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Kaz
Kaz

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:50pm

Post Subject: TOILET HUMOUR!!!

Hi it's me again. Water sorted and now looking into different types of toilets available. We have a 56ft narrowboat with is at the moment a completely blank canvas so I can do what I like with it (within reason obviously). So which toilet? What are the pros and cons? etc etc

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:19am

Post Subject: TOILET HUMOUR!!!

This requires a long answer and its in progress so please be patient. Tony Brooks

Kaz
Kaz

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:12pm

Post Subject: TOILET HUMOUR!!!

Don't worry Tony I can wait until you've read the newspaper!......

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:21am

Post Subject: TOILET HUMOUR!!!

I sincerely hope that you are trying to be funny. Unfortunately I can not access your email address from the forum so can not send the reply direct. Your reply is over 800 words long and was written by 11.00 yesterday (17th)and was emailed to the Editor. The reason was twofold. 1 you would not find 800 words with no paragraphs (as displayed by the forum) easy to read. 2. This question is a very good one and may well be the basis of a magazine feature. I have asked the Editor to email you my answer direct if it is to be a feature, or post it on the forum. I replied so you knew your post was not being ignored. I did not get to read the paper until about 16.00 yesterday afternoon - even though I am supposed to be retired from full time work. A very miffed Tony Brooks. PS To other forum users - do not expect any replies from me until I get back from running a course this weekend - probably Monday.

Kaz
Kaz

Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:42pm

Post Subject: TOILET HUMOUR!!!

Hi Tony, I very much appreciate your help and look forward to seeing your very detailed response and thank you for answering so quickly. I know this is a very debatable topic. I have done a fair amount of research myself but pros and cons of all I have come across so now asking the experts to clarify. Hope you had a good weekend and I bet it makes you wonder how you had time to go to work!!

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:57am

Post Subject: TOILET HUMOUR!!!

Dear Karen Only you can really answer this question because the pros and cons are related to personal sensibilities, experience and perceived use of the boat. There are five main types of boat toilet. Two electrical ones and two much simpler ones plus something known as a composting toilet that also demands an electrical supply. The few early adopters seem to have experiences that are rather polarised so until I know a lot more about this one I can not advise using it on a boat. The gentlemen of the party can minimise the emptying of any toilet by using the local topography where possible. Cassette toilets. This is the simplest toilet to fit. Some of which may have an electric flush instead of a manual pump. The flush may be from a separate fresh water tank or from the liquid already in the disposal tank. In the latter case the use of a chemical to make it less unpleasant would be normal. The waste is contained in a relatively small tank either below or built into the toilet case and you have to carry it to an Elsan point to empty and flush it out. In an emergency you could probably dig a deep hole and empty it in the corner of a field. The cost of emptying is usually zero, but in some cases may be a pound or two. The rest use a holding tank to store the waste that has to be emptied by a suction pump. Although self pump out kits are available the places where this is permitted are far fewer that the Elsan points. Usually one uses marinas or navigation authority equipment. Sometimes itâs a DIY job and sometimes itâs done for you. The cost ranges from £8 (EA Thames) to £20 for some attended facilities. Probably plan on it being about £10 to £15. Although this seems expensive the holding tank can be as large as you can fit into your layout, but the boat will nearly always list one way or the other. My own tank on an ex-hire boat will last the whole winter of two or three day visits and perhaps for three weeks (with two on board) during full time cruises. Holding tanks have a reputation for smelling but this is mainly caused by the use of a formaldehyde additive and very undersized tank breathers. In my view you need a breather of about 1â bore at each end of the tank. A flow of air over the effluent allows the bacteria that break down the waste with minimal smell to thrive where as a lack of air or some additives encourage the smelly bacteria. You may need to fight your boat builder to get them to fit two such large breathers, but I can assure you it is worth it. Once you have a holding tank you can choose between the following toilets:- Dump through â this is a fresh water flush toilet where a pedal on the side of the toilet allows a shutter to slide back and allow the doings to fall into the holding tank which is directly below. This one is simple, rarely goes wrong, needs no electricity and itâs easy to see how full the tank is (as long as you have no objection to inspecting the tank contents! Macerator â this type allows the tank to be fitted remote from the toilet and uses a centrifugal impeller to mash the toilet contents up with the flush water and then pump it into the tank. It is much harder for this type of toilet to transmit tank smells into the boat although undersized breathers may make the smell outside the boat unpleasant when flushing. Most toilet hoses will allow smells to eventually permeate the walls it effluent is allowed to stand in them, so the way the hose between toilet and tank runs is vital to prevent the effluent pooling or even flowing back into the toilet after a flush. Vacuum â This one uses a vacuum pump to suck the effluent from the toilet into the tank so it may well preclude the fitting of tank breathers. Again it uses a fresh water flush and the hose run is also important. The choice â I would not want any toilet that demands electricity to clear the bowl because the batteries are often the most troublesome part of the boat. I also do not relish smells from a vacuum toilet tank or having to dismantle a macerator to free the impeller. I also want the simplest and easiest to repair mechanisms so whatever the salesmen may say that rules the last two out. Boaters are probably split 50-50 between dump through and cassette and many with cassettes carry a spare for use in case one becomes full and there is nowhere to empty it close by. This is where personal experience comes in. I can see I will not always be capable of carrying and manoeuvring cassettes and I have had enough of emptying the hire fleets Elsans so my choice is a dump through (with large tank breathers) but as I said about 50% of boaters take a different view. Tony Brooks For more input on smells read this thread â she knows what she is talking about I have confirmed it on JennyB http://www.houseboatmagazine.com/f usetalk/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=4&thread id=11697

Kaz
Kaz

Posted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:27pm

Post Subject: TOILET HUMOUR!!!

Thanks Tony. Appreciate the time and effort in your reply. I'm swaying towards a cassette type for our needs, although that of course opens up new questions.... which one, what make etc etc? Never knew toilets could be so complicated.....

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:54am

Post Subject: TOILET HUMOUR!!!

Now you have seen why I was not keen to post this on the forum - it even alters hyphens and brackets a swell as stripping out hard line returns. If you an organise a trap in the toilet compartment "wall" to allow access form (say) a corridor I suspect the true cassette toilets (as opposed to the "porta potti" types) will have a larger waste capacity and be a fraction more attractive. I have not found it particularly easy trying to separate the top of the Porta potti type from the tank inside the compartment and depending upon boat design, it may not be easy to carry the whole thing through the boat. Tony Brooks

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