In a nutshell it burns off all the waste into a completely safe little bit of ash, which you can then dispose of in the garbage or your flower garden if you choose. It requires no plumbing, nor septic fields, nor water which is a beautiful option to traditional methods. It was designed for remote areas or simply for those of us with an Eco conscience who prefer to live a more sustainable-green lifestyle.
There are different methods of burning the waste from the use of electricity, to fuels such as propane and gas to burning wood. In this instance we are looking at an incineration method involving fuel.
Early on the Eco Johns product was made and distributed in Sweden. In 2000 the first SR5 units were sold in Europe and then in 2003 in North America. Today all makes and models are made, manufactured and developed in Fountain Valley, California by Global Inventive Industries, the sole maker of Eco Johns. This company appears to have their ‘shit’ together (no pun intended) as they keep on staff an engineering team that will work with you to customize a system to your unique needs. They have a line of incinerating and composting toilets, and even an incinerating system to work with low flow water toilets for those of us who can’t for whatever reason take ‘the big plunge’ and go waterless.
I’d love to lay it down for you in layman’s terms how this whole thing works but the truth is I’m dealing with a head cold that could slog a horse, and I’m just not up to it at the moment. I figure the manufacturer does a fine job explaining their product so I’ve cut and pasted a page from their website and I hope they won’t have their shorts in a knot given that this is spreading the word for them. If they are ‘pissed’ they’ll have to let me know and of course I’ll take it down. Just remember my motives revolved around a head cold, and I’ll stop with the potty puns now.
After the toilet has been used, all waste, liquid waste, and paper gets moved into the burn chamber by an auger. Automatically, a built in burner ignites and starts the incineration process. The incineration process continues until all of the waste material is gone. This process takes about 5-10 minutes for a short cycle (liquid waste) and 20-30 minutes for a long cycle (waste).
The SR models can be run off Propane, Diesel or Natural Gas (see technical info)
All SR models are equipped with a control board and display panel that signals when the incineration process is completed. The panel also indicates if there have been too many frequent usages, or if ignition issue needs attention (i.e. out of Propane or Diesel).
CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE
Only periodically, the burn chamber needs to be emptied of some ash. The ash is sterile and hence not harmful. The cleaning of ashes can be done from the outside of the toilet; a special cleaning lid and cap to the burn chamber can be accessed from the back of the unit, which makes the cleaning process very easy and sanitary. A standard Shop Vac is recommended to use to vacuum the ashes out.
In order to keep the auger and bowl clean, the toilets are all equipped with a small water reservoir of about 1 quart of water. By pushing a rinse button, some water can be rinsed in the bowl and auger. Bowl liners may also be used to ensure a more hygienic unit. As an option, a catalytic converter with a fan that cleans the outgoing air is also available for purchase.
Back to the MEH blogster…now I know what you are thinking. Of course the maker of the thing is going to toot their own horn so you want to know what the customers have to say about it. I did run across one post from someone in the Montana Rockies off the Wombat nation site who actually used the word ‘outstanding’ in the body of the text. They went on to say it was not without some problems; however, the company’s’ phone tech. help was just great.
Then they trashed the competition Stoburn using words like ‘scammed’ for wanting their fees up front, but then the product wasn’t delivered in spite of multiple efforts to get them to do so. They didn’t say if they got their money back, but given the emphasis on the word ‘scammed’ I don’t think so.
Now it’s my job to say buyer beware. I don’t endorse these products when I haven’t used them myself so the best I can do is bring them to your attention, tell you to do your own research, and get back to me to share your own experiences when you do make a purchase. We wanna know what’s ‘crap’, what’s not and why. That said here’s how you can hook up with the Eco John folks: