Sun-Mar Excel autónomo compostaje para inodoro, Modelo # Excel
- Unidad de alta capacidad se puede utilizar en casi cualquier lugar, incluyendo residencias, cabinas o luz aplicaciones comerciales
- Perfil bajo unidad complementa cualquier baño
- No utiliza agua
- 100% no contaminante
- bio-drum para el procesamiento de compost
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Descripción del producto
El Sun-Mar Excel autónomo de compostaje para inodoro odorlessly convierte los desechos humanos en seguro fertilizing del suelo. Este modelo está diseñado para uso en alta capacidad, ideal para un 3 - 4 persona en un entorno residencial o 6 - 8 personas en una cabina para un fin de semana. desmontable reposapiés: Sí Prueba de plagas, ventilación: Sí, Tamaño de la pila (en.): 2, drenaje de emergencia incluido: Sí, certificado por la NSF/ANSI: Sí, eléctrico: sí, Dimensiones L x W x H (en.): 33 x 22 1/2 x 33, Tipo de producto: compostaje para inodoro, autónomo: Sí, incluye kit de ventilación: Sí
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Although I prefer to write in prose, the list of problems I have had with this product is too long for other than bullet points;
-the "AC/DC" upgrade is only one or the other. If both are installed, the system short-circuits air current, drawing air IN the 4 inch pipe, allowing stink to escape through normal inlets into the room.
-the Excel Uses TONS of energy - in AC mode, it draws over 10-20% of the power produced by my $93,000 PV system- so to use it without stink, it actually costs an off-gridder upwards of $15,000 when you include the power supply.
-The Drain/overflow does not work at all. what a ridiculous idea - to drain liquid sludge out a tiny 1 inch flexible pipe with inside-the-fitting connections. Clearly, whoever designed this system has never read the plumbing code, or perhaps even talked to a real plumber for 5 minutes. In the International Plumbing Code, it is forbidden to use any flexible tubing for drainage, as it does not predictably slope downhill. Additionally, the IPC prohibits the use of "barbed" fittings or any other "inside the pipe" fittings for drainage use, as these types of fittings collect small pieces of debris and cause the drain to clog over time. These codes are common sense from an engineering standpoint - not just some arbitrary regulation.
-The vent piping provided is non-standard vacuum type pipe, which is weak, hard to find and incompatible with standard dwv fittings. Thus it is nearly impossible to tie in the 2" powered vent into a standard household venting system in a durable and watertight way.
-Because drain does not work, the toilet leaks liquid brown stinking goop onto the floor if the compost gets "too wet." However, sunmar insists that the compost must be wet and "glistening" in order to prevent flies from colonizing. However, the fly larvae that colonized whilst I was dilligently avoiding adding urine to the toilet seem perfectly happy wriggling around in the liquidy muck as much as the dry mix.
-Basically, since it is virtually impossible to clean all the nooks and crannies inside the thing, the EXCEL system requires pesticides to manage flies. Thus the compost produced is useless for any organic homestead, as it would violate the organic certification of a site just by being disposed on the premises.
-Chiggars!!! I have never had chiggars before in my life until I installed this SunMar Excel toilet. Suddenly, less than 3 months after installing it, I found hordes of tiny red things crawling out of every crack in this toilet. Apparently, these nasty itchy parasites feed on dead skin cells as larvae - and thus they find a pile of excriment to be an ideal breeding ground. As the directions make no mention of using P-traps, this system is left wide-opened to infestation by any number of crawling creatures unless you place the drain outlet very very far away in a deep deep hole. That is, until the drain clogs up. We evacuated the area for several months, and covered everything with di-atomatious earth. Eventually, after months of digging holes outside, the chiggars all died off. (the diatomatious earth does not work on the flies)
Also within the first 3 months, the little plug that stops the drum from rotating backwards broke. It was not abused.
-The "compost" that comes out is nothing close to dirt - it is semi-dehydrated poopdust, sometimes clumpy and sometimes muddy and usually with flies and bits of undigested paper. The manufacturer says to let the poop rest in the drawer for 4 weeks, yet we have to empty it every 10-14 days: only 2 people use this toilet, and we travel frequently.
-The directions are woefully inadequate. For most, it will likely take years of miserable trial and error to learn the proper balance of maintenance procedures - if in fact there is a realistic formula to prevent all of the pitfalls of pests, leaks and stinks. At the very least, do not consider this product unless you fall into these categories:
1) you like the idea of raking excrement from a dark hole on hands and knees at least every 2 to 4 weeks
2) you are installing this toilet in a space where breeding hordes of insects is not a problem
3) you have no intention of using this toilet every day, nor going away for weeks at a time to let it moulder
And finally, a real toilet lasts 50 years plus. Swap out a flapper and chain, and your good to go. This plastic monstrosity seems like it could break at any time - and god forbid the constantly running fan should give out.
Is there anything right about this product? I was a fool to trust that SunMar had it all figured out. If you consider this product, trust your instincts - what looks crappy and poorly designed usually is. Henceforth I am trusting my shovel. I would rather dig a hole every morning than suffer the misery of raking liquified poop-soup for an hour twice monthly.
[Update sept 2016: My unit continues to silently work after 17 years. One new fan, that is all. It went a full year without emptying, and very little fly problem.
Consider any compost material as a source for fly larva. I switched to store-bought wood chips sold as horse bedding. It comes in poly bags I can set in the sun to kill larvae and the fly problem has disappeared. It has to be stored in a closed container or flies will lay eggs in it. A closable trashcan is my solution. Another option is to spread it in a kiddie wading pool and spray with imidacloprid, Adonis 75 WSP contains Imidacloprid (4 x 2.25 oz. bags) by ADONIS stir, respray and bag. Imid is uber safe: Used in flea and lice treatments. Follow the label and don't spray it on blooming plants that honeybees are foraging).
Before that, there were times of year when flies were a problem, and I set up a bug zapper to solve it. (The toilet is on a cabin porch and I have a 40 watt indoor Bug zapper there that keep the critters at bay: OUTXPRO 40W Electronic Bug Zapper Fly and Mosquito Kill Trap + 2 x 20 Watt UV Replacement Bulbs - Best Pest Control Equipment for Home aCommercial Use I'm testing the 15w Flowtron this week because the bulbs are easier to find. So far so good. Also see my reviews of the Flowtron. Most of the flies are from outside, but the zapper also takes care of any the toilet breeds.
There are a few complaints from one-star reviewers of cracked top and bottom pieces and leakage at the cracks. Most ship by truck, and I've had mixed results with shippers damaging things like log splitters, trenchers and work benches because the vendor did a lousy job of crating and shipper abuse (I bought my Excel from a local home builder's supply and they wouldn't let me see the first one - All they would say is that the shipper was pretty brutal with it. They reordered and inspected the 2nd unit before calling me to pick it up). I wonder if that is where the toilets are getting cracked and buyers notice it later.
The outer shells and emptying tray of mine are made of fiberglas. They make boat hulls and airplanes from it too, and it's really strong. I wonder if Sun Mar contracted with a supplier that is making parts from a different material or thinner fiberglas.
This unit has become stupefyingly expensive at $2000 with shipping, and there is competition at half the price. Nature's Head Dry Composting Toilet / Standard Crank Handle
People complain of fecal matter in the bottom dehydrator tray. On occasion the trap door to the rotating drum jams shut. If someone uses it that way it gets messy. After turning the drum, verify that the door swung back open, and if not, poke it with a stick or clean it with windex and a garden trowel or toilet brush. There is also a tray that fits in the top enclosure that directs deposits into the drum. If it is missing, deposits go where gravity takes them.
If there is fresh fecal matter in the drum, emptying it can be messy too, smearing it on the outside of the drum. That is hidden by the tray and it eventually dries and falls off the polyethylene drum. But saturating the mess with a squirt bottle of soapy water and clean with a toilet brush works great. Then mix a tablespoon of bleach with a quart of water in a coffee can to soak the brush in. Don't put the bleach water in the toilet: I think it will kill any composting that might be happening.
Urine accumulation: I set the front of the toilet on a sheet of 3/4" thick plywood 3x3ft so liquid runs back to the drain (which isn't connected, but turned up so water can get fairly deep back there if need be). Since men pee elsewhere fluid levels are not a problem, and it doesn't collect under the emptying tray. I covered the plywood with vinyl flooring which makes cleanup easy after emptying.
Odors; water condenses and runs back down the vent pipe, thru the fan housing and into the enclosure. There is a right and wrong way to install the vent pipe so the liquid runs down without leakage, with the segment above fitted inside the segment below. If the reverse, it will leak and stink. I use rubber couplings and schedule-40 PVC pipe. The vent pipe should extend at least 2 feet above the nearest ridge or obstruction. I went 8 ft and nobody smells the toilet.
End of update]
The ladies love indoor plumbing, especially when the alternative is a traipse to the outhouse past the snow monsters. The USFS also motivated me by decreeing that my 60 year old pit outhouse was inadequate and their 'approved' alternative was to install a vaulted outhouse or go the whole septic-tank route with archeological, hydrological and bureaucratic harassment thrown in just to let me know I was being 'managed.' We also haul water from a nearby spring so flush toilets are not an easy option either. Fortunately the cabin has electricity, so I went with plan-C and bought the Sun-mar Excel.
I've had the Sun-Mar Excel in a Montana log cabin deep in the mountains at 5500 ft elevation since about 1999 and it has been relatively trouble free despite a rather harsh environment. The cabin gets intermittent use both summer and winter. The toilet is installed on an enclosed porch heated by leaving a door open to the wood-heated cabin. During the summer the toilet is trouble free. In the winter the contents will freeze so I clean it out before leaving to keep flies from taking over in the spring thaw. (See update below about adding a timer).
The climate is warm summer days and cool nights. Winters get to minus 20F or so. I turn the fan and heater off when the place is unoccupied, which leaves a fragrance unless I clean the toilet. It adds about $8/month to run 24/7, so leaving it on all the time isn't going to break the bank. But once the contents are dehydrated, it's unnecessary.
Update 22 mar 2016: A friend built a digital timer for me that shuts the toilet off six days after timer reset. If the power interrupts it just goes off - exactly the way I want it. Before departing I reset the timer to six days. The next trip up, as long as the temps have remained above freezing the contents are feather light, dry and odor and fly - free. That's the perfect time to empty it and start over. The timer eliminates problems with frozen contents, flies and smell that I complain about below. I still spray Imidacloprid in the summer.
Update: Some find the need for step-stool strange. The toilet is tall, so it's necessary.
Update spring 2014: Last fall 2013 I cleaned the toilet and sprayed the surrounding areas for flies using Imidacloprid (generic name). I also accidentally left the fan on all winter. There have been zero flies this year. But it was also extremely cold - minus 36F a few times. That might have something to do with it.
Update: I empty the drum in the fall because the contents freeze in winter. After a BM I add a hand full of chips and crank the handle. Doing this with a big block of frozen contents banging around inside seems stressful to the toilet. It was also a breeding ground for flies until I discovered Imidacloprid.
Update: A note on 'processing': The drum angles to the rear toward a screen so liquids can drain. It has a door on the front for deposits and extractions. Cranking the handle clockwise rotates the drum so the drum door flops shut, keeping everything in and mixes the contents. Release a latch and you can turn it CCW: The drum door flops open and some contents empty into the tray. Some dumps are more successful than others when below half-full as contents tend to go toward the rear. The toilet comes with a cleaning tool, and I use it to rake the drum contents toward the front to get it to empty. Depending on diet, some clumps don't fit thru the door and need to be broken up a bit: Just add sawdust and mash down with the tool, then crank again. Some fiddling might be necessary to get a full tray. Once the tray is full I let it set for a week until it is dehydrated.
I installed the Excel on an enclosed porch and hung curtains around it for privacy. We ran the vent up thru the roof. The roof vent was a mistake where snow accumulates up to three feet then slides off taking the vent with it. Venting out the side of the cabin would have been better but I didn't have tools to bore a two inch hole thru 8" logs at the time. It's just easier to plan on a new vent pipe every few years.
Update: The unit comes with rather brittle vaccuum cleaner tubing for a flue. I replaced it with schedule 40 PVC electrical conduit. So far it survives the snow slides just fine. Another plus is that it is quieter: The vacuum tubing had a tone I could hear while outside that is gone with the heavier pipe. I also quit using the wind deflector they provide and AFAIK have never had any problems with back-venting.
I never installed the liquid drain. the rule is the guys go outdoors or use a urinal and the girls may do whatever they wish with the toilet. so far that works fine. That said, I've found that adding all the water that the manual called for makes a soggy, stinky mess. The alternative that works for me is to add no water, a little urine and a mix of 50/50 chainsaw wood chips and peat moss to keep the mass friable. I'm probably running a dehydrator more than a composter, but it works for me.
Update: Sun-Mar's web site also suggests the mix above. So it must be true. It sure is cheap! sun-mar.com/tech_ongo.html
There is no provision to bolt the toilet to the floor. That seemed like a feature for cleaning, but moving it stressed and broke the vent pipe where it exits the blower housing. The vent flange on mine is a street elbow glued to the inside of the housing, so after enough stress it broke at the glue joint and unwelcome fragrances leaked out. Some dis-assembly is required to remove the fan housing and they used 1/8 square drive screws - which I replaced with Philips after the first round of cursing. Re-gluing the vent pipe to the blower bracket is not difficult, but it is also not reliable. A flanged and bolted fitting and street elbow with a rubber coupling between the blower housing and vertical vent is a better solution because it provides built-in stress relief and a leak-proof and strong attachment point at the toilet.
Update spring 2014: I bought a new fan assembly when the original began to squeal last summer. It came as a housing assembly with a sturdier design than the original. I oiled the old fan motor with 3-in-one oil which promptly solved the squeal problem. I also accidentally left it on all winter: It was fine in the spring. It has been totally silent since then. I have not installed the new one.
Update fall 2014: After sitting unused a few weeks the old fan sounded like cats having sex so I installed the new one: It is very quiet. I also found replacement bearings for the old fan on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L0I8012/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Easy to replace, so I have a working spare.
Would I buy another? Yes. The price has gone up 60% since I got mine, but it still beats the alternatives.