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Sun-Mar FAQs

Q. How much odour comes from a composting toilet?

None. Air is being continuously drawn in to the unit and up the vent stack, creating a partial vacuum in the unit. In addition, the composting drum fosters a good aerobic compost which produces no odours.

Q. How often do you empty a Sun Mar Composting Toilet?

Never completely. You typically empty some of the compost out of the drum once per year for cottage use, once every few months for residential use. In cases of continuous use, you may extract some compost more often. This always sits in the drawer to cure before being removed – you are never handling any fresh waste when the unit is properly operated.

Q. Do I add any chemicals to the Composting Toilet?

No. The only thing that is added is mulch (60% wood shavings, 40% peat moss, or Sun-Mar’s Compost Sure peat mix with hemp). Chemicals are, in fact, dangerous to the composting process and should never be added at all.

Q. What happens in the winter?

Nothing. The compost remains in the drum and freezes, so no composting is taking place. The elements will NOT damage the system during the winter months. In fact, waste can be added in limited quantities during the winter for use as a holding tank, if you are only planning to use the composting toilet about once a month.

Q. Can the composting toilet be used all winter?

Yes. If the area where the composting unit is heated to a minimum 13 degrees Celsius throughout the winter, then composting will occur.

Q. How much electricity do they use?

About 150 Watts. The electric units require hydro to power a fan (30 Watts continuous) and a heating element that is thermostatically controlled. The average draw is about 150 Watts, or the equivalent of a lightbulb. Larger models may have larger power requirements. Please contact us at Toilet Revolution for a spreadsheet to estimate yearly running costs

Q. What if no electricity is available?

No problem. Each Sun-Mar composting toilet is available in non-electric version.

Q. How do you clean it the Composting Toilet?

You only have to clean the bowl (in a central system) or the bowl liner (self-contained unit) as you would a regular bowl, except without the use of chemicals. Recommended cleaners are Sun-Mar Compost Quick or hot water that is mixed with baking soda or vinegar.

Q. Does the Fiberglass used in Sun Mar composting toilets smell?

No. Off gassing from the fiberglass production process does produce an odor, but it is gone by the time that the composting toilet is built and boxed.

Q. What kind of plastics Are used in production?

We use high quality, recyclable, cold-resistant plastics. Sun-Mar engineers use the best materials for each part of the composting toilet. We find that this produces a better product than using one material throughout.

Q. Where are Sun Mar Composting toilets built?

At our plant in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. Please feel free to come and see us anytime during business hours.

Q. How Do You Get the Most Capacity out of a Composting Toilet System?

Different sizes of drums. Common sense tells us that more people means more waste, and for more waste we need a bigger composting vessel. Sun Mar is the only company that offers a larger solution for a larger problem.

Q. Why are you saying that you have the only Residential and Cottage use systems certified and listed under NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) Standard 41?

The facts are right here on NSF’s website. We have the only Residential and Cottage use composting toilet systems certified and listed under NSF Standard 41. If you have any questions please contact NSF directly.

Q. Why does no-one else use a drum inside a composting toilet?

They can’t. Many of our drum design features are patented.

Q. What is the warranty?

All Sun Mar composting toilets carry a full 5 year replacement warranty on the fiberglass tank and a comprehensive 3 year replacement warranty on all other parts.

Q. What parts wear out?

Like brakes or tires on a car, certain parts eventually need to be replaced. On Sun-Mar composting toilets, the fan and the thermostat can fail after a number of years. In both cases the parts are relatively inexpensive and are easily accessible for you to repair.

Q. Is the Fan Noisy?

The fan on AC composting toilets is just as noticeable as an oscillating room fan in terms of noise level. If you are concerned about fan noise being a problem, you can purchase a fan speed control with your unit that will allow you to turn down the fan speed, and therefore the noise, whenever you like. You may have heard from users of older Sun-Mar units (pre-1998) that their fans were noisy. They were noisier than the current model, as the fan was from a different manufacturer and of an entirely different design. Just another example of how we are always improving your composting toilet experience.

Q. On a central system, how far away from the toilet bowl can the composting unit be located?

Up to 15 feet (4500 mm) is usually safe. We have encountered cases that have had longer distances, but in every case we recommend that you carefully follow installation instructions. It is very important that you carefully measure the slope of the pipe in any case.

Q. How many toilets can I hook up to a central composting toilet system?

You may connect up to 3 toilets to any one system. The amount of toilets is not as important as the number of people using the system.

Q. Can you throw toilet paper in the Composting toilet?

Yes. The paper is a source of carbon for the compost. You do not need to buy special toilet paper to use in our system, as a properly operating compost will break down regular toilet paper in a short period of time. Of course single ply will break down faster.

Q. Should males still urinate outside or in the outhouse?

No. In fact, the liquid is beneficial to the composting process.

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