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We understand the difficulties of installing a toilet in your basement. Gravity can't be used to remove waste, so you'll need a sensible alternative that's either self contained, or able to push waste upwards. The good news is, there are a number of existing solutions that can handle waste below the sewer pipes, and plenty of pros and cons in installing them.
Portable, composting styles are one such example, and those with a macerating pump seem to be the most popular choices. So to help our readers, we've picked out several options below. Each of which you can use in a basement bathroom. We also explore how they can benefit your home in a detailed guide that analyzes the specifications, pros & cons and much more.
The SaniCompact is a simple yet effective solution for sending waste to areas that traditional gravity fed systems can't. It's made by a top brand, SaniFlo, who seem to have a great reputation for these types of products. Once installed, you have the ability to break down waste and push it upwards through a series of pipes and a pump. It's limited to pumping nine feet up and one hundred feet horizontally. I use the word limited loosely as most homes won't require more.
It will appear to be lower profile than some of its competitors due to there being no external tank. This is known as being self contained. What's more, you can attach it to your sinks outlet for a the full half bath experience.
|Saniflo Sanicompact||Liberty Pumps||Saniflo Saniaccess|
|Dimensions||18.2 x 14.5 x 15.8"||48.5 x 21 x 21"||16-3/4 x 26-1/2 x 28-1/2"|
|Weight||67 lbs||115 lbs||93 lbs|
The 023 has a number of specs that made us rank it as the number one choice in this category. Externally, it doesn't take up much space, with the self contained system operating differently to standard toilets.
You can expect more comfort from its elongated shape bowl over the round ones. However, they are not as compact and tend to have a longer depth which is not always an option for people with smaller than average washrooms.
The bowl itself is finished in white, matching most modern color themes. It's also skirted which is has several advantages like making cleaning tasks simpler. It also hides the trapway from view which gives the bowl smoother edges and an aesthetic finish.
There are a number of low flushing options on the market, each competing to save consumers money in their utility bills. The 023 holds its own against many of them, using around 1.4 GPF to rinse the bowl.
Onto the pumping functionality now. You can expect decent performance in this respect, as it's designed to move waste 100 feet sideways, and nine feet up. Unless your basement is a deep bunker, this is usually enough to get your waste to the sewer lines.
Unlike many manufacturers that don't include the important plumbing fixtures like the seat with their products, this one has a one that comes with it. Things like this can help you plan and budget.
The ASCENTII-RSW is another upflow option from Liberty. It utilizes a pumping system and macerator to do this, grinding up waste into smaller sizes that are easier to move through the pipework. It's so effective that it can move waste up to 25 feet up and 100 feet horizontal.
It's ADA compliant which helps make seating more accessible to people, but unlike the 023 above, it has a rounded bowl. Known for its space saving attributes, but not quite as comfortable. You'll also find skirting around the bowls edges completing a clean, modernistic theme.
If you need to connect other sanitary ware and fixtures to it, this can also be done. Sinks, bathtubs, and showers can be connected with the right hardware in place. It offers backflow protection.
You will get a seat with your purchase, equipped with easy close hinges. Its flushing mechanism operates on a single flush system which is fairly efficient and not wasteful when it comes to water usage.
As you might of guessed, we're fans of SaniFlo. The SaniAccess 3 is a great alternative to the others above. It shares similar qualities when it comes to being able to connect other bathroom hardware, be it vanities, sinks, or showers.
It features a .5 horsepower pump that grinds down waste and ensures it can send waste as far as most consumers will require. The maximum length horizontally is 150 feet. The maximum length upwards is 15 feet. This is a suitable distance for most households.
The bowl is 16.75 inches in height and hides the trapway from view. This improves the overall aesthetics in our opinion and makes sure bacteria has fewer places to hide when you're cleaning it.
The elongated shape bowl is a better option for supporting body weight and ensuring males are most comfortable. Its overall dimensions are listed as 16-3/4 by 26-1/2 by 28-1/2 inches.
Bathroom size and layout - Not every buyer is going to have a large washroom. In fact many of you will have to work with what you have, ensuring the dimensions leave enough clearance from the walls. That's why you need to plan ahead and understand what the maximum dimensions you can have are. This includes looking into bowl depth, in other words, how far it extends from the wall. We have guides for those bowls measuring 24 to 25 inches and 26 inches in depth.
Comfort or standard height - If something is labelled either comfort, or right height, it means that the bowl is taller than the more traditional designs on the market. The difference may seems small, but it can make a difference to people with limited mobility. The official measurement required to get this label is 17 inches and above to the seat (not the rim).
Water efficiency - If you've used our water calculator in the past, you'll have noticed the significant savings that can be made if you switch to a WaterSense toilet. In comparison to older 3.5 gallon tanks, and even 1.6 GPF flow rates, you stand to save thousands of gallons per year. This can multiply depending on how many people living in your household. Get a rough estimate of how much this can save you in utility bills by using our calculator link above.
Anti-microbial glazing - The type of glazing a manufacturer uses can help reduce odors and limit the amount of damage being caused to the bowls surface. Problems like staining are common complaints among consumers and this type of glazing can help. Look out for the EverClean, CEFIONTECT, SanaGloss or similar labels while shopping.
MaP - A MaP score isn't available for all products, but we recommend you look up whatever product you're interested in purchasing on their database. They have a full list of products and their performance ratings here. This is a very useful resource that can let you know more about a specific models flushing power and its effectiveness in clearing the bowl without causing blockages in the pipes.
While these basement toilet solutions are not perfect, they are the best you're going to find in most scenarios. The problems with not being able to utilize the force of gravity to clean the bowl is frustrating but not a deal breaker. The options listed above are able to pump waste both horizontally and vertically many feet at a time, allowing you to install it anywhere in the home. Some of these systems may also be attached to the sink or shower outlets allowing you to install a full bathroom below the sewer lines. Others will simply be self contained and need to be emptied every so often. Whichever you choose, make sure you've read our list of considerations before you buy anything.