composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

2»

Comments

  • The Only SargeThe Only Sarge Solar Expert Posts: 164 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    I know this is an old "revived thread"....and I also know I am the probably the dullest knife in the drawer....but....

    I read this entire thread and did not see one comment concerning the OP's post relating to his 550AH of batteries and 260 Watts of PV. How in the heck can 260 Watts of PV properly charge 550AH of batteries. What am I missing ladies?
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    You haven't missed a thing: 260 Watts of panels is about half the minimum requirement for recharging 550 Amp hours of 12 Volt battery.
    But like my sig says, you have to ask the right questions. :roll:
  • The Only SargeThe Only Sarge Solar Expert Posts: 164 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    Well good then....I thought I was missing something and he had magic panels or something.

    Oh well...I return the thread to the crapper :)
  • bobdogbobdog Solar Expert Posts: 192 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    Just to update the question about my system since the thread started, I have since reduced my battery juice to 420 total amps and am in the process of adding another 270 watts of PV. How I charged the previous system was with a lot of gasoline. That didn't work out financially. Fortunately we rarely stayed more than a few days at a time and so the batteries rarely stayed below 20% DOD for more than a couple of days.
  • The Only SargeThe Only Sarge Solar Expert Posts: 164 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    This adding "panels/power" is sorta addicting isn't it :p
  • bobdogbobdog Solar Expert Posts: 192 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?
    This adding "panels/power" is sorta addicting isn't it :p

    It's very American....:D
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?
    bobdog wrote: »
    It's very American....:D

    Pardonne moi? Je suis Canadien! :p
  • bobdogbobdog Solar Expert Posts: 192 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?
    Pardonne moi? Je suis Canadien! :p

    No offense meant, I just meant we are power hogs and like our 'lectricity....:blush:
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,625 admin
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    America the Continent (North/Central/South America) vs America the Country (really US or USofA). :roll:

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • bobdogbobdog Solar Expert Posts: 192 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?
    BB. wrote: »
    America the Continent (North/Central/South America) vs America the Country (really US or USofA). :roll:

    -Bill

    US of A is what I meant, but too have fallen into the realm of calling the US of A as American. Per Shame....:cry:
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    Actually the term "American" is common parlance for a citizen of the U.S.A., whereas residents of the continent would be "North Americans" to differentiate from "South Americans" or "Central Americans" (even though there is no continent by that name).

    C'est la vie! :D
  • bobdogbobdog Solar Expert Posts: 192 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?
    Actually the term "American" is common parlance for a citizen of the U.S.A., whereas residents of the continent would be "North Americans" to differentiate from "South Americans" or "Central Americans" (even though there is no continent by that name).

    C'est la vie! :D

    I feel much better now...thanks 'Coot...:roll:
  • monolocomonoloco Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?
    bobdog wrote: »
    I know this is old as dirt, but I thought I would update everyone who may be interested in this thread.

    We installed the toilet 2 weeks ago. I installed a 4" PVC pipe from the unit's top through the roof about 4 feet up. We also put a T on top with screen covering the outlets to help keep outside flies out of the toilet. Of course that only works on flies bigger than the screening.

    Following the directions that came with the toilet, we put the bulking agent and bio starter in the holding tank and then sprayed the entire inside with their Bio Quick agent.

    We then used it.

    Before we left, we put a quart of water on it and turned it 4 times per the instructions.

    When we came back this past weekend we were pleasantly surprised that it seemed to work as described. NO SMELL. So, we used it more this weekend and turned it again before we left.

    However, all was not well. We noticed on Saturday that a urine odor had started to seep into the room. Long and short of it, I had turned the fan/heater on and we believe that 2 things were wrong. 1) the heater warmed up the urine and thus the smell and 2) my plan of having the fan blow out the 4" stack is not working. I won't go into details but needless to say it was likely blowing through the seat and into the room and not out the stack. It should be sucking through the seat and blowing out the stack, not the other way around. We believe this to be the case since when I turned the fan/heater off and aired out the room, no smell.

    So, I have some work to do on my configuration, but so far we are pleased to NOT be sitting over a bag on a very small plastic stool.

    If anyone is interested any further I'll keep this thread going. We will be going back up to the cabin in a few weeks for an extended stay and that will be the real test as to how it performs.

    Tim
    If you paint the part of the vent pipe that is outside black, you will get more convection.
  • bobdogbobdog Solar Expert Posts: 192 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?
    monoloco wrote: »
    If you paint the part of the vent pipe that is outside black, you will get more convection.

    Yep I have the paint and primer all ready to go next time we're up there in a couple of weeks. Great minds think alike...:D
  • The Only SargeThe Only Sarge Solar Expert Posts: 164 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?
    Actually the term "American" is common parlance for a citizen of the U.S.A., whereas residents of the continent would be "North Americans" to differentiate from "South Americans" or "Central Americans" (even though there is no continent by that name).

    C'est la vie! :D
    We are just plain ol Texans wherever we are.;)
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    As I have posted before,, composing toilets (in my experience) only work with heat in moderate climates. The main reason for the heat is to maintain a temp that allows fast enough biologic decomp. Without heat, the mass gets too wet, and does not compost effectively.

    Given a choice, I would use a well designed outhouse any and every day before I would invest in a composting toilet to use off grid. Even on grid I wouldn't bother.

    I have even built propane heaters for composting toilets and they worked great,,, but consumed ~ 5 gallons of propane per month. Not a very good use of energy in my opinion.

    Tony
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    You could also refer to yourself as a North Hemispherican

    Now you can call me Ray, or you can call me J, or you can call me Johnny, or you can call me Sonny....
    bobdog wrote: »
    I feel much better now...thanks 'Coot...:roll:
  • bobdogbobdog Solar Expert Posts: 192 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?
    icarus wrote: »
    As I have posted before,, composing toilets (in my experience) only work with heat in moderate climates. The main reason for the heat is to maintain a temp that allows fast enough biologic decomp. Without heat, the mass gets too wet, and does not compost effectively.

    Given a choice, I would use a well designed outhouse any and every day before I would invest in a composting toilet to use off grid. Even on grid I wouldn't bother.

    I have even built propane heaters for composting toilets and they worked great,,, but consumed ~ 5 gallons of propane per month. Not a very good use of energy in my opinion.

    Tony

    We'll be back up in 2 weeks and we'll see how the last month for it has gone. It's been warm and dry up there, but monsoons are starting so we'll see. I'll post more from the cabin.:D
  • bobdogbobdog Solar Expert Posts: 192 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    well we're here and I wanted to post an update. Sorry if the message gets cut off, but we're using slow, slow, slow dial up.

    Anyway, walked into the cabin a few hours ago and to our delight, there was no smell nor any flies. Went straight to the toilet and opened it, and again no smell except the smell of dirt/soil from the compost mix by Sunmar. It is a bit dry and so I will add a bit of water to it tomorrow after we get settled in. But, all in all it appears so far to be working properly.

    I'm going to try to order a soil moisture meter through this slow connection and have it waiting at home when we get back. That way I can better determine the water needs of the toilet.

    Cabin temp is about 65 (f) and I suspect that is warm enough for the toilet to work for the small amount we have and will be using it.

    So far, So good.

    Tim
  • bobdogbobdog Solar Expert Posts: 192 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    Toilet is working well. However, saw a fly. Just 1, but that's a bad sign. So, I'm gonna try diatomacious earth first. My question is does anyone have any idea how much I should put in the toilet? A cup? 2 cups? Any idea?
  • SCharlesSCharles Solar Expert Posts: 123 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    I tried the diatomaceous earth and wasn't happy with the results. Meaning, still had the tiny flies. Whether using it did any good I just cannot say. It may have been killing some of them off, but we still had a lot.

    I ultimately gave up and bought a pest strip and hung it down in the toilet by a piece of wire. Trouble with that is, you gotta remove the thing before using the toilet and put it back in. But, it works. Within a couple days, no more flies. But there will be pupae in there and they'll mature in a little while, and, more adults. So we usually leave the strip in the toilet for a few weeks. If the infestation is really serious, I place a plastic bag over the opening and lower the seat on it, turn off the exhaust fan for a couple days during the night when we aren't using the toilet. This seems to assist the process, perhaps it makes a more concentrated dose of the insecticide. By the way, when we remove the strip to use the toilet, we hang it down inside a trash can we have next to the toilet for paper, etc., by the same wire. Then just hang it back in the toilet after use. If we have company coming, I remove the strip completely until the company has left.

    I was reluctant to use the strip, as we otherwise do not use poisons or chemical insecticides in or around our place. However, ultimately I decided that having the flies possibly spreading bacteria around the house would probably be worse than using the pest strip. We seem to have to do this about twice a year, give or take. During the day, I keep the exhaust fan going so there is likely no insecticide getting out into the home.
  • bobdogbobdog Solar Expert Posts: 192 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    what brand of pest strip are you using?
  • SCharlesSCharles Solar Expert Posts: 123 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    The latest one we used is called Hot Shot. I got it at Lowe's, have seen it at HD. We have used others in the past, don't recall what brand(s), and all of them have worked.

    By the way, our composter [SunMar] has a tray in the base which holds some of the material for further drying. Once I found flies and larvae down in the tray. Now I make sure that I empty that tray and leave it empty while I am using the pest strip because I think the fumes from the pest strip probably won't get down into that area much.
  • green_fieldgreen_field Registered Users Posts: 7
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    A lot of high tech being talked about here to handle a no-tech issue. May I suggest you check out the Humanure Handbook? This is my choice of how to handle matters in an off-the-grid situation, and it works well. Mother Nature knows what to do, and has been doing it for quite a while now.

    http://humanurehandbook.com/downloads/H2_all.pdf
  • bobdogbobdog Solar Expert Posts: 192 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    I'm sure you're not suggesting I get rid of my perfectly good, and working Sun-Mar? All I'm asking is how much DE to use. Other than that the composting toilet is a dream and works great. Thanks for the suggestion, but I already did the poo in a bucket for 2 years and won't be going back.

    Now if there is a suggestion in there about how to control flies I'd be happy to hear about it, but our toilet works great and has for a year. I suspect it will continue to do so.

    Thanks again.

    Tim
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    Bob,

    I don't think can err Wi th too much. Dump some in, see if it does the trick, th en dial it up or down as needed.

    T
  • bobdogbobdog Solar Expert Posts: 192 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    Thanks Tony. I'll do that. With winter coming on, it's likely the fly problem will sort itself out for the next few months as the cabin will be uninhabited from mid December until March at the earliest. More likely April. But, then I'll have to get a handle on the problem.

    Tim


    icarus wrote: »
    Bob,

    I don't think can err Wi th too much. Dump some in, see if it does the trick, th en dial it up or down as needed.

    T
  • PolychrestPolychrest Registered Users Posts: 17 ✭✭
    Re: composting toilets - AC or DC or NE?

    We also developed a fly problem at our cottage with our Sun-Mar NE this summer. Our problem appears to have stemmed from letting the compost get too dry. Apparently flies much prefer dry compost over stuff that has higher moisture content. We were in the habit of leaving our 12-volt fan on all the time, even when we were away for a week or two. We found that by turning off the fan when we left, plus adding water occasionally to the toilet (and not using the great outdoors as a pissoir) the bugs didn't reproduce nearly as vigorously.
Sign In or Register to comment.