The Eco John Incinerating Toilet, SR series

What is an Incinerating Toilet?

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.

Eco John incinerating toilet operating diagramOPERATION

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)

 Diagram of Eco John control boardCONTROL BOARD

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).


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:


10 Responses to The Eco John Incinerating Toilet, SR series
  1. Lynn Campbell
    April 17, 2011 | 2:56 pm

    We have one of these toilets and we love it. You can use for about one year without having to clean the ash pit. Great eco-friendly product.

  2. Monica & Nikki
    April 26, 2012 | 11:17 am

    Thanks for the feedback Lynn,
    cleaning out the ash pit only once a year is a bonus in our books! It’s nice to have ‘Green’ options when considering ‘Black Water’ septic systems.

  3. David
    September 21, 2012 | 4:43 pm

    Very happy with our Ecojohn toilet. We have used it in our cabin for the past 4 years and it works great. We’re 4 people using it on the weekends.

  4. Monica & Nikki
    September 26, 2012 | 11:28 am

    Thanks for the thumbs up David,
    it’s great to hear positive results from people who are using these Green Alternative Toilets for Waste Disposal. The more we choose Eco-friendly products, and the more success we have with them, then perhaps we can educate the permit inspectors out there insisting on traditional Black Water Septic Systems before issuing a building permit!

  5. Pam
    January 20, 2013 | 4:55 am

    While I love this concept, I find the ecojohn design awful since an auger (spring) carries the solid waste to the chamber. In other words, your waste goes into this spring to be carried off. This solid waste frequently sticks to the spring and doesn’t make it to the chamber. Instead you are forced to use a stick to scrape off the spring. Disgusting.

    They do recommend their paper liners to alleviate this problem, however the paper liners are 75 cents each and frequently don’t work as they just get wrapped up into the spring causing cleaning the spring to be even more difficult. I suggest this toilet only be used for urine.

    If you have a solid waste disposal need I hear the incinolet toilet doesn’t use an auger spring and may be a better design for solid waste transfer. If anyone has a suggestion on this please let me know I hate that 4k was spent and I don’t love this product.

    I Also received the toilet and the chamber lid is not accessible from the outside of the toilet. We have to take apart the entire toilet to get to the chamber. Also, The lid is on too tight and can’t be moved.

    Ecojohn support only told us to use a blow torch to loosen the lid. This didn’t work and ecojohn has stopped responding to my requests for advice.

  6. Monica & Nikki
    January 21, 2013 | 7:16 am

    Thank you Pam for the detailed feedback on your experience with your EcoJohn Incinerating Toilet.
    The more informed peope are ahead of time, the better decisions can be made before purchasing, especially at such a high cost as you mentioned.

    I also think it’s importiant for potential buyers, to be aware of any challenges with customer support.
    Perhaps too, the more people respond in sincerity about their product experience, the company responsible, can step up to the plate and make good on a bad situation.

    It’s a shame you had such a bad experience.
    Keep us posted if your dilemma changes.
    We’d love to post a good outcome from a bad situation.

  7. Marti Heinert
    January 31, 2013 | 5:59 am

    We bought an Eco john wc series about 6 months ago. It still does not work. We have had a sanican in are yard more then not.

    They have not been helpful with this at all. They just tell us that it works all over the world, it should be working here.

    However it won’t shut off when it is out of crap and keeps burning all your propane.

    I hate the thing.

  8. Monica & Nikki
    February 1, 2013 | 7:25 am

    Thanks Marti for your feedback on the Eco John Incinerating Toilet.
    Seems like you’re not the first person to end up with a product that doesn’t seem to work properly, and without the appropriate customer service from the company.
    Again, I stree the importance of being as informed as one can about a product before purchasing.
    One can only hope that word of mouth, honest disatisfied feedback will encourage the company to step up to the plate and make good on a bad situation.
    Keep us posted if anything changes, or you find an alternative solution.

  9. Marti Heinert
    March 12, 2013 | 8:32 pm

    We were not happy with our first Eco John, but the guys were Really helpful and got use one the right size for our home. We now are very happy with the new one. Thanks guys for being there and standing behind your product until we were very happy. Thanks for all your help.

  10. Monica & Nikki
    March 24, 2013 | 2:49 pm

    Thanks for writing in Marti, there seems to be mixed reviews with this system of Incineratiing Toilets. Glad to hear it all worked out for you with customer support, and you’re now happy with your new Eco John!

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