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Why a composting toilet?
Composting toilets like the Throne are easy to use and simple and affordable to install. Need a toilet and don’t want to invest thousands in a black tank or septic system? The Throne is a simple DIY project to install.
RV nomads find that a composting toilet can provide far more freedom than a black tank. Park anywhere you like without worrying about finding dump stations, paying to dump, and frequently hauling your entire rig back and forth. Fill your water tanks less frequently because composting toilets need no water for flushing. And compared to a portable cassette toilet, composting toilet users agree there’s far less “ick” to deal with.
Composting toilets also are a great alternative to septic for structures where septic can’t be installed, or the $10-$25k cost just isn’t in the budget. The Throne is a popular addition to hunting cabins, workshops, art studios, short-term campsite rentals, and other simple standalone structures.
Read more about why we each chose to use a composting toilet here.
Why the Throne?
The Throne is SIMPLE, AFFORDABLE, and EFFECTIVE. With a design informed by our collective 34 years of experience using all sorts of composting toilets, the Throne is elegantly simple. No flaps, no cranks, no impossible-to-clean crevices. Just a simple, sleek, wet-bath compatible urine-diverting toilet for far less cash than the others.
Looking to save even more, or build a unique custom Throne? Check out our menu of DIY components and download our Make Your Own Toilet Plans for FREE!
Does it smell?
It shouldn’t. Separating the liquids and solids eliminates a majority of the odor and covering the solids will also help reduce any odors. Ultimately, waste will smell like waste so we recommend using a ventilation fan to remove any odors and manage the moisture content of the solids bin. You can read about troubleshooting smells here.
How often should I empty the solids?
Ultimately, you want to change the solid bucket when it’s about ¾ full. The speed at which this fills will depend on the frequency of use, the number of individuals using it, how much cover material you add after each use, and whether or not you’re putting toilet paper in the bucket. This is largely dependent on personal use. Nick’s family of four empties their Throne every month. Folks who are home all day will empty more frequently than those who tend to be away from the house for more of their “trips to the facilities”. For two people, an average would probably be around every 5-6 weeks with a 5-gallon solids bin.
How often should I empty the liquids?
This is largely dependent on the frequency of use and the size container you utilize for the liquids. The liquids container on the Premium Throne Toilet will hold 2-gallons and Nick’s family of four empties theirs about every four days. Folks who are home all day will empty more frequently than those who tend to be away from the house. For two people, an average would probably be around every 5-6 days for a 2-gallon container. The Throne Toilet will have a liquid level indicator option to signal when the container is full. This helps avoid nasty cleanups and answers the age-old question “can I fit one more pee in there?” We’ve learned the answer is usually “no” but with the level indicator, there’s no need to even ask!
The DIY nature of the Throne also allows you to hook up the diverter to a direct drain if you prefer to have a holding tank outside the home or use a french drain style method for disposing of your liquids.
Where do I empty it?
This will be dependent on your location. Many composting toilet users have compost bins designated for waste and some utilize composting bags. The Throne does not have an agitator which makes it more amenable to using bags. Check out our article on composting waste as well as The Humanure Handbook.
Why separate liquids and solids?
Separating the solids and liquids allows for a much more pleasant toilet experience. The ‘bad’ smell you get from waste is created by anaerobic bacteria that exist in the absence of oxygen, and covering waste with water or urine eliminates oxygen. By keeping the urine separate, you allow the good bacteria in your waste to flourish and continue their natural process of breaking down your waste. Having a separate liquids container also allows you to make use of the phosphorus in your urine to benefit your flowering/fruiting trees/plants. Read more about how to repurpose your waste in the The Humanure Handbook.
Why does the Throne not have an agitator?
A common misconception with composting toilets is that they actually compost your waste while in the toilet. Today’s composting toilets are merely a vessel for you to store your waste for composting elsewhere. An agitator serves no purpose other than merely stirring your poop (which can be hard to do, and impossible for kids to do on their own). It also prevents you from utilizing bags within the toilet and makes it much more difficult to clean. The mounting holes for toilets that have an agitator create an opportunity for leaks (ask us how we know).
Can I use it standing up?
Depends on if you’re going #1 or #2! Those physiologically equipped to do so can stand while they urinate. The Throne’s diverter is designed to minimize the typical splatter you experience with other composting toilet diverters.
Do I need to run the fan all of the time?
We suggest always keeping the fan on. We use a larger fan to minimize power usage (smaller fans have to work harder to move as much air). Keeping the fan on helps manage the moisture content and remove any odors that might be present. If you are off-grid and need to conserve power, you can turn the fan off intermittently, but we recommend trying to run it more consistently.
What are the dimensions of the unit?
The Throne Diverter measures: 16.75” L x 13.5” W x 7” D
The Premium Throne Toilet measures: TBA
Can it be used on a boat or RV with a wet bath?
Yes, the molded seat design of the full Throne unit will allow it to be used within a wet bath.
Where can I find spare parts?
Most of the parts used for the toilet are standard items you can find at the hardware store to make repairs or replacements easier and more affordable. Some items like the diverter and custom molded liquids jug (coming soon) can be ordered directly through our website.
When will the Throne Toilet be available?
We expect to have the Throne Composting Toilet available to purchase later this year. Click here to sign up to receive email updates with our progress and be notified when it is available.
Can I buy all of the DIY components from you?
Yes! While you will need to source the material for actually building the toilet elsewhere, we carry the urine diverter, 2-gallon liquid jug with level alarm, a larger 6-gallon bucket for your solids, and a vent kit. We also have free instructions for building your own composting toilet with our products and whatever custom materials you source on your own.
What makes this diverter so great?
Throughout our years of composting toilet use, and many campfire discussions about what our friends love and hate about their composting toilets, we have come to know that there are a few things that make a good diverter. And just as importantly, we know what makes a bad diverter!
Ability to divert liquids: It has ONE job so it better do it well. But that’s easier said than done. The “delivery locations” of the solids and liquids are precariously close together so building a structure that effectively separates them can be challenging. The divider needs to be adequately tall and steep so as to prevent back-flow of the liquids into the solids opening for the well-hydrated user. Toilets using a shallow diverter have regular complaints of liquids getting into the solids, causing more smell and mess.
Ability to be cleaned: In traditional water toilets, liquids don’t tend to present cleaning issues, but in dry toilets deposits will form anywhere liquids linger (like cracks, crevices, and edges). One of the biggest challenges with many composting toilets is the inability to access the places that the liquids flow. Deposits build up there and are impossible to clean, smell bad, and look unsightly. Our Throne diverter is simple, seamless, and is easy to clean with just a wet cloth. Every part of the diverter can be accessed without disassembling anything. That means no hidden compartments that you can’t clean.