Compost Toilet Installation


For people looking for a complete self-sufficient home, composting toilets are a natural addition. Compost toilets use human waste to create organic material usable in gardens and fertilizing. Proper setup is required for the toilet to function correctly. Improper setup can result in odors, sludge and flies, which can become an environmental hazard.

Step 1

Measure off a line at a right angle from an exterior wall to 45 inches, using a measuring tape. Measure parallel to the wall 12 inches. Mark your spots where the measurements fell with a pencil. This will be a large enough area to put the composting toilet. The toilet doesn't require plumbing but does require access from the outside for ventilation and compost removal.

Step 2

Measure from the floor up the wall to the location of the vent pipe. Make the vent pipe as short as possible and have the vent vertical to the matching hole of the toilet. Put the end of the pipe against the wall where the hole from the toilet will be. Draw the outline of the pipe on the wall. Set the pipe aside. Drill four equidistant holes around the outline of the hole to act as starting points for the jigsaw. Insert the jigsaw blade into one hole. Cut a 4-inch hole into the wall.

Step 3

Secure all the connections of the PVC pipe with caulk. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to install the diffuser that attaches to the outside vent cap. This will keep the drafts and other elements from entering the vent pipe.

Step 4

Install the fan at the base of the venting pipe, using the screwdriver. Seal the fan fittings to the vent with the caulking. Plug in the fan's motor to a nearby power supply such as a solar cell or electrical outlet. The fan keeps downdrafts and odors from drifting into the house.

Step 5

Attach one end of the drain pipe to the toilet. Put the other end of the pipe at the location of the septic tank, leech field or container. The pipe will drain using gravity from the toilet to the drainage system.

Step 6

Pour sawdust into the bucket until it gets to the top. Put the bucket next to the toilet. A handful of sawdust is used in the solid waste container after each use of the toilet to control odors and aid the composting process.

Step 7

Set up a drum to dump the solid waste container into. Fill the drum completely and set it aside for 12 months. Set up an empty drum in its place. This will allow the material to compost completely while allowing use of the toilet.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • PVC vent pipe
  • PVC fittings
  • Caulk
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Diffuser
  • Pipe cap
  • Screwdriver
  • Fan
  • Power supply
  • 12-volt battery
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Sawdust
  • 2 50-gallon drums


  • United States Environmental Protection Agency: Water Efficiency Technology Fact Sheet
  • Mother Earth News: Mother's Compost Commode
  • "The Humanure Handbook;" Joseph Jenkins; 2005
Keywords: organic waste material, installing composting toilets, compost toilet instillation

About this Author

Jack S. Waverly is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles relating to business, finance, travel, history and health. His current focus is on pets, gardens, personal finance and business management. Waverly has been writing online content professionally since 2007 for various providers and websites.