Five questions to ask before buying a composting toilet

So, you’re looking to buy a Sun-Mar composting toilet. You’ve downloaded and pored over the brochure. You’ve checked the website, comparing self-contained and central models. You’ve spoken to members of the Sun-Mar sales team, been to a dealer in your area who would be able to help you or stopped by the showroom in Burlington.

After doing your homework, you’re sure that this is the product to solve your problem. Now comes the biggest step: deciding which unit works best for you and your family.

With so many models to choose from, it may appear intimidating, but in reality is very simple. So, with that in mind, we’ve gathered together 5 questions (and a bonus at the end) that you should ask yourself before buying a Sun-Mar composting toilet.

  • Does your home (or your home away from home) have reliable electricity? We’ve touched on if solar power can be used with an electric model in a previous post, but there are many different sources of power. Is your location off the grid entirely? Are rolling blackouts a concern? Does solar power suit you best, or is a generator a requirement? With ACDC and Non-electric options, a lack of electricity does not have to be a deterrent, however it’s best to plan ahead.
  • Does your location have running water? This would be more relevant to Central models with flush toilets. For example, if your heart is set on a Centrex 2000 NE but your beach house has no running water, one of Sun-Mar’s AF Elongated toilets and a waterless kit would be a perfect solution. Otherwise, our AM Style II toilets can be connected to any Central model and provide familiarity and comfort on almost any level of a house.
  • How much space do you have to install your new Sun-Mar? Sun-Mar toilets are designed to treat waste on-site, with the composting process taking place inside the composter. They are designed with the end user in mind; however, there is the toilet’s footprint to consider. The GTG, Excel or Compact, for example, can be installed out of the box. The Central models have a higher capacity, and a larger footprint; however, the toilets being used with them and the recommended safety drain require a little more forethought.
  • What kind of usage would your new toilet see? Location, location, location. It matters everywhere, including your installation. Will it be in a hunting cabin, used once a year? A home, to be used daily? A year-round boathouse? A pool house, to facilitate summer swimming? A chalet visited by the family every winter? It’s important to think of what kind of usage your new toilet will see to determine what kind of installation and maintenance needs to be done. See our FAQs for more information on installation considerations.
  • How many people would be using it? Of the five questions we’ve touched on here, this would be arguably the most important one. Each Sun-Mar has a rated capacity, certified by the NSF, so it is important to consider how many people would be using your new toilet. In this case, thinking bigger is a wise choice. If you have a family of five, for example, an Excel would be a more effective choice based on capacity. A model like the SpaceSaver, which is ideal for smaller spaces and powder rooms, would not meet your needs. At the end of the day, it’s better to have to the extra capacity and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

+1) Finally, one of the questions that tends to be forgotten is one of maintenance. While each Sun-Mar toilet is designed to be maintained by the end user, like every other appliance, your toilet will need periodic maintenance. When you decide which unit works best in your home, take the time to go over the recommended maintenance, decide who is in charge of which task, and do the best you can to stick to it. Occasionally things can be forgotten or misplaced, but if you have any questions, the owner’s manual is a great resource, as well as our FAQ and Q and A’s.

These are some of the important questions to think about when you’re thinking of buying a Sun-Mar composting toilet. With so many options available, it is important to consider which unit is best for your needs.

To speak to a member of our sales team, call 1.888.341.0782, option 1, or email

**Please note: The information in this post is not intended to replace your owner’s manual. As each installation is different, our sales team is always happy to discuss the specifics of you what you need, and which toilet would suit you. if you have any questions, they can be reached by calling 1.888.341.0782 and selecting option 1, or via email at **