What is an Incinerating Toilet?
Burn baby burn! Waste is incinerated using either electricity, propane, gas or even wood into a harmless ash that can then be disposed of any way you want. The beauty of this system is that it requires no water, no plumbing, no septic fields, and very little maintenance on the part of the user. It DOES however, require 120 volts of electricity on a regular 15amp circuit, and an ongoing supply of paper bowl liners which you can purchase from the manufacturer. For some reason the paper bowl liners remind me of coffee filters so if any of you have ever experimented and substituted with a coffee filter I’d like to know how that turned out (grin).
The set up is straight forward enough. Place the unit where you want and connect the 4” exhaust pipe out the rear of the unit (no pun intended ) and out an exterior wall. Make sure the pipe rides above the roof top line as smells have been noted outside when the unit is in ‘burn’ mode. Plug in to a 15amp/120volt plug and you’re in business so to speak.
There are some habits that all family members will need to adjust to. Before each use a protective bowl liner will need to be placed in the bowl. You will WANT to do this as it keeps the bowl clean and that means LESS cleaning for you.
After each deposit you step on the foot pedal and the liner is dropped through the hinged bowl into the holding/burning chamber below- pleasantly out of view. The burn area can hold from 2-4 flushes before an incineration is necessary or you can press the button regularly after each use. When you press the start button it activates a heating coil that in turn starts the incineration process. The burn heats up to temperatures of up to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour and a half. The smoke is filtered through an odor control catalyst something like the ones found on a car’s exhaust system and out the exhaust vent. The blower continues to extract heat after the coil has shut down until the chamber has cooled to about 130 degrees. The manufacturer says you can use the loo during this process just in case you were wondering, however I don’t know how I feel about that. Even my oven doesn’t reach those temperatures so I think I’d rather sit that dance out just in case. This is (for someone like me with an excruciatingly small bladder) a deal breaker. I could use this product in addition to something else…but never on it’s own for that reason. I’m busy like every 60 minutes (is that too much information?) so you can see my dilemma.
Once the ash pan has cooled down to room temperature, the debris, completely sanitary now, can be discarded any way you please. My vote is still mixing it into the rose garden.
I have found reviews from the Barnstable County Health Organization online, as well as comments left behind on the blog Wombat Nation to be very helpful. Overall the greatest pitfall seemed to be the smell during the burning process which others added is negligible if only the venting stack to the outside is placed ABOVE the roof line. One interesting review of note was found in the USA Environmental Protection Agency which conducted a study in Kentucky and Alaska back in the 70’s to determine the effectiveness of both electrical (Incinolet), and gas (Stoburn) incinerating toilets.
Unfortunately, the Incinolet model of the time didn’t fair too well and was abandoned by those in the study in favor of outhouses due to their poor performance incinerating the waste completely. Apparently, they weren’t too happy scraping partially burnt remains off the inside walls of the burn chamber which was supposed to be self cleaning like an oven. In fairness this is a really old study and one would hope that some significant strides have been made since 1999 when this was posted. If you want to read up on it yourself check out page three of this document.
The company has been around 40 years run out of Dallas, Texas and ships all over the world. There are a number of products depending on whether you are outfitting a workshop, a house, an RV, boat, barn or cottage, and full or part time use, but all of them are under $2000.00 at the time of this posting. Of course you will have to factor in toilet bowl liners and electrical for the life of the product. If you are hooked up to your own grid, yippy skippy!
You can find Incinolet at 2639 Andjon, Dallas, Texas 75220. Phone 1-800-527-5551.
WEB SITE : http://www.incinolet.com/