Many people who install composting toilets in their houses quickly point out that they do not smell. And that is true; otherwise, who will endure the smell of poo and wee in the house?
However, most composting toilets are not meant for big houses with many people using them. Big homes should be connected to a sewerage system or septic tank, especially if they house many people.
Compositing toilets have limited capacity, and since humans spew huge amounts of feces and urine, these toilets may sufficiently service frequent usage. However, you may wonder, what is a tiny house?
As the name suggests, tiny homes are small living spaces often occupied by no more than six people. Here are the top composting toilets for tiny houses.
Although installing a regular toilet in your tinny house would mean you do not deal with fecal matter, it is not efficient for a tiny house. This is true if you intend to relocate in the future.
If you live in a tiny home with a composting toilet, you will have to overcome the poo embarrassment and learn about bodily waste and how to deal with it. This article will enlighten you on using a composting toilet in a tiny house.
If you are a coffee lover and looking for a good coffee machine for off-grid living, here are the 5 Best Coffee Makers For Off Grid And RV Living.
Toilet Options For a Tiny House
You have several toilet options when you are living in a tiny house. Here are some ideas:
1- Compositing Toilet
A composting toilet is different from regular flush toilets because after defecating, you add sawdust or other dry carbon materials and allow the microorganism to act on the waste to produce an odorless compost.
You can install different types of composting toilets in your tinny house:
- For instance, you can have an active composting toilet that breakdown waste materials faster. Most active systems are fitted with fans and heaters to create ideal conditions for decomposition. You may need an active system if you intend to use it frequently or if many people use it. Some active composting toilets separate urine from solid fecal matter for quick drying.
- Alternatively, if the composting toilet is infrequently used, you can install the slow compost toilet. These toilets take time to decompose the waste because they do not have fans or heaters. You only add sawdust after every use to prevent the bad odor from filling the house.
Composting toilets requires regular emptying to avoid strong smells. The challenge with emptying them is that you can touch your feces, especially if they don’t have strong fans and heaters.
Also, composting toilets with a liquid draining compartment facilitate composting, but you must regularly empty the wee. Otherwise, it will stink the house.
Once the compost toilet is full, you would remove the bag for disposal into the sewerage system or the farm to serve as manure.
If you are interested in exploring more about composting toilets, check out the 5 Best Composting Toilets For Off-Grid, including what to look for when choosing a composting toilet.
2- Chemical Toilets
Besides composting toilets, you can also install chemical toilets for tinny houses. Most caravan goers know these toilets very well. They are cheap and convenient for people living in a touring caravan.
What is a chemical toilet? A chemical toilet is not connected to sewage pipes but comes with a holding compartment where waste is chemically treated until disposal. Generally, chemical toilets are self-contained and movable.
Nevertheless, the chemicals are hazardous and unfriendly to the environment. They have toxic nasties that should not be touched or smelled.
Furthermore, suppose you live on private property with no sewerage system or septic tank. In that case, you will need to make arrangements for the waste material to be collected every fortnight, which could be expensive.
Since humans use the toilet daily, you may need to buy the chemicals regularly, adding to the overall cost.
3- Incinerating Toilet
Incinerating toilet is another toilet option for a tinny house. However, some think that unlike composting toilets, whose waste can be used as fertilizer, incinerating toilets is wasteful.
So, what is an incinerating toilet? An incinerating toilet is a dry toilet that uses electric heat to burn human feces instead of flushing them away with water and turning them into a small amount of bacteria-free ash.
Nevertheless, incinerating toilets has certain benefits. It turns your waste into ash, enabling you to dispose of them easily without bad odor or mess.
The ash is rich in phosphorus and potassium, which can enrich your farm for gardening. You do not need water or a septic tank; therefore, convenient for living outdoors or moving.
The pipe is fitted into the bathroom to help with incineration, which often gets hot. It can be a bonus for warming your bathroom, but if you have little ones, they could burn their hand if they curiously touch it.
Generally, incinerating toilets are excellent off-grid alternatives for tinny houses. They reduce the frequency at which you empty the toilet, and they do not smell. However, they are expensive, and ordinary customers may not afford them.
Styles Of Tinny House Composting Toilets
Composting toilets come in different styles to choose from. Let’s consider some of these.
1- Modern Urine Diverting Toilets
These composting toilets come with two tanks: one for poo and the other for urine. A skillfully designed bowl and gravity separate the urine so they do not fill the tank fast.
We all know that humans release a vast amount of urine and feces. The separation helps to save space for dry fecal matter. Urine may also create excess water in the compost, affecting the efficiency of the microorganisms and bacteria.
Separating urine also reduces the rate at which you empty your toilet.
2- Drop Composting Toilets
These toilets are tank-like that take in feces and urine. After every use, you add sawdust or dry carbon material to prevent the smell and help to dry the waste. The challenge with this composting toilet is drying the waste because we produce more urine than poo.
If the waste remains moist, it will smell, and you cannot keep adding sawdust to fill the tank. Therefore, you may have to deal with the smell if you have these toilets.
3- Portable Chemical Toilets
These toilets take in everything, but the waste is treated with chemicals. The compost toilet has an in-built water tank that acts as a flush. Once the small holding tank is full, it is emptied into a designed deposit station or conventional toilet.
If you have installed the modern diverting compost toilet, you must empty the urine tank daily or every two days. The poo tank can be emptied after three months if two people use it correctly.
However, you may have a smelling problem if the urine mixes with the poo.
What Determines Whether The Composting Toilet In a Tiny House Smells?
1- Composting Mix
The poo tank for a new composting toilet is often filled with wet coco pitch and enzymes. These enzymes and microorganisms facilitate the decomposition of poo in the tank. Your role is to keep the right balance of coco-pitch and enzymes.
You can also add sawdust to feed the microorganisms. If you add plenty of coco-pitch or sawdust, the enzymes will be healthy, and the toilet won’t smell. However, it will smell if the tank does not have enough coco-pitch.
The microorganisms can also die if you use strong detergents to clean the toilet, thus causing the mix to smell. Too much moisture in the poop can also be a problem resulting in the smell because the waste cannot decompose.
Installing the modern urine-separating composting toilet can solve the problem. Alternatively, add more sawdust to absorb the water and keep the poop dry.
Like conventional toilets, composting toilets’ bowls need to be cleaned. Since parts of their bowls have moveable parts, the toilet can smell if feces get trapped in the system.
You want to regularly wash it and ensure urine does not mix with poo if that is the design.
If you use the modern urine-diverting composting toilet, you should sit down when pooing or peeing so the toilet can function properly.
You can also lay a paper coffer in the bowl as a liner before pooing to make it easy to clean.
4- Exhaust Fan
Your active composting toilet should have an exhaust fan that removes air from the tank and channel it outside via an external wall.
The exhaust fan ensures that the fresh air from the bathroom is channeled down to the toilet to keep the room fresh.
5- Having The Correct View Of The Poo
From a young age, we are taught not to touch poo, urine, or the toilet for obvious health reasons. The parents and teachers did not want us to introduce disease-causing bacteria into our bodies.
However, taking these precautions to extremes is common and becoming poo-phobic. But you will have to see poo when you live in a tiny house and use composting toilets. Sometimes you will need to wipe skids from the bowl without a long brush.
Composting toilets also requires emptying after every few months. Therefore, build a positive relationship with your waste. Learn to appreciate it rather than hate it. You can return your waste to the earth, thus feeding the plants with good manure.
Investing in a composting toilet for your tiny house is worth it. You can choose a compositing toilet, chemical toilet, or incinerating toilet.
I suggest investing in a compositing toilet for your tiny house as it can save money and significantly lessen your environmental impact over time.