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smallest reasonable room for bucket toilet system?

 
pollinator
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I am building an 8x 20 shipping container tiny house. I will have a bucket toilet system with its own little room. Can those of you using such a system please suggest proper dimensions? I believe most people keep a spare bucket in there? And a bucket of shavings. So those will need storage in the room also. Photographs and sketches appreciated.
 
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It depends on how big/small/claustrophobic you are.  You gain depth because there isn't a water tank behind you, and the sawdust bin(s) can be long narrow boxes beside the bucket basically below your elbow and shoulder room.  You don't HAVE to store an extra bucket in there, many don't.

I have used one that was 2 1/2 by 3.  That was too small for me. I could live with 3 x 4 easy, probably narrower like 32 inches.  Find a refrigerator box or two and build a test room.  You may find you swing your elbows wider than you expect when you try to buckle a belt or you feel too claustrophobic if there isn't enough light or...

And don't forget to think vertical.  High shelves could store supplies without getting in the way.
 
denise ra
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R Scott, all good advice and that refrigerator box idea is brilliant.
 
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I was watching a tiny house video and the lady had a cool idea. She actually had her bucket toilet like a drawer that slid out for use and slid back into a cupboard unit when not. That allowed her to have it in a larger, multi-use area. I don't know if that idea will help you think "outside the box". (Sorry, after the refrigerator box suggestion, I couldn't resist!)
 
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I've attached a couple of images of our bathroom. The space excluding the shower is 4 feet wide by 5 feet deep. The toilet compartment is 28 inches wide x 22 inches deep which feels like just enough room. Sawdust is stored in an office trash can under the vanity. Extra buckets and sawdust are stored outside.

Bathroom.png
Bathroom Drawing
Bathroom Drawing
IMG_20200915_133242.jpg
Bathroom Images
Bathroom Images
 
denise ra
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Aaron Yarborough, nice looking bathroom. Thanks for photos and pic.
 
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Wow, Aaron! Stunning bathroom!
One way to reduce the space needed for the sawdust (or other covering material) container is to wall mount it above the toilet. I saw a photo of one that used a triangular box to reduce the chance of anyone bumping their head on it. Or another option that would use the same space as a typical flush toilet and cistern is to have a rectangular wooden box for the sawdust and use it as a backrest.
 
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Aaron, is it normal to have a power outlet next to the wash basin?
I am thinking about possible electrocusion with the water around.
 
denise ra
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Jay Angler, if the toilet doesn't have its own room then nobody will be able to use it when there's company at the house. Probably I should build a pit toilet for planting trees in for visitors to use. I wonder how far that needs to be from my deep well?
 
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John C Daley wrote:Aaron, is it normal to have a power outlet next to the wash basin?
I am thinking about possible electrocusion with the water around.



Yep it is pretty normal. Though typically they are GFI outlets. These days most things are powered. Razors, toothbrushes, etc...
 
John C Daley
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GFI ?
 
denise ra
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John C. Daley, ground fault interrupt. Won't shock you if it gets wet.
 
John C Daley
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We call them RCD, Residual current device. I think your term is better.
 
Jay Angler
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denise ra wrote:Jay Angler, if the toilet doesn't have its own room then nobody will be able to use it when there's company at the house. Probably I should build a pit toilet for planting trees in for visitors to use. I wonder how far that needs to be from my deep well?

It was in a bathroom, but so that the bathroom had more space for other bathroom activities, it was situated beside the small staircase to the loft. The "drawer toilet" slid in under the stair when not in use, leaving more space at the sink, and slid out for use.

There are specific codes for the distance of any sort of pit toilet from bodies of water and wells, but as usual, it's not that simple. Your soil type, slope, depth of top soil could all impact on what works for your specific situation. Jenkins *really* recommends "above ground" toilets, because any sort of pit tends to have fewer aerobic friendlies to kill any of the nasties before they hit the ground water. He also stresses lots of "browns" to soak up any urine. Ideally, urine and poop are kept separated, but there are well run, effective systems using lots of wood chips that don't separate and meet all safety tests, and if your "guests" aren't used to anything but flush toilets, the risk of them getting it wrong is higher than with those who are familiar with bucket toilets.
 
denise ra
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Aaron Yarbrough, Would you have any qualms about having a bathtub for soaking in the same room with the toilet? Or would you ideally separate them?
 
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Assuming you are talking about you and the bucket, why not try out a closet in your present place to see hou you fit?  Add or subtract inches as needed.
 
Aaron Yarbrough
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denise ra wrote:Aaron Yarbrough, Would you have any qualms about having a bathtub for soaking in the same room with the toilet? Or would you ideally separate them?



No qualms on any sanitary grounds. I like the concept of separate bathing and toilet areas but didn't feel it was worth sacrificing the floor space. Instead of trying to squeeze a tub into a small bathroom I would opt for a separate bath house.
 
John F Dean
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Aaron has a good point.  I have a good sized house. I still have a solar shower set up outside. It is pretty simple... a pallet on the bottom, shower curtain, a black tub overhead.
 
denise ra
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I just really want to have a bathtub! Soaks are my luxury. I guess I could figure out how to do it outside. But then that lets out 20 mph wind days, winter, days when the gas guy's going to drive down the road, worrying about snakes sneaking up behind me,...
 
John F Dean
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I sincerely wish you all the luck in getting a tub in that small of a house.  The only thing my tired brain can come up with is a wash tub/live stock waterer that can be hung on the wall when not in use ....inside or outside wall. The faucet could be on the wall of the house...as opposed to the tub.  That would leave you with a hose arrangement for the drain  that could be quickly attached or detached.
 
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Re bucket systems...

We have previously had them setup, but not at present. We had two buckets in the room. One in active use in the toilet. The next is the one containing the sawdust cover material. As the first fills up remove it and put the now nearly empty one in its place.

Empty the bucket into the compost heap, and clean it immediately - nasties only get nastier if left. And provided you use enough sawdust it should clean really easily.  On your way back into the house bring a fresh bucket with new clean sawdust.

This way means you only ever have two buckets in the room. It may not be quite as compact as some are proposing, but it is simple minimal mess. Decanting buckets of sawdust indoors inevitably requires some cleanup afterwards, which would get old quickly.

Oh, and don’t let buckets get full - we empty ours when they get a bit over 3/4... easier to carry, and handle and less chance of needing a 2am dump and finding it over full!
 
Jay Angler
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denise ra wrote:I just really want to have a bathtub! Soaks are my luxury. I guess I could figure out how to do it outside. But then that lets out 20 mph wind days, winter, days when the gas guy's going to drive down the road, worrying about snakes sneaking up behind me...


I hear you Denise - the bathtub in our current house is too shallow to do *any* good whatsoever! I'm eyeing a Rubbermaid stock tank we rescued only because the price is right, but have you looked at  Japanese style tubs?
Here is one.

It is normal for a Japanese tub to have an insulated lid, so it can help with house heating as it gradually cools. It's deep, but has a smaller footprint, so you can still soak in it.
 
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