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Review: Envirolet Waterless Remote unit

Posts: 78
Location: Haida Gwaii, British Columbia (7b)
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I give this composting toilet 2 out of 10 acorns.

I hate it. The unit is a about 5 years old now, and was installed and lightly used before we bought our little house.
At first we were delighted about our “high-end” (overpriced) composting toilet. It didn’t take long for the novelty to sour. I was doing the regular weekly “shaking of the poo-stick” or “aeration bar” as Envirolet calls it, and adding the enzymes every two weeks.

We went abroad for a month last year, and left the house empty. The fan was running on the Envirolet as it always is. A few days after we got home, we noticed the gnats. They were everywhere — our house was swarming.

I immediately went into the crawlspace to shake the poo-stick, and to my dismay it was jammed. I tried to move the rake bar to see if it needed to be emptied — jammed. The poop-tray? Jammed. I pulled and pulled with no give. Upon opening the remote unit, and poking around with a stick, I noticed huge chunks of petrified poop appeared to be jamming it up. I went and got a bucket, and shovelled it out. The medium was dry and dusty - with the slight smell of earth. Emptying as much as I could through the tiny trap door didn’t unstick the poo-stick.

I checked forums and noticed many people experiencing the same issues. I tried customer service, and apparently they don’t exist. I finally called them out on Twitter and they reached out after a few weeks, but didn’t reply when I asked for a fix.

Anyways, several months have passed and we’ve been using the outhouse through cold and rainy Haida Gwaii weather and it sucks. I’ve got a friend coming to house-sit so I attempted to fix the remote unit so he could use the indoor toilet while we’re gone. I ended up shovelling 3 large buckets of rock hard poo-bricks and getting a little more give for the pop-stick. There is hope!

Unfortunately with the trap door being only 6” x 6” wide is takes some abs and maneuvering to remove some of the large poo-bricks with a shovel. There are some parts I just can’t reach with a shovel which appear to still be blocking up the aeration bars. I’m going to have to work it out with my hands and some smaller tools, which I’ll try in the coming days.

I’m sick of the walk to the outhouse when it’s 2c and raining buckets.

Score: 2/10. The fan runs forever, and the unit has a decent toilet (looks like a real toilet!) and it holds poop. Other than that, it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to, and the designs are clearly lacking testing.

Simplicity for the win! Poop doesn’t need more technology.
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 1946
Location: mountains of Tennessee
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If you want the review to have even more exposure consider adding it to the gear review grid.
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I have the same envirolet toilett , overpriced. The only good thing about it , no smell .had to replace the two fan after two months . The only way to empty the toilett is buy hand from where the poop came in ? You cannot move the rake or aerator if you wait 2 days without use before emptying, as recommended. So if you willing to put your hand in it ,that's a toilet for you. Sorry 2⭐️⭐️Out 10
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Im quite surptised by the adverse comments on the waterless Envirolet composting toilet.
Im pleased to add my own report, because I think it is quite a wonderful machine, if we are talking about the same model. The waterless system, adapted to European voltage. 220 volts.
I think the reason that some folks are not happy with it, may be a lack of patience or failure to carry out  orrect installation or operation procedures? Could that be so? Certainly, I lost confidence after a short while when it first arrived from Canada. Something must have  jolted the package in delivery. So that the heater switched on ok, but very quickly switched off.
 Im no use with fixing things, ususlly, but its a very easy machine to fix. Eventually, after using it for some years, with just the fans, which worked reliably nonstop and with aeration, evapourated my pee anyway, I discovered there was nothing at all wrong with the heater or any other part of the works.  I gave all the moving parts a squirt of WD40, which made the fans zoom silently, and since that day, bthe heater has worked beautifully.  a very comfortable warm place to go for a wee in winter.  However, as I said, the fans are usually  sufficient. And I like to save power and use the fans without heat.   You neef to imagine clearly, why such aachine would NOT work, perhaps. It is just a very large very strong plastic box, where absorbant compostable material, can be moved around, aerated, easily... So.. when any pee or poo is dropprd into that aerated mass, it can quickly dry out. No! It is not, as someone suggested, the same thing as trying to evapourate a kettle full of water by boiling, plus soggy vevetables. The moisture is spread out in the heap, with warm or cold air passing through, continuously. Fecal matter (the poo) is around 80% moisture. So while the wee quickly evapourates, the poo drjes out and shrinks to a fraction of its size.
   The built in rake, or any arbitrary gardening tool you might choose to use as well, makes the mix in your big plastic box, into very fine compost in a short while.  It quickly goes very dark, dry, and softish, and looks like shop compost.
   You can remove it, part of it, from time to time, from the drawer in the base or from the top, under the seat, in whatever way is most suitable.

I have sometimes found the heap too dry for useful compost, but then, it will lift out easly, in chunks and become quite useful as fuel, instead. There's no soggy poo, or bad smell, if you have made sure all the seals are good and that the vent out of the toilet space, is clear and working.
   Of course since it is mostly peat or sawdust etc, it can be added to your compost bin anyway.
   My Envirolet waterless, causes zero pollution. I dont know if it will survive much longer, it must be about 15 years old now.  It has served me well. Perhaps it will outlive me. 😁
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Our experience with the Envirolet toilets was terrible. We got the most expensive vacuum flush kind (low water, AC).
The composting system failed in numerous ways - poop fell right through to the bottom of the box, heaters on the boxes drew too much power and tripped our circuit breakers and we'd come out to find the things not running at all.
Also we didn't discover until after we got them that the bulk of "Envirolet system" is actually a Dometic RV toilet and pump. The only part of this overpriced system that's made by Envirolet is the composting bin, which is just a plastic box with a rake, fan, and heater inside. That accounts for the bulk of the price and that's the part that's defective. Obviously, if you're buying a composting toilet you're using it in a place where only a composting toilet will do.
We tried to dispute the charge with our credit card company, but Envirolet insisted there's nothing defective about it - even though it has failed in numerous ways.
On top of the issues with the composting bins, the toilets themselves are very finnicky. It's common to have the pumps run and run and run and run, and finally overheat. This seems to happen because the "plug" in the bottom of the toilet bowl doesn't form a good seal, which can happen any time some toilet paper or something gets caught in there. It's easy for this to happen because of the low water. The only way to consistently reduce the incidence of this problem is to use more water, but that also defeats the purpose of having a super eco-friendly, minimal water toilet.
We eventually had to just take the compost bins out of the system and replace them with a holding tank, which made the whole thing a giant waste of money.
Stay away from Envirolet toilets. They just don't work, and the company's customer service is horrendous.
If you just search around for "Envirolet reviews" you'll notice that the positive review above mine seems to be the only good review in existence.
Diego Footer on Permaculture Based Homesteads - from the Eat Your Dirt Summit
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