Want to know more about Saniflo toilets, including how much they cost? We give you the lowdown with our expert guide.
Wondering what a Saniflo is? No, it’s not related to Sanrio, the cute Japanese brand. Instead, Saniflo systems, which are sometimes referred to as a macerator toilet or a macerating toilet, are a popular type of toilet system available on the market. A Saniflo works differently from a normal toilet: it breaks up human waste into smaller pieces with the help of a blade and then flushes it out with the aid of a centrifugal pump into the general sewage system, rather than through drainage in a normal toilet system.
What makes up a Saniflo toilet?
Made of 4 key components, the Saniflo toilet consists of a float switch (membrane), a microswitch, a blade (also referred to as a macerator) and an impeller. To find out more about each of these components, read on...
When the toilet is flushed by a user, the waste generated will be funnelled into a blade. The blade macerates the waste into smaller pieces, which ensures that it can be flushed into the general sewage system without causing blockages.
Next, the float switch is activated. After sufficient waste has accumulated, the float switch will be activated due to the water pressure, leading to the microswitch being activated.
When activated, the microswitch, in turn, activates the impeller. The impeller powers the macerator pump to flush the waste out of the white toilet tank.
How a Saniflo macerator pump fits with a conventional close coupled toilet
Use cases for a Saniflo toilet
If you are deciding between Saniflo toilets versus normal toilets, ask yourself if the below situations apply to you and your family members or house type. In most cases, a normal toilet might be the cheaper option, but in some cases such as those below, a normal toilet won’t make the cut.
You don’t have a plumbing system that can fit a regular toilet
Without existing underground drainage lines, it will be expensive to install a normal toilet since that means you will also have to overhaul your entire plumbing system. In this case, it will be far cheaper and more practical to install a macerating toilet that doesn’t need the flooring and foundation of your home to be removed.
When time is of the essence
If you have a short timeline to work on, or if you only have one toilet at home and cannot go long without a toilet, then a macerating toilet should be your choice. A regular toilet, depending on the design, can take a while to be installed, which means you won't have access to it for the duration of the works. This can be especially problematic if there’s only one toilet to be shared for use at home. If you don’t have plans to move out while the renovations are being done, it is better to opt for a macerating toilet which can be fitted quickly. In the meantime, you can head to the shops or go to work.
The Saniflo Sanicompact cisternless back to wall toilet and macerator
You don’t want to hack any structural walls or floors
If you have an ensuite but don’t want to hack away any structural walls, floors or pillars to have a toilet installed, then you should opt for a macerating toilet over a regular one.
The toilet is not intended to be permanent
Perhaps you are temporarily renting your property out, or are having an elderly family member stay over. In such cases, it is better to opt for a macerating toilet which is not as permanent and much easier to remove than a normal toilet.
The pros and cons of a macerating toilet
No more choked pipes
A macerating toilet differs in the way it flushes and does not rely on gravity to pull the waste down into the sewers. This allows for the toilet to be built either below or far away from where the general sewage pipes are, as macerator toilets work by upflushing with the help of blades and pump systems. In such cases, the macerator toilets also help to ensure that your pipes don’t end up choked from the waste.
It saves you water
Environmentally-conscious households will be glad to learn that macerator toilets are more efficient than normal toilets in terms of water usage. By shredding the waste, there is a smoother flush which requires less water to carry the particles down to the general sewage pipes. Moreover, the use of the impeller also means less water is used since the water is flushed at high speeds.
You don’t need a lot of space
Keeping in mind that you don’t have to have a regular sewage pipe running to your toilet, the amount of space needed for a toilet will be rather small. You only need to have enough space to put in the toilet itself, as well as a sink to wash your hands. This could mean that a macerating toilet is an ideal option for families living in an apartment or a small house. It's a great option for those adding a toilet to a loft conversion or converting a barn into a bathroom.
Costs of installation
Most reputable Tradespeople charge around £50 per hour for the installation of a macerating toilet and can complete the installation in about 10 hours, although this can vary greatly depending on a whole host of reasons. This means the Saniflo cost of labour for your new toilet adds up to roughly £500*. Macerator pumps start around the £450* mark. Add on the cost of a close coupled toilet (anywhere between £100 to £300*) and this comes to a total cost of between £1,000 and £1,300 for your brand new toilet to be installed in your home. Of course, there are bound to be regional variations in prices, but as a rough rule of thumb, this price, as an estimate, should get the job done for you.
With some Saniflo macerator pumps, you can connect multiple waste pipes, for example, from your toilet, shower and sink
Check out our guide to bathroom costs for more up-to-date information.
Macerating toilets can get clogged rather easily
You’ll have to ensure that only organic waste such as toilet paper, urine or poo goes into the toilet. Items such as tampons or nappies are sure to clog the soil stack, extension pipe and macerator pumps.
You need to use it regularly
Without regular flushing, the tank could dry up and break down, and is difficult and costly to restore. This means if you intend to go on holiday, you’ll need a house-sitter to come by daily to flush your toilet. Thinking of having a macerating toilet installed in your holiday home? That might not be the best idea if it is a log cabin in the middle of the woods or a seaside home that can only be visited in summer.
You need electricity
In the event of a power cut, you will not be able to use the macerating system as it relies on electricity to power the blades.
A Saniflo macerator pump can sit unobtrusively behind your toilet pan
How much is a Saniflo toilet?
At Victoria Plum, Saniflo macerator pumps start at around the £450 mark*, with the Saniflo Sanicompact cisternless back to wall toilet and macerator coming in at just over £800*.
Conclusion & further reading
Now that you’ve done your due diligence and read our expert guide, make sure that you take all the factors into account before deciding if Saniflo products are suitable for your complete bathroom.
Check out the diagram and product selector below to make your choices.
With a fabulous selection of macerators and toilets, Victoria Plum is the only place you'll need to visit if you're searching for Saniflo products at great prices. With free standard delivery on all orders, next day delivery available if you're in a hurry, plus a rating of "Excellent" on independent review site Trustpilot, why go anywhere else? Click on the image below to browse our range.
*Prices correct as of August 2022. Prices can fluctuate