We’ve covered how to make your own port a potty, but there are other options for your survivalist, camping, and prepping needs. Things have become more sophisticated from your standard bucket-style porta potty. If you haven’t heard of chemical porta potties or portable chemical toilets, let me fill you in!
Chemical toilets are nothing new. The idea has been around for a long time. Their design and effectiveness have improved over the years. Most larger RV’s come fully stocked with them, and they are a big step up from the bucket-style porta potty.
There’s also the option of finding a smaller, portable model that you can keep in your home, car, or with your camping gear.
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What Are the Parts of a Chemical Porta Potty?
Most of these portable chemical toilets come with a flush function, which gives you the comfort of your home away from home. These types of porta potties look a lot like the toilets you would have in your home.
They include two water tanks that are separated. The upper tank holds the fresh water for flushing, the toilet bowl and lid. The lower tank is where your wastewater is stored. Some of the fancier models even have toilet paper roll holders hidden in small compartments inside them. The number of flushes a unit averages will differ based on the size of the chemical porta potty you purchase.
When looking around online, most sites will not only tell you the size of both the lower and upper tanks, but also the average amount of flushes you’ll get from that particular model. Simply put, the larger the size you get, the more flushes you can get without having to replace the water. For larger groups and families, you would naturally want a larger capacity portable chemical toilet.
Keep in mind, the bigger the size of the tanks, the heavier it will be to carry when it comes time to empty the unit. If you prefer more frequent clean outs over heavier loads, that’s something you should take into consideration.
The flushing mechanism on chemical porta potties is a basic water pump, and can be used manually, using a battery, or by electrical power. With the manual option, you don’t have to worry about being in a situation where you’re without electricity.
How Do They Work?
Before using your chemical porta potty, you’ll fill the waste water compartment with the proper chemicals; and the fresh water tank with water. If you have a battery operated version, make sure that your batteries are in good shape – it might even be a good idea to keep spare batteries on hand.
Make sure that only human waste and toilet paper will be used in your portable chemical toilet. Trash, handy wipes and feminine hygiene products should be disposed of separately as they will clog up your unit.
Using a portable chemical toilet is just like using a standard toilet. No mystery there!
Should I Use Special Toilet Paper?
You can, but it’s not required. The whole purpose of the chemicals used in chemical porta potties is for things to break down quickly. Most toilet chemical companies recommend that you use quick dissolving toilet paper. In actuality, if you aren’t using a lot of toilet paper – regular, 1-ply toilet paper works fine. But, if you have a family that uses a lot of toilet paper, then a quick dissolving toilet paper is your best bet.
What Chemicals Can I Use?
There are many different types of chemicals sold for portable chemical toilets. Some serve to kill bacteria, break down waste, mask smells and others that are a combination of all of these. You can also find eco-friendly chemicals, which gives you more options for disposals later on.
Different chemicals also give you the options of using them in liquid, dry powder, and even powder cakes. Make sure to read over the recommended products in the paperwork that comes with your chemical porta potty to get more of a clear idea of what to use for your model.
Remember, many of the chemicals will start to lose their effectiveness around three days. If you aren’t actively using your unit, you should empty it out and clean it – otherwise, make sure to add chemicals as needed when not in use. The last thing you want is for chemicals and waste to get dried out losing valuable products and money.
How Do I Empty and Dispose of the Waste?
Most portable chemical toilets are relatively easy to clean out. Simply disconnect the waste tank, (or the bottom reservoir), and clean it out. Some have pourable spouts – others use a removable top; this varies from model to model.
When reading your unit’s instruction manual, make sure to locate the air-valve button. This button is key when emptying waste. Not releasing trapped could cause nasty toilet water to splash all over you. Not a pleasant experience!
Where you dispose of the waste is one of the most important things to take into consideration. Because you are dealing with human waste and chemicals, you can’t just dump it anywhere. You could contaminate local water sources and possibly receive a fine.
Chemical porta potties should never be poured straight into a sewage system because of the chemicals involved. The best place to dispose of your waste is at a dump station. You can find these in most campgrounds and RV parks. Otherwise, you can dump them down a working toilet so that the water and waste are properly cleaned at the water treatment plant.
Proper Storage Between Uses
Make sure that between uses you clean out the whole system according to the units’ manual. Make sure to store in a place outside of the elements, so the materials don’t get damaged.
Overall Chemical Porta Potties Can be a Great Investment
If you are willing to make the investment of a chemical porta potty, it can become one of your most valuable resources. They aren’t terribly difficult to take care of and come in handy during normal situations; as well as emergencies.