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Old 03-03-2019, 10:51 PM   #1
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Default Macerator Toilet using Gray Water Flush?

After watching the latest video from Advanced RV and seeing they did a van with a marine macerator toilet I did some research. The Saniflo SaniMarin Maxlite toilet is designed with a self priming pump to use an unpressurized water source. It is a marine toilet that normally just uses water from the boats environment. It is also used in RVs. The installation instructions say not to connect to fresh water tank because of risk of contamination of fresh water. Then a thought occurred that this could be the perfect solution for a system to use Gray water for toilet flushing in a B-van. A simple water line from Gray tank to the toilet would do the job. Adding a filter might be a good idea.

The toilet is sold by Home Depot and many other sources. It is made in France. Here is link to a 12V version on HD site, which has details...

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Saniflo-...-078/301835692

So is this a crazy idea or a possibility? Certainly ARV could do it as they already have experience with macerator toilet in a 144" Sprinter van. I'll have to ask ARV, they may have already done it on the ARVEE build featured in the video.
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:32 PM   #2
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After watching the latest video from Advanced RV and seeing they did a van with a marine macerator toilet I did some research. The Saniflo SaniMarin Maxlite toilet is designed with a self priming pump to use an unpressurized water source. It is a marine toilet that normally just uses water from the boats environment. It is also used in RVs. The installation instructions say not to connect to fresh water tank because of risk of contamination of fresh water. Then a thought occurred that this could be the perfect solution for a system to use Gray water for toilet flushing in a B-van. A simple water line from Gray tank to the toilet would do the job. Adding a filter might be a good idea.

The toilet is sold by Home Depot and many other sources. It is made in France. Here is link to a 12V version on HD site, which has details...

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Saniflo-...-078/301835692

So is this a crazy idea or a possibility? Certainly ARV could do it as they already have experience with macerator toilet in a 144" Sprinter van. I'll have to ask ARV, they may have already done it on the ARVEE build featured in the video.

Based on what most grey tanks smell like, probably not unless you could get rid of the smell.
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:37 PM   #3
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This kit has been around awhile that uses a pump to send the grey water though a filter to be used for flushing the toilet. Easy to put together without buying the kit. The macerator toilet may not need the pump if it can pull the grey water through the filter...

Dry Camp Longer With A DIY Gray Water Recycling System
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:53 AM   #4
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This kit has been around awhile that uses a pump to send the grey water though a filter to be used for flushing the toilet. Easy to put together without buying the kit. The macerator toilet may not need the pump if it can pull the grey water through the filter...

Dry Camp Longer With A DIY Gray Water Recycling System
I'm familiar with the USI-RV system...

https://www.usi-rv.com/product.sc?pr...7&categoryId=2

I see it does include a filter that they claim gets rid of the odors. The use of a macerator toilet just serves as the second water pump needed in the USI-RV system. A macerator toilet might give one the flexibility to place the toilet anywhere, by allowing it to be some distance from the Black tank. The idea of reusing Gray water has some appeal on a small van with limited tank space. But my experience with a 12 gallon black tank - it is almost always my limiting factor traveling with two people.

Just some more out of the box thinking.
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Old 03-04-2019, 02:29 AM   #5
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The installation instructions say not to connect to fresh water tank because of risk of contamination of fresh water. .
Mmmm. I wonder how contamination of fresh water could occur? AS installed a SeaLand Master Flush macerator toilet in my Avenue. Fresh water simply fills from the top rim by gravity like every other toilet. This one must be different in some critical way.
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Old 03-04-2019, 04:12 AM   #6
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Mmmm. I wonder how contamination of fresh water could occur? AS installed a SeaLand Master Flush macerator toilet in my Avenue. Fresh water simply fills from the top rim by gravity like every other toilet. This one must be different in some critical way.
.
It sucks water from outside the boat ...

https://images.homedepot-static.com/...c97ec83ac2.pdf
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:36 AM   #7
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It sucks water from outside the boat ...

https://images.homedepot-static.com/...c97ec83ac2.pdf
Still not sure how it contaminates fresh water.
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:54 AM   #8
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I would assume that the fresh water system has built-in an inline check valve and they can fail. Any debris can cause them to get stock open and the waste could contaminate the fresh water tank.
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Old 03-04-2019, 07:05 AM   #9
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For an RV you could hook the fresh water intake to a gravity feed water tank that is filled manually or filled from the fresh water system. As long as there is no direct connection from the toilet water inlet line to the fresh water system there is no possibility of contamination.
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:23 PM   #10
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Mmmm. I wonder how contamination of fresh water could occur? AS installed a SeaLand Master Flush macerator toilet in my Avenue. Fresh water simply fills from the top rim by gravity like every other toilet. This one must be different in some critical way.
.
Good to know - I'll have a look at the SeaLand model. It probably uses pressurized water via your normal water pump. The SaniMarin model I mentioned in my first post has its own built in water pump.

Does your macerator toilet use a lot of water? From the other research I did it sounds like macerator toilets use more water than a standard RV toilet mounted on top of the Black tank.

I use very little water with my Interstate Dometic toilet.
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Old 03-04-2019, 04:49 PM   #11
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Good to know - I'll have a look at the SeaLand model. It probably uses pressurized water via your normal water pump. The SaniMarin model I mentioned in my first post has its own built in water pump.

Does your macerator toilet use a lot of water? From the other research I did it sounds like macerator toilets use more water than a standard RV toilet mounted on top of the Black tank.

I use very little water with my Interstate Dometic toilet.
I have no experience with a gravity rv toilet to compare the macerator toilet to, but it doesn't use much water. Just a little "swoosh" sound when flushing. The water use is dependent upon how much you fill the tank and how long you hold down the flush (just like any toilet?). So the difference is whether your using it for #1 or #2.

It works well and is probably only necessary in our model because AS did a floorplan change for the Suite model and didn't relocate the black tank, so this moves things a few feet over where it needs to go.

One thing I worry about is how long the macerator will last and how difficult and expensive it is to replace. It seems the rubber impeller in outside macerators has a shelf like of about 5 years. I replaced mine at at my outside dump five years old as it was out when I purchsed in '2017. An easy job compared to the toilet which is still on it's original macerator and working fine, so far.

EDIT: Just remember a macerator toilet requires wiring and installation of wall controls which include a tie-in to the black tank sensor. I assume you do not want to operate a macerator toilet with a full tank as there could be blow-back.
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Old 03-10-2019, 05:08 PM   #12
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My experience with the macerater is that it’s a waste of money. The unit cost way to much
And is guaranteed to brake down, either by the bolts holding it together snapping because of overheating, or simply the Impeller will plug up. Had one on my class a Thor, after three of the expensive units I went back to regular sewer hose 3 inch. Put lots of money aside because you will need it to keep it running that way. Good luck
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Old 03-10-2019, 05:41 PM   #13
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My experience with the macerater is that it’s a waste of money. The unit cost way to much
And is guaranteed to brake down, either by the bolts holding it together snapping because of overheating, or simply the Impeller will plug up. Had one on my class a Thor, after three of the expensive units I went back to regular sewer hose 3 inch. Put lots of money aside because you will need it to keep it running that way. Good luck
Welcome to the fourm Jvaughn!
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Old 03-10-2019, 05:49 PM   #14
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Thank you sir
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:00 PM   #15
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My experience with the macerater is that it’s a waste of money. The unit cost way to much
And is guaranteed to brake down, either by the bolts holding it together snapping because of overheating, or simply the Impeller will plug up. Had one on my class a Thor, after three of the expensive units I went back to regular sewer hose 3 inch. Put lots of money aside because you will need it to keep it running that way. Good luck
Yes: Welcome!

Amazing how some people's "stay away" list can overlap so much with other people's "must have" list...

I have gone to great lengths in both of my rigs (14 years now) to make sure to have "dual dump" capability in case of a macerator failure. To this day, I have never had the pleasure of trying out either. I would NEVER settle for gravity dump only--I consider it inconvenient, unsanitary, and gross.
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:11 PM   #16
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I've used Jabsco marine macerating toilets since 2007 without a single maintenance issue, except for a loose band clamp. Never had to change the impeller. As long as you've careful what you put in them, these toilets are bullet proof.

They use as much or as little water as you want. Water runs into the bowl for as long as you depress a switch, and stops when you release the switch. A separate switch actuates the flush pump and macerator. So you can flush urine without using any water at all if you're really low on water.

They cannot contaminate the fresh water because they fill from the top of the bowl, as any toilet should, and they require a pressurized water source of about 3psi, not gravity feed.

My current model is the 37045, which is very small, but before this I had a larger model (not sure about that number). Both models used the same switches and valves, so the only difference was the bowl size.

In my current build, I installed a three way valve which allows us to select fresh or grey water. We run the grey water through a strainer, then a filter. It doesn't stink. That might also be due to the fact that we have an interior tank washer installed, and we always dump the grey water and rinse the interior well before we lay it up for storage between trips.
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:05 AM   #17
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I had to replace/fix macerators pumps on our boats. In all cases the issue was related to impellers, they are the weak points. If pumps are used regularly and are not overloaded with huge amount of paper they will last for long time.

As can be seen on the video these impellers can be very sensitive to take a shape after long time, running dry, or large amount of debris.

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Old 03-29-2019, 11:18 PM   #18
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Did some additional research on macerator toilets in marine environment using "raw" water. Many boat owners have/are switching from raw water to fresh water. Turns out salt or lake water causes smell in toilet use, just like could happen with using gray water to flush.

Now thinking a macerator toilet with a single combined waste tank is a better solution for a toilet in rear passenger side corner of van.
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:36 PM   #19
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Did some additional research on macerator toilets in marine environment using "raw" water. Many boat owners have/are switching from raw water to fresh water. Turns out salt or lake water causes smell in toilet use, just like could happen with using gray water to flush.

Now thinking a macerator toilet with a single combined waste tank is a better solution for a toilet in rear passenger side corner of van.
I never experienced odor using sea water with hand flush pump toilet. My macerator pump was used to discharge the black tank offshore.

But I did experience something else, electrical discharge in the toilet while flushing number one at night. I had a couple of beers prior so thought I am just dreaming. Next day the same phenomena, during flushing sparks everywhere in the ceramic toilet in salty conductive water. Perhaps Canadian beer, or signal to go to hospital, but it was bioluminescent plankton.

When I was designing my van, I evaluated most options and decided against macerator toilet due to unpleasant consequences resulting from potential failure. I also evaluated vacuum systems, found them a little complex but attractive, little water use, easy discharge, flexibility of tank/toilet location.
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Old 03-30-2019, 01:58 AM   #20
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Advanced RV installed a macerator toilet in one of their 144" WB RVs. I think I used it as a prop when I was mocking up our van last year.
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