Friday, 29 April 2011

Composting Toilets - Clean, Odorless & Money Saving!

If you're like most people, chances are you don't really know what a composting toilet is or how it works. If your initial reaction to the idea is one of disgust, then read on, because we're about to shed some light on the subject! Many people think of a composting toilet as something similar to a port-a-potty or an outhouse. Contrary to this unpleasant image, composting toilets are very clean and sanitary, and they make a great alternative to traditional fixtures. In this article, we'll explain how composting toilets work, and why they are a superior waste management solution that you just might want to consider for your home.

The biggest misconception surrounding composting toilets is that they smell. In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth! If you purchase the right unit, it will be 100% odor free. Good composting toilets use a venting system to maintain odor free operation. A 2" or 4" vent stack must be installed to run vertically up from the toilet and out the roofline of your home. The vent stack is designed to draw air downward through the seat and then up and out the vent. This maintains a partial vacuum inside the unit and ensures that no odor can enter the bathroom. In some units, there is also a small fan assembly to assist with airflow.

There are many varieties of composting toilets to choose from, and contrary to popular belief, not all of them are waterless! There are many composting systems available that use water flushing toilets. These types of units are called central systems, and they are made up of a central composting unit (picture a big box) that sits in the basement or lower level. A separate, more traditional-looking toilet fixture is installed in the bathroom and connected to your water pipes to provide flushing liquid.

The finished product from a composting toilet is, of course, compost. While the uninitiated might have concerns about compost coming from human waste, there is no need to worry. Provided that you followed the manufacturer's instructions, the finished product from your composting unit will be clean and non-offensive. In fact, it will look and smell just like any other normal compost you might purchase from a nursery or garden center.

When shopping for a composting toilet, be sure to look into the product's certifications. Has it been tested to comply with national or international standards for waste management systems? Within North America, composting toilet systems are tested to NSF/ANSI Standard #41. To date, only two manufacturers of composting toilets have successfully had their systems tested and certified to comply with this standard.

The first is Clivus Multrum, a manufacturer of composting systems designed for use in parks and outdoor facilities. The second is Sun-Mar, a Canadian manufacturer of composting toilets designed and approved for residential use. It may be helpful to note that, for consumer's protection and safety, the NSF only certifies composting toilets that are odorless and that produce compost with fecal coliform that does not exceed 200 MPN per gram. In other words, if you use the unit correctly, the finished compost is sanitary and it will not make anyone sick. For more information, visit the NSF's website.

Traditional toilets use as much as 30% of the average household's water consumption. As we move through the 21st century, composting toilets will become an increasingly popular choice for those who need to conserve water, or who simply wish to save money on expensive water and sewer costs. Furthermore, composting toilets are no longer the ugly, awkward fixtures of the past. Modern systems are sleek and contemporary, and blend perfectly in a residential setting. If you're like other Americans looking for ways to save money or minimize your ecological impact, now may be a good time to consider a composting toilet system for your home.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Classic Toilet Myths Debunked

Depending on your location, a trip to the bathroom can be somewhat scary. A few restroom toilets that personally frighten me are rest stop toilets, sporting event toilets and the one and only outdoor port a potty. The germs, the smells, and the stories that surround the throne has me contemplating whether to hold it or venture into the bathroom. The following are a few myths about the toilet that I would like to put to rest.

1: Sexually Transmitted Diseases: According to many doctors it is almost impossible to contract a serious STD from a toilet seat. The only possible STD that can be transmitted through the toilet is Crabs also know as pubic lice. However, these lice can only survive without a host human body for 24 hours. Therefore the chance of contracting lice is nearly impossible. Unfortunately for unfaithful lovers you will have to find another scapegoat. My suggestion is to blame it on hotel bedding, or a hotel towel. You have a better chance of contracting pubic lice this way. As for the other horrific sexually transmitted diseases good luck. I would start looking for a good doctor and an understanding new lover.

2. Alligator: Look out for alligators taking a dip in your toilet. The myth that an alligator can get into your pipes and crawl up your toilet is false. There once was a case in New York where a large alligator was found in a New York City sewer. According to the story a few adolescents were shoveling snow into a manhole when they discovered a 7 foot alligator. New York Municipalities did some investigating and found a few small alligators in the New York City sewers. All the alligators were killed with rat poison. Now you can sit on your toilet with a little more confidence, knowing that you will have both cheeks when you get up. Even those sitting on a New York toilet.

3. Toilet seat germs: The toilet seat has the most germs in the bathroom. The bathroom has a ton of germs and bacteria but the toilet seat doesn't even rank when it comes to the dirtiest places in the bathroom. The toilet paper dispenser, door handle, toilet flush mechanism, and the floor put the toilet seat to shame. Dropping your cell phone on the floor, then placing a call gives a whole new meaning to, "talking crap."

4 Toilet flush: The toilet swirls counter clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in southern hemisphere. This is wrong, the toilet flushes the same everywhere. The Coriolis effect which is said to affect the direction of the water swirl has no influence on the toilet flush. One world, one flush.

5. John Crapper invented the first toilet: The Minoans of Crete are credited with inventing the first toilet centuries ago. The first toilet actually patented was in 1775 by Alexander Cummings. Cummings toilet left water behind after each flush, which was revolutionary. John Crapper has be dethroned from toilet royalty.

If you decide that the toilet you are about to embark upon is not of your liking. Keep this is mind. Holding it in can be painful and lead to severe negative effects on your body. Your best bet on battling the bathroom is hand sanitizer and try not to touch anything. Hovering or building a nest is also suggested.

Toilets can actually save water. A dual flush toilet can save thousands of gallons of water annually

Tag : toilet,myths,Debunkde

Friday, 8 April 2011

3 Tips For the Quickest Proven Way to Stop an Overflowing Toilet

Dealing with an overflowing toilet is never pleasant, but it always seems to happen at the most unexpected and inconvenient time. We really don't care what caused the toilet to overflow (although this information is always helpful for future reference) because time is of the essence in this situation, and we just want to stop the immediate problem as quickly as possible. But let's first look at possible causes anyway so that you will be able to prevent this headache in the future. This is easier than you might think. Either your trap, drain, or bowl is partially or completely clogged. So what are signs that your bowl might be clogged?

  • Toilet won't drain properly
  • Toilet doesn't flush
  • Toilet overflows
  • Toilet partially flushes

To immediately stop your toilet from overflowing:

1. Take off your tank lid. In your haste, remember to gently place the lid across the toilet bowl so that it won't drop and break.
2. Reach inside the tank and push down on the flapper valve. This will stop the tank from emptying any more water into the toilet bowl. The flapper valve is rubber and is usually located in the center at the bottom of the toilet tank. And don't worry, the water in the tank is sanitary so don't be afraid to put your hand in the water to reach the valve.
3. Lift up the float that operates the toilet tank fill valve. This will prevent the toilet bowl from filling up with more water because water will stop entering the tank from the toilet supply line. Note that the flapper located at the bottom of the tank will be shut.


You see the water level in the toilet bowl slowly dropping, continue holding the toilet tank float up in the highest position. This will ensure that no more water will flow into the tank or toilet bowl. If after a couple of minutes the water level has returned to normal, you can release the toilet tank float. The tank and bowl will refill without overflowing.


You see the water level in the toilet tank is not dropping after a couple of minutes, continue to hold the float up and close the toilet supply valve that is located near the floor or behind the toilet by turning it. You may need someone else to assist you in closing the valve so that you can continue holding the float up. Don't force the toilet supply valve if you can't turn it or the valve may break and result in a major leak.


You can't close the valve or if you don't see the valve, remove the small tube that is sending water through the vertical standpipe. This tube is plastic or rubber. Lift up on the tube and aim it into the toilet tank. At this point you will be able to let the float drop and allow the toilet tank to fill. Once the toilet tank has filled, you can clip the tube back in place and you shouldn't have to worry about your toilet bowl overflowing. Try to remember that if you find yourself in this situation that it happens to everyone from time to time. At least now you know how to stop your toilet from overflowing and can possibly help out a friend in the future should they happen to deal with the same problem.