Tiny house in oz

Building a tiny house in oz

Quick bathroom break

3 Comments

Before continuing the tour of regulation road. i thought we would stop for a quick bathroom break. There has been much discussion of tiny houses Australia Facebook page this week about bathroom options. More specifically, The options available for toilets. Warning: this post contains a subject matter which some readers might find distasteful. Although i will do my best to write it as polite as possible, if this kind of thing offends you. Stop reading at this point. After lots of researching, there are a number of options.

Some have the option of separating the liquid waste from the solid waste. This is done via the seat. Apparently this method makes it odourless. I.e it is the combination of liquids and solids that make human waste smell. Most composting toilets have this options

Option 1: camping toilets These are basically the toilets you take camping. They usually consist of  seat attached to a foldable stand with a bag or bucket underneath. One does their business, then the waste is either buried or placed in a compost bin at a later date.

what I’m talking about:

http://www.abetterwaytogo.com.au/products/camping-toilet-separett-resuce.aspx?lv.crumb=17384

Pros: Cheapest option, foldable, portable,

Cons: dealing with the compost material, ongoing cost of biodegradable bags, disposing of human waste without access to land for compost bin/bury it.

The verdict for tinyhouseinoz. Maybe… i like the cheap option. If you built a container around it so it would be hidden and maybe added a seat cover no one would be the wiser. However, steady access to land to dispose of the waste might be a problem. As well as that unpleasant job! Phew!! Don’t think i could get over doing my business into a bag. Daily!!

Option 2 DIY Compost toilet. 

These are the ones that most tiny houses people  I know use. it is known as the sawdust method. This puts the compost bin in the toilet to start doing its job. You do your business and instead of pushing the flush button. One simply puts a layer of sawdust on top. You can also use a variety of other  natural elements like peat moss and grass clippings. One the bucket is full one simply uses it in the garden or buries it.

What I’m talking about:

Pros: compost starts immediately and is self-contained, relatively cheap,  no need for land, no sewer hook up, waterless, turns waste into fertilizer

cons: smell, a fan or vent will be needed if liquids and solids are combined, aesthetic  issues doesn’t look like a normal toilet, some visitors/ people may also have issues with the sight of your previous business, continual source of sawdust etc which may be a problem

The verdict for tinyhouseinoz: a real possibility. My only worry would be disposing of the compost.

Option 3 no bathroom

Just a warning:  this is the most distasteful part.

The title says it all. Since space is at premium in a tiny house some tiny house owners are choosing not to have a bathroom altogether. Not an option for tinyhouseinoz, legally to make it habitable it she needs a bathroom but seeing as how people have done it i thought I would explore their choices. One simply forgoes the bathroom and goes . True camping style. There are devices that make it easier for the girls such as the go girl or the shewee. Ill stop there!

Pros: cheap, no water or sewer needed, no plumbing,

Cons: where do i start? Smelly, wet feet, need access to private area, what about Family Or visitors?

Verdict for tinyhouseinoz: Don’t think so! Legally to make it a habitable house i think i would need some sort of toilet

Option 4: commercial composting toilet

These are units that are commercially available. They retail for around $500-2000 depending on how many gizmos you want, whether you want it to be connected to the main sewer. Some are just upgraded cousins of the diy composting toilet with a compost heap built into the unit. others have an external compost heap located outside the house. But most of these units need at least an electricity supply for an unbuilt fan and/or heating element. Some divert the liquid from the solids, some  are emptied by a tray at the bottom. Some even divide the liquids and solids putting the liquids in a tank with water ready to fertilise.

What I’m talking about.

The sun mar

http://www.solarnsat.com.au/composting-toilet-systems/

The biolet

http://www.biolet.com/store/biolet-10-standard-c-4/biolet-10-waterless-toilet-p-4

There are others but these are the main ones available in oz right now. Please do your own research based on your needs.

Pros: compost is contained so no need for external compost bin on some units, no or low water usage, looks more like a toilet for visitors, no need to handle smelly stuff.

Cons: need electricity supply, expensive , some need compost tank installed in ground so plumbing is needed.

Verdict for tinyhouseinoz: if it was the right unit maybe. There are so many options out there for these toilets. I would need it to be self contained. Maybe fir a future project or christmas gift but the expense always trips me up.

Option 5 incinerator toilet. 

These toilets take your human waste and burn it at high temperature.

What i’m talking about. The main one is  incinolet.

http://www.hitechpacific.com.au/incinolet.html

Pros: no water, no sewerage system , no plumbing

Cons: reading the reviews was quite an eye opener, it smells a lot, burns for 40 minutes after you press the level, hot seat, prone to mechanical problems, huge electricity bills,  and not to mention very very expensive.

The verdict for tinyhouseinoz: I originally planned to get one. But was aware of the bad reviews it gets from everywhere. Or of the burning for 40 minutes. But i like the idea so if in the future the negatives were resolved i would get one.

The plan for tinyhouseinoz:. After all the research this week. I think i will go with the tried and true diy compost in the short term while saving for a commercial unit composting toilet if i don’t like the first option. I have never been comfortable with using fresh water to flush down more water. 95% of human liquid waste is water.) During the research i read that Aussies waste as much as 12litres every time you push flush. Somethings to think about.

Till next time.

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3 thoughts on “Quick bathroom break

  1. First off, great post! Thanks for spelling it out. I, too, am looking into toilet options for my tiny house (hoping to start building within the year). Have you thought about using a low flush toilet that uses grey water instead of clean, drinkable water? There are a couple of products out there that can be retro-fitted onto any toilet tank where the sink where you wash your hands is what is used to fill a toilet after each flush. Here’s a link to one of them: http://sinkpositive.com/web/

    Thanks again for the post and good luck with the tiny house!

  2. We are going to live on a boat soon. In Westernport Bay, Victoria. I just installed a TMC Toilet (luxury version). Macerating. 2 liter or 4 liter flush (push button, electronic.) This goes to a snazzy unit called a Sani Loo (google). The SL puts out class C sewage from its 15 liter holding tank. 99% clean. Legal in most marine areas other than Nil discharge zones (Marine parks and Marinas). Worth a look. About $2500 all up plus a bit of 12volt power.

    It is worth bearing in mind that poo doesn’t have to stink (Ha! No, mine doesn’t 🙂 If you can get decent air flow to it it wont smell. There are two types of bacteria that want to break it down. Aerobic and anaerobic. They can’t co exist. Anaerobic smells the other doesn’t (at all). Get air to it and you have Aerobic bacteria, only. Google Peggy Hall. she is the world renown expert on this.

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