Under a stairway, below the sewage line or in a room tight for space: a macerating
toilet system will economically go where conventional plumbing fears to tread.
(ARA) - Creating a new bathroom in an older home can pose numerous installation
challenges that can be both difficult and costly to resolve. Will the fixtures
be situated below the septic system? Must they be positioned too far from a
drain? Will busting through the concrete floor to install drainage to the plumbing
stack trigger structural problems -- as well as a hefty bill from the tradesman
hired to perform the excavation?
A relatively simple and cost-effective solution to these potential migraines
is a comparatively new technology called a macerating toilet system. A macerator
looks very much like a conventional toilet and commands the same amount of floor
space. But instead of routing the flush water through a drain in the floor,
the system moves it to a macerator pump contained in a small box, usually located
on the floor between the toilet and the wall. Similar to a garbage disposal,
the macerator uses a fast-rotating cutting blade to liquefy human waste and
toilet paper in the flush water. Within seconds, this fine slurry is discharged
under pressure through a copper or plastic discharge line as small as 3/4-inch
to a soil stack or a septic tank.
The primary advantage of a macerating system is that it can be installed
atop any finished floor in the home. A new bathroom can therefore be placed
wherever it is most convenient for the owner: in a basement, attic or garage;
underneath stairs or inside a newly remodeled space. Whatever the placement,
it can be accomplished without the need for costly excavation of the floor to
install a drain line, as required by systems using a sump or sewage ejector.
Walls and floors remain intact, and installation is accomplished quickly and
economically with minimal disturbance to room layout. A complete bathroom can
be operational in as little time as a half-day. In addition, the installer need
not leave accessible space -- again, as required by an in-floor sump system.
Properly sized, a macerating system can handle all the fixtures in a bathroom,
including the sink, shower, tub and toilet, even on a septic system. What's
more, these fixtures will work up to 12 feet below and as far away as 150 feet
from a septic tank or sewer line.
Only one manufacturer makes a macerating toilet system: SFA Saniflo Inc.,
the company that developed this "above-floor plumbing" technology
nearly a half-century ago. Because macerating technology is still new to most
American home and business owners, questions about its installation, operation
and cost are not uncommon. Here are a few of the most frequent queries:
How much water does the system use?
All models in the Saniflo line are low consumption water closets. Both the
Sanipro and the Saniplus use 1.6 gallons per flush. The Sanicompact, which is
designed for more confined spaces, such as under a small stairway, flushes with
less than one gallon of water.
Can I install a shower or a bathtub?
When installing a tub, you must create a two-inch by six-inch platform to
allow for the installation of a P-trap and pipe with some gravity flow toward
the macerating unit on the floor below.
Does the system need regular maintenance?
No. The macerator motor has no gears or brushes to wear out. The motor is
filled with oil and sealed for life. The bathroom will be changed out before
the macerator needs replacement.
Is a macerating system more expensive than conventional plumbing?
Yes, if you are comparing only the expense of the fixtures; likewise, with
a sewage ejector package. However, the greatly reduced labor costs and the superior
installation flexibility of a macerating system make it an economical alternative
when a conventional gravity-flow system cannot be installed cost-effectively.
Can I hide the unit, drain pipes and vents in a wall?
Yes, Saniflo does manufacture a 15-inch extension kit for installing the
macerator/pump behind the wall or in some other less visible place. It is critical
for the installer to create accessibility to the macerator/ pump for servicing.
For more information on Saniflo and the Saniflo product line, contact the
company at (800) 36FLUSH (363-5874). Or visit the Saniflo Web site at www.saniflo.com.
Courtesy of ARA Content