Composting Toilets home
Sun-Mar self contained toilets
centralized composting toilet systems
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Composting toilet Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
in PDF format
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What about toilet paper?
Do composting toilets smell?
Will I need a sanitary permit before installing?
How does it work?
After initializing Sun-Mar's patented bio drum with
start-up enzymes and some peat-based bulking material, all
that is required is adding more bulking material at the rate
of one cup per person per day of use, preferably after each
use, and turning the bio-drum every 2-3 days for 4-6
The 3 chamber bio-drum does the rest by separating out
and evaporating the liquids, Tumbling the drum optimizes
mixing and aeration to create a uniform compost.
The finishing drawer allows the compost to complete the
composting and sanitation process.
What is left is ready-to-use compost. Just pull
out the finishing drawer and apply anywhere.
What happens when I have extra visitors or a party? Will it
I did everything according to the instructions and
it doesn't seem to be composting. What's wrong?
Relax. Don't worry over it. Like a fine
wine, composting takes some time. Did you add the
initial microbe mix when you set it up? It can take a
couple weeks or more to get started. If it freezes, it
is not going to compost. Get some heat to it. (don't even
try turning the drum if it is frozen). If it dries out
completely, it isn't going to compost. Try adding more peat
with some warm water. If it is too moist, not enough
oxygen can get to it. Try adding more planer shavings,
manually turning on any of the fans, if so equipped, and making
sure you have the overflow drain attached. It is
always helpful to have some extra Microbe mix to give it an
added boost when necessary or when extra guests over tax the
How often does it need maintenance?
For continuous use just rotate the drum 4-6 revolutions
every 2 or 3 days and add a cupful of peat mix per person
per day of use.
Ideally it is best to add about 1/3 cup of bulking
material each time you sit down for more then just a pee on
the self- contained models so that there is more layering
with the bulking material, rather then just throwing 4 or 5
cups on at the end of the day. You can facilitate this
by keeping the bulking material handy in a covered
trash can or some kind of container near the toilet.
For weekend usage, just rotate the drum 4-6 revolutions
before leaving at the end of the weekend, in addition to
adding a cup of peat mix per person per day.
Don't get over energetic about turning the drum; it
won't make things happen faster. In fact, it has the
effect of slowing the process down. Rotate the drum
about 4-6 complete revolutions every 2-3 days and let the
natural composting process do its thing.
Oh No! I ran out of Sun-Mar Bulking material,
is there anything else I can use until I order more?
Yes, of course. Can you find a source of sphagnum
moss and wood planer shavings? A nice mix is
about 60% moss and 40% wood shavings (not saw dust).
Is there a sawmill nearby or animal bedding available? Also,
if your composting compartment is starting to get too damp, you can
try adding some wood planer shavings to try balancing out
the moisture content. As a tip, don't try using any
treated wood, cedar, redwood, or other products that are
resistant to natural decay.
Isn't it going to attract insects in my home?
Although flies may be attracted to sh*t, we are talking
compost here. Active hot compost that is being covered
with bulking material and being turned regularly is a
different story. If you have fruit flies, fungus gnats,
or whatever on your house plants, please keep them a distance
from your self- contained composting toilet, maybe 15-20 feet
If you are using local peat as part of your bulking
material, make sure it is sterilized and free of any larvae.
I have the ability to have a standard toilet system.
Why would I consider installing a composting toilet system
Why a Sun-Mar brand?
Sun-Mar is the only NSF standard 41 certified composting toilet
for residential use.
Sun-Mar has its
roots in composting toilets since 1971.
Sun-Mar's patented BioDrum technology has no equal.
Sun-Mar offers over 23 standard models to ensure you have a
model that will fit your circumstances.
How does Sun-Mar's patented BioDrum work?
The Sun-Mar Bio-drum allows aerobic microbes to
flourish, and work much more quickly to break down waste and
toilet paper and convert them back to earth.
Waste and peat mix bulking material enter
through the waste inlet port in the top of the drum. The
drum is rotated periodically simply by turning a handle on
the front (self-contained units) or side (central units). As
the drum rotates, the input port closes automatically to
keep the compost in the drum. Compost is extracted from the
Bio-drum simply by releasing a drum lock and rotating the
drum backwards. Compost then drops automatically through an open
port in the Bio-drum directly into the compost finishing
drawer. After rotating, the Bio-drum locks itself in a top
dead center position, ready to receive new material.
What is the Warrantee on a Sun-Mar composting toilet?