What Is A Macerator Toilet And How Does It Work?

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Macerator toilet macerates or grinds solid waste and toilet tissue paper into liquid form and transfer the waste uphill to the sewerage system. Whereas the waste outlet is situated underneath the toilet for the conventional flushing toilets, in this case, the waste outlet is situated behind the toilet.

The word macerates itself means to soften or breaking things up. The fast-rotating blades of the macerator pump break up the toilet paper and solid waste into slurry liquid and discharged uphill to the main sewerage line.

The good thing about the macerator toilet is that they are almost maintenance free. When installed properly, it won’t create any major trouble for you in the upcoming future.

When You Need A Macerator Toilet?

macerating toilet
Beautiful bathroom with macerator toilet

As you have understood, a macerating toilet is a must when the sewerage line is situated higher than the bathroom location. Normally, it happens when you must install a toilet in your basement.

Following the law of the gravity, if the sewerage level is higher than the bathroom, then the conventional flushing toilet won’t work. Because normal toilets follow the rule of gravity to discharge all the waste, but when the sewerage line is higher – the rule of gravity need to be reversed. Only the macerator pump can do that.

You can also connect the sink and bathtub cabinet with the macerating unit. If you need to buy a macerating pump, consider buying one from Saniflo. I have written a complete review of Saniflo macerating toilets.

How A Macerator Toilet Work?

The process starts whenever you flush the toilet. There is a micro-switch in the macerating device which is activated once the effluent rises to a preset level. The valves of the macerator box close momentarily and the blades start rotating. The blades rotate at 3,600 revolutions per minute which makes the solid waste and the toilet paper into liquid waste.

When the effluent is completely reduced to solid-liquid, the microswitch stops and the whole process of maceration finishes. The whole process does not end here. The liquid waste needed to be discharged from the pump.

The liquid waste then pumped away from the machine into the sanitary gravity drain. Using a non-return valve, the backflow of the liquid waste is prevented back into the unit. The empty toilet refills with water for the next usage.

Things to Consider In Macerating Toilet

Due to the unusual layout of the rooms and location as well, installing macerating toilet is a must.  In some situations, it will work as the lifesaver for you. Just imagine you have to install a toilet in the basement but the macerating technology invented yet.

Macerating toilets are versatile but you need to consider some vital points before you go for these toilets. Here is some information you need to know:

  • Size of the Unit: You want to hide the unit from normal eyesight because of several reasons. Once people know that the unit is doing with their waste, they feel disgusted. To hide the unit properly, you must consider the size of the unit. Small size with strong power is always recommended. Besides, if the size of the room is small, a small macerating unit is a must.
  • Capability of the Macerating Pump: Very important thing to consider. Some macerating pump is available only for the toilet purpose. There are some pumps as well that let you hook other bathroom units like sinks and bathtub. So, consider the capacity of the pump very first.
  • Price Consideration: It’s true, macerating toilets are expensive than their conventional flushing toilet counterparts like TOTO toilets. But still, having the macerating pump is the cost-effective solution. Let me explain it. The masonry work required to extend the household sewerage system will cost you more than the macerating toilet. Extending the original household sewerage will hamper other fittings of the home as well.
  • The distance of the Main Drain: The main drain line can’t be too far from the location of the macerating toilet. It mostly depends on the power of the pump. Normally, a standard macerating toilet has a range of 100 to 150 feet of horizontal pumping power. Also, vertically they can pump up to 10 to 15 feet.
  • Watch What You Flush: Other than the liquid, solid waste, and the toilet paper never flush anything else. If you flush tampons, diapers, or even used condoms, it will clog the blades of the macerating pump and makes the toilet totally unusable until someone clears the mess.
  • Local Regulations: Without the suitable access to the WC with gravity discharging, your local building regulations may not permit you installing a macerating toilet. Consult with someone who is registered with Electrical Regulating Authority (ERA) if you need new electrical cable installation.
  • Noise & Odor: Macerating toilet makes relative higher noise than their conventional flushing toilet counterparts. Since it runs on electricity and there is a pump running, so the sound is normal. But it is in an acceptable range and most of the time it will not bother you.  Also, if you vented it out properly, there will be not bad smell as well.
Precautions of Macerating Toilet

You can’t totally depend on the macerating toilet. Only the conventional flushing toilet like TOTO toilets should be your primary toilet solution. Macerating toilets are for special cases and special places.

Since these toilets run on electricity and there is various mechanical parts involvement, the failure of a macerating toilet is more likely to happen than conventional toilets. So, you need to be mentally prepared for that. Luckily, most macerating toilets come with several years warranty, so your investment is fairly secured.

Besides, normally the whole pump doesn’t die entirely. Maybe some parts may fail, but replacements parts are readily available. So, use your toilet with confidence.

Conclusion

As I said above, you don’t install a macerating toilet in a normal situation. It’s only recommended when conventional toilet installation is totally impractical. If you use it carefully, it will serve yours just like the normal flushing toilet. Just make sure you and your family member don’t try to flush anything but the human fluids and toilet paper.

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