Saturday, October 8, 2011

Progress On The Solar Bathroom

Just as I had planned, I was left alone to do what I wanted to do for the day. By 8:30 AM I had reached my weekend goal for the bathroom. So I decided to push on.

Leveling the bricks for the foundation was not near as hard as what I thought it was going to be. I had to dig out and strategically place each one where the weight was going to be so the floor would not sag.

This step is where I enlisted a hand from the girls. Last week I was able to rebuild the old salvaged wall into a  floor and to the dimensions I was wanting. The hardest part was dragging it into the garden area and placing it on the bricks.

That was it. This is all I had planned.
 Here you can kinda see the first thought on the layout of how I was wanting it. The old horse trough is the bathtub, the salvaged sink and the chair is to represent where the composting toilet will be. The shower will go to the left of the bathtub and the tub will drain into the shower and out.  
 With time to spare and everyone gone, I decided to drag another old wall section up from the back and start working on it for the back wall.

Just as I finished it everyone got back home so again I enlisted the help from the girls and we drug this one in place as well.
Ok, I thought I had it all figured out until the wife came out. I set everything up for her and in detail described how it was going to look.
When I was talking to her about how I was going to build the shower she said "Why don't you just use the bathtub as a shower / tub combo". I had been figuring on this shower deal for a long time now. How it was going to drain, how it was going to look and so on. After she said that I scratched my head and tried to come up with a reason why it would not work, I couldn't.
Now with the design change, I have the room for the dressing / sitting bench I was wanting and maybe a potbelly stove to heat the place during the winter.

The next step is to clean a bunch of that old barn wood and frame in the remaining three walls and gable roof.

In case you are wondering, the drain to the tub/shower will be externally piped to the left in the picture above with the sink connecting into it finally dumping out on some little trees off to the left of the pic.

More about the composting toilet, It will not be urination purposes because with a sawdust toilet you have to keep the liquids to a minimum. Being this is a mans mans bathroom, I plan to build a home made urinal and the urine will be diluted and poured on the fruit trees. (Read up on it, it works)

That's all I got for now, the wife is hollering at me, something about spending time with her or something, I don't know.



  1. That looks great there. You did some real fine work there.

    If you are going to make the composting toilet have you thought of putting a drop pan in the seat to divert the urine when the women use it. I know that after all my coffee drinking I can donate my share and then some. All that urine can be some pretty good fertilizer.


  2. WOW!

    you are really rocking that bathroom, i can't believe how much you got done in such a short amount of time!

    it looks really good and sturdy MDR, great job my friend, great job!!!

  3. Cody Lundin does that with putting urine on his plants. I watched a one hour show on his underground house and he talked about it. Wouldn't it be easier to just put a small septic tank in and run a few drain lines? I mean, you wouldn't have to have anybody come out and permit it, what they don't know won't hurt them. I hear spider and snakes get in those compost toilets. That conjures up unpleasant thoughts!

  4. The other thought I had is create the urinal for male and female use.

  5. Thank y'all for the comments.

    G - It has been told to me that the Toilet side of the bathroom will be only mine. They do not mind the shower and all that but the girls would rather haul water into the house and use the real toilet.

    jam - Thank you. I hope to get the rest of the walls up this week.

    ATH - A septic system will not work in the soil out here. You have to run a full aerobic system with the sprinklers and all. I could pipe it into my existing system but the elevations would not work to well.
    I am trying to keep the expense to nothing and just use salvaged materials. A full blown septic system even if I used old RCP or 55 gallon drums would cost. I would need rock and a large amount of pipe plus a backhoe and in the location I am building this I would have to remove fences and gardens.
    As far as snakes, This little room will be as tight as the house so there should not be any snakes able to get in. Spiders on the other hand will be a problem.

  6. Is this a stand alone bathoroom, kind of like an outhouse but with a shower? I'm trying to get a picture of the finished bathroom in my head. Also, how often do you empty a composting toilet, and where?

  7. Packing cedar mulch under & around the bathroom should take care of the spider & bug problem.

  8. Rose - Thank you for the question. Yes it is a stand alone bathroom. So in a nut shell I guess you can call it a outhouse. This outhouse will have a running hot and cold water, a sink, bathtub, shower, toilet and a possible wood burning stove all self contained and ran from solar power and harvested rain water, so I would call it a outhouse on steroids.

    This will be my first attempt at a composting toilet so for the dumping on how often, I guess it will all depend on the need. Maybe once a week or maybe once every two days. The sawdust and added enzymes plus closing the lid after each use should keep any smells from escaping. If that does not work then I will add lime as well.
    I have not decided if I want to start a humus compost pile or just throw it away. Being that it will already be bagged, I will probably just tie it off and throw it away.

    YeOldFurt - Thanks for the tip. I will do just that.