Installing your Nature’s Head® composting toilet

Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a Nature’s Head® separating toilet. Here’s our guide on how to install a composting toilet in your RV, camper, outbuilding, boat or anywhere else.

What’s in the box?

Start by checking you have everything you ordered, and everything you require. In the box, you should find:

  • Your new Nature’s Head® composting toilet!
  • Urine container with screw cap
  • Small electrical fan (pre-installed in the toilet assembly)

AND

Your composting toilet installation kit

  • 5 feet (approx. 152 cm) long, flexible ventilation tube, inside diameter 1½ inch (about 3,8 cm)
  • Connection piece for connecting the ventilation pipe to the outflow
  • Crank (Spider or Standard), depending on the model you’ve purchased
  • 2 mounting brackets and knurled nuts
  • 4 fixing screws (for installation on wooden floors)
  • 18 inch (approx. 45.7 cm) cable for the 12 V fan (the fan is preinstalled)
  • Fuse and fuse holder for installation using a battery
  • Allen key for spider handle assembly (depending on version)
  • Spray bottle
  • Operation manual

What else you might need

Your Nature’s Head® separating toilet is supplied with most of the components necessary for installation. You might also consider:

Fans and ventilation

Your composting toilet comes with a small built-in fan for circulating air through the solids bin and removing humidity. This should be vented to the outside. If you already have an old ventilation hole in place, you could use gill plates in various sizes instead.

  • For a new installation, a vent/fan size of approx. 6 cm diameter is sufficient for the required ventilation.
  • Adding a fly screen or flynet over the vent is recommended to prevent insects from getting into the ventilation tube.
  • Why not buy a stainless steel gill plate with flynet in our shop!

Please refer to the installation instructions in the box for the ventilation conditions, or contact us if you have any questions concerning your installation.

Hoses and hose length

For some installation variants, you may need longer hose lengths. if so, you can simply replace the hoses provided with longer lengths of standard PVC pipe (40mm). Do remember that the end of the hose needs to be flexible and removable, so it can be pulled off when you need to empty the solids containers of your composting toilet.

Floor types

The mounting screws provided in the installation kits are for use on wooden floors only. For installations on a concrete floor or similar, we suggest attaching the toilet to a piece of lacquered wood that is screwed or glued to the concrete.

Power supply

If you want to operate the toilet using a domestic power supply (house connection), you’ll need to covert the domestic supply using a suitable a suitable plug-in power supply/transformer. You’ll find these in our shop!

Composting substrate

All composting toilets need to be primed with a substrate to kickstart composting. We always recommend coconut husk fibre, known as coir. This is lightweight, easy to handle, environmentally friendly and completely sustainable. You will find easy to use coco coir bricks in our online composting toilets accessories

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Measure your space for your composting toilet

Once you have found a suitable place for your new Nature’s Head® composting toilet, measure it to make sure that there is enough space for use and for servicing.

  • Ensure that the toilet lid can be fully opened.
  • You need at least 4cm of space between the back of the toilet and the wall or boat side. This is because, to remove the urine container or the toilet bowl, the toilet must be tilted backward.
  • If you don’t have enough space for tilting the bowl, just dismantle the back hinge! The bowl will safely be kept in place by the latches on both sides. Without the back hinge, you may place the toilet directly on the wall.
  • On the left side of the toilet (seen from the front) you need at least 5.1 cm of space to push the toilet bowl out of the hinge for service.
  • When not using the back hinge, you can place your Nature’s Head® composting toilet directly beside a side wall. Take care that the latches may still be moved.
  • You also need sufficient space on the side for the hose connection and the crank. Both can be attached, independently of each other, on either side of the toilet.
  • And, of course, check that when you are sitting on the toilet, any door can fully close without hitting your knees!

Installation in narrow or confined spaces

When the standard crank is used, the width of the toilet is approximately 53.3 cm. For narrow spaces, the spider handle option reduces the required width to approximately 48.3 cm. If you have very little space at your installation site, you can also perform the necessary servicing by loosening the toilet from the floor and moving it slightly.

Assembling your composting toilet

After you have selected a suitable place for your toilet, you need to attach it to the bottom of your boat, camper or outbuilding. For this, you will need the two mounting brackets supplied.

Normally, the mounting brackets are installed in position under the toilet, in the recesses (see photo). Retractable screws for installation on a wooden floor are enclosed with the mounting set.

  • If you want to attach the mounting brackets as shown in the picture below the toilet, carefully mark the outlines of the angles on the floor. Note the distance between the angle and the drawn line. Remove the angle brackets from the toilet, position them exactly inside of the outlines and then mark the drill holes.
  • To check the position the mounting brackets on the floor, place the toilet in the previously selected position. Adjust if required. Then simply use the knurled nuts to attach the brackets to the toilet.
  • If you want to mount the brackets to the outside instead, simply mark the required drill holes with a pencil.

Drilling and drill holes

Before drilling any holes in the floor, make sure that there are no cables or similar underneath. In a boat take extra care not to drill into the hull!

  • If you attach the toilet to a floor that gets wet more frequently, it is recommended to seal the drill holes.
  • Do not over-tighten the knurled nuts and screws to avoid damage to the connections!

Ventilating your composting toilet

Your composting toilet must be vented to the outside of the room, whether it is a boat, a motorhome or a garden house. Ventilation removes odors during use, any resulting moisture and helps the growth of useful bacteria involved in the composting process.

It’s a simple system. On one side, the fan draws air out from the toilet to a vent to the outside. At the same time, fresh air flows in the opposite side of the toilet.

Ventilation installation

Installation of ventilation is the most difficult part of any composting toilet assembly. Depending on the placement of your toilet, you may need to drill or cut holes in the wall, ceiling, or floor. With the right tools, this should not be a problem. If you are not sure whether your DIY skills are sufficient, get a tradesman to help, or check out our installation partners across Europe

Where to vent your composting toilet

You can vent your system both vertically over the roof, horizontally through the wall or even down through the floor. The fitting hose and the connection for the inside section are included in the set. The flexible hose is normally only plugged in. If the hose is positioned vertically upwards, you can use a hose clamp to prevent it slipping down, especially in moving vehicles or marine craft.

Installations with 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe are also possible. In this case, please ensure that the toilet can be easily separated from the ventilation system for servicing and emptying.

  • When retrofitting on boats, you can often use the old opening of your sewage disposal system by connecting the venting hose to the adapter and installing a deck vent over the opening.
  • Due to the variety of possibilities that can arise during the installation, the installation set does not have a grill plate, solar fan, mushroom fan or similar for mounting on the outside. Simply choose the best solution for your installation.
  • Please ensure that wind and water cannot penetrate into the toilet through your vent. We always recommend the installation of a fly screen or a flynet, so that no insects can enter the ventilation.

Composting toilets power supply

A simple 12 V computer fan, which needs less than 1.5 Ah per 24 hours, is the only part of the toilet that needs electricity. A matching low-voltage plug (5.5 mm x 2.5 mm) with an approx. 45 cm long cable is included in the installation kit. This should be plugged into the socket on the fan housing.

As with all electrical installations, ensure that the fan is operated only in a protected circuit. The fuse should be at least 2A and maximum 5A at 12V. A fuse and fuse holder for operation in 12V unprotected systems, e.g. with direct connection to a battery, are also included in the installation kit.

You can of course also operate the fan at a 230V current source, you need a suitable plug-in power supply, available in our shop.

If you are unsure about the electrical installation, please consult an electrician.

Solar power

You can also operate your system with a solar fan if no 12V or 230V connection is available. Make sure that the solar fan contains a battery to ensure continuous operation. You can leave the pre-installed fan in place in this case.

Installation tips

If the installation of the ventilation on one side of your toilet is better than on the other side, you can change the fan housing at any time with the filter housing on the other side.

When the toilet is delivered, the crank handle has not yet been installed. It must be fastened first. The standard crank is fastened with a metal sleeve and a split pin, the spider handle with a hexagon socket screw.

If you wish to attach the crank to the opposite side of the toilet, first disassemble the stirrer, turn it around and reinsert it.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about installing composting toilets, just call or email. We’re happy to help.

Where can I install a composting toilet?

Composting toilets are perfect for anywhere you need toilet facilities but don’t have drains.