A Quick Guide to Incinerator Toilets

Saving the earth is becoming more of a priority than moral responsibility. One small part of your home can hugely help water conservation and waste reduction. With gallons of water pushed down your toilet to flush human waste, innovations have been developed to reduce water and waste as much as possible to a minimum. Two options that are becoming popular are composting toilets and incinerating toilets.

What are incinerator toilets?

An incinerating toilet is a waterless system that is an eco-friendly alternative to flush toilets. It looks almost similar but is often made of stainless steel, and you also go about your business almost the same way. And its best feature? You get to save around 4,000 gallons of water because you use none for it to work.

Another reason incinerating toilets are becoming popular is that instead of taking human waste to the sewer, septic system, or containers for compost, it is turned into ash in the toilet itself. The waste is heated at high temperatures and becomes an insignificant amount of ash remains. Too small that in a household of four, you’ll only produce about a teacup of ashes in a week. And because this is an organic and sterile material, you can use it as fertilizer.

Even with no need for a water supply, it remains odour-free and user-friendly. And for small spaces like RVs and tiny houses, and structures with no running water, this is an ideal eco-friendly and practical substitute for regular flush toilets.

How do incinerator toilets work?

An incinerating toilet eliminates waste efficiently. It is used almost the same way as regular flush toilets but has to work with a battery or plugged into electricity for the control panel and the ventilation system to work.

The first thing in the process is a bowl liner or paper filter is dropped on the metal bowl first. This liner collects human waste and prevents it from touching the bowl surface, keeping the toilet clean whenever you do your business.

The metal bowl is composed of a pair of panels. With a press of a button or a pedal, the panels open, dropping the filled bowl liner to the incinerator chamber that sits at the bottom of the toilet. In other models that are not self-contained, the incinerators are outside the toilet unit.

Once the panels close, the chamber becomes sealed for the incinerating process. Unlike flush toilets that carry the waste into the sewers or septic tanks and the composting toilet that turns it into compost, incinerating toilets burn the waste material. It uses heat to evaporate liquids and turn solid waste into sterile ash remains. In an incinerating cycle, the heating unit inside the chamber dries and then burns the contents for a particular duration. At the same time, the blower or ventilation fan cools the chamber. This can either be electricity- or gas-powered.

The setup contains a separate exhaust pipe and venting system for the gases, dust, and ash particles. A cycle can run from less than an hour to a few hours, depending on the load size and whether liquid or solid waste.

How to use an incinerator toilet

Before you go about your business, you must drop a liner into the bowl. Once done, you push a pedal to allow the filled liner into the incinerator chamber. Compared to composting toilets, incinerator toilets require less maintenance to process the waste and keep out the odor. It does not store the waste and takes the process too long before it turns into compost or fertilizer. The toilet does its job inside its chamber, and while the incinerating cycle is ongoing, people can still use it. One simply has to start or restart the process at the push of a button on the control panel, and everything else is automatic.

To maintain this incinerator toilet, the ash bin needs to be emptied and cleaned periodically, and the exhaust pipe every several months to once a year.

The benefits of using incinerator toilets

An incinerating toilet takes water out of the equation. Aside from saving on water costs and helping conserve water, it is a huge benefit for homes that do not have a regular supply or sometimes experience water shortages.

If being eco-friendly and waterless is a priority, composting and incinerating toilets are ideal options. But composting toilets go through a natural process, which can take effort and time to maintain. On the other hand, the incinerating toilet’s fast and almost automatic process requires less maintenance and a nearly effortless routine in throwing out waste. If using electricity is a concern, applying green energy to make it work will boost its environmental-friendly feature. In addition, the incinerating chamber is a productive and efficient device that produces the least waste.

Its waterless system removes plumbing, drainage, and sewage system as its requirement. Without it, incinerating toilets do not need to be fixed on the floor and let you worry about pipes and leaks. It is easy to move and place in almost any place in your home.

Compared to flush and compost toilets, you do not have to worry about temperature when placing and using the incinerating toilet. There is no moisture and warmth to maintain or pipes to keep from freezing.

As odour can be an issue for toilets, it can be unnoticeable when the venting pipes are placed correctly and in good locations, depending on wind conditions and direction.

How much do incinerator toilets cost?

Upfront, incinerating toilets can be pricier than composting and regular flush toilets. On top of the unit’s cost of around $1000 to about $5000 are the installation costs and the incinerating toilet’s everyday use of bowl liners, fuel, and electricity. This electricity, averaging 1 kWh per cycle, is for the control panel, the chamber’s heating system, and the ventilation fan to work. In the long run, with the use of green energy and without the water use costs and upkeep efforts, purchasing incinerating toilets can make up for the price and become more advantageous to your home. It has less impact that badly affects the environment and more benefits for clean water and sustainable living.

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