Installing a composting toilet.

Blue Crab

benthivore
16,222
2,616
Outer Banks
Just takes up more space, and makes the churner hard to use. Plus most people aka guests use a lot of paper. Not a good combination. The paper doesn't move around well, and it difficult to cover completely ... and that's key to these heads.

It's not for everyone. Couple of years back, some were concerned that the FL water cops weren't gonna be ok with composters but haven't heard more. Max is right there so it must be OK. 

I'm one old guy minding my biz. If I actively socialized like many of you, I'd be reluctant to rip out my system. Per contra, guests can't use marine heads well, anyway ... so screw 'em.

 

Max Rockatansky

holy fuckfarts!
3,846
985
Just takes up more space, and makes the churner hard to use. Plus most people aka guests use a lot of paper. Not a good combination. The paper doesn't move around well, and it difficult to cover completely ... and that's key to these heads.

It's not for everyone. Couple of years back, some were concerned that the FL water cops weren't gonna be ok with composters but haven't heard more. Max is right there so it must be OK. 
+1 on (no)TP in desiccating heads.

As for Floriduh: I know in the Keys it's OK, and haven't spent much time to speak of elsewhere in Floriduh but AFAIK desiccators are generally accepted. At Marathon City Marina there is a drop station for porta-potty dumping where the urine is disposed. The City Marina office will give you a receipt for same which you would show if the FWC or whomever inquires. The requirement is one receipt per month (?!) I bag the fecal media along with my cat litter (both "clump" for scooping, ha ha) and other trash and that goes into the dumpster.

 
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Kris Cringle

Super Anarchist
3,090
2,641
I get great pleasure out of un-installing stuff, especially on the boat.

I've replaced - then rebuilt - every piece/pump at least once in the last 20 seasons. A lot of memories, none good,... all came out quite easily and landed below the winter ladder.  I staged it nicely for a For Sale ad in Facebook Sailing: Complete head system lightly used, $1750.00

Old head and holding 2.jpeg

A little left to go away (looks like sawzall in the impossibly tight-sunken chamfer surrounding the seacock), but things - the air, are markedly improved.

A few holes to fill, a little sanding and some varnish inside (for sealing purposes) the locker and the space is ready for a comparably, un-complicated re-install. 

There's head history in the old wood of the raised platform.

IMG_3834.jpeg

 

ProaSailor

dreaming my life away...
6,106
794
Oregon
I get great pleasure out of un-installing stuff, especially on the boat.
Did you try the new head at home before ripping the old one out of the boat?  I would want to be sure it works better first, which means using the new one until its full and going through the process of disposing the waste material, eh? 

 
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Kris Cringle

Super Anarchist
3,090
2,641
Did you try the new head at home before ripping the old one out of the boat?  I would want to be sure it works better first, which means using the new one until its full and going through the process of disposing the waste material, eh? 
No. I've looked it over, sat on it, I'm thinking it's anatomically correct,... I have confidence it will 'work' but little knowledge of the system we'll evolve on the boat. That's going to take an install to find out. I've found tons of data from related users today. I haven't run across many peeps that turned back to the typical marine head system. 

 
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Max Rockatansky

holy fuckfarts!
3,846
985
Update on the corncob cat litter:

As per smj instructions, have mixed 50:50 with coco coir. It seems to aerate and sift better. I do like it in that sitch.

But… as cat litter, it.fuckin’.sucks. I have fancy mats in front of the boxes which do work for the pine pellets, but are powerless against the tiny grains of cob. The cob is tracked everywhere, which not only is just dirty, but is a real hazard if blocks bilge pump.

Therefore the search continues for litter that both we and the cats can use…

 

Steve

Anarchist
563
77
duluth, mn
 I have an older Gemini catamaran which i bought in Connecticut and while it had a 14 gallon holding tank immediately ahead of the throne ( so short hose runs) it had a y valve which allowed for pumping to the tank or pumping overboard but no provision at all to pump out at a marina. I removed everything to the dumpster at the marina and installed an Airhead and have never looked back. For the delivery back to the great lakes (zero discharge) we had 2 to 4 people on board for the 32 day trip and learned a few things about its use. We really didn't  use the urine tank as it was all guys who tend to pee over the side or use a laundry detergent container when that's not practical or safe. The layout of the boat provides a separate cabin for each crew so everyone can store and use their pee jug in their own space. Otherwise they could be labelled and stored in the head, point is everyone is responsible for disposal of their own urine. We chose to not put the toilet paper in the toilet, not because you can't but because it reduces the capacity and also can wrap around the stirrer making it more of a process when emptying. I have lived in Taiwan and everyone there keeps the paper out of the toilets in houses and buildings, it's just what you do, male and female, it's just something anyone can learn to do. Along with this practice we practice using less paper, i have found that it takes me just 4 squares on average, rarely more. Came in handy when there was a run on toilet paper in the early days of the pandemic. When i empty the Airhead it takes maybe 5 minutes because we don't have TP wrapped around the stirrer i just upend it into a trash bag and put it back into service without washing it out as it does not need it, i believe this was recommended in the manual. When sailing locally i empty it in the compost bin at home with my home food scraps, i'm not a gardener, just making dirt to fill low spots around the yard. I work at a marina and find the vast majority of sewage systems on customers boats disgusting. Most boatowners are either in denial or nose blind.

 

DDW

Super Anarchist
6,575
1,148
In mild weather where I’m wearing full foulies and many layers under it can be a lot faster to stand than sit.  If the boat is heeling heavily or bouncing around I always sit. 
Our heads (Lavac) are mounted on low steps, perhaps 5 inches high. By happy accident, it is very easy to kneel on the shelf, and pee directly into the bowl from about 4" above the rim. This almost entirely eliminates the splash. If I was building a boat or redoing a head I'd try to arrange that again. As Alex says, in full gear it can take a long time to prepare to sit.

 

Kris Cringle

Super Anarchist
3,090
2,641
 I have an older Gemini catamaran which i bought in Connecticut and while it had a 14 gallon holding tank immediately ahead of the throne ( so short hose runs) it had a y valve which allowed for pumping to the tank or pumping overboard but no provision at all to pump out at a marina. I removed everything to the dumpster at the marina and installed an Airhead and have never looked back. For the delivery back to the great lakes (zero discharge) we had 2 to 4 people on board for the 32 day trip and learned a few things about its use. We really didn't  use the urine tank as it was all guys who tend to pee over the side or use a laundry detergent container when that's not practical or safe. The layout of the boat provides a separate cabin for each crew so everyone can store and use their pee jug in their own space. Otherwise they could be labelled and stored in the head, point is everyone is responsible for disposal of their own urine. We chose to not put the toilet paper in the toilet, not because you can't but because it reduces the capacity and also can wrap around the stirrer making it more of a process when emptying. I have lived in Taiwan and everyone there keeps the paper out of the toilets in houses and buildings, it's just what you do, male and female, it's just something anyone can learn to do. Along with this practice we practice using less paper, i have found that it takes me just 4 squares on average, rarely more. Came in handy when there was a run on toilet paper in the early days of the pandemic. When i empty the Airhead it takes maybe 5 minutes because we don't have TP wrapped around the stirrer i just upend it into a trash bag and put it back into service without washing it out as it does not need it, i believe this was recommended in the manual. When sailing locally i empty it in the compost bin at home with my home food scraps, i'm not a gardener, just making dirt to fill low spots around the yard. I work at a marina and find the vast majority of sewage systems on customers boats disgusting. Most boatowners are either in denial or nose blind.
Thanks for this info, very helpful. 

 Paper is as you say: If you decide to leave it out of a head, you quickly realize it's no big deal and doesn't add any problems except that you have the paper to dispose of from a bin. You've convinced me it's more of a mechanical and available space problem. 

As I had my head in it yesterday, I realize I'm simply exchanging one human waste management system on the boat, for another.

The one I was removing is fairly complex with head, valves, pumps, vents, holding tank(s), discharge lines, seacocks. All the waste (solid and liquid) is mixed and further diluted with seawater (or fresh), and then stored/stewed inside the tank, pumps, valve, hoses, etc, for later discharge at sea or ashore. 

The waste system I'll put in consists of a head and storage, all in one unit. Liquid and solid are separated into different tanks. The solid tank and medium are designed to dry the solid waste during storage. The liquid can go to shore and usually (in my sailing), fertilize the same tree my little dog does. Easy enough. 

The solid waste will (as I'm told) desiccate in the drying medium. As far as disposing of this waste, I'm already happier with these options rather than discharging it into the sea. I expect to utilize a backyard leaf composter for much of it. We compost everything compostable at home. 

I will report on smells and odors in the future. I'll never forget the unique 'aroma' of the old system(s) that 'didn't smell'. That will be my indelible benchmark. :)

 

andykane

Member
462
216
Victoria, BC
That looks like a well thought out product, definitely more mass-produced than a c-head, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. What's your initial impression of quality?

On the topic of leaking from the bottom of the solids container: c-heads have a screw driven up from the bottom to hold the bottom of the mixing shaft so even they have a potential leak point, but it doesn't seem to be a problem.

 

Kris Cringle

Super Anarchist
3,090
2,641
That looks like a well thought out product, definitely more mass-produced than a c-head, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. What's your initial impression of quality?

On the topic of leaking from the bottom of the solids container: c-heads have a screw driven up from the bottom to hold the bottom of the mixing shaft so even they have a potential leak point, but it doesn't seem to be a problem.
The quality appears high - fittings and parts, but use will tell. This is OGO's second iteration. It's greatest feature - size, may also be a disadvantage for some users.

So many of these new designs and owner built designs are being used extensively on the road today. Hard to say if you will sink or swim in this new market. 

On the leaking at the bottom, here's a popular UK composter with the same concept, an electric auger arrangement. But this one forgoes the raised hub and is right through the flat bottom. Further, it uses a standard socket and square drive to make the motor to auger connection. 

image.png

The Compoost (above) has been around longer than the OGO. I see no reports of leaking problems for the Compoost.

The OGO appears to have borrowed some of it's ideas and improved them. Plus it managed to compress the footprint by about 6" mainly by going to a saddle bag shaped liquid container. 

 

ProaSailor

dreaming my life away...
6,106
794
Oregon
... we practice using less paper, i have found that it takes me just 4 squares on average, rarely more.
There is no possible way for that to be adequate!  The best advice I have on this subject is the same as what I posted in another thread a week ago: alcohol wipes!  Daily use after a bowel movement to thoroughly clean yourself, including your legs and crotch, goes a very long way to saving water, staying healthy and not stink.  Ten cents each in packs of 50, Ethyl Alcohol 75%, Sheet Size: 5.9” x 7.8”, widely available:

https://www.germisept.com/fdaalcoholwipes50ct

View attachment 497638

 
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smj

Member
110
68
There is no possible way for that to be adequate!  The best advice I have on this subject is the same as what I posted in another thread a week ago: alcohol wipes!  Daily use after a bowel movement to thoroughly clean yourself, including your legs and crotch, goes a very long way to saving water, staying healthy and not stink.  Ten cents each in packs of 50, Ethyl Alcohol 75%, Sheet Size: 5.9” x 7.8”, widely available:

https://www.germisept.com/fdaalcoholwipes50ct

View attachment 497638
Cleaning legs and crotch after a bowel movement........is that something I have to look forward to as I age?

 

Steve

Anarchist
563
77
duluth, mn
Absolutely 4 squares is adequate, even with single ply actually, 3 is not enough for me. I used to be one of those who would roll off a handful but when i got the Airhead it just made sense to dial it back and found it very easy. I'm sure some peoples diets make for more of a mess to clean up but for me its a non issue. Obviously you need to develop a technique. A question about the alcohol wipes, doesn't it sting your ass? This is a serious question as i know alcohol will sting tender skin. 

 




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