreciated!

Idontgiveashit's picture
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My comments reference a Biolet purchased from Home Depot. Fan, mixing mechanism, heating element, blah, blah, blah. Two months into the experience we've had a liquid overflow, sheared pin. Liquid level stays high no matter what temperature setting we use. Tech support is useless. They can't even send out the shear pins (non standard size so not locally available) on a timely basis. Maybe they should supply a couple extras with the new unit????? DUH! My plan is to haul the whole rotten mess outside, clean it out, replace the pin and start the process over. I'm all for giving it a fair chance, but a little voice keeps telling me I've been had. If I can't get this right after 6 months, I'll be shopping legal options to have these things outlawed!!!!!!

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points
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Good luck with the that.

_______
.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

Idontgiveashit's picture
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Thanks for the "outpouring" of support Daphne.
Luck is nice when you go to Vegas, but I'll go with perseverence, a few emails, a letter here and there, and some choice phone numbers. The system is unwieldy, but it isn't totally broken. I intend to give the unit a fair trial. Failing in that, there are options.

Squat-n-leaveit's picture
Comment Quality Moderatork 500+ points
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Perhaps Daphne was not being sarcastic. Perhaps you are honestly being wished luck.

I have built wooden boats, and I have built fiberglass boats. I have built wooden composter toilets and one fiberglass. The fiberglass one was built for a boat, to piss off the coast guard.

Composting toilets are not rocket science. They can, and should, work flawlessly. If you have household current, it's easy! If you have 12 volt, slightly more difficult. No power whatsoever can still be done.

It would not take much for somebody to become the Bill Gates of composting shitters! Come on people! I don't want to do it. I like doing boats and kayaks!

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points
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Yes, Squat, thank you. I actually had a ton of things to do today - kids' conference, clean out the hamster cage, homework, shopping, and find out if dave was aware of last night's site crash.

Sorry for the misintended sarcasm, unhappy composting toilet person, I was just rushing through the comments because I had a lot on my plate. What's sad is that I usually have very nice comments for most people frustrated with their troubles, especially if that person is a kid who has school toilet troubles or something like it. One of the cool things about this site is that we've been able to re-direct kids to advocacy groups regarding school toilet use or health care.

Now that I've had time to get my shit strait, I found a review that was happy - some happy review Sure, it's an envirolet link, but most happy people will be linked to the main site.


_______
.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

Fikry's picture
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I am contemplating buying a SUN-MAR or a MULLTOA 45 composting toilet for our summer camp in Québec, Canada. We will use it in the summer for an average of 3 adults. Is it a good idea? I like the concept but have not seen one at work. Thanks to all of you for your reviews on Envirolet. Thank you for your replies

Squat-n-leaveit's picture
Comment Quality Moderatork 500+ points
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Aye lad. Very funny calling yourself firky. 3 adults for a summer should about fill a firkin. Perhaps you could stop at Niagara, being as that is the preferred mode of transportation over the falls. It has probably already been shit in on the way down.

Anonymous Coward's picture
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I too am looking at a composting unit for our cottage in Quebec. So far, I've only read negative comments and wonder how any of these companies stay in business. Do any of them work as advertised? Anyone have any experience with the Mulltoa self-contained unit (we were looking at getting the largest model for 3 of us - mostly weekends, but during the summer, we'd use it probably 1 1/2 months full-time). We've also been looking at the Sunmar centrex external composting unit. Anyone with any comments about either of these units?

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points
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Well, if you come back with a negative comment I promise to be more thorough with a reply instead of "good luck with that". Unhappy composters are a grouchy bunch. And seriously, good luck with your purchase!


_______
.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

Russell's picture
l 100+ points
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My dad and his wife had a tank and after a few years they started having to pump it everyday. This meant that a fresh new load of shit was being distributed into the field next to there house every single day.
_______
Russell the shitting queen

Russell the shitting queen

Anonymous Coward's picture
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I used to work for envirolet, they know the system doesnt work properly and they dont ever honor the warranty. Dont buy one of these

Poopin Terry's picture
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I read comments about the Multoa (Biolet) toliets and wanted to say that I think most people are probably using these incorrectly. i have a Multoa 20 and can honestly say it works terrific. I have it in a guest house with two people using it full time. When I fist put it in, after 7 months of constant use it still did not need to be emptied, but I decided to empty it anyway to see how things were working. The tray material was completely broken down, and almost all of the other material was the same, almost like the potting soil you get at the garden centers. When using this toilet, the most important factor is the temperature setting. If it is too low, there will be liquid build up and odor. You can also pop the shear pin off as the stirring arm can't move through the heavy wet compost. If it is too high, the material will dry out before it can break down. In the early months I even added a bit of water now and then as I played with the heat settings. The best way to find the mark is to set it a bit low until you see liquid show up in the tube on the side, then increase one point each day until the liquid disappears. that should be the right spot. Overall, I am amazed at how well this product works. I would and have recommended this product to many others and have found it great once I had the hang of things.

Boat Poop's picture
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We bought and have used the Air-Head composting toilet four years ago and love it. The trick is seperating #1 from #2. Thier larger version should do great and we are installing in our second bath.

Squat-n-leaveit's picture
Comment Quality Moderatork 500+ points
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Saw those at the wooden boat festival in Port Townsend. Interesting design, but spendy. Glad you like it. Will look harder at them this year.

announ's picture
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I have had an envirolet for 3 years at our cabin. And I thought I was doing something wrong. The toilet has leaked 3 times, even though it has very limited use in the winter (1 to 2 times) and 6-9 times we stay in our cabin in the summer for 3-4 days at a time. Composting does occur, but not at a rate to even keep upto our limited use. I paid only 250$ for it from a friend who had it stored in his shed for 5 years (he didn't end up installing it for himself) so it was basically new when I got it. I would be extremely pissed off if I had paid the $2000 it goes for. I will be installing a small spetic system this year. I work in environmental enforcement, and know how compost works and should work, this system has alot of hype on the internet, but just plainly doesn't work.

mainegirl's picture
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Okay-- Summer is here, and my husband and I have set up the Envirolet for its third attempt at solving our toilet problems. We installed a taller vent pipe to make sure it rises above the peak of the roof-- we already have an additional fan in the pipe, so we should have more than adequate ventilation. One of the more interesting aspects of the set-up this year was using silicon caulking around the middle seam of the unit. The fans were running when we started putting the goo on, and when the caulking reached all the way around the unit to close the loop, the fans started making a different pitched hum-- we're hoping it's actually air-tight now in the box, and the only air into the system comes from the down draft through the toilet. We'll see... I'm not expecting miracles, but it would be nice if the unit didn't ooze out ickiness. Thankfully, we've never had odor from it in the house.

I had the fun job of cleaning out last year's deposits-- and, yes, it was composted. But I had to empty it via the access port on the top with a shovel and a rubber-gloved hand. The rake bars didn't function properly until I removed about half the stuff from the top. That's pretty annoying, but still, I keep telling myself that it's better than my in-laws' monomatic (stinkomatic) that they have in the same bathroom (they have flat-out refused to use the composter). Staying there this weekend, I was treated to the lovely odor of their toilet-- gag!--That's enough to prevent any "deposits" from me!

So, again, we're giving the Envirolet another try-- I put hay in the bottom instead of the ridiculous tissue paper that the company recommends, and I'm going to increase the peat/person ratio. I guess we'll let you know how it goes after the Fourth of July Weekend.

If it doesn't, I'm not sure what we'll do. I'm still waiting to hear how my neighbor's SunMar is working.

Primopete's picture
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I am in year 5 of using my LOW WATER REMOTE unit that still does not work,it is well insulated sitting outside the house in a heated "box",every spring I take the whole thing apart (with something new to try from envriolet)and do something else. The biggest problem is the leaking of the "overflow water" and yes the toilet paper issue.It seems to work ok in the summer but not in the cold weather,I have found the company to be less than helpful with this and other problems.I am determined to fix the problems I am having because the system should work . THX stay tuned for further info

The One's picture
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I am amazed and now not very happy about the fact that several months ago I looked everywhere for bad reviews on Sancors Low water remote systems. I could not find any and I googled ever key word I could think of. I went ahead and bought the Low water remote system and Two Low flush toilets. I spent $2600 dollars total, for our system, to install into our new custom 30' 8" dia. Yurt I just built for my family of 3 and a half.

I have not installed this system yet, our house is framed in and dried in. I am ready to start to finish the inside of our new home. I have done the humanure method and for several years, for a single person it is not that bad. However any more then three, the simple 5 gallon bucket system starts to become a pain when cleaning them out to keep up with the waste. I would recomend to anyone wanting to try a compost toilet of any kind read that book. It is a process that you have to understand how it works before it will work. I am hoping for my own investments sake that the people on here that have had problems with there Evirolet system, just didn't read the Humanure book and do not fully understand how to encourage a healthy enviroment for things to break down. My neibor has a self contained unit from sancor, and I used it for 8 weeks, full time use for number 2 movement and I did notice that when I raked the bars, that it did stink a bit, not bad though. She has no electric at all to it, just vented. The bars seemed to not do a really good job of raking the product down, but it did work. I will have to talk to her further now that I have seen some of these post. She and her husband do not use this unit full time. I am the type of person, that does many lines of work, Rough frame custom homes, finish carpentry, I build custom computers, because I got tired of buying crap Bestbuy computers, Yes I even Water cool my custom Quad core that is over clocked to 3.6ghz, and has a Raid 0 setup on the two 640gb WD Black hardrives, lol. I even build custom case's from scratch lined with Granite as a part time way to make money, Full time I am installing Granite counter tops with Granite Transformations. I even do all my own work to my car, because I believe that 75% of repair shops are crooked.

I had thought about designing my own composting unit that would take out some of the labor and better handle a family using it full time, but I came across sancors website and all looked good when I could not find one bad review on the net about them.

I now am wondering if I should call them up, and start talking to them about returning their product before I even take it out of the box they shipped it to me in. This was a big investment for us, and I know I could of built a system that would of worked, for less money, however, I believe If I did, that I would of run into problems with the health department, even though there are no building codes or permits were we bought our land. I wanted something that was certified to work. Now I am wondering if I have just gotten a certified piece of $hit, for the bargain price of $2700!

mainegirl's picture
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Okay-- so, my family of four have used it on a few weekends this summer. So far so good, with the newly sealed unit. EXCEPT it still leaks a bit from the bottom door that is supposed to be opened only when you are emptying the contents at the beginning of the season-- not good. I think we might be able to use that foil tape that works under water-- at least I'm hoping. The other possible issue is that there isn't anything coming out of the overflow drain. Now, considering there's leakage coming from the bottom door, I would think that the liquid level would be high enough to go through the drain. Hmm... my greatest fear is that the drain is blocked and we'll have a wonderful 27 cubic feet block of raw sewage to deal with. I really don't want to open the door mid-season.

I talked to my neighbor about their Sun Mar. They have nothing but rave reviews! No smell, no bugs, it flushes with a little water, it doesn't leak anywhere, and they've had huge crowds using it! Their only special issue is that they don't put paper in the unit-- it gets thrown into the garbage since it doesn't break down as easily as is promised. Now, if I could just convince my in-laws to build a new bathroom on the back of the house to accommodate this lovely toilet, I'd be sitting pretty! Ha!

mainegirl's picture
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In response to The One--
I fully agree with you in that people should read the Humanure Handbook before attempting to install and use a composting toilet. I wish I had-- some of the problems we encountered with our Envirolet had to do with our lack of understanding of the composting process. We thought that we could rely on the Envirolet literature and instructions and be all set. But no.

The company's suggestion that one-quarter cup of peat moss per person per day should be adequate is ridiculous. We now put in a full cup per person per day, and I think it will improve the composting process and help encourage the proper carbon-nitrogen ration so that if we do get odors, they won't be horrific. When I talked to my neighbor about their Sun Mar, she told me that they were told to put in 2 cups of peat per person every other day which works out to be the same ratio that we're using now.

Every time I read the Envirolet instructions and look at their website, I can't help but say to myself, "This should work!" But it doesn't because of deficiencies in the design of the system. Last summer, during one of my bouts of just staring at the unit and wondering how something could perform so poorly, I noticed liquid coming down the outside from where the top half attaches to the bottom. Ugh! I knew that it wasn't full of liquid up to that point (about a foot), but it could have either been condensation or spatter-- neither of which smells like roses. So I got my trusty screwdriver just to make sure that the top really was securely attached to the bottom. Turns out that several of the screws just spun around-- there wasn't a tight seal at all-- so liquid could get out --and air and bugs could get in. Before the start of the season this year we sealed the unit with silicone-- see note above. I think it has helped in the efficiency of the unit in terms of evaporating-- at least I'm hoping it is, but I don't really know.

If I were you, before I take anything out of the box, I would ask Sancor how the units are sealed-- with screws alone or with silicone or whatever. Then I would ask how the lower drawer door is sealed against leaks-- we still have an issue with that part of the unit, and I doubt it's solvable without the use of foil tape or silicone that we'll have to cut through every time we empty it. There just isn't a way that the metal plate inside can be made to seal tightly with the plastic body of the unit with just a few screws. If Suncor can't give you an adequate answer and guarantee that it won't leak either from the joints around the sides of the unit, the door, or the drain pipe, then see if you can return it.

Again, my neighbor is pleased with their SunMar-- it's the largest unit. I crawled under the house with her to see for myself-- it's pretty neat. I saw a small SunMar for sale at an area "back to the land" supply store and found that it had a sealed joint around the middle-- that's what made me think of sealing our own unit. --Sorry you didn't hear any rants about these systems before you made your investment-- hopefully it's not too late.

Here's another source of info on the inadequacies of some of these systems

http://www.softtechreviews.com/general/composting-toilet-blog/

The One's picture
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Re Mainegirl:

Thanks for your input, and I think from my own experience's using the five gallon bucket method, that Sancor gives a very general Idea on their product. I plan on running mine without all of there peet moss and excelator items and I hope I can make it work. If these units have know leak problems then one would think they would fix it for free, or return the units without question's for a full refund. I am hoping I do not run into the problems others have had. When I purchased this unit, I never would of thought that it could leak, even if the drain for the lech field plugged up. If it works as they claim, 90% evaperation then there should not be leaks. I do not think using peat is a good Idea, I plan on using sawdust that has turned dark brown almost all the way to pure humas for the bulk of my additive. I got this from a local saw mill for over 5 years when doing the Humanor method for free, and the more broke down the saw dust was the better it worked for the compost. I agree that one quater of a cup of peet per use per person each day is not enough to ad the buffer you need to promote proper composting. I will open my main box and hopefully they have solved the problem where the shell comes together. If not I will be talking to them about a few things. I do not believe after spending $2700 one should have to modify the design or make sure there main unit is sealed right to avoid leaks. Like I said, I have practiced proper composting and have been able to do it, having very healthy composting piles that we added to the garden on non-root crops( beets, leaf greens, potatoes.)after they sit for aleast a entire year fully composting.

Once again thanks for the input.

Anyone else have postive feed back on The Evirolet low flush remote units??? Let me know

mainegirl's picture
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For The One-- another thing about the Envirolet just FYI-- the capacity specs don't mesh with our real world usage. Envirolet says that the unit we have should work for 6 people full time and occasionally up to 8-- as long as people only use it three times a day. Unfortunately, my family uses the facilities more than that-- but still, only 4 people are using it on the weekends during the summer, and for 2 two-week periods, there will be four people using it full time. The rake bars just don't have what it takes to move the mass around, and the mass gets pretty high.

Why is peat moss a bad idea? I've been doing this for three seasons but am obviously still a newbie, so any advice is welcome. I read that sawdust works well, but I haven't gotten around to finding a source. I put some hay in the bottom of the unit at the start of the season-- hoping to help with smells from the liquid. Was that a bad idea too?