A couple of weeks ago, I had a caller asking a lot of questions about the Separett Villa 9000 composting toilet. He and his wife had a garden house/summer house built a couple of years ago and had left space for a compact compost toilet and needed to get around to buying one and having it fitted. I arranged to go and visit them so they could see the Villa 9000 and I could also do a site visit to check out any potential installation issues.
They were enthusiastic to have a compost loo for many reasons – friends both in the UK and in Denmark have them and had confirmed that the Villa 9000 worked well and really didn’t smell! Their house also had some issues with drains and sewers and had, on occasions malfunctioned, so adding another toilet to the standard sewer was not something they wanted to do. Having a toilet in the garden house meant it could be used throughout the day, without the need to run back to the main house to ‘spend a penny’.
Because the garden house was designed and built with a compost toilet in mind, they had thoughtfully had an electric cable run in the skirting board, ready to power the fan in the toilet. They had also had a soak-away pit dug at the rear of the garden house – this was already fed by the sink. Also, being of wooden construction, drilling holes to take pipes through would be fairly straightforward.
Usually, it’s best to run both the urine and vent pipes out directly behind the toilet, through the wall. However, in this case, that would have meant the pipes would be facing the main house. It was decided that the best option would be to take the vent pipe upwards towards the ceiling and then run it to the right and out through the wall. This meant that it vents at a high level and would be out of sight. The urine pipe would also be taken through the wall to the right, and using an adaptor, would connect to standard 32mm push-fit waste pipes and out through the wall, along the side of the garden house and eventually run into the soak-away entry point, which was already thoughtfully fitted with the rubber pipe entry gland.
I estimated that fitting would take 2-3 hours and provided a quotation to the client on a Friday, which included an extra 2 metres of vent pipe, a urine pipe adaptor and a range of standard 32mm push-fit waste pipes etc. They immediately accepted and asked if I could arrange the fitting the following Thursday as they had the grand children coming the following weekend, and they were enthusiastic to use it!
I have to say that the garden house was a beautiful looking and incredibly well constructed building. Being fully insulated, it has been used year round by the clients and the veranda and canopy roof mean that although south-facing, the sun doesn’t overheat the inside. For more information, you can contact The Garden House Ltd on 01843 821851 – www.thegardenhouseltd.co.uk
So the installation begins with positioning the toilet and determining firstly where the urine exit pipe will go out through the wall. As with any waste pipes, a downward flow must always be maintained as you don’t want any liquids (wee or otherwise) sitting in the pipe. In this case, it meant a hole was drilled just above the skirting board. I used the 90 degree connector that Separett supply with the Villa 9000 and attached to that an adaptor (available from our web shop shortly) which allows standard 32mm push-fit waste pipes to be connected. Because access behind the toilet is very limited once everything is in place, it took a fair amount of time jiggling things around to ensure everything connected and was secure. Once this was done, the toilet is screwed to the floor to make it completely secure. I’d finish the exterior connections later, so the next step was the vent pipe.
As mentioned earlier, the client wanted the vent pipe to exit to the right and high up, so I’d be using a 2 metre vent pipe extension to take the pipe up, turn through 90 degrees and then out. The slight complication was that I wanted to ensure the vent pipe sat in the middle of one of the exterior boards which clad the building (as opposed to spanning 2 boards). Using the top of the window frame as a reference I was able to decide which board I’d go through on the outside and worked out the distance from the wall etc. Actually cutting the hole with a 76mm hole saw into an expensive garden house was nervous to say the least, but all went well and revealed the various layers and quality of construction evident with this building.
Barring a few small things, that’s now most of the internal work all finished, and I have to admit that the Separett Villa 9000 composting toilet looks rather good in-situ!
To finish the vent pipe outside, it was just a case of fitting the supplied fly screen and sealing it where it goes through the wood. Fortunately, the vertical section of pipe was 140cm long and the horizontal section was 50cm, leaving just 10cm spare from the 2m section!
The final part of the installation was the urine pipe. I cut the pipe and used a 90 degree push-fit bend and ran a length of pipe towards the existing soak-away entry gland.
Finally, a couple of 45 degree bends etc were used and the pipe was run into the soak-away entry (the existing pipe is from a pre-installed sink).
Barring a bit of cleaning up, that was installation complete. I showed the customers how to use the composting loo and we discussed various strategies of compost bins and dealing with the waste and making compost. The clients certainly seemed very impressed by the design and operation of toilet.
In conclusion, it was a pleasure dealing with such nice and appreciative customers! The installation took a little longer than I thought, mainly due to slightly more complicated piping runs than usual, but you live and learn. What made this installation so straightforward was the forethought that the client and the garden house manufacturer/installer had by installing electrics and a soak-away in advance.
For more information on the garden house, contact The Garden House Ltd – www.thegardenhouseltd.co.uk
For more information on the Separett Villa 9000, visit our webshop.
For information on compost toilet installation, or for any other queries, please contact us.