89. Which is the BEST Composting Toilet? How to install a Composting Toilet on a Narrowboat.


When we had Silver Fox built, we had
a Thetford Cassette Toilet installed. We had a pump-out toilet on our
original boat back in 2004 and it was fine, it was convenient.
But there’s always that kind of moment where you get to a
pump-out with a full tank and it’s not working and you’re stuck then. Especially in winter if it starts
icing up, where you gonna go? No, don’t tell me. [Laughs] So we had a cassette toilet this time and
it’s been fine, there’s loads of places to empty it, it’s cheap, well it’s free to empty it.
Which we like as Yorkshiremen definitely. No complaints except one thing. If you’ve seen the vlog we did a few weeks ago, on emptying a cassette toilet,
you’ll know exactly what I mean. It’s not pleasant. Ohhhh… Oh my god So we don’t want a pump-out,
we want to get rid of the cassette. It leaves us two options. We’ve either got composting or incinerating. Incinerating it’s a bit pricey isn’t it? Expensive. Yeah and I don’t want to use that amount of
gas just to burn one of your poo’s. It would take hours [Laughs] We could make a weeks worth of dinners. . . with the same amount of gas that
it would to burn one of his poo’s You’re laughing because it’s true. [Laughs] Aren’t you? Yeah. That’s made you uncomfortable now hasn’t it? Oooooh! [Whispers] It’s that big [Laughing] So we’re going composting. . . but. . . We’re trying to find the composting
toilet that will look right on Silver Fox We want it to look like a toilet.
Yeah and some of them are a bit rustic Allotment [Laughs] [Sound of sheep bleating] There’s all sorts of designs.
We want something that’s gonna look really nice on Silver Fox and
complements the style of the boat. Yeah. and we think we found one. So in
this video we’re going to show you how we’re going to uninstall the cassette. . . and install our new composting toilet. Apparently it’s really easy to install
this new toilet, but I’ve got to take the cassette toilet out first. I’m not very good when it comes to practical things. Let’s see what happens. Before we start, Shaun is going to take the cassette out
from underneath the toilet and I’ll tell you what. . . he is so happy that this is the last time he has to do this. While he’s doing that, I’ve gone under the bed to isolate the water supply to the toilet. All it takes is a quarter turn on this
screw and that’s it job done, hopefully. Now Shaun is going to press the
flush just to clear any water between the isolator and the toilet to get rid of it. If you do this make sure you put a bowl
or a cup or something underneath the trap in the toilet and that’ll collect
any water that comes out. After that, I’ve switched the electric off to
the toilet pump and that means I can safely disconnect the cables from the toilet. With the cassette out of the way, I can
take out the four screws that secure the old toilet to the floor and then
move it away from the wall so that I can get to the electrical
and plumbing connections. Now the 12 volt electrical
connections are just plugged in, so it’s easy just to pull these two plugs out, that’s it. The water supply, well that’s a hose connected to the toilet
and it’s just with this Jubilee clip. So to be on the safe side. . . and just in case the isolator hasn’t closed properly, I’ve also switched the main water pump off and put some blue roll down to catch any water. So then I slowly loosen that Jubilee clip Just to make sure the water is not going to spurt out and with a bit of brute force,
took the feed hose off from the toilet. Luckily the isolator worked and
only a little bit of water came out. It’s good job that blue roll was there though. I left the pipe for a minute just to let
those last bits of water drain off and then I’ve moved the cassette toilet out
of the way to make way for the new one. There’s a small bracket on the wall for
the old toilet, which is easy to remove, it’s just a couple of screws. Then it’s a
good clean down with some floor spray and capping the water pipe off just
to prevent any leaks in the future. We are going to leave this pipe here so
another toilet can be plumbed in again if we want to or a future owner of the boat wants to. Finally, I’ve cut the crimped
ends of the electrical cables off and they’re ready to fit to the
connections for the new toilet and luckily the cables we’ve got,
are already sufficiently rated for the electrics for the new toilet. Now if you’re doing this, it’s really important that you check the capacity of the cable
to make sure it’s safe to use. If you’re not sure, just get a
qualified electrician in to check it. With the cables snipped off and ready, they just
plug into the new toilet connections really easily. The cables just push into this terminal
and it snaps closed, that’s it. Believe it or not. . . that is all there is to it. I’ve tidied the cables up and
secured it all and I can just push the toilet into its new position. Before I
secure it to the boat though, I just want to check those electrical connections are working
so just going to switch the power back on and there we go, all good. Then, it’s just four screws. Two into the floor and two into the bulkhead wall
behind the loo, which is going to secure it. Here is what it looks like inside. The
electrics come into this box and they split off, one cable comes up the inside
to this light and button on the outside. Another powers this motor and that
drives the stirrer for the solids bucket. Now the motor is protected by a 4 amp
breaker, just to stop it blowing incase something jams that motor. Another cable
powers the extractor fan and that draws air from inside the toilet into this
carbon filter, this is ace, it gets rid of all the odours. One of the things that originally put
us off the idea of a composting toilet was the thought of drilling another
hole outside the boat. We didn’t want to do that, but thankfully
this filter means we don’t have to. They only cost about £20 and it
lasts over a year, it’s really effective. The air comes out of the side of the
toilet into this filter and we’ve boxed it all in to make it look nice, it does, it looks lovely. But once we’re happy that the filter is working, we’re actually going to put the
filter inside the toilet housing so we won’t need this boxing. Next up I can put the trays inside and these
protect the mechanism and the electrics. it also acts to position the bucket and
the liquids bottle in exactly the right place so you don’t get anything, well,
dropping where it shouldn’t. Now the solids bucket fits kind of snugly
into its position on the tray and the stirring mechanism lock just locks it
into place and it stops the book it from moving about. You don’t want that. Next, the liquids bottle and this is,
it’s rigid, it’s really solidly built. It holds 5 litres of liquid and it sits on this molded tray and again that catches
any overflow or spillages. But it shouldn’t do that, because there’s a
sensor built into the toilet and when the bottle reaches a certain level it
lights up on the outside to warn you that it’s almost full and when you do
you can just lift it out and empty it. This light also acts as the button that
activates the stirrer in the solids bucket. Now when you press it, it stirs
the bucket for about 20 seconds. What it does is basically combines the solids
with the compost, it keeps the odour down and it separates them to avoid,
well, one big ball of poo. Ewww! If ever the power fails or the motor packs in, you never know.
We’ve also got a standby, it’s a non stirring bucket, it’s basically just a bucket. We just line it with this biodegradable composting bag, sprinkle some compost inbetween uses and then just
tie up the bag when it’s full and dispose of it. I don’t think we’ll need to use it
but it’s there, just in case. All we do is put about 2 litres of regular compost into the bucket, pop it back in the toilet.
That’s gonna last us about five days as a couple. If you’re on your own you’ve
got about 10 days maybe up to 2 weeks, it all depends how much you eat I guess [Laughs] Now the seat and lid just clip in really easily like this It makes it really easy to take on
and off when you want to clean it. Underneath the lid and the seat you’ve
got the diverter, the most important part. There’s this modesty cover, which
just hides the contents of the bucket. Yeah. Ewww again. This blue plastic thing that looks
like a flattened Stickle Brick. It’s actually a splash screen and it
means us guys can have a pee standing up without it splashing everywhere. It also smells like mints, it’s proper lovely and fresh. Better than that chemical smell of
Blue and cheap disinfectant. A month later. Like it just said [Laughs] Here we are. . . We wanted to give it a decent period
of time before we reviewed it. We didn’t just want to give it a
couple of days, we wanted it to like. . . Ware in. [Laughs] Any regrets? None whatsoever. Brilliant. The best thing we’ve done to
Narrowboat Silver Fox since we launched last May. Honestly. The smell is like.
Gone. Disappeared. There wasn’t much of a smell with the
cassette, only when you opened the trap. Or when cleaning and emptying it and stuff. But absolutely nothing. Not even when you empty it, nothing. And we’ve got the filter, the carbon filter with the fan that pulls the air out, but even when
that’s switched off, which we’ve had it switched off for like two or three days
at a time. When you just forget. And nothing, no a smell at all. It’s just
amazing and I think it’s all to do with a separation isn’t it, of the fluids and the solids.
But it’s absolutely amazing. So the bottle is lasting us about four
days? Three to four days. When it’s full you just put the cap on you can
empty it in the elsan or down a toilet, or if you’re out in the middle of
nowhere like this, just at the back of a hedge. Yeah, the back of the hedge as long as
it’s not going to contaminate anything and if you are walking down past people, you just, we’ve made some Foxes Cloudy Lemonade
labels that you just stick to it. Those two old ladies bought a bottle. [Laughs] The toilet has got. . . They don’t believe us, that’s why you’re laughing
[Laughs] The toilet has this sensor built in, so
when the bottle reaches a certain level, this light comes on and it tells you to empty it. . . so you don’t overfill the bottle. Brilliant and it works doesn’t it? Every time. Yeah, absolutely. The bucket is just as good,
the stirrer system is just amazing, because it coats the solids. . . with compost We just used run-of-the-mill compost. Yeah. Which is £5 a bag and we only use a couple of cups for each time and that lasts us five days. So again, it just stops the smell completely and then Shaun empties the bucket into a bag. We’ve got some composting biodegradable bags. Empty it into that, put it into the
bow locker, no smell again and then just dispose of it when we can. Yeah. Brilliant, I don’t know why we
didn’t do this months ago. But we have been thinking about it
for months and the thing again is research research research. We went
and looked at all sorts of different composting toilets and incinerating
toilets and we chose Compoost Toilets that’s who have supplied this one. This
is not free advert, we did what we did with the boat. We went and did the
legwork and the research and went to see everybody and then we chose Compoost
Toilets to supply this one for us. It’s brilliant. Yeah. A link to their website is just in the video description down below and they’re gonna be at Crick So go and see them in May they’ve got a stand at Crick,
so go and see them and sit on the toilet like Shaun did in the middle of a
street when we were trying it out. You’ve got to do these things. A few months ago You’ve got to do these things. Would you change anything about it? Nothing, nothing whatsoever. It is absolutely brilliant. It looks exactly like a normal toilet. If you’re thinking about doing this I mean we would say, yeah. 100 percent go for it, but if you’ve got any questions or bits and pieces
that you think we haven’t covered, just drop a question in the comments and we’ll answer it for you.
You know we try to answer all the comments anyway. If you fancy, if you fitting a boat
out and you want a nearly new cassette toilet, we are selling our
Thetford C260. It is nearly new, it’s been cleaned to within an inch of its
life. It’s cleaner now than when we got it. It comes with two cassettes, one of
them is boxed up new, we’ve not used it. So if you’re interested in that if you’re fitting a
boat out and you want to put it in that boat, again just drop us a comment or get
in touch, we can sort that out for you. Any other questions, feedback, complaints,
or anything just drop them in the comments Please give the video a like if you’ve enjoyed it or found it helpful. Subscribe, there’s a link down below and then hit the bell notification icon
and YouTube will let you know every time we release a brand new vlog. You can support the channel by clicking ‘Join’ and become a member on YouTube or become a Patreon, a link to that is it the Outtakes. . . which is coming shortly. [Sighs] the video after the outtakes. I apologize in advance. Right. . . shall we go? Shaun’s off. We’ll see you next time, take care bye bye. Bye. [Music playing] Have I got bogies? No! Don’t bang the table. and you gum to a pump… Gum? It’s It’s Its It’s easy to keep cl [strange sounds] It’s easy to and what’s not and what’s not When we were having [Strange noises] [Strange noises] [Strange noises] Urgggg! [Strange noises] Slow your brain down. and it’s a really… Urrgg! Urrgg! Do we want the cassette? or or the composting toilet? [Laughs] Click the sub… to Narrowboat Silver, Sil, Bleh! We’ll start that again. [Music plays to the end]

100 Replies to “89. Which is the BEST Composting Toilet? How to install a Composting Toilet on a Narrowboat.”

  1. Very informative. Glad it worked out for you..in the "End". BTW…in Thailand, they make classy beer wrappers for your beer out of elephant poo. Just wondered if you could do something similar.

  2. Really interesting about the toilet. Does the used compost go straight in with the general rubbish when you dispose of it?

  3. Much prefer watching col empty the cassette ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ far more entertaining ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Kev from Congo ๐Ÿ‘

  4. Only Colin could present a talk on toilets and make it nice relaxing viewing!!! ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜† Can I ask why it was always Shaun who had to empty the old one?

  5. Many people say that "the toilet issue" is what keeps them from living on a narrowboat. I always thought they mean the smell, the cleaning, you know; the nasty side of the day after a good diner.

    But now that I've seen a number of narrowboat videos I realise that when you start living on a narrowboat, you grow a fascination with your waste disposal unit. It becomes an obsession. You start trying out different machines, different techniques and above all: you feel that you must tell the world about the results!
    Narrowboaters are pretty much unique in that, because I have yet to see a housedweller report on how marvellous the flush on his new poopmaster-2000 is, or how comfy the relax-a-poo seat feels on his butt in mid winter. Narrowboaters on the other hand feel a need to tell you every time they emptied a cassette or "had a good pump-out".

    that is what's keeping me from living on a narrowboat. It's not the confined space, the endless locks, the solitude…. its the fact that I'll have to start keeping records of my bowel movements and report them on social media. The pressure…. how do you guys do it? And why?

  6. We are hoping to get a compost toilet to replace our casette ๐ŸŽ‰
    Did the filter come with the toilet? if not where did you get it from and is it noisy?
    Great video we have been waiting for this to make our decision ๐Ÿคฃ

  7. Morning neighbours er i mean gentleman!!! Great vlog as always! Batten down the hatches for the storm, hope both of you are well!

  8. I assume you still use Paper to wipe yer Bum?? get a Bum Gun to wash it clean, just a flexi pipe with a lever operated nozzle .

    in Thailand where I live they all use them !

  9. Where do you put the waste once it's in the bags? Toilet paper as normal? Is it 12v? How do you clean a toilet like this, what can you and can't you use?

  10. I'd assume you don't get any smell from the toilet even when you haven't got the fan on the filter as the displaced air/gases from the compost section are still making their way through the filter just do to pressure difference between the higher pressure gases in the box and the lower atmospheric pressure.

    Also I presume putting the filter in the compost box is a standard method – normally you'd have it on the outlet of the vent like it is at the moment.

  11. So, ah, what happens if your, you know, spray painting the bowl, for example?
    The household single tank version has to have the fan going all the time, lest an all pervading odor sneaks up on you.
    The separate containers seems a great idea..

  12. With the disposal of the waste, do the canal and rivers trust have waste separation bins, like garden waste etc? An awful lot of the UK's general waste will be incinerated soon. Shaun will power the national grid alone!! ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ Also Green's show room flash backs ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  13. I don't own a boat or have a need for a composting toilet but found your review educational, yet very interesting.
    Thanks.

  14. Well chaps, that vlog was really a load of "####" ! I'm never going to watch another of your vlogs … until the next one of course ;o) … happy poo'ing, ttfn, mb. ps. it was very interesting, even if I was eating breakfast at the time ………..

  15. A really informative video. Boat toilets have certainly come a long way in recent years. Our hire boat on the South Oxford last year had a drop through pump out and it was like climbing Ilkley Moor to sit on the thing. A modern macerator type pump out had always been my preferred option should I be in a position to buy but after watching this I'm almost convinced!

  16. Well done yet again. Very amusing and informative. We never had any problems with cassette loos in caravans but this compostable one does seem ideal. Happy floating!? From NZ

  17. Thank you – that is the first serious alternative to a combustion toilet, and presented with your customary professionalism. Wanting 'no-gas' on board meant I needed to factor-in a larger battery capacity, to power the combustion burner, this Compooster loo eliminates that need – and has done away with the 'cranky' manual stirring handle. It also looks really cool (obviously cool as it's not combustion). My worry had been explaining that handle to my grandsons when they visit – this is press button, no handle and superb for all ages. Thanks again – it's a load off my …….!

  18. So…..I am an expert with poo and a complete non-expert with boats and vegetables so what you need to do is get all the 'poopost' clear off the top of the boat from all the unnecessary stuff like solar panels, plant a vegetable garden that without doubt will flourish as there is a constant and regular source of compost. Then at every port of call setup a small stall selling fresh, home-made veg! Fantastic!!

  19. Big question is will you be recycling the Compoost for growing your veg etc ๐Ÿค” great vlog we are changing our boat loo for one of those & we donโ€™t get our boat for another week so glad you made this vlog been searching for a decent composter loo for a while. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘Œ

  20. Hi guys,,what a great video about composting toilet,got to say that looks a expensive one not see one like that ,you two make me laugh so much , things you say to Sean itโ€™s great fun ,I can see you do your home work ,thank you so much Guys ,John ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ

  21. I'm just wondering about the capped off water pipe behind your new toilet. You now have a water filled dead end on a water tank water supply. Won't you after awhile get biofilm, possible leigonella or ecoli contamination?

  22. Thanks for another great video. This is the first 'normal' looking composting toilet I have seen despite researching for a while. Please can you share whatever cheapest/best composting material you guys find as you continue to use this. Great job!

  23. Best looking one yet! but can't imagine it's so easy emptying the solids as the stirrer must get caked surely? and have to be scrapped clean!? ๐Ÿคข……. il stick with my 2 monthly pump out! another informative and great video though! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. Whoโ€™d have thought pee,poop and toilets could be interesting…. great vlog as usual
    ps,thereโ€™s a outdoor composting toilet where we occasionally take the dogs,course Mrs Pee for England here,needs to go,I thought eek,ug and other words(sweary and rude ๐Ÿ™Š๐Ÿ˜‚) and went in cautiously, for a toilet over a pit of compost(yes,mahoosive hole! Under the bog ๐Ÿ˜ฎ) …it was the least smelly toilet Iโ€™ve been in,especially for a public one lol.

  25. This is, by far, the best composting toilet video Iโ€™ve seen. Iโ€™m plan to share it to several tiny house Facebook channels. I would suggest diluting the wee in a bucket of canal water to avoid nitrogen burn . . . . Fantastic you have a storage space for the bag of fresh compost in the โ€œcassetteโ€ cabinet.

  26. I'm not sure that composting toilet would work for the "bomber harris" folks out there. You know who your are. It would work fine for the precision folks.

  27. Hey Guys , I have been thinking of possible uses for your compost , the biggest problem is storing it , due to the size of it's volume : ( I plan to have a drying bin , from there it goes into self stacking garden pots and use them as briquette molds .
    Once compressed and dry , turn them out and store them in a vented locker . they are now ready to burn in your multi fuel stove : ) use them to supplement your coal .
    People have been using peat logs to warm there homes for hundreds of years : )
    Also If you produce to many , and your feeling generous , you can give the shit away for free : )

  28. Thanks again boys very informative,and I must admit helps me to think should I put one on our boat when we fit it out .much love as always Alex

  29. Is the cloudy lemonade available for sale on your website?
    (Yes, i could be accused of taking the piss)
    Great, informative vlog on the basis of which Iโ€™d say composting is the way forward. Cheers, Hollers

  30. Fascinating subject, lol! My next boat will definitely have one of those loos. So much simpler and less troublesome/expensive to run, than the macerating pumpout one on our last boat.Thanks so much for sharing! Happy Safe Boating Guys…..see you tomorrow LIVE. Looking forward to it๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘

  31. Come on lads, I thought this would be more in depth, what about dead legs after reading a paper? cozy bum bog seat? These are the big questions๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

  32. Now that did make me laugh 'cloudy lemonade ' stickers for the bottle. Fantastic ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ I am wondering though where you dispose of the 'solids ' Great vlog thanks.

  33. For someone who's not that good with pratical things, that was an excellent step by step on how you did it. Anyone with a similar setup on a narrowboat or Motorhome would be well advised to watch this vlog. Nice One.

  34. Great to meet you guys. I was the drunk man who lost his wife in Stratford. Donโ€™t go on the river!! Ps I found her again. Xx

  35. I just watched your instructional video again and found it very worth while. I think you underestimate your abilities at practical applications. Good job.

  36. ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป I have told Captain Gary Phillips that he can make a video of paint drying and make it interesting. While I donโ€™t like to compare, typically, but you might have him beat. This was, hands down, the most interesting s__t show that I have ever seen. Congratulations. Seriously. That is a really nice looking toilet, even if it were not a composting toilet. Though you are not in the business of marketing for the manufacturer or supplier, I would be interested to know what make and model it is. You mentioned a model number but I missed a reference point. Oops! Never mind. I see you linked it in the description and they linked back to you. I like it! I like the smaller amount of real estate it requires, as well. You made the installation look easy, which is impressive.

    The one thing that isnโ€™t clear is how to get the bucket out to empty with the beaters attached. You can certainly reach down and unscrew them but I donโ€™t think so. You showed us the bucket and laid it in the spot but not with the beaters in place. Can you tell me more about how that will work?

    The electric for the cassette toilet? Was that for a macerator?

    Thanks again!

  37. Eat lots of veggies with seeds eg tomatoes. … and there would be veggie plants growing all along the hedgerows ๐Ÿ˜‰

  38. What a great game of thrones and a bottle of a vitamin P. Thanks guys for an amusing and interesting video, If I ever get another caravan to tour Australia again, I will look at one of these.

  39. Great, informative vlog. I think we will get one of these when I get our next boat in a few months time. Thanks ๐Ÿ‘

  40. Well, who knew, buy a boat and learn all about poo. Thanks to you two, for all you do. Not sure I'll ever fully recover from seeing that image of Sean's head floating in the toilet. Phew!

  41. That was a really informative little video about a tricky subject l aspire to live on a boat one day and now l know that a composting loo is the way to go thank you guys

  42. Should have had these toilets years ago when we were caravaners I hated emptying the cassette enjoyed the vlog looking forward to next week stay warm

  43. What happens when Shaun does a major splatterer after one of his infamous curries and it plasters the bowl and water section?

  44. Iโ€™m sure you where about to say โ€˜Silver Socksโ€™ in the outtakes…..now thereโ€™s another merchant idea ๐ŸฆŠ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿคฃ

  45. Hi guys loved the new toilet it seems very good. We have been mulling over the cassette versus composting for ages! Just a quick question where would you dispose of the solids? I know you bagged them but can they go in the ordinary waste bins at Elsa / rubbish points on the network? Xx

  46. Fascinating subject, not the sort of thing you would normally talk about. But I am now more knowledgeable than I was before.lol

  47. Where are the types of places do you / can you empty the compost, please. Great channel. You both do some great vlogs. Thank you Steve & Sarah in the Lethbridge Stewart. A widebeam on the river Gt Ouse

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