Macerator loos(34 Posts)
Our new house has an en-suite shower room with a macerator loo. Unpleasant things have been happening with it, but plumbers are not interested in trying to mend it.
We are going to re-do the shower room anyway, and I am torn about replacing the loo. Should we just have a shower and basin, and no loo? The main bathroom along the corridor has one (though since it is next to the children's bedrooms, we might end up with kids awake in the night), and there is one downstairs.
I am worried that this type of toilet will often break down / get blocked, and that it will ultimately be more trouble than it is worth.
Anyone have any good / bad experiences?
"it will ultimately be more trouble than it is worth."
And if you wonder what happens when you try to mend one, imagine disconnecting a pipe filled with shredded shit under pressure, and ask yourself why plumbers don't want to.
Is it one of them toilets that has a motor bit on it, if so had one a good few years ago because we wanted to have an upstairs bathroom instead of downstairs, because of the smaller pipework it is what sold it to us. At first it was great, but after a while every time you used the toilet, sink, bath, the noise was too much and as my partner at the time was on shift work it got the better of us (and it was just the two of us). We did have a few problems, which to he honest we did not really want to get it fixed, as we undone it thinking we could see what was causing the problem, and it is like a blender inside which is not very pleasant, we just decided to change it and lose a bit of space in a room for pipework and change it a normal toilet. But I am talking a few years ago and things may have got better.
We have similar set up to you. However as DH is a plumber and knew it would be down to him to literally get his hands dirty should anything go wrong, we agreed on a "no solids" rule for that loo.
I'm happy to go along with that as I am quite private about having a poo anyway.
Interesting - we are buying a house with ensuite on one of these!! Definitely will be no-solids! Might even try and re-jig it so the proper pipework is laid under the floor eventually.
We installed a macerator toilet in our house 6 months ago as we moved into the house and we thought it was strange they had a shower with a basin but no toilet. And since I have
the world's smallest a small bladder, for us to use that bedroom (in the loft so other toilet downstairs), I will have to have a toilet. It turns out it would be a right pain to put in a 'real' toilet as it meant taking up all the floorboards to do the soil pipe and also, we weren't sure if we would be allowed to do it as we are in a conservation area if we had another pipe coming out the side of the house... So we went for a macerator on the basis that it would strictly be for wees.
So far, so good... However, it does make strange bubbling noises when in use sometimes due to air being trapped in the pipe and it sharing the pipe with the shower/sink. For us, it had to be done as otherwise we couldn't use that bedroom as a bedroom. And also because of its location (ensuite of our bedroom, on top floor), there really is no need for other people to use it and it is used probably only once a day. It would be too troublesome otherwise to try and enforce a 'no poo'/no tampon/no baby wipes rule. Can you imagine!???
I can certainly imagine taking floorboards up to lay a pipe.
I hope the bubbling is not because it pumps shredded poo into the same wastepipe that the shower and basin traps connect to. That leads to a poo fountain up the plugholes.
<<bitter experience emoticon>>
You can see why I am tempted not to replace it.
Having said that, would it be possible to have a separate pump for the sink and shower so that one does not find oneself showering in poo? You sound rather knowledgeable, John.
You can change the plumbing round so that the shower and basin waste go into the suction side of the saniflow rather than the pressurised side. But it would involve lots of changing pipes areound and possibly a different model of saniflow. Alternatively you could run waste pipes for the shower and basin that are separate from the waste from the saniflow, all the way to the main soilpipe which is ventilated at the top and so is not pressurised. Neither would remove the problem that the saniflow and its pipes may get clogged. I rather think it would be less trouble, and more satisfactory, to find a way to run an ordinary soil pipe away from the bathroom and into the main soil pipe.
It will be easier if the bathroom is near an external wall or above a properly-plumbed bathroom.
I think the Saniflo feeds a narrow pipe under the floorboards that joins the main soil pipe in the bathroom, but this is guesswork. I think waste water would need pumping along this pipe anyway since it is horizontal with not much 'fall' from the basin and shower. I'm going to tear everything out anyway (all fixtures are scabrous) so might discover more.
Everything is going to be new, and I don't mind paying for better or extra kit, but I have the feeling that however posh a model of toilet I buy (there is one with a built in macerator) we will still have problems. And since we may have to live abroad for a while for my dh's job, I can see the house being rented out ... and I don't imagine tenants would agree not to poo in the loo, or would even care greatly about not shoving tampons and cotton buds down there.
We installed one about 4 years ago and it's been fine. It has a loo, bath and basin connected to it (I forget the model, but it's the top of the range Saniflo). We put it in because this bathroom is in the middle of the house and putting in a 4" pipe would have meant raising the floor. It's our 3rd bathroom, but it gets daily use from the bath, and more occasional use from the loo. Only the children poo in it, and no one ever puts anything other than loo roll in. We're on private drainage so no one ever puts cotton buds etc in the loos anyway.
Definitely keep a toilet, just keep it for yourself though, no guests, then you know what is going into it.
We have a macerator called a sanisplit, which if it breaks down, it splits in half which you do yourself so you can take the motor/engine part off and send away for a replacement. We have had it for 3 years though and nothing has gone wrong so haven't tested how easy this is to do in theory. Also, I do not find it noisy, no noisier than a cistern refilling.
I am touching wood here, but our ensuite has had a macerator in it for 14 years with no problems (and crossing fingers too). "Solids" no problem but beware of accidently throwing away anything like a baby wipe. I did so and the machine rumbled horribly for ages until it managed to devour it. It serves the bath, basin and bidet as well, and though there are sometimes bubbling noises between bath and washbasin no emergence of anything untoward.
Do not even consider anything other than a proper "Saniflo". We also have a macerator in our top floor shower room but the plumber installed a different make. It was useless and eventually we swapped it for a proper Saniflo about 5 years ago with no further problems. Incidently we bought the new one from the internet, and the (new) plumber was astounded that it was cheaper than the trade price he could get.
Yes. We have got one but in 7 years it has never blocked etc. It's OK with solids but we have a very strict no paper rule - this goes in a bin by the side, which sounds awful but it has a lid and we empty it regularly.
we have to have a mascerator upstairs. <sigh>. We allow, ahem..solids in it and paper, BUT we use the Saniflo descaler regularly.
We have had a few blockages and H has removed it and cleaned it out. It is pretty barf inducing but we're both nurses, and therefore hard as nails re: poo and stuff. :O
That's interesting QualityM. I had never heard of a Saniflo descaler so ours has minced happily away without. Now I know it exists I will get some and give it a treat for being such a good little macerator year after year.
It will thank you.
We live in v hard water area so is essential
Sorry QuincyM I misread your name (and I bet your mincemeat is of the highest quality)
QuincyM Do you buy your descaler from Amazon or is there a cheaper source? I have never noticed it in Homebase or similar.
I get it from our local plumbing supplies place. Is £££. About 20 quid per 5 litre bottle.
Lol at Qualitymincemeat
this is quite cheap, and looks like the same stuff.
We live in a very hard water area and had our saniflo replaced for a new one after about 8 years just because it got really noisy. We now have a water softener (best thing ever IMHO) so hope the next one lasts much longer, we've certainly never had any blocking problems or anything like that.
Thanks QualityM, I'll try local plumbing place on Monday, otherwise Amazon it is.
ChristmasCarole - have faith!
Oh God, I've just done the Quality thing again - must be Freudian -Sorry!!
We're on our third saniflo in 5 years. It deals with the loo and basin, but we have given up using the loo entirely. Every time we flush it, water pours out of the air pipe and into the cupboard, so it just does the basin.
We have it in our en suite. We're in a listed house, with all soil pipes out of the back, so it was our only option. There is a loo just out on our landing, so we use that.
I've tried the saniflo cleanser - blinking rip off, if you ask me. Man in Plumbase who sold it to me said he'd rarely met anyone who didnt have problems with their saniflo.
Blue2 it sounds like there is something wrong with the way the plumbing for it has been installed. We have a problem with our main toilet blocking so our saniflo loo does all the poo in this house and the handbasin...
I'd get yourselves a new plumber!
Blue2 I think RandomMess is probably right, plumbing not Saniflo at fault. Are you sure it is a real Saniflo for a start? I think they all get called that rather like "Hoovers". In our previous house there was Saniflo and the waste pipe wound, madly, up and over a door then down again, and there were endless problems until we had it re-routed then everything worked perfectly. Just as well as otherwise I would have been completely put off ever having another. Also you do realise that there are various different models depending on how many bathroom fittings it has to service? I'd certainly go for one of the high spec ones with a sturdy pump for anything involving poo!
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