Separett-USA contact page

Frequently Asked Questions 

:

What is the Capacity -  How often should the toilet be emptied? 
 If four people are using the toilet on a daily basis, then a container will last about 3-4 weeks, depending on how much toilet paper is being used. Since the final composting is done outside of the Separett toilets, they do not actually have a total capacity limit as other composting units do. If you have an event or times or a lot of use - you simple empty the liner of the holding chamber more frequently. The Separett Villa comes with two containers and a stock of ten compostable liners. Additional containers and liner bags can be purchased if required.

How is it possible that the container with solids so rarely has to be emptied? 
Urine accounts for about 85% of the waste volume and is routed separately away from the toilet. This increases the storage capacity for solids greatly. The container is easily replaceable and if the amount of users increases one only change containers more often. The Separett Villa comes with two containers. Additional containers can be purchased if required giving the toilet virtually unlimited capacity.

Should I add anything to the solid waste container container?
 In the container inside the toilet, the contents should be left to dry and lose volume. Never add bark or anything since it may contain larva which can develop problems with flies.



Does the toilet function well for women? 
Yes. The urine bowl has been tried and tested by both older and younger women to ensure that the urine is separated into the right place. Furthermore an extension for the urine bowl is included in the Separett Villa. The Weekender model does not include the extender for the urine basin as does the Villa. Women using the Weekender may need to take more care while urinating. Should there be an issue with urine getting into the solids area we recommend putting a Separett Absorb in the bag inside the container, since it keeps the contents dry and thereby odorless, however we find most customers to not need this additional item.

Do men need to sit to urinate in the toilet? The quick recommendation is for men to sit when urinating in the toilet - however with a mild level of care, many men are are able to stand and urinate into the urine trap with out mess or issue.


Does the toilet function well for small children? Yes. A urine separating Child seat that is  included with each Separett Villa shipping prior to July 1 2017. Following that the seat will be an accessory item. This seat does not properly fit our other models. Our experience shows that children quickly learn how to sit correctly.



Which type of toilet paper should I use? 
You can use normal toilet paper. We do recommend not using highly quilted multi-ply paper as it takes longer to decompose.

Shall I throw toilet paper in the container? 
Yes, toilet paper helps keeping the contents of the container dry and divided which facilitates the handling after the storage period.

What do I do when the container is full? 
We find in our US market that customer do not tend to compost within the solid waste container that are supplied. When the compostable liner bag is about 2/3 full, it should be removed from the toilet and placed within your compost area, incinerator or approved solid waste disposal area. We recommend that the bags be removed within a month of being put in service, as they will begin to weaken. The bags can be removed from the toilet along or within the solid waste container for support of the bag if needed.

Why compostable waste bags? 
Yes. We recommend using the compostable waste bags we supply as  they are specified to endure the conditions inside the toilet and during the storage period. It will slowly disintegrate in the ground or in a composter. Each toilet ships with a roll of ten bags. Additional bags are available on our website. You might also check local resources for compostable bags, which are becoming more available in the general marketplace.

How long time does it take until the Separett Compostable waste bag disintegrates? 
There is no simple answer to this question because the disintegration is depending of the biological activity in the ground or composter and to the exposure of sunlight. Since the bag is designed to endure the conditions inside the container, it will also disintegrate slowly in the ground or in a composter. We recommend that once in use - you not leave the bags n the solid waste container beyond six weeks.

Are there unpleasant odors indoors? 
No. By separating the urine from the solid waste, and venting with the fan which helps to dry the solid waste and vent any odor - there will be no unpleasant odors in the room. When installing the toilet, make sure that the venting pipe is properly sealed with silicone. The easily accessible fan filter should be cleaned regularly as well as the insect net at the end of ventilation pipe.

Are there unpleasant odors outdoors? 
Because the urine and feces are not mixed, there is never any latrine-type odor from a Separett toilet. A certain amount of odor may be present outdoors however, when and shortly after the toilet is used. If the venting can be routed to the back of the house, it is usually suffice to just route it straight through the wall. If the venting pipe must be routed through the gables or to the front of the house, it should be extended upwards or routed through the roof. A tack or vertical vent going through the roofline is always the preferred installation for venting. Air over the top of the vertical vent will aid In the venting, where a horizontal vent may be needing to overcome an apposing breeze.

Vent Pipe - What size is this tubing?
The Separett Villas and Weekenders both ship with a 15.75 inch section of 75 mm vent pipe, the common dimension in Scandinavia. This is generally adequate for a direct through wall installation. For longer vent runs, we have an adaptor  to connect the 75 mm tubing to US 3 inch schedule 40 tubing. The adaptors come in a set of two and are supplied in the parts kit for the Villa models, for the Weekender models they should be ordered additionally.

Does the venting pipe need insulating? 
The Separett Villa toilet has a condensation collector and does not need to be insulated.



Can the ventilation be run through a chimney stack? 
No - not into a chimney. It may be run into an existing septic vent stack with precautions - keeping in mind that if there is an electric power outage  a shut off need to be in the line to isolate the toilet.  Please speak with us prior to using this option.

Are there unpleasant odors from the urine drain line? 
No. It does not smell since the urine is let out in the ground and diluted with rain if you are using a soak-away pit. The urine line must have a negative slope as it is a gravity drain. If going to a soak-away or leach field, a trap is generally not needed in the line. If a holding tank or grey water tank is used for the diverted urine, it is important to have a vent on the holding tank. and a p trap between the tank and the toilet in the same manner as a sink or shower running into the tank would have. The trap keeps any odor that may develop within the tank from returning back up to the toilet. 

Are flies a problem with these toilets? Problems with flies are uncommon with Separett toilets. However, flies may enter the toilet from the bathroom if you leave it for a week or so with the fan switched off and the container with solids still in place. The fan should always be operational. If flies do get in to the toilet, change or empty the container, clean it thoroughly, and use fly spray on the toilet and container several times during the following week to remove any remaining larvae. Never add mulch, bark or any other organic matter to the solid waste holding area because it can contain larva which can develop problems with flies. The toilets ship with a screen that fits within the 75mm vent tube to keep flies from entering the toilets from the outdoors. In planning the run of the venting for the toilet - the location of screen along the run should be planned so it is accessible periodically. We recommend that you inspect and clean the screen annually as if the screen is blocked, dirty or clogged - the toilet will not vent odors properly.



Should the fan operate continually? 
Yes. This keeps the housing dry and extends the lifetime of the fan. If the fan has to be switched off, place the lid on the container and remove it. Otherwise, bad odors will spread indoors and flies can easily enter and lay eggs.



Which is the best method for routing the venting pipe, through the roof or straight through the wall? 
It is always easier to go straight through the wall, however venting through the roof  is always  the preferred method. If venting horizontally -  remember not to route the venting pipe to the house entrance or other places where people gather.


How much airflow does the fan create? 
There is no simple answer to this question because the airflow is very dependent on the length of the venting pipe and the number of bends it contains.
The CFM rating of the fans are as follows: (conversion from metric)
Villa 9200
On speed 1, 35m3 / each hour =  1236 CF per Hour / 20.6 CFM (cubic feet per minute)
On speed 2, 45m3 / each hour =   1589 CF per Hour / 26.4 CFM
 
Villa 9210 and Weekender 7000
25m3 each hour = 882.8 CF per Hour / 14.7 CFM

How much electricity do the fans use?

Villa 9200 AC
Voltage/Wattage  110-120V  low speed 14.6W  hi speed 18.9W
Power consumption low speed .35 kwh/24hr  hi speed .45kwh/24hr

Villa 9210 DC and Weekender 7000
Voltage/Wattage  12DC/2.5W/210mA
Power consumption single speed .06kwh/24hr

The Villa 9200 uses a two speed fan and is designed for larger buildings where the ventilation path may be longer and cubic footage of the builder larger. We warn against use of the Villa 9200 on inverted power and recommend use of the Villa 9210 if you are inverting from solar or DC power to AC power.

The Villa 9210 is designed for use on DC battery or solar power but can also be used on AC and inverted power with the included adapter. This adapter is similar to the plug you would use for a battery operated radio when using it on standard AC power. You simply unplug the cable from the fan casing and plug in the adapter. As the 9210 fan draws less CFM than does the 9200.  It is the preferred unit for small spaces and tiny houses as it will vent less conditioned air from the room. It has a single speed fan.

Is an additional fan needed if you have a shower in the room?  This varies by each situation. If a shower is fully enclosed - it may require it's own fan.  But most often all ventilation from the bathroom can go through the toilet fan that runs continually.


Urine outlet - Where do I lead the urine? 
You have several options for the urine outlet:
1) Connect the hose to the gray water system or holding tank
2) Make a simple leaching bed/soak-away or
3) Use a tank  e.g. the Separett Ejektortank which stores the urine for use as a garden fertilizer. Recommended for year round non-freezing locations only.
You should inquire with your local Code or Building departments about the rules applicable to your area.

Can I change the side of the Urine Outlet on the Villa toilet? The urine drain on the Viilla model is set to the left rear side and exits approx 7 inches off of floor height. The casing for the toilet is designed that the urine tube could be changes from a left to right exit. We do not recommend that homeowners attempt to convert the urine tube as the releasing the tube from the housing is difficult and leads to frequent breakage of the tube. If your installation definitely requires a change in the urine tube, please contact us directly prior to attempting the change. 



Can I extend the urine outlet? 
Yes. If you need to extend the included 2 meter 
(6.56 feet) hose; a pipe is preferable. With a hose it is difficult to ensure a drop for the entire length. Indoors, we recommend waste water pipes with a diameter of 32-40 mm (1 1/4" -1 1/2") and outdoors pipes with a diameter of 50-75 mm (2" -3"). 


Does the urine waste freeze in the winter? 
Not under normal circumstances. Urine freezes at about -5ºC (23ºF). Ensure that the urine waste pipe has a drop along its entire length and use at least 50 mm (2") pipe outdoors. It may also be a good idea to insulate the piping sections that run outdoors.

How can I make a simple leaching bed/soak-away? 
Fill a ditch measuring about 50x50x50 cm (17"x17"x17"), approximately 0.5 m3 (18 cubic feet) with large crushed stone. Before covering the leaching bed with soil, it is a good idea to put a layer of landscape cloth plastic film over the stones to prevent clogging. The urine outlet can be led through or under the cloth or plastic. Please ask the Environmental Protection, Public Health or Building departments about the rules applicable to your area.

Am I allowed to connect the urine waste hose to the gray water system? 
In most municipalities, urine is considered gray water and can be drained into a gray water tank.


How steep a drop must the urine waste pipe have? 
It is important that the urine waste pipe drops along its entire length. A steeper downward drop lessens the risk for deposit build-up of urine salts or ice.



Is it possible to reduce  the risk of urine salt deposit build-up in the urine outlet? 
Yes. We recommend rinsing the urine basin periodically with a small cup of water or weekly with a bit of white vinigar. You can also place the Separett Bio Drain Cleaner in the urine basin. This tablet contains enzymes that prevent urine salt deposits in the urine pipe. However, if you still get blocks in the urine outlet use a liquid drain un-blocker.

Does the toilet function in cold rooms? 
Yes. Separett toilets are not room temperature dependent, since there is no composting process inside the toilet.

Can the toilet tolerate freezing temperatures? 
Yes. However, at sub-freezing temperatures,  plastic, as most materials do, will becomes more brittle.



Miscellaneous 
Do I need to obtain permission from the authorities before installing the toilet? 
The approvals for building, plumbing and composting may vary between cities, provinces, states and countries. Details concerning the need of permissions can be given by you local environment and health office. 


Can I install the toilet myself? 
Yes. There are not usually any problems for the average DIY person. 
Please review the installation video on the home page of www.Separett-USA.com The video will give you a good overall understanding of the installation and tools required.

Are there unpleasant odors from the Separett Ejektor tank? 
No. The urine odor is drawn into the toilet through the hose and then blown through the toilet ventilation system. By the time it is expelled outdoors, it has been mixed with so much air that the odor is unnoticeable . The Ejektor tank is for use only if you are interested in using the diverted urine as a nitrogen rich fertilizer.

Does the spreading of urine cause unpleasant odors? 
This depends on the extent to which it is diluted with water. If a Separett Ejektortank is used, 1 liter of urine is mixed with 8 liters of water. This may result in a faint odor, but it will soon disappear. You can speed the process by adding more water or spreading the mixture at night or when it rains.

Are there requirements on water pressure when using the Separett Ejektortank? 
Yes. You need access to water with a minimum pressure of  36 psi . The higher the water pressure, the more elevation differences the Ejektor tank can handle.



Is it possible to lengthen the hose on the Separett Ejektor tank? 
Yes, the included 10 meter (33-feet) emptying hose can be lengthened up to a maximum of 20 meters (66-feet). Do not use a normal garden hose adapter as a connector, as it clamps too tightly around the hose. Before you can lengthen the hose, remove the spray nozzle by heating the hose and the handle with, for example, warm water or a hot air gun. Use a piece of pipe and two clamps to make the joint. As a suggestion cut about 5 cm (2") of the Ejektortank nozzle and use it as the pipe for the joint.