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I'm looking at rebuilding my outhouse and possibly giving the ladies an alternative to the fly-filled pit privy. As far as I'm concerned as a guy, dropping a deuce in the hole once a weekend is no big deal. For ladies it's a different story since they go several times a day. I'm not excited at the prices of composting toilets but am doing the research. Mostly I'm trying to figure out from all of you if any of them work well in our part of the world. I see the Sun-Mar, Nature's Head, Incinolet, Envirolet, and Biolet toilets available. Does anyone have any experience with any of these?

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We had a Biolet composting toilet for about 6 years until we had a septic system installed. You need to keep it around 70 degrees or it stops composting. Also, if you let it freeze, be prepared to replace a shear pin next time you use it, and the auger tries to turn. We have some friends that have an Incinolet and they have nothing but good to say about it. Needs a 20 amp 220 circuit. 

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I’m interested in this information also.  I’ll say though, in a regular outhouse some lime helps with the bugs and smell quite a bit.

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I've been an outhouse'er for a long time.  Two years ago, I finally got my own.  It's a matter of chemistry and carbon to nitrogen ratios.  Human waste is very high nitrogen.  To combat the smell, get a bale of fine sawdust and put a fist full down each time it starts to get a little pungent, and at a minimum, one fist full right before you leave.  I'm still on my first 5 gallon bucket of sawdust, and it's still half full.  It doesn't fill the hole.  However, if you're running 5-6 people up there for 6-8 months a year, that might be too much for a hole system.  


This is the same principle when it comes to farming.  When you drive by a feedlot or hog barn that is pure liquid manure, the smell is enough to about kill you.  In contrast, where you drive past a farm where they use generous amounts of bedding, it's quite pleasant to be around, and people may actually still live there.  

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That will help layer it in, and it should break down to harmless compost.  

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jim curlee

Lime is what you want to put in your outhouse hole, IT will keep the smell down.

We came from the farm, USE lime.

We have a bag of lime sittin right next to you in the outhouse, throw in a handful every time your done with your business.


I have a wood shop, so produce a bunch of sawdust, we also used sawdust mainly to cover up what you didn't want to see. LOL

It will also soak up whatever water goes down your vent hole, and into the drum.


We used an outhouse for many years, still have one for EMERGENCIES. When your over 60 you'll understand. lol

Ours is built over a half a 55 gallon plastic drum, so you can pull the drum out and clean it every once in awhile.

My outhouse is also built on skids, so it's kind of portable. LOL

We keep a lawn&leaf bag in the drum for easier clean out.


As for the composting toilet, they are all a joke.

If your seasonal they are really a joke, if you live with one they are a touch better.

We had one for better than10 years.

All they are is a live septic tank in your house.

They smell no matter what you do, and they will produce plenty of what we called chit flies.

Little irritating baztards that fly up your can while your trying to go. LOL

Save your money, they suck!


Your better off using a lugable-loo, then throw the bags away after every use!

You can buy a roll of bags for next to nuthin.

The only drag here is what to do with the poop bags, it will become an issue, and you don't want to get caught puttin them in the dumpster down at the quick trip. lol 


We put in a septic system, spend the money you'll be a happier camper.

If you have a place on Vermillion, you can certainly afford a proper septic system, or a holding tank.

Atleast with a holding tank you can get someone to suck it out for you.


Would you really want to eat something from a garden where you dumped your doodoo compost?


Now, what to do with your used doodoo from the outhouse.

We will get a mighty good fire going in an old metal barrel, then burn it. 

Stay upwind.



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Thanks for all of the replies. When you're way up on a hillside, built on rock, with no road access or running water....a proper septic system just isn't an option without creating a whole host of other issues.


For a long time, we used RidX to help bacteria with the breakdown. It worked but didn't help the smell. We then switched to using lime. A few years ago we switched to a mix of wood shavings for the smell and fireplace ash for the composting. Everything works fine until the middle of the summer when it's 90 degrees.


Jeff S - I noticed the same thing about the Biolet. It sounds like an inside-only toilet solution. That's good to hear about the Incinolet. I'll would have to combine some circuits to get a dedicated 240 to the toilet, but that might be the best option. It also seemed like the toilet option with the least amount of cleaning required.

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I had a Biolet in a dressing room of a sauna building.  This was a secondary toilet that replaced an outhouse after it got torn down.  We never had problems with odor, and the maintenance was fine.  Emptied it out once or twice a season.  Just keep adding the approved mulch and it worked great.  Did experience the flies one time but I heard a tip about  putting a Hotshot pest strip alongside the tray and that took care of the problem.  


This was an unheated building, but we'd use it in the wintertime for ice-fishing weekends.  I'd turn on the sauna stove and prop the door open to bring the dressing room up to a desirable temp, then maintain the temp with a baseboard heater.  Once the room was up to temperature, I'd use a metal rod to "stir" the contents of the Biolet to prevent the shear pin from breaking.  Maybe not the most glamorous process, but it was a workable procedure.  My wife and guests seemed to like the Biolet a whole lot better than the outhouse it replaced.  

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SkunkedAgain, I’m sure my friends with the Incinolet would be happy to show it to you. They’re on Grassy Point. PM me and I’ll hook you up with them. 

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jim curlee

Good luck with your toilet. LOL

Let me know how it works after a weekend when the kids and grandkids are there using it?

Not sure how the Biolet works, we had a top of the line Sun Mar.

There is a tray in the bottom of the unit that is supposed to hold the extra urine that goes through the compost material.

After a weekend with 5 females, and 3 males using it that tray would be full to overflowing.

Wouldn't have been a problem if the girls would have cleaned it out.

They didn't, I had to.

The whole bottom of that unit would have an inch of urine in there, that is GROSS!


Oh yea, there's an overflow tube on the Sun Mar.

This would fill up with the fine compost material, and plug up, now where do you think the overflow goes?

And yes, I had 2 fans in my exhaust pipe, no it didn't help it dry out any faster, but they did help keep the smell down.

The only thing I can say about ours is that there are plenty of people out there that wanted to buy it when we were done using it.

They do keep a good value, especially up here.

If I was you I'd check out more than one brand, and one user.

I'm guessin if you posted a question on facebook, you might get a variety of user opinions.

We hated ours, maybe you'll love yours.

I'll just leave this topic alone, and wish you good luck. lol








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Thanks Jim. I value all opinions, because I really don't want to spend the cash on a subpar product that makes my life worse!

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Jim Curlee 

Absolutely everything you said about the SunMar is true for the Biolet. Experienced it all.  

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That's why I am interested especially in some personal experience with the Incinolet. It supposedly burns/evaporates the urine so hopefully a horde/flock/murder of ladies will not cause it to overflow.

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7 hours ago, SkunkedAgain said:

 hopefully a horde/flock/murder of ladies will not cause it to overflow.

Ive seen septics that cant keep up to that!

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