What is an electric toilet, you ask? An electric toilet usually refers to a type of incinerating toilet that is powered by electricity. Incinerating toilets do not need water to function and thus do not need to be connected to a sewage system or septic tank. Instead, electric incinerating toilets use electric power to burn human waste and turn it into clean and safe ash.
If properly constructed and installed, electric incinerating toilets are relatively easy to maintain, totally secure, and last a long time. However, electric toilets may also refer to a new type of home toilet that combines gravity-based flushing with an electric pump inside the tank for a more powerful flush for your toilet.
Unlike electric incinerating toilets, these home electric pump toilets are not as common since they will not function in your home during a power outage, which can be a liability.Read on for more information about electric toilets and how they work.
How Does an Electric Toilet Work?
Let’s look at the different types of electric toilets and see how they work.
Incinerating Electric Toilets
An electric toilet is easy to install since the system does not need water and thus does not need to be connected to a plumbing system. You set it up by installing the toilet unit in your bathroom area and connecting a 3-inch-long exhaust vent in between the back of the toilet unit and the outside of the building.
Then you would plug your toilet unit into the nearest 120-volt outlet. You would then make sure that the electric toilet’s bowl liner is installed inside a stainless-steel toilet bowl each time you use it.
This liner makes sure that the bowl is protected from human waste, making your cleaning process a lot easier in the long run. The liner holds all the waste which flows in via the toilet bowl into a burn area. As a result, you can flush roughly 2-4 times before incineration is needed.
Once you flush the toilet, if you press ‘start,’ then the incineration (burning) process will begin. On a side note, it is essential to also remember not to flush down any paper or garbage products through the toilet bowl since it would create burning or smoke even outside the incineration chamber.
After the start button is pressed, a heating coil will activate to kickstart the fecal incineration cycle. The kept waste will then be burned at around 1400 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour.
This machine does not create any added heat or smoke since all the heat is filtered through an odor-controlled catalyst before it is let out of the exhaust vent. This ensures that the fecal burning does not create a foul odor in the area.
The system also has an exhaust blower which keeps extracting heat from the heating coil until it shuts off, and the incineration chamber cools to a temperature of roughly 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
After the ash pan has cooled down to room temperature, the incinerated waste that is now only a spoonful of ash can now be thrown out.
Home Electric Toilets
As for electrically enhanced home toilets, this merely uses a macerating electric pump inside the toilet tank to further power the natural gravity-induced flushing pull. These toilets often have a two-stage electric switch that can either fully flush for solid waste or half flush for liquid waste.
Additionally, since they come with added electric flushing power, less water may be needed for a powerful flush than would be normally needed with a gravity toilet. These toilets can also be equipped with heated seats as well since they are connected to electric circuits.
They are also often designed with an invisible water tank which means they can be designed to look like a piece of furniture.
Why Would You Choose an Electric Toilet Over a Composting Toilet?
Since both electric toilets and composting toilets are both used often for similar purposes such as marine toilets, camp toilets, fishing area toilets, portable toilets, many developers find themselves choosing between one or the other. Both are also eco-friendly and do not require any sort of septic tank connection in the woods.
In general, composting toilets use nature’s natural composting process to break down human waste into soil. On the other hand, the average incinerating electric toilet uses a burning process to turn the waste into ash. Both processes are also odorless and require no water usage.
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Pros of a Composting Toilet
However, composting toilets are generally a better option if money is an issue. You can use either electric or non-electric composting toilets, and they are generally cheap to install. On the other hand, electric incinerating toilets are often quite pricey since they require nearly 2 kilowatts of electricity every time someone uses them.
Also, while they are both environmentally friendly options, composting toilets are generally going to be your best bet if eco-friendly concerns are a top priority. Incinerating electric toilets use electricity to power their process, often generated by oil and gas. Also, incinerating electric toilets do not contribute to the natural soil producing process that composting does.
Pros of an Electric Toilet
Incineration electric toilets generally need a lot less maintenance than the average composting toilet, which can attract many users. Non-Electric composting toilets need a hank crank to turn human waste into the soil, which can be both physically taxing and time-consuming. However, incinerating electric toilets generally do the job itself.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How much does an electric toilet cost?
The costs can range, but they often cost upwards of $1400 and are not the cheapest option out there.
Does a toilet work without electricity?
Most toilets use gravity to function and do not need electricity to function. However, incineration toilets and electric pump toilets do require electricity to function.
How much electricity does a composting toilet use?
It generally uses none if you use a hand-crake composting toilet. However, if you choose to purchase an electric composting toilet, it will use around 4-6 kilowatts in 24 hours.