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Water Fact:
Contamination can render groundwater unsuitable for use. In many cases, contamination is not recognized until groundwater users have been exposed to potential health risks.
Happy Sun-Mar Customer
Jim Cooper
"Thanks to the Sun-Mar Excel unit I was able to obtain a sewage permit and begin construction on our cabin in the Alleghany National Forest.
The Excel model was approved as an alternative to a septic system. We have used the Excel model for four years and are very satisfied with its performance."
Excel Toilet
Excel, installed 1998
Alleghany National Forest,PA

Composting Toilet Installation FAQ's

All Sun-Mar units include everything needed for installation.

The package contains the complete vent stack, electrical power cord, peat mix to start the compost, and an owner's manual which covers installation, start-up, and ongoing maintenance.

All units with 1" drains include a 10 ft. length of drain hose. Installation of the vent stack is the main task in installing self-contained units. Vent stacks for electric units include a 10 ft. length of 2" pipe (15 ft. for central units), pipe fittings, diffuser, and roof flashing. Self-contained electric units also include 6 ft. of vent pipe insulation.

These same components are included with non-electric units except that the vent is 8 ft. of 4" pipe (13 ft. for central units), and pipe insulation is not necessary for the 4" pipe.

The diffuser is a device originally patented by Sun-Mar principals, and is designed to facilitate updraft, to avoid freezing up in winter, and to protect the vent from downdraft and weather.

Click here to see what parts are included with your Sun-Mar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I merge my vent with my plumbing vent?

No. We realize that would make your installation easier, but if the toilet is not installed on its own vent, turbulence of the air in the vent will hamper the airflow, and may lead to odors. In addition, other devices (such as sinks, etc.) connected to vents will start to smell of ammonia. The toilet needs to be on its own vent in order to function correctly.

Do I really need an overflow drain with a non-electric or central flushing system?

Yes. You will definitely have overflow leachate in both of these situations, even in very limited usage. If a drain is not connected, the overflow could end up in your bathroom, and not down the drain pipe.

I am not very handy. Can you install the unit for me?

Although our units are designed for the do-it-yourselfer to install and maintain, there are other options available. Some of our dealers will either install the units themselves for an extra charge which they determine, or they will be able to refer you to someone who can. If your Sun-Mar dealer is not able to provide this service, or there is no dealer near you, a local handyman should have all of the skills necessary to install your unit.

How many bends can I put in the vent pipe?

More than three (3) 90° bends will disrupt airflow. We also do not recommend any horizontal lengths (no matter how short) or downward dips of the pipe. Fasten your pipe to the structure with the supplied brackets to prevent settling.

I have a waste pipe run close to 20 feet long. Anything extra I should do?

Yes. Install a cleanout valve at each elbow to allow for removal of any clogging material. Ideally, you should keep the waste run as short as possible. Sun-Mar does not recommend installation of horizontal waste runs over 20 feet, as it can lead to problems with clogging.

I am installing a Sealand toilet on a 2 hole flange. What should I do?

Line up the flange with the bottom of the pedestal, and mark 2 extra drill holes that line up with the floor bolts. If you do not want to do this, 4-hole flanges are available from Sun-Mar for a small charge. Buy the special Sealand floor flange with the Sealand for a small extra charge - it saves you the trouble of modifying a universal flange.

I have a metal roof/obstruction/other. Do I have to terminate the vent above the roofline?

Yes. If this means putting a couple of 45° bends in to get it around the eave, do so. If the vent terminates under an eave, the air from the vent will downdraft over the property possibly causing a urine smell to occur. Ideally the vent should be installed to 2-3 feet above the peak of the roof to prevent downdraft.

My bathroom can get below 55° F at night, or any other time. Will this affect composting?

Yes. If the unit is being used all of the time, you will need to install an additional heat source or leave the heat on to the area where the composter is located. If you are only using it occasionally on weekends during this time, don't worry about it.

What is the "soft sealant" referred to in the manual?

Silicone caulking.

I want to make modifications to the unit. Will this void my warranty?

Call us at 1-888-341-0782 before making any modifications to the composter itself. We may be able to offer you suggestions that do not include modifications to the unit. If the modification is cleared with Sun-Mar (us directly, not a dealer) it will not void your warranty. We want to work with you to make sure that your unit fits your needs - even if your needs change after the sale.

Do I need the vent?

Yes. Absolutely.

How will I secure the stack if I install it as high as 2-3 feet above the peak of the roof?

Guy wires. These should be available at your local hardware store, and you may have already used them for other applications.

Where does the diffuser go?

On top of the vent stack.

Wouldn't a wind turbine be better than the open diffuser?

The diffuser is a deceptively simple device. It actually prevents most rain and snow from entering your stack. While wind turbines would do the same, when there is no wind to turn them they act as a blockage at the top of the stack, and can create urine odor in the bathroom.

More details on self-contained composting toilet installation.

More details on central composting system installation.

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