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How To Reuse Convential Ceramic Toilets  RSS feed

 
William Bronson
Posts: 1492
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
19
forest garden trees urban
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I am hoping Dale jumps in on this.
So far I have used the tanks to make sub irrigated planters to good effect.
I have consiways to re-use them d a wall made of tanks on their sides and filled with plants and soil.
I plan on trying them out as the outside of a rocket stove cast core.
They should make good grogg for rocket stove construction, but thr shards are very sharp, so you probably need a mill of some kind.

Any other uses? Yes planters but I am looking for some new ideas. As a service plumber they show up like pocket lint so good ways to re-use them are welcome.
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
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William Bronson : There are several schemes to use the internal plumbing from Toilet Tanks ( And the air volume controls off of clothes washers )
To monitor and use rainwater collected off of roofs, and recycle grey water from washing machines to supply Toilets, or other holding tanks, a
Search for Water catchment, or holding tanks should give some material for new ideas using the toilet tanks internal plumbing in other useful ways !

There is an entire ''Apocalypse / Prepper field full of instructors who will take your money and teach you how to make spear and arrow points, and
knife blades out of all kinds of Ceramic bowls, thrones, tanks, and wash basins! One of the worst cuts I ever got was from a broken ceramic " Throne "
Fortunately it healed cleanly ! Big AL !
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Dale here. (: I'm planting a few toilets atop hugelkultur mounds. This is part of an irrigation/ fertilization/mosquito control system.

The toilets will be set on a bed of rubble rock and most of the sides will be covered in soil. From time to time the tanks with no lid or seat, will be filled with water. Mosquitoes will lay their eggs in any body of stagnant water that doesn't contain fish. We allow larvae to develop, and then either flush them to the depths of the bed or add sufficient urine, coffee waste etc. to kill them. After high phosphorus fertilizer has been added, an algae bloom is allowed to develop. These algae produce nitrogen. Flush and fill again. Every week or so the bed gets a little shot of water and fertilizer and another swarm of mosquito larvae are flushed. I've been doing this with 5 gallon buckets. Mosquitoes never learn. Thousands of larvae have been dumped into the soil.

I will set some so low that the bowl is almost at soil level. A few large rocks will be placed so that snakes, frogs and toads are able to use them. If eggs are laid, the unit will not be flushed until the tadpoles have migrated to the garden. They eat mosquito larvae.
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1492
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
19
forest garden trees urban
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Thanks guys, I knew I could count on you for some fresh ideas !
Al, I had for got about the fill valve, so small its not hard to get rid of and new ones are cheap, but still useful.
Dale, I too have used the 5 gallon version of your idea, but of course YOU take it to the next level!
Your frog pond idea is even better, no plastics to degrade, and the "pond" will never overflow, rather it will "underflow"!
I think I might add a fountain pump to move water from the bowl back to the tank.
The overflow tube would send a trickle of water into the bowl, completing the loop.
The bowl should be plugged, to hold more water, fish in the bowl, plants in the tank...
Toiletponics?
With a hearty enough fish, you could put this in zone 1 and just ladle water from bowl to tank when you walk by and have a minute. Maybe crawdads?

The way water goed from tank to bowl could make for a tree ring of sorts, knock the bottom out of the bowl and plant right through it. Pinholes in the flapper or perhaps a piece of terracotta gorilla glued in place and you have 5 gallons of slow irrigation. I like that, even without the bowl, use the tank as an olla. Fill it with diluted pee...
Of course winter would likely kill any tank or bowl that is holding water overwinter.
Back to Dale and his mosquito murder machines, they just need to be flushed one last time before the first freeze.Clever indeed.

I think I will have to put at least one bowl into each new raised bed to feed and water the root and accommodate small aquatic creatures.
Maybe if I disguise the tanks with tile, stone, wood or something, they will slip past the city, neighbors and wife!
Might need to abrade the tank surfaces to get anything to stick.

 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6795
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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You mentioned knocking the bottom out and planting through. This sounds like a good way to contain shallow rooted bamboo, mint or other things that invade. Non aggressive plants could be protected from root competition by the same method.

Bowls could be set a few inches below the surface. They would be filled with rubble rock and topped with pea gravel. This reservoir would be available to any plant that sends roots there. Root rot happens when a plant is drowning. Many plants rooted on high ground will send some roots to the water table or to a stream.

I think most uses will involve separating tanks from bowls. Tanks have a more useful shape and no hidden crevices. Bowls on their own could be set at ground level and pail flushed for mosquito control. They would not immediately appear to be old toilets. This is crucial, if large numbers are to be used.

My friend grows lots of Thai kale in a greenhouse, mostly in round pots that make watering inefficient. The shallow pots dry out. Toilet tanks offer great depth, better use of space and the room to create water storage.

Tanks could be used as filter tanks in aquaponics. The modular nature makes it so that any number could be used. When one becomes clogged with gick, it's easy to take away for clean up.

Busted up tanks could serve as random shaped clay tile. The grout should be somewhat raised and contain something with good grip. The glaze is slippery.

For those who are good with concrete, a toilet bowl could be used as the bowl in a large bird bath. It would never overflow and would be watertight. So often, the concrete ones suck water and deteriorate. This would only work for those in frost free areas. The bowls are prone to freeze damage.

I want some of the rare purple, green, red and blue models. White and rusty yellow are very common.

Edit ---A few hours later.

Landscape steps !!! I measured a tank. Laid on their sides, the shape is perfect. You get a step about 8 inches high by 12 to 14 inches deep by 24 to 30 inches wide. I have scoured many rock piles in search of perfect nuggets in this shape and size. They could be packed with rubble and the faces planted with sedum etc. Or, the open end could be placed into the bank, and a porcelain riser would be presented. Or, the tanks could be filled with rubble while upright and a thin layer of concrete poured to seal it. Then, tile scraps are used to create a mosaic. Each step has a different scene.

OK, I'm doing this. I find floral, beach and mountain scenes the easiest to construct. I need some steps. There's a steep slope where I want to plant grapes, figs and pomegranates. This area will be formal enough to warrant fancy steps. Somebody has to pay me to take away some old toilets (that's just how I roll) and I'm going to build the world's first toilet tank porcelain garden steps with tile mosaic risers. Photos to follow. I guess I need to run an add and call some plumbers.

Drainage --- the rocky silt bank is very well drained. Still, water could get into the tanks. They could blow apart during a hard freeze. I'll need to drill drain holes.

It will be interesting to see if the alligator lizards set up house in the tanks. With the right sized opening, the tanks could offer a hot, dry refuge where predators could never breach the walls. I'm sure they'll bask on the hot spots, just as they have on every other hot surface that I have created.
 
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