I was contacted by a concerned C-Head owner regarding the recent passage of Georgia House Bill 201 that changes the laws in Georgia in an effort to reduce pollution in the estuarial waters of the ICW along the Georgia coastline. I researched HB 201 and it becomes apparent that the underlying purpose of the law is to control the use of bum boats polluting the scenery more so than the water. I get it. I live on the water and pay the government extra for the privilege. Truth be told, these people don’t produce enough human waste to effect anything, certainly not on the scale of the estuarial waters of Georgia. But toilets are an easy target for solving a problem that has little to do with the toilets. Few people will protest this angle of attack.
The C-Head toilet works especially well in houseboats. The larger holding tanks and the existing flushing toilet with it’s through the floor toilet flange, give the houseboat owners an advantage over other type boats. Specifically, they can use the BEX kit (bottom exit kit) to take advantage of the existing plumbing and make life easier. The BEX kit, allows you to drain the urine into the holding tank directly through the bottom of the toilet using the existing flange. Since you are only using concentrated urine with a little flush water occasionally, the capacity of the holding tank is increased greatly, which reduces the need to find a pump out station. You can spend an extended time, weeks or months even, on the water and hold the liquid waste until you return to your marina to have it pumped out. No special trips or going off the hook to find a marina so that you can empty the tank. The C-Head is unique in this regard since there is no other composting toilet on the market that has this capacity.
I have been experimenting with several pump types to use in conjunction with the pump tank accessory. The pump tank accessory, to review, is a reservoir that holds the urine until it can be pumped out to a holding tank. The pump tank isn’t necessary in situations where gravity feed will empty the tank, that is situations where the holding tank or drain field is below the toilet all the time. There are a few situations where the holding tank or drain field sits above the toilet or where the drain line must clear a hurdle that is above the toilet. Most sailboats have the holding tank mounted higher than the toilet because they don’t have room in the bilge. Also, Granny in the basement installations and most below-ground prepper bunkers will need to pump the urine uphill. In those cases, the pump tank is a good accessory to have. The pump system can be manual or electric.
I know it sounds self serving for me to tell people that they shouldn’t build their own toilets but hear me out. Live aboard boaters and RV owners are usually very handy. You basically have to be. You’re out in the middle of no-where and something goes wrong and there is nobody you can hire to fix it and no place to go to get parts, at least proprietary parts. When I built the C-Head I kept this in mind and made it so that parts could be easily found at local hardware stores. Having lived aboard two sailboats for a total of nine years, I knew that that would be a valuable consideration for my product by people who would use it. I also knew that because of that, people would try to imitate the design, thinking they were saving money and getting the satisfaction of being creative all in one deal. I mean it’s just a bucket and a jug and a box and a toilet seat, right? But let’s look at that.
C-Head offers an accessory called a pump tank that is basically a reservoir for urine until it can be pumped out of the toilet to a holding tank or drain field. It is used in situations where the urine must be pumped uphill to its destination. If the situation allowed for a simple gravity feed draining system, then the EUD would suffice. Having to pump urine uphill is common in sailboats under 40 feet and installations in basements or in underground shelters such as prepper bunkers.
If you are not sure if the C-Head will fit in the space you have allotted for your toilet, it is best to make a mock up out of cardboard and test the space. This can be done using a “large” cardboard box available at Home Depot in the storage section of the store. Cut and tape the box to the dimensions shown below. For the wedged back model you will have to make a modification that is not shown by cutting away a portion of the bottom back side 3″ by 3″. For the shorty, make a bucket model and shorten it by 3″.
There are three ways to suddenly get a lot of
water in the bilge. Being holed, being rolled and having the large bore
thru-hull to the head fail. All three have the potential of sinking your boat.
But sinking your boat is a long shot. Much more likely are the other negative
aspects of the marine head. Few things can cause more distress or potential
havoc on board a boat than the head. There are more than enough
discouraging and disgusting events caused by a marine head to give it the bad
reputation it so richly deserves. Being filled with poop makes these problems
So, the dreaded task; the one that every marine toilet owner has to exercise in some capacity or another, has finally come due and volunteers are short handed. Unless Captain Bligh has assigned the job to someone of minor status or meted it out as a punishment, the crew will have to decide among (more likely between) themselves who gets the honor of emptying out the head.