The major focus this weekend was for us to install a toilet. We have found that many people struggle with our toilet system and whilst we are not going to change our system of urine separation, controlling the odour of urine in a bucket was becoming an issue. We decided that we had to find a different way of dealing with the urine and bought a toilet for a trailer/RV/boat that has a trap door that opens and allows the urine to be collected in a tank under the trailer.
The only issue with this toilet is that to put a pipe from the toilet to a tank under the cottage requires cutting a hole in the cottage floor. We debated at length where we should put the toilet. Once that hole was cut there was no changing our mind!
We had thought that putting it on the end wall of the cottage was a good option, because that would give us the best access. However, we put the toilet in various spots and debated and decided that we didn’t like the view of a toilet when the door is left open. We decided that we would put it on the inside wall, so that you don’t see it when the door is open, but it is next to the end wall for easy access underneath the cottage.
We measured. We measured again. We drilled a small test hole and checked underneath the cottage – it was exactly where we hoped it would be! Finally we took the jigsaw and we cut our hole.
It is very strange looking through a hole in the floor and seeing under the cottage from a very different perspective!
Our next step was to install the flange and then the pipe. We decided that we would put a system in place for now where a bucket would continue to collect the urine, but at least it is under the cottage and not in the same room, perfuming the air. Eventually we plan to put in a tote as a holding tank and we have bought a bilge pump to pump up and into the outhouse. We still have to configure another solar panel to power the pump for this, so until that happens we will continue using our fragrant bucket and hauling it back and forth to the outhouse.
Another part of our plan is to eventually pump up some water from the lake to use for flushing the toilet and washing our hands, but for now we will continue taking a bucket down to the lake to bring up water to the cottage. We have way more ideas than we have time and money to implement, so we have to break the jobs down and filter them onto a priority list. Pumping water up from the lake is moving higher on the list, but it hasn’t made it to the top yet.
Right now our collection set up is rather makeshift. Now we know were the pipe is we can see it would work better if we put a 45-degree turn and bring the pipe over to the side of the cottage. That way the pipe won’t be blocking our crawl space to get under the cottage. However, it works and I have tried and tested it! OK, the flush is a jug of water that we pour in after stepping on foot pedal that opens the trap, but it has the capacity to do more than that once we have a water supply and power!
The room is coming together and looks much more presentable. Our next priority is to make a stylish cedar enclosure for the “solids bucket”, complete with a full size toilet seat and a compartment for the organic material for blocking odour and absorbing moisture. I am looking forward to the day when all our buckets are hidden from view!
Another area that we need to give some attention to is the sink. We put a board behind it to protect the newly painted wall and need to install a splash back behind the sink. We have found some faux tiles that stick on walls that we think might be a good option. Tiling and grouting when water is limited doesn’t sound like a good option to us, so we are thinking we will try out a panel of faux tiles. It looks a little like vinyl flooring designed for a wall. We are also thinking that now might be a good time to replace our beloved sink unit. We would like a moulded sink unit so that the sink isn’t inserted into the top. We find the tap is a little splashy and water often splashes beyond the sink area onto the worktop. It would be easier to manage the water if the whole top was one moulded unit, so we are considering replacing what we have right now. Now that it is going in its final resting place this would be a good time to put in a unit we want, but maybe it will have to wait until our stylish enclosure has been built.