Westsail Owners Alliance - Post: "New Airhead Composting Toilet"
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Post: "New Airhead Composting Toilet"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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- Archived Message from Inactive Forum -

Aaron Norlund

Hey all,

We finally have the head installed. I was going to make comments, but it's a very straight-forward process. We expanded the old "vent" to be 1.5" for the Airhead's fan vent. We also took the opportunity to sand the area and paint the pedestal. Also, we put fiberglass panels on the cabinet, counter and v-birth verticals.

For photos, please visit:
Airhead Toilet

As for the head, it seemed a bit "cheesy" at first. It's clear that Geoff assembles the units by hand, and some of the parts (which are all stainless) have "Do it Best" on them. That isn't bad, but it's kind of funny as you know he gets stuff from his local hardware store. By and large, I think $1000 for it is a bit much considering how much it likely costs to build, but, being a small business owner, I understand that the market and movement of his products likely necessitates a steep profit margin.

That said, we are happy with the purchase. It is not something that could be easily put together without the specially-cast bucket, bowl and other stuff. While expensive, the lack of hassles associated with traditional heads, makes it worth it to us! Further, I don't mind supporting someone who's willing to put things together by hand. While Jabsco and other heads may have a "mass-produced perfection" feel, I like that I can replace any part on this toilet if it were to break. That is unlikely though, as it's all sturdy and well thought out.

Having used the head for two days of sailing now, I have a few comments:

• Keep a spray bottle with a vinegar/water mixture at hand to mist the bowl after every use.
• Keep paper towels nearby for wiping the bowl in case solids are not "on target".
• Give a "spiel" to guests on proper head use. Make it clear that you'd rather have a question ring out from the head then have to fix an embarrassing problem.
• Keep some sort of "push" stick nearby for pushing paper down the trap. With solids, everything falls, but not so with ladies #1 use. Alternatively, keep a trash bin near. We're going to cut the brush off of one of the toilet bowl brushes with a base and lid for a push stick.

If this sounds complicated, remember that marine heads have many quirks too. With the Airhead, the possibility of messes, leaks and chronic smell is removed. It has its own set of "issues", but we feel they are more manageable. We had guests who had never been on boats before and, while initially skeptical, they agreed it was a really nice system.

If you have any specific questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Feel free to email me directly, too.

Best to all!
Aaron N.

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