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Friday, May 16, 2008

Envirolet FlushSmart VF System Installation Update, Part 1

Back in July 2007 we helped install an Envirolet® FlushSmart VF 700B at a cottage in Ontario for in-the-field testing. In exchange for us installing the system the customer (Mary D. and her family) agreed to keep detailed notes and update us on the status of the system. As you will read Mary and her family are satisfied Envirolet® customers. A future post will include her most recent comments.

Original installation slide show:

The customer notes and comments have allowed us to create a multi-part testimonial (more parts to come!) and in-the-field notebook on the operation of this Envirolet® System. It has also added to the already most comprehensive collection of composting toilet testimonials, collected here on Envirolet® Buzz, complied by any manufacturer of composting toilets in the world.

Photos and notes regarding the actual installation can be found on Buzz in a post from August 1, 2007.

In the original post, we noted that this was not a typical installation. It presented some interesting challenges with some unique installation requirements, including:

• There was a distance of 50 feet (15m) from the toilet floor in the bathroom to the VG (vacuum generator) and Compost Unit that was to be located in a stand-alone shed.

• In the first 5 feet (1.5m) the drain traveled down from the toilet about 5 feet (1.5m). In the next 35 feet (9m) the drain line was ground level (below the toilet). For the last 10 feet (3m) it had to travel up about 5 feet (1.5m).

• The wiring for the wall-mounted switch had to travel this same distance to the VG Unit.

• The customer wants to be able to use the system occasionally over the winter. So, a special heat cable was added to ensure the drain pipe does not freeze in the Canadian winters!

Here is a very detailed update that the customer (Mary D.) sent us in August 2007:

Saturday, July 21, 2007

How exciting!!!

Our Envirolet vacuum flush composing Toilet System was installed today!

We are a family of 9 with grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren (includes a newborn baby) that gathers every weekend at the cottage from early spring to late fall. We also spend weeks at a time on holidays at the cottage. Because we are water access, we wait until the ice is frozen before our entire family once again can spend quality time together at our family cottage over the winter months. Therefore, our priority was finding the toilet system that was right for our family, that can be used year round (spring, summer, fall and winter) and especially was environmentally safe, which was very important to us.

When you want the best, you go to the very best in the business, Sancor Industries Ltd. A family run business for over 30 years. We know this because we purchased our first Envirolet toilet system back in 1977. 25 years later, my husband built a wee bunkie for the two of us when our youngest daughter married. Our family was expanding. Of course, we installed a second Envirolet toilet system in our cabin. And now we are ready for new technology! The Envirolet VF Vacuum Flush Composting Toilet System! We decided to go with the VF 700B model with the push-button electronic flush. I liked the look and the convenience. I loved the fact that not only was the system completely environmentally safe, it’s ceramic bowl looked very modern & slim, giving us more room in the bathroom. More importantly, we decided upon the Envirolet VF because of its advanced technology; whereby, the vacuum generator pulverizes and aerates waste for improved composting efficiency! And for a family as large as ours, you can appreciate how important this is!

Although, the Envirolet Compost Unit could have been installed directly behind the wall of the bathroom or underneath the bathroom floor, we opted to have it installed in a newly built shed that was especially built for the Envirolet Compost Unit. Before the Sancor Team arrived we had an electrician install wiring according to code in the shed. We (our son-in-law, actually) dug a 50 foot, 9” deep trench that went from the bathroom floor to the shed for the drain tube, wiring and heated cable.

Toilet in the Bathroom

The Sancor Team arrived on time. We picked them up by boat because we are water access. They worked together efficiently to install the Envirolet Vacuum Flush Composting Toilet system. Within a 3 - 4 hour time frame everything was easily installed and ready to go. The Team had thought of everything! They had the foresight to have family members test the push button electronic flush before they finalized the connection. This ensured that the little ones and other members of our family could push the “flush button - to test it”; therefore not filling the Envirolet Compost Unit with excessive “testing water”.

While the Sancor Team were installing the system, our son-in-law (isn’t he terrific?) dug a leaching pit ensuring to have a gravity drop from the composting tank drain exit to the drain site. Stones and gravel were put into the leaching pit according to local regulations.

Upon finalizing the connection, time was spent with the family specifically detailing how the Envirolet Vacuum Flush Composting Toilet System works. We were also brought into the shed and shown, “hands-on” how to maintain the Envirolet Compost Unit.

Before leaving, the Sancor Team cleaned up and removed all of the original packaging from the system.

The entire family agreed that the installation went very smoothly!!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

We marvel at how efficient the Vacuum Flush Composting Toilet System is!!!

And on top of that…. it looks great!!! We also have more space in our bathroom.

Eight family members have constantly used the system - with absolutely no complaints. We are using biodegradable rapid-dissolving toilet paper (environmentally safe). Before leaving the cottage, as per instructions given to me by the Sancor Team, I remove the service panel in the compost unit. I add one cup of peat moss mixed with one cup of wood shavings. I also add 2 tablespoons of compost accelerator with a glass of warm water to the unit. I then move the aerator bar back and forth. I turn the switch on Fans Only to test if the unit is energy efficient.

It should be noted that before our first weekend with our new system, we have had a total of 4 different cottagers over to inspect the system. They all have the same goals in mind for an efficient, environmentally safe system that could be used over the winter. We are happy to share this new technology with our friends!!!

Mary with Envirolet VF System

Friday, July 27, 2007

Back at the cottage I am pleased to see that just keeping the “Fans only” on has kept the mass dry and saved energy. I now switch to Heater & Fans. Our entire family of 9 will be up for the weekend, with four members of the family staying for a week’s holiday thereafter. System working great!! Loving it!!

Monday, July 30, 2007

I am leaving the system of Heater & Fans on, as previously stated, because of family holidays. I ensure to add peat moss mixed with wood chips and the compost accelerator mixture before I leave the cottage.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Entire family at cottage for next 5 days. It is very hot and humid. Everyone is using the Envirolet Vacuum Flush Composting Toilet System. Shed is now insulated inside. My husband felt that insulating would help to further keep the shed’s temperature warmer in the winter months. Another cottager comes over to find out more about the Envirolet VF System. Very interested!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Notice a very faint smell near the shed. Not surprising, we are all drinking more liquid as it continues to be very hot & humid; therefore, using the system constantly. Immediately troubleshoot by adding 1 cup of peat moss mixed with 1 cut of wood chips to system.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Although it continues to be very hot and humid the faint smell from the previous day is entirely gone. Remind myself and everyone else to be pro-active the next time in hot & humid weather and don’t hesitate to add peat moss & wood chips more frequently.

Because we are going home today, I add 1 cup of peat moss mixed with 1 cup of wood chips and the compost accelerator mixture in warm water and uese the aerator bar. I have purchased an environmentally safe cleaner to clean the toilet bowl & seat from the local hardware store. It works very well.

It should also be noted that we are just hitting the flush button after use, irregardless whether it is a dry or liquid mass going into the toilet. It has not been necessary to add more water when flushing.

Our children, spouses and grandchildren all agree with us that Envirolet VF Vacuum Flush Composting Toilet System is the absolute very best, most efficient system we have ever had! Especially knowing it is environmentally safe and we can use it year round. Cottagers are always helping each other; therefore, from one Family Cottage to another on a scale of 100 we rate this system 120 !!! It goes beyond our expectations!! Sancor’s new technology will totally blow you away!!

Wow! Great comments! Thank you to Mary and her family for their wonderful updates. Look for more updates in a future post.

Send us your comments and photos for us to post on Buzz and help spread the word!