Renovating a house can be a daunting task. After all, not only you have to worry about expenses and the actual work that goes into the renovation, but you also have to consider several equally important factors such as your home’s layout, the interior design, and even the wiring and plumbing. And if you are planning to expand your house and build another bathroom, then the plumbing becomes an even greater consideration.
This is why when building a house, one should already consider the possibility of expansion in the future. This way, certain preparation can be made in terms of electrical wiring and plumbing. Electrical wiring is a bit easier to resolve in case of an expansion, but plumbing can be quite tricky. And while adding another shower or sink can be managed quite easily, this is not the case when adding another toilet. So what do you do if you want to construct another bathroom but the soil and vent pipe are not easily accessible from your ideal location of the new bathroom? This is where macerating toilets factor in.
In this article, we will discuss what macerating toilets are, how they function, and what factors to consider to determine which macerating toilet is best suited for your needs. Let us get started.
What is a macerating toilet?
Simply put, a macerating toilet is a special kind of toilet which employs a certain type of blending or grinding mechanism. This mechanism enables the toilet to reduce solid human waste to smaller pieces, thus making it easier to move waste by pumping. Macerating toilets are often installed in places where water pressure is too low, or when the location of the bathroom is below or too far from the sewer drain pipe and are often called upflush toilets.
In general, macerating toilets tend to be more costly than regular flush toilets. However, this does not mean that installing one is not cost-effective. If anything, investing in a high-quality macerating toilet is more practical as it is nowhere near as expensive as modifying your plumbing and sewerage system. While macerating toilets can easily cost you less than a thousand dollars, dealing with your drain pipes can cost you upwards of $10,000 dollars – and that is if you are lucky! That said, buying and installing a macerating toilet is certainly more affordable and more convenient than installing a regular one but modifying your entire plumbing.
How do macerating toilets work?
Macerating toilets rely on the same technology employed in typical macerators (such as the ones installed in sinks to grind food). So in order to understand how macerating toilets work, one must understand the mechanism through which macerators typically operate.
Basically, macerating is the process of converting solids (in the case of macerators and macerating toilets, solid waste) into some form of slurry. This conversion is done by soaking the solid in existing liquids and then using a grinding or blending mechanism to transform the solid mass into something that can easily be moved along the pipes. This is especially beneficial in home settings where the pipes are typically narrower and, thus, less able to move solid matter along without clogging. Since macerating toilets combine a grinding or blending mechanism with an electric pump that can move along near-liquid waste even through small or narrow pipes, they make installation of additional toilets possible without having to mess with the existing plumbing.
How do you determine which macerating toilet is best for you?
Macerating toilets might not be as popular and commons as their regular flush counterparts, but this does not mean that there are no choices in the market. On the contrary, big manufacturers have come up with various make and models of macerating toilets, each one catering to a specific need and price point. That said, you do not have to worry about not being able to find a macerating toilet that will fit your size and capacity specifications or your interior design. As long as you know which macerating toilet is the best for you, it is actually quite easy to find one.
Now this brings us to this question: how do you know which macerating toilet is actually suitable for your needs? Well, here are three key factors you should take into consideration:
- Water pressure. Macerating toilets are installed with an electric pump which moves along liquid waste down the pipes. To determine how strong of a pump you need, you first have to know the water pressure in your area. This is especially the case if you are installing the macerating toilet in the second floor of your house or higher where water pressure might be lower. The lower the water pressure in the location where you will be installing the macerating toilet, the more powerful pump you need.
- Water consumption. Another important consideration is water consumption. If you are living in an area where water tends to be more expensive or if you are simply mindful of the environment, then you would definitely want to purchase a macerating toilet with lower water consumption. Note that low water consumption does not automatically translate to low efficiency. For good measure, find a macerating toilet with a powerful pump but with low water consumption.
- Energy consumption. Since the grinding or blending mechanism, as well as the pump, of a macerating toilet makes use of electricity to function, you will definitely want to look for a macerating toilet with lower energy consumption.
- This is not as crucial as the first three factors, but as a matter of convenience, you should opt for a macerating toilet that generates minimal noise when being used. After all, nobody wants to be woken up during the night by a noisy toilet.
Taking into consideration these four factors will help you find the perfect upflush toilet for your needs. These factors will also guide you in case you decide to compromise certain factors to find one which falls within your budget. Bear in mind that these are the most crucial and will greatly affect your convenience after installation.