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Old 03-11-2010, 11:13 PM   #91
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COMPOSTING TOILETS


Poop, a subject rarely discussed, especially in mixed company. Most folks flush their toilet and the contents go to the great “away place”. Our society sends all the stuff it doesn't want to the “away place” including the aforementioned poop. For those of us who choose not to use a septic system, it is a subject of much interest and debate. Here's a couple of websites I've run across;


weblife.org :: free information for life
Composting toilets (solar power, heater, fertilizer, buying) - Green Living -Sustainable living, ecology, conservation, local agriculture - City-Data Forum


I refer you back to post #13 on this thread which describes our composting toilet. The years before that we had an outhouse. Outhouses aren't an option for much of this country and not desirable to most folks.


Our composting toilet functions fair. It doesn't have a heater or continuous agitator. For the 2 of us, it's ok. When we have company for any length of time, things go south in a hurry. It's installed with a line that carries the liquids to an area outside. The waste goes from the toilet using very little water into the composter where there is a perforated metal drum. The drum is turned clockwise about every other day to aerate the waste about every other day. At that time we add about a half gallon of planer shavings to the drum. The waste supposedly breaks down/rots and about once a month the drum is turned backwards and a small amount of the composted waste goes into a container that can be removed to be dumped when the container is full. Our experience has been that the waste doesn't compost and it's a mess to deal with when emptying the container. Occasionally the line that carries the liquids gets clogged and the composter overflows. Yukko!


I wish Hinton Bound who posted second on the city-data thread would have told the brand of his composter, but he never did. We have AE friends who had a composter that was a self-contained unit and it functioned even worse than ours. They have since gotten rid of it. We are going to make a change and are considering the sawdust type composter. Photo 1 is our composter located in the basement. Photo 2 is our toilet in the downstairs bathroom. The composter is located almost directly under this toilet.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:36 AM   #92
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We're having a couple of Solatubes (or maybe just one) installed in a dark hallway soon. Does anyone have BTDT advice for us? How much light do they put out, really?

If anyone is curious-- cost for 10-inch lens unit will be just under $600 per tube including extension, taxes, installation, etc. Rebate of $60/tube through manufacturer until Monday 3/15/2010, also will qualify for energy tax credit.

Given the price, the tubes may not make economic sense from a payback point of view, but I love real sunlight and hate using lightbulbs in the middle of the day.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:14 AM   #93
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I think they're great, I've installed a few. They vary a lot depending on where on the roof they are, i.e., north versus south roof pitch. We figured they'd pay for themselves in five or six years in one location where the homeowners had a huge living room with 100 watt lights in the ceiling and few windows - it was all or nothing with the electric lighting, and with the solatubes they could just use a lamp or two during the day. Electricity is very expensive in that area, and I'm guessing labor is cheaper there too.

I see Velux (probably the best skylight manufacturer) is making a version of them now too. Theirs has an optional light bulb kit so you could use the same hole in the ceiling for both natural and electric light.

My only advice is regarding the installation, make sure you get a guarantee. But other than that I'm sure you will like the solatubes.
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:41 AM   #94
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Calliandra,
We have one solatube in our master bathroom. Never have to turn the lights on during the day in there at all. (There are no windows in our master bathroom either.)

Bright sunny days with clouds passing overhead sometimes cause a bright daylight/dusk/bright daylight/dusk effect.

We also have a skylight in our kitchen, but it's not a solatube. We never have to turn on the kitchen lights except in the evening.

If the solatubes were installed in large room, you would probably need more than one.
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:07 PM   #95
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Calliandra, we know someone who installed one is his hallway and it has worked out very well. What does BTDT mean? I probably need to get out more often.
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:27 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backwoods View Post
What does BTDT mean?
BTDT= "Been There, Done That" = shorthand way of asking for advice from people with previous experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backwoods View Post
I probably need to get out more often.
Oh, you're fine, I just need to stop being so lazy!


Thanks for the positive report, too. I'm really looking forward to having brighter days.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:03 AM   #97
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Composting toilets would never fly where I am. I'd love to have one... it won't be happening though. We don't have any solatubes. We have skylights. I don't know if anyone is aware of this but both are a hedge against depression. I've been in houses that have solatubes and they're really something I'd go for in a heartbeat if I had a room with no windows or skylights. 4B's right, you hardly have to ever turn on lights when you have skylights or solatubes unless it's night time.
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