Researching different types of composting toilets means learning the jargon. If you’ve contacted us regarding our composting toilet systems, you may have heard our staff refer to a split or self-contained system. These are the two main categories to filter composting toilets on our website, and it’s the quickest way to narrow down a set of options to meet your requirements.
So, what do these categories mean? What’s the difference between them, and how do you know which one is right for you?
What's a Split System?
Our split systems easily include some of our most popular composting toilets. As the name suggests, the toilet is in two parts: the pedestal in the bathroom and the compost chamber located below the floor connected by a waste chute. A split system will always require underfloor clearance (minimum space varies depending on the model); for example, we don’t usually recommend these for anyone building on a concrete slab.
One of the benefits of a split system is that the waste is kept entirely out of your bathroom, so there is no transporting waste (composting or incinerated) through your house. Also, as the chambers sit under the floor they are much larger, resulting in a more efficient composting process and easier maintenance.
A variation of our split system is our continuous composting tanks that sit below the pedestal in the bathroom but work just a little differently from the usual batch systems: you can read more about them here.
What's a Self-Contained System?
A self-contained unit is just that; everything contained within the pedestal. These units tend to be much smaller than the split systems but can fit easily into most spaces, especially when space is a precious commodity.
We recommend self-contained units when no underfloor clearance is available, so everything is contained within the pedestal in your bathroom; they are also ideal for caravans and RV homes where your underfloor clearance is the road beneath you.
Chambers are limited to the dimensions of the pedestal, which is why they tend to be smaller than split systems. But with careful consideration, these can be just as effective as long-term solutions for small households.
As a rule, for our team to recommend a composting toilet system, we investigate many aspects of your situation and not just access to underfloor clearance. But at least when we ask: “I don’t suppose you have any underfloor clearance?” you know why we’re asking and why this question is so important to find the best toilet for your situation!