Sunday, July 03, 2011

Indoor "Plumbing"

Our new bathroom has been a big project for John (our good friend and builder) and us. Here's how it progressed:

Under Construction - Ed's video
Up Goes the Frame - walls
Site Supervisor - roof beams
Save That Nail - rain delay
Toilets and Telescopes - composting toilet
Night Watchman - John and Bro
Bathroom and Porch Addition Nears Completion

We are trading in our trusty outhouse up on the cliff for an indoor composting toilet inside the cabin. The view won't be as great (looking out through the trees and down the cliff to the the lake below), but the convenience will be appreciated.

Instead of climbing four flights of stairs, we just have to go into another room. No rain, no wind - how civilized.

We chose a Sunmar Excel NE. The NE stands for non-electric. While it isn't hooked up to our cabin's solar powered electrical system, it does have its own panel to run a small fan within the air circulation pipe. That helps eliminate odour, and keeps the air moving around the compost as it processes. We've had our composting toilet in operation for almost a month now, and are very pleased.

We purchased our toilet at Pete's Plumbing here in Powell River. It's important to shop local. There's also a new distributor in town, Justin Behan. He also provides other cabin services such as cargo delivery, flotation cubes, propane tanks, and anchor rope supply. You can reach Justin at (604) 483-6527.

As you can see, the air circulation pipe rises above the roof line and has a built-in rain deflector. There's also an overflow tube just to make sure there are no accidents indoors.

Our bathtub was in our downstairs storage room. Now it's part of a real bathroom. The tub, however, isn't connected for hot or cold water. Our bathtub is a cold weather luxury. In the summer, our natural swimming pool is all we need for a cooling swim or wash.

We'll continue to heat our water on the wood stove. I can fit four large pots on the surface at the same time, and a hot winter fire will get them almost boiling. Add an equal amount of cold water, and you have enough for a nice soak or soaping down. And there's nothing like bathing with a friend to save water.

The bathroom will give us some additional space for storage, but that's another story. -- Margy


  1. Fabulous!
    I remember baths in a laundry tub with water heated on a pot-bellied stove, when I was a teenager and my parents decided we needed an adventure, so we lived on the backside of a mountain without running water for two years. LOL
    Turns out they were right, did us a world of good, and we had a lot of fun.

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. Yes Kay - it is a great addition to our new bathroom. Now all I need to do is paint the shelf John built and re-hang my curtains. All in due time. - Margy

  3. That is a great addition to your bathroom! Your bathtub deserves to be where it should be, and I’m sure you’ll have an awesome time taking a bath there! Never mind if it isn't connected to the hot or cold water; what matters the most is that you can now use it with whatever water temperature you want to have! :)


  4. Hi Darryl - Thanks for the comment. I see from your link that you are an expert in the area. Since you are a "local," I hope this post brings you some business from people both on and off the grid. - Margy


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy