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How do Saniflo toilets work?
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How do Saniflo toilets work?

Posted by Adam Chard in Buying Guides | 3 weeks ago 10 min read

Are you considering fitting a Saniflo toilet but don’t know how it works? In this in-depth article, we’ll explain everything and answer all your frequently asked questions.

Thanks to their enduring popularity, chances are you’ll have come across a Saniflo toilet at some point in your life. They are used widely across the UK, offering an eco-friendly, cost-effective and easy-to-fit alternative to standard toilets. The unique macerator and pump technology is what makes Saniflo products so successful and in our guide we explain what goes into making a Saniflo toilet work, along with everything else you need to know.


What is a Saniflo toilet?

A Saniflo toilet does not operate in the same way as a regular toilet. The main difference is that human waste is broken up using a blade and instead of the waste being flushed directly into a drainage system connected to the floor, a macerating system uses a centrifugal pump system that flushes water out into the waste system for disposal.

Saniflo Sanicompact cisternless back to wall toilet and macerator

Saniflo products allow you to easily add bathrooms to your property.


How does a Saniflo toilet work?

A Saniflo toilet is made up of 4 main components that enable it to be an efficient system. These parts are:

  • Impeller
  • Microswitch
  • Blade (macerator)
  • Float switch (membrane)

Each part of the Saniflo toilet works to ensure the waste material is removed efficiently out of the bowl, which we explain in more detail below.

Flushing

The first step is when the toilet is flushed the waste is moved towards a blade where the macerating process starts to break it down into smaller loads. By doing this the waste is easier to process in the toilet for when it is eventually discharged out into the outflow pipe.

Float switch

Before the waste leaves the system it is first stored in the toilet tank (connected to the soil stack). As the amount of waste accumulates in the tank the float switch will gradually start to rise over time. Once the waste rises to a particular level, water pressure is detected by the float switch and the microswitch is then activated.

Impeller activation

Once the microswitch has been activated it then starts the impeller. This is the device that works to power up the pump, with the waste then moved out into the discharge pipe and finally out of the toilet.

Waste is cleared

This is the final stage of the macerator toilet, with the waste cleared out of the system and then sent into the drainage system for processing as normal.


How to install a Saniflo toilet

Saniflo toilets are relatively straightforward to install in your property. The following instructions will give you an overview of what you need to do.

Step 1: Connect the discharge pipe

Before you can connect the pipe, you need to make sure you connect a Y-connector to the soil stack. This will allow the pipe (which is important for drainage) to connect with the upflush system’s macerator. If you are more comfortable with the idea of a plumber installing Saniflo products in your house, then it is also a good alternative.

Step 2: Link the Saniflo toilet to the water supply

Like any standard toilet, Saniflo toilets have to be connected to the water supply which will ensure it works properly after flushing. This allows organic waste in the toilet to head towards the macerator unit to begin the removal process. You can add an adaptor to the toilet line, screw it into place and then connect it. This can be from the kitchen, sink, other side of the wall, or anywhere similar in the property. The Saniflo toilet can also be connected to the P-trap.

Installing a Saniflo toilet

Step 3: Connect the pump to a power source

To make the toilet work and facilitate the movement of the macerator pumps it has to be connected to a power source. An electric circuit with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter and plug will enable you to connect it up the toilet. A 15-amp electrical circuit will be efficient enough for this.

Step 4: Venting the pump

The vent system only comes into play if you are installing a SaniCompact—products such as the SaniBest Pro do not require this step. Macerator pumps need to be vented into your home’s vent set-up. The venting can take place anywhere—the only thing you need to ensure is that the air can move in and out and that it meets current building regulation requirements.


What Saniflo products are available?

Saniflo have a wide variety of products to choose from, including the SaniPlus Up, SaniTop Up, SaniShower+ and many more. Each have their own advantages, depending on usage requirements. For example, the Saniplus Pro can be installed up to 100 metres away from the soil stack (100 metres horizontally/upward to 5 metres or a lesser combination of the two).

Many of these products make it possible to install a toilet in areas that conventional plumbing would not be able to offer, like a garage or in a loft conversion, benefiting from its ability to establish a 100 metre connection distance from the toilet stack. This could mean placing a toilet under the stairs, converting any room in the property to a toilet or bathroom, or even converting an existing walk-in wardrobe into an ensuite. There are also Saniflo options for commercial spaces.

All Saniflo toilets come with an extended warranty. If you register it online, you will be able to add an additional 12 months to the existing warranty. This will cover labour and parts but is subject to the proper installation and usage of the product.

Where can you use Saniflo products in your home?


Answers to your frequently asked questions

Below, you'll find some of the most frequently asked questions about Saniflo toilets, along with our answers.

Can you poop in a Saniflo toilet?

The simple answer is that yes you can poop in a Saniflo toilet. As with normal toilet systems you can put any organic waste into the toilet bowl and use the flush mechanism to remove it—which includes toilet paper—although like a standard toilet too much toilet paper can lead to blockages occurring. Saniflo toilets can be used in the exact same way as a standard toilet to dispose of human waste—it simply differs in the way it processes the waste.


Are Saniflo toilets any good?

A Saniflo upflush toilet is just as good as a standard toilet and offers a number of benefits for users, such as portability, durability and efficiency. Here’s a quick summary of the main benefits.

There are freestanding options

To make installation even easier, there are some freestanding systems available. These sit on elevated platforms below the incoming waste level, with a separate pump used to manage the waste disposal. Using this type of toilet can also be a cheaper option.

Saniflo toilet systems are portable

If you are using an all-in-one Saniflo system in the bathroom, it’s helpful to know that they can also be relocated. Some units only require you to remove as little as four screws for you to uninstall a Saniflo. This is what makes Saniflo systems so good for elderly or disabled people. Any disruption caused to install a Saniflo toilet is usually very minimal.

A macerator toilet is extremely durable

When you buy a Saniflo toilet, you also get a guarantee that covers up to somewhere in the range of 50,000 flushes. As long as your system is given regular maintenance and quickly receives repairs when needed, it should last for a very long time. Every Saniflo product also comes with a 2 year warranty. Saniflo units also put less pressure on the plumbing system as there is less chance of a blockage occurring.

Saniflo toilets system use less energy than standard toilets

The required water pressure is much less than a standard toilet as the waste is liquefied and not forced in its original form down into the waste pipe. This makes it a good domestic solution for households trying to lower their energy usage. The impeller technology also ensures less water is used with every flush. Models like the SaniCompact, utilise half-bathroom applications with a dual-flush mechanism.

Less water and more efficiency

Saniflo systems use less water than standard toilets, which make them great for the environment. The most water a macerator toilet system will usually require per flush is 1.28 gallons, with models like the dual flush SaniCompact using as little as 1 gallon with every flush. New standard toilets usually require around 1.6 gallons, with older toilet built before 1982 using up as much as 7 gallons with every pull of the lever.

You can also add useful bathroom accessories to a Saniflo macerator system

Depending on the Saniflo system you purchase, you may also be able to install a shower in addition to the unit in your bathroom. This requires the shower base to be raised by at least 6 inches, although 8 inches is recommended. The water pumps will be able to deal with the washing machine, dishwasher and sink drains, although not a toilet, so avoid using the Sanishower or Sanivite with the toilet.

Saniflo macerator

Use a Saniflo toilet even without any underground drainage

Saniflo toilets are great for people who live in remote areas and who may not have direct access to underground drainage. This makes it highly adaptable for use in almost any location and gives it an advantage over standard toilets that are not able to work without have one in place. If an additional full-time extra toilet is needed for your home a Saniflo toilet can serve as a great option.


Where does the Saniflo waste go?

When flushed, the waste in a Saniflo toilet does not go directly to the outlet pipe. Instead, it heads to the WasteAway (soil stack) unit. Before it arrives there the Saniflo macerator technology reduces the waste to liquid form within a few seconds. When the tank reaches capacity level it is then pushed by the pump out through the discharge pipe and disposed of as normal.


Are Saniflo toilets noisy?

Saniflo systems are no noisier than standard toilets. There is sometimes a perception that a Saniflo toilet is noisier than a regular toilet due to the macerator, which is used to break up waste, but this is not the case. The decibels (dB) produced will vary depending on the product (as the acoustics in each room will be different) and there is also a new range available that is 10dB quieter than previous models. By following the instructions on how to install a Saniflo toilet it will also help avoid any unnecessary noise being produced such as sound vibrations on the floor or wall.


How much does a macerator toilet cost?

Saniflo have a wide range of products available for use in the home, with different sizes and pump capabilities all having an impact on the price.

The type of toilet solution you’ll need will depend on where it is being installed, be it a small domestic property, a large home or a commercial environment. This is where to start when you begin to search for a Saniflo toilet.


Can you use a Saniflo with a septic tank already installed?

This is certainly possible because there are no chemicals involved with this kind of wastage removal solution. If you have been on the search for an option to combine a tank with a process that uses macerator pumps, then this could be for you.


Like this article?

If this article has helped, you'll be glad to know we have a whole section dedicated to bathroom advice, including buying guides, DIY guides and more. If you want to know more about Saniflo products, see how you can use Saniflo products around your home.


Shop Saniflo

At Victoria Plum, we stock a comprehensive range of Saniflo toilets and products, giving you the flexibility to create your perfect bathroom. Simply click on the image below to begin browsing.

Shop Saniflo

Author, Adam Chard

Posted by Adam Chard in Buying Guides | 3 weeks ago

A born & raised West Countryman, now living on the Yorkshire Coast, for over 7 years Adam has been bringing home interior ideas to life at Victoria Plum. Adam’s favourite interior styles have been shaped by both urban and natural influences.

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