"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Macerating toilets. Upflush toilets

Macerator toilet systems manufacturers claim to be able to pump waste 12-18 feet vertically and up to 150 feet horizontally. However, there are restrictions that most websites do not mention.
You must deduct 30 feet for every 3 feet of vertical lift from the maximum 150 feet.
Example: If the waste has to be pumped 9 feet up to the nearest soil stack on the main floor your horizontal discharge pipe cannot be more than 60 feet long.

- When possible long, sweeping bends should be used in the drainage lines. Do not use short elbows. When sweeping bends are not an option, use two 45-degree elbows to make a 90-degree turn.
- Look for models that come with a 1 1/2" discharge pipe instead of 3/4". The larger diameter pipe also seems to be more "'silent" than the smaller one.

Macerating Toilets

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Macerating toilets. Upflush toilets
Scenario 1: You live in the country and are not hooked up to a sewer system but would like to install a toilet, half or full bathroom in the basement.
Scenario 2: You live in the city, the basement is finished and you would like to add a washroom.
Scenario 3: You don't have a basement because your home is of "slab on grade construction" and would like to add a toilet.
Whatever is the case, in order to get the extra toilet, sink, shower or bathtub you need a sewage disposal system (holding tank and pump) to tie in to the septic bed if you live out in the country. If you live in the city, you will have to open the concrete floor and tie into an existing soil stack and vent pipe. Both options could be time consuming, messy and expensive. However, you have a third option and that is installing a macerating toilet.

Macerating toilets use a grinding or blending mechanism that shreds and liquefies human waste and toilet paper to a slurry, which can then be moved by pumping to a nearby soil stack. The discharge pipe should be 1 1/2 inches and not 3/4 inch as this may lead to unwanted blockages. Believe me, removing the blockage is a smelly and dirty task. The macerator usually has a plugged outlet on each side. This feature allows you to hook up a sink and shower or bathtub as well. Waste water from sink and shower/bathtub can be handled simultaneously by the macerator.
Bathtubs and showers have to be installed on a platform to accommodate the installation of a P-trap as required by all local and nationwide plumbing codes. Most units have the ability to pump the slurry up to 12 feet and up to 150 feet horizontally (read also LIMITS below).

DO NOT dispose of feminine sanitary items into a macerating toilet! Most macerators are not designed to handle that type of waste.

All major plumbing codes in North America require that plumbing fixtures are vented with a 1 1/2" pipe. This requirement includes macerators as well. A vent pipe allows air to enter the plumbing system and the waste to drain freely. The vent pipe is connected to a soil stack, well above the highest plumbing fixture, usually in the attic. (Poor drainage is usually associated with a blocked soil stack due to bird's nests or frost build-up. During the cold winter months warm moist air rising up the stack tends to condense on the inside of the stack section above the roof line. If the stack is more than 12" (300 mm) above the roof, there is the potential for complete frost closure. Frost closure can be prevented by insulating the vent pipes in the attic). For more on the vent/waste system in your home click here.

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