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ToMTur die Experten für Komposttoiletten
ToMTur die Experten für Komposttoiletten
Composting Toilets
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Questions and answers about composting toilets

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  • All topics
  • Commons (2)
  • Empty & Clean (2)
  • Usage (2)
  • Installation (1)

Do I have to sprinkle substrate after each use?

No. This is not necessary with our composting toilets. Since the substrate is already in the toilet, you simply close the trap door, turn the crank 2-3 times - or press the button for the agitator on the OGO - and you're done.

No need to stock up on substrate in the bathroom, no crumbling, no looking directly at the container to place the substrate....

What's the weight of our composting toilets?

The empty weight of the Nature's Head® toilet is approx. 12.7 kg. The toilet head and urine bottle are removed for emptying, making even a full solid container easy to lift and empty.

The OGO weighs approx. 11.6 kg when empty.

Do I have to keep the fan running permanently?

If you use your composting toilet full time, the fan should run continuously. It dries the solids, removes odours when you go to the toilet and ensures that your toilet works properly.

If you do not want to use your toilet for a period of 10 days or more, you can switch off the fan. However, remember to empty the urine bottle.

When installing the power connection for the fan, make sure that this is done on continuous positive or similar and cannot be accidentally switched off with e.g. the water pump.

How much power does the fan consume?

Nature's Head's pre-installed fan consumes 60 mA at 12 V, which is less than 1.5 Ah in 24 hours. It can be connected to any 12 V installation, solar panels or rechargeable batteries; for 230 V, a power supply unit is available from us.

The fan of the OGO consumes only 20 mA at 12 V, the motor for the agitator draws - depending on the filling level of the container - between 2 A and 7 A for a short time (only during the agitating process). A self-resetting thermal fuse is installed to protect the motor from overheating. We recommend fusing the circuit for the toilet with 10 A.

For installations without electricity of a Nature's Head, please contact us, for garden houses etc. there are alternative possibilities.

Do ToMTuR composting toilets also work with 24 V fans / installations?

Our composting toilets are supplied with 12 V PC fans as standard. These consume approx. 60 mA (Nature's Head) or 20 mA (OGO) and run very quietly. Some installations, especially in truck conversions, work with 24 V (just like our private truck). What now?

We have tested 24 V fans. Not only are they significantly louder than their 12 V counterparts, they also consume significantly more power. In addition, they are much more difficult to obtain as a potential spare part when on the road than the 12 V fans that are widespread worldwide.

That is why we have decided not to offer our toilets with 24 V fans. Of course, you can still operate them on 24 V, all you need is a small 24V/12V DC/DC converter. These are available in many electronics shops and from mail-order companies.

If you still want to use your Nature's Head with a 24 V fan, the existing fan can be replaced with a few simple steps. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Important! The OGO absolutely requires 12 V for the operation of the agitator, a conversion of the fan to 24 V is therefore not possible!

Do women need to be able to "target" a specific area?

Definitely not! As long as the urine diverting trap door is closed, women can relax about going to the toilet. Aiming is not necessary because the urine is directed to the front and into the bottle.

Do I need a special child seat for the toilets?

No. Our experience and the feedback from our customers show that children get used to using composting toilets very quickly.

Can men urinate standing up?

The design of the Nature's Head® makes this possible as long as the trap door is closed. Nevertheless, we would recommend urinating while sitting, as the bowl is quite shallow and could splash urine.

With the OGO® we would strongly advise against urinating while standing, as the different angle of impact could cause urine to enter the solids bin via the rear end of the trap door.

How do I prepare my toilet after emptying it?

After emptying the solid container (or before the first use), you need fresh absorbent substrate. We recommend coconut fibre (from the husk of the coconut) because, as a waste product of rope production, it is environmentally friendly, biodegradable and sustainable, plus easy to transport and store.

Put a coconut fibre brick (650 g - available in our online shop) in one (!) litre of water. The easiest way to do this is in a bucket or a waterproof zip bag. Let the brick swell up, this can take a while, we prefer to do this overnight, but 30 minutes should be enough. Hot water will make it work a little faster. It is not necessary to crumble the bricks before mixing.

Pour as much of the loose substrate into the solids container so that the level of the Nature's Head reaches up to the crank handle, with the OGO the stirrer should just be covered. And on it goes!

If you use the toilet permanently with more than 3-4 people, please use a little more coconut fibre.

Which toilet paper can I use?

Any toilet paper will work, thinner paper will not fill the bin as quickly. We personally use a small bucket for our paper to increase the emptying intervals, but you can do that however you like. We know a lot of our customers who dispose of all their paper in the toilet.

Wet toilet paper or wet cleaning wipes should never be disposed of in the solid waste bin as they will not compost and could wrap around the crank.

Does composting work in cold temperatures?

Composting works above about 13°C. The warmer, the faster.

At lower temperatures, the process goes dormant; as soon as it gets warmer again, it continues.

Drying by the fan also works at low temperatures, making it possible to use the toilet even in cold conditions without any problems.

Can frost damage the toilet?

No. Our composting toilets tolerate frost without any problems. You should only empty the urine bottle. The solids bin can remain filled.

Does a composting toilet smell?

No. The key to an odour-free toilet is the separation of urine and faeces and the subsequent intensive drying. When your composting toilet is working, you will notice (only when opening the bin, for example to empty it) a slight earthy smell. Our customers like to describe this smell as "forest soil".

If one of our toilets smells different, please contact us so that we can determine together whether the usage should be optimised or whether there is a defect!

How to clean my composting toilet?

Cleaning a composting toilet is quick and easy - apart from a little vinegar or citric acid, you don't need any cleaning agents, and there are no filters to change.

  • Rinse the urine container with water. If some urea has build-up, you can dissolve it with concentrated vinegar, hot water and shaking.
  • Unlike a conventional toilet, the toilet bowl has no corners and edges. The construction and the smooth surface make cleaning extremely easy. To clean the bowl, we recommend wiping any remaining urine drops with a piece of toilet paper after use and spraying the bowl regularly, not too wet, with diluted vinegar or citric acid.
  • The opening for the solids is very large. If something should still go wrong, use a little vinegar from the spray bottle provided and a sheet of toilet paper.

You do not have to clean the solids bin!

The residues in the container that remain after emptying serve as a compost starter for the next filling. How convenient.

If you like to clean the solids bin, please remember to remove the toilet head from your Nature's Head to protect the fan from water.

Please do not use abrasive cleaning agents / sponges under any circumstances!

Where can I empty my solids bin?

The contents of the solid waste bins are dry and composted, making emptying them easy, like emptying an old flower pot. Ideally, you dispose of the solids on your composting heap, let them rot for a year and get excellent humus for your garden the next year.

When travelling, you can dispose of your solids waste in any residual waste. Disposal in organic waste is not permitted in Germany. In very remote areas, you can bury the solids, keeping a sufficient distance from water bodies and making the hole deep enough so that animals do not dig anything up.

Where can I empty my urine bottle?

Urine, because of its nitrogen content, is a great fertiliser for trees. When diluted, also for other plants.

  • Pour the urine into a public toilet
  • Use disposal stations
  • Spread urine at trees where allowed
  • Dilute the urine (approx. 1:10) and fertilise other plants with it, of course not directly edible ones...

Urine can legally be dumped of on the high seas.

When should I empty my composting toilet?

The longer you wait to empty it, the better. You can tell when it is time to empty the Nature's Head by the fact that the crank becomes increasingly difficult to turn.

The OGO has a thermal fuse to protect the motor. If the agitator switches off prematurely, it is time to empty the bucket. Don't worry, the fuse switches on again after cooling down and does not need to be replaced!

Every person is different and urine can start to smell strong if it is stored for too long. Therefore, the urine container should be emptied every 2-5 days at the latest.

In addition, there is no "the toilet is full" point, as with conventional camping toilets. This gives you considerably more flexibility when it comes to emptying.

Many motorhome or boat owners leave the contents of the solid waste bin in the toilet even over winter. Emptying between two tours is not necessary.

Can I dispose of vegetable waste in the solid waste bin?

Better not! Vegetable waste would slow down the composting process and the bin would be full very quickly. Moreover, insects might be attracted to it.

You should only fill the toilet with the recommended substrates. In the USA, coconut fibre is sometimes more difficult to buy than peat. Should you wish to use peat, please ensure that it is not fertilised or otherwise treated as this could negatively affect the composting process.

If you are going to be travelling for a long time, we would recommend taking some coconut fibre bricks with you. These are available, dried and pressed, in our shop. We calculate with 650 g coconut fibres per filling. However, please remember that some countries prohibit the import of coconut fibre or other earth-like products.

If you have any questions about availability, please contact us.

How does a composting toilet separate liquids and solids?

Modern composting toilets are separation toilets, i.e. they separate solid and liquid excreta.

  • When the trap door is closed, all liquids, no matter where they land in the bowl, are drained to the urine bottle.
  • As long as the trap door is open and the person is seated for use, the urine will still be directed forward.

The urine-diverting functional flap can be found on Nature's Head toilets as well as on the OGO, this makes separation child's play!

Where to put blood from menstrual cups?

You can easily empty the contents of menstrual cups into the solids bin. The coconut fibres quickly absorb the additional liquid.

If blood gets into the urine bottle through the holes, it is not a big deal. Rinse away any remaining blood in the spout with some diluted vinegar / citric acid from your spray bottle so that it does not dry there.

Can I put tampons in the solids container?

We would not recommend that. Many manufacturers use blends of rayon and cotton, these would not compost. Pure cotton tampons would compost, but take an extremely long time. Also, the retrieval string could wrap around the crank.

What is the difference between a portable and a composting toilet?

All toilets that can be moved and used in any place are de facto portable toilets. Our composting toilets are so lightweight that you can easily move them anywhere. E.g. from a workshop to a construction site. Or next to a bed. The only thing that needs to be ensured is ventilation, which is no problem at all with the flexible exhaust hoses and the fans installed directly in the toilets.

Why is the toilet seat so unusually shaped?

The answer is quite simple - hygiene. This type of toilet seat is much easier to clean. It is also more robust than with folding toilet seat, has no superfluous hinges and will therefore provide long-lasting pleasure.

The Nature's Head® separation toilet was specially designed for marine and "on-the-go" use, where foldable toilet seats could pose a safety hazard under certain circumstances. For example, there were cases where, in rough seas, the toilet seat broke. The design of the moulded seat eliminates such potential accident hazards.

With the OGO®, the developer has taken a cue from this and is also opting for the more hygienic approach without separate toilet seat.

Could I install the composting toilet in my boat or motorhome in a wet bathroom?

In principle, yes. Just make sure that the holes for the mounting brackets / floor fixing are well sealed so that no water can penetrate the floor of your vehicle.

Nature's Head: You may need to drill some holes in the urine bottle holder to allow any water that gets in to drain away, or cover the toilet while showering.

OGO: The OGO is splash-proof, but not waterproof! We recommend protecting the toilet with a piece of shower curtain / tarpaulin etc when using it in a wet bathroom.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about installation!

Can a composting toilet be used in a basement or bunker?

But of course! Our composting toilets can be used wherever a toilet is needed but water or sewage are not available. All that is needed is a 12 V / 230 V power source and a way to bring the exhaust air outside or to pass it through an activated carbon filter.

See the FAQ on cold temperatures / frost if you want to use the toilet in an unheated environment during the winter.

Bio-toilet or eco-toilet?

A question of personal choice. Composting toilets use a natural, biological process - composting - in combination with drying. They are environmentally friendly as they require no water or chemicals and produce no waste water. We think they deserve to be called bio- or eco-toilets.

Composting toilet or separating toilet?

Both! All toilets available at ToMTuR separate and compost, which is why they work odour-free. For this purpose, you will find urine-diverting functional trap doors that make separation much easier than with conventional dry separating toilets.

What is the alternative to coconut husk fibres?

We recommend coconut fibre for use with our composting toilets as it is a waste product of the coconut rope manufacturing process, making it a sustainable alternative to peat. They are also easy to store, transport and last forever.

They are not only available from us or via Amazon, but in Europe and many other countries in garden markets, e.g. also at IKEA (Odla) and at places where people buy plants and accessories. The names are different, e.g. humus brick, coco soil etc.. The same applies to the packaging sizes.

Alternatives? Composting toilets function odour-free when the contents of the solids container always remain dry. To ensure this, you need an absorbent substrate that takes in the moisture from the faeces, but also releases it again so that the fan can remove it.

Substances such as cat litter etc. would absorb the moisture but then clump together, which would mean that the toilet would not work or would only work for a short time.

Sawdust, bark mulch, small animal litter, leaves, hay, straw etc. do not absorb enough moisture and are therefore just as unsuitable. These substrates are only suitable for sprinkling for conventional dry separation toilets, where it is more about privacy than drying.

If you run out of coconut fibres while travelling, you could use peat or very fine sawdust.

 

What are the dimensions of the ToMTuR composting toilets?

You can find the dimensions on our download page. There you will also find templates in PDF format, which you can print out, glue together and see immediately at the installation site whether everything would fit.

If you want to position the toilet directly on a wall, simply remove the upper part of the rear hinge from the Nature's Head, it is not necessary for the toilet to function. The toilet head is then no longer tilted backwards and pushed to the side to be removed, but simply removed upwards.

The OGO is designed so that it can be mounted directly in front of a wall.