A macerating toilet system can be used in a number of different ways. The ability to fit them anywhere in the home is certainly an advantage, especially for temporary bathrooms, or those that need to be put below the sewer lines, for example the basement.
We've looked at some of the leading brands in this category and hand pick a few of our favorites based on our criteria. We also analyze the specifications of each, equipping you with the knowledge required to make a educated decision.
The Sanicompact 023 is made by a brand with a solid reputation in the industry. It's self contained and has the ability to grind up and move waste nine feet upwards. This could be a smart choice for those looking to build a bathroom below the sewage lines.
|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|
Upflushing toilets are quite versatile by design. They were first invented by SaniFlo back in 1958, who, as it happens, are still a big name today in this niche. They enable homeowners to install a toilet below the sewer lines and push waste upwards where necessary. Their importance has increased over time, especially in temporary and basement bathroom installations.
To put this in simple terms, they enable buyers to install a bathroom anywhere in the house. This is down to the fact that you don't need to place new pipes in the wall or floor.
Like standard units, waste goes into the bowl and water pressure helps remove and rinse it. The main area it differs is how it handles the waste ofter this point. Unlike standard models that rely on gravity based mechanism, these reside below the sewer lines, so can't handle it in the same manner. It gets over this problem by discharging waste through the back and into a macerating pump. From this point on, the waste in grinded down into smaller, easier to handle chunks, which can then be pumped up PVC pipes.
You may be thinking that this requires extensive DIY and plumbing knowledge because of the differences in design to a standard toilet. However, the reality is, the installation process is quite similar.
From an aesthetic standpoint, there isn't a big difference between these and standard units either. The lift pump will be a small box that can be implemented behind a wall if needed. With smart usage of extension piping, you really won't be able to tell the difference.
The 023 is a self contained toilet, designed for vertical pumping. If pushing waste upwards is your goal, this can go as far as nine feet. However, if you need it to be a bit more flexible and run horizontally for a bit, it can run for one hundred feet. Within this piping, you can attach your sink so that it's part of the same system.
It's an electronic flush mechanism that conserves water, using around 1.3 gallons with each flush. Compared to standard 3.5 gallon units, this is quite a difference.
It's dimensions are 18.2 x 14.5 x 15.8 inches, and it weighs 67 pounds. It's floor mounted and has an elongated shape bowl which is better for seating posture compared to square and round bowls.
To activate the pump and flush, you simply push the air switch on top of the bowl and the waste is handled for you.
It comes with a seat, and is finished in white. Because everything is contained within the bowl area, you can't see a tank. This gives the impression that it takes up less space, great for compact bathrooms.
The ASCENTII-RSW is a two piece unit made from a vitreous china material. It's floor mounted and finished in a bright white.
The bowls trapway outline is concealed, improving the aesthetics, and like the 023 above, it can be used with several other bathroom hardware like the sink and shower.
The flush meets Watersense standard from the Environmental protection agency, meaning you stand to save many gallons of water compared to 1.6, 3.5, and 5.0 GPF models. You can learn more about water savings here.
It measures 48.5 by 21 by 21 inches, and it comes with a trap passageway measuring 2-3/4 inches.
Looking at the feedback currently out there, the majority of buyers seem to be happy with their purchase which is always a good sign regarding the products quality and capabilities.
The Saniaccess features an elongated shape bowl, a smart choice for comfortable seating, and it's skirted around its sides which give it a more modernistic, contemporary feel.
This is yet another model, which by design, doesn't consume much water. It's watersense labelled which means it doesn't exceed the limit of 1.28 gallons set by the EPA. This can result in thousands of gallons saved per year.
The macerator blades operate on a 1/2 horsepower motor, chopping and grinding down waste into more manageable sizes ready for pumping. This needs an electrical outlet to work.
It has a flush valve measuring 3 inches, and it's chair height to maximize user comfort, and meets ADA requirements.
Based on what we've read about it, it should be able to send waste upwards up to fifteen feet and up to one hundred and fifty feet horizontally. This will be sufficient for the majority of residential installations.
Rough in - Although rough in isn't a problem here, you may decide to go with an alternative, floor mounted solution that does require you to know your rough in measurment. We have a number of guides on this, along with information related to specific sizes. Our 10" and 14" articles will help you find something suitable for your specific dimensions.
If you prefer, you can get yourself a UniFit compatible toilet with the piping extension. This allows you to be a bit more flexible in the size you choose.
Bowl shape - The bowl shape you pick doesn't just have an impact on the overall aesthetics of your washroom. It also plays an important role in how comfortable you feel whilst sitting down. We have information regarding the pros and cons of square / rectangular, elongated, and round shapes.
Rectangualar models look beautiful, but if you look deeper into what a lot of customers are saying in their reviews, you can see that many of them have complaints about the overall comfort. That's the trade off for such a unique, contemporary style.
Elongated bowls, like square ones, get higher marks from a aesthetics point of view. However, they are also the option we recommend if comfort is important to you. The oval style ensures your legs can be positioned in a more natural position on the throne.
Then there are round bowls. Not really something we'd choose over the other two unless we were struggling with the amount of space available to us. They are a smart choice for compact bathrooms, and may go hand in hand with some of our picks above.
Bowl height - Have a think about the type of people that are going to want to use your washroom. Not just your family members, but also visitors to your home. Accessibile design is a far more inviting and homely feature to have in your washroom. One such example of this is a comfort height toilet. You can learn more about them here. The main difference between these and a standard bowl is a question of height. Standard bowls will measure around fifteen to sixteen inches with the seat attached. A comfort height bowl will be somewhere between seventeen and nineteen inches. The reasoning behind this is to ensure sitting and standing becomes easier for the elderly and infirm. However, taller people can benefit from the extra inches too.
Ceramic coating - One technique manufacturers use to protect the surface of the bowl and ensure waste goes through the trapway easier, is the use of specially designed glazing. Many of them have anti microbial properties and will help reduce a number of common complaints such as staining, scratches, and bad odors.
Trip lever - Three things come to mind when we look at the trip lever on the tank. The first of which is the general theme and material used. Chrome plated tends to be a popular choice. Once you know what you're going for, you should try to match it with other bathroom fixtures like faucets and shower heads.
The second is the actual location of the lever. Some people will prefer it to be on the front, but that's not always the case. You can also buy one that has the lever on the side of the tank.
Finally, not everything has to be a lever. These days you can get advanced innovations that enable touch free flushing. These operate on infrared technology and sense when your hand passes through the electro-magnetic field above the tank. Another popular choice among buyers is buttons. These are more common in dual flushing mechanisms, but they can also be found increasingly in single flush products too. Which one you choose comes down to personal preference, but knowing what's available to you is the first step.
Water surface and depth - When it comes to the water spot, you should be thinking less about accuracy, and more about its ability to combat odors. It's common knowledge among plumbing professionals and manufacturers that a wider water surface area helps the bathroom smell fresher. And while it does help with the accuracy issue and reduce streaking, this is the main selling point.
However, it is possible to go too big. The wider the surface of water, the higher that water sits in the bowl. The closer it comes to the rim, the higher likelihood that you will be getting splashed. That's not a nice experience for anyone.
Mounting - You have a choice between a wall mount, or floor mount. Readers should check out this guide for information related to wall mounted toilets. They tend to have space saving properties that floor based ones lack. However, from a practical standpoint, most people will be purchasing a replacement for their old one. The majority of which will be mounted to the floor. Taking this route will be far less time consuming.
Single or dual flush - The options we've chosen above may not utilize gravity to flush, however, some of you may still be on the fence in finding a type of toilet that's right for you. If that turns out to be a standard unit, then you'll want to know more about both these flush types. Single flushing systems are quite limited when it comes to water conservation. You get a fixed GPF rate, and that's how much it will use each time you clear the bowl. However, with a dual flush system, you have a bit more choice. You can pick between a full or half flush. Using half flushes for liquid waste will help your household save lots of water over the course of a year. You can read more about them here.
MaP score - The maximum performance testing is a excellent way to gather information about a specific products flushing performance and how powerful it is. Scored between zero and a thousand, this is a test which sees how much waste a unit can handle in bulk.
As a rule of thumb, you should avoid the low scoring options. This rules out pretty much everything under the 350 grams mark. These won't be good enough to handle heavy usage. Most modern designs have some great innovations that enable them to score well above this mark without pushing the price up too much. For that reason we suggest sticking to toilets that score at least 500 grams. Many big brands like Toto and Kohler achieve this easily.
Seat - Being able to sit down comfortably is arguably as important, if not more so, than the performance and design. That's why you should ensure your product comes with a seat that's fully compatible. You can go one step further than this and buy an attachment that improves comfort and relaxation. This can be in the form of a bidet (with seat heating features), or even padded seating. Whatever you go with, there is a lot of alternatives to those that come with the product.
Brand - We've covered several of the leading brands like Saniflo, Dometic, Liberty pumps, and Bathroom Anywhere when it comes to toilets that flow upwards and utilize a macerating pump. But what about the rest? Toto, American Standard, Kohler, Sterling, Woodbridge, Mansfield, and Gerber are just a few of our favorites that hold their own against the competition.
Budget - To the untrained eye, these products may look quite expensive compared to standard flushing toilets. However, you have to look at what they bring to the table. Their ability to be fitted anywhere in the home without requiring expensive rennovation is priceless. The amount saved going this route over fitting new pipes, and tearing up the floor etc is quite impressive. So when setting yourself a budget keep that in mind. You should also know whether the extra accessories and fixtures like seating, bolts, wax ring, and supply line are included. These extras can add up quickly, and cause you to go over budget.
Consumer reports - If you've gone through and gathered as much information as you can based on the considerations above, the only thing left for you to do is check out customer feedback. You can get a general sense of the products quality (or lack of) by simply scrolling through what people are saying about it in online reviews left on some of the big shops.
The ability to adapt to different situations, locations, and scenarios, make upflush toilets an ideal for use in your basement plumbing plan. Of course, this is one such location it could be utilized. Readers will no doubt be looking to these as a solution for their own problems, be it making the most out of less space, or simply installing something temporarily. Whatever it is, make sure you've thoroughly read through each of the considerations listed out above.