Toilets with No Plumbing 101: Everything You Need to Know

Did you know that there are toilets all over the world that don’t have plumbing? It’s true! These toilets can be found in rural areas, in developing countries, and even on boats.

In this article, we will explore the different types of non-plumbing toilets and discuss why they are important.

toilet without plumbing

We will also look at some of the challenges associated with using these toilets and offer some tips for dealing with them. So read on to learn more about this fascinating topic!

What Are Toilets with No Plumbing?

Toilets with no plumbing are just as they sound—toilets that do not require a connection to a plumbing system.

Instead, these toilets rely on alternative methods for disposing of waste. Before diving into these toilets, it’s important to understand that these toilets are not the “outhouses” of old.

Modern toilets with no plumbing are clean, efficient, and odor-free. Plus, they use little to no water. Below, we’ll explain different types of toilets with no plumbing. 

Composting Toilets

Composting toilets are perhaps the most popular type of toilet with no plumbing. As the name suggests, composting toilets work by breaking down human waste into compost through a process of aerobic decomposition.

These toilets come in a variety of designs, but they all share a few key components. A typical composting toilet has two chambers: one for solid waste and one for liquid waste. The solid chamber is equipped with a ventilated lid to help control odors.

While the liquid chamber has a simple drain valve that allows moisture to be drained off as needed. Both chambers are lined with an organic material, such as coconut coir, that helps promote the composting process.

Some composting toilets use aerobic decomposition, while others use anaerobic decomposition. That said, composting toilets have many benefits. They reduce water usage, helping to conserve valuable resources. They also reduce the amount of sewage that enters the waterways. And, of course, they create nutrient-rich compost that can be used to fertilize plants.

What should you know before you buy one? There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about buying a composting toilet.

First, make sure you have enough space for it.

Second, consider how often you’ll be using it; if it’s just for occasional use, a simple model may suffice.

Third, think about what type of waste you’ll be composting; some models are designed for human waste only, while others can handle other types of organic waste.

Pit Toilets

Pit toilets are just holes in the ground that you do your business in. They can be used for both solid and liquid waste, and there are a few different types of pit toilets. The most common type is the pour-flush pit toilet, which you probably think of when you picture a pit toilet. 

Pour-flush toilets have a small bowl that you do your business in, and then you flush it with a bucket of water. The water carries your waste away and into the pit below.

Another type of pit toilet is the ventilated improved pit latrine or VIP latrine. This type of toilet has a pipe that runs from the latrine to a ventilated stack, which helps to keep odors down. VIP latrines are more expensive to build than pour-flush toilets, but they’re considered more sanitary.

There are several advantages to using pit toilets over traditional flush toilets. For one, pit toilets are much more water-efficient, since they require little water for flushing. They’re simpler and less expensive to build than flush toilets, making them an ideal option for communities in developing countries that lack access to running water. 

Additionally, pit toilets don’t require electricity to operate, making them an ideal option for rural areas or off-grid living. Plus, these toilets can help improve soil fertility when used correctly, as human waste is rich in nutrients that can be beneficial to plants.

Incinerating Toilets

Incinerating toilets works by burning human waste until it turns into ash. This type of toilet has two chambers: one for solid waste and one for liquid waste. The solid waste is burned in a small incinerator chamber, while the liquid waste is evaporated by the heat generated from the incineration process. 

These toilets are typically used in areas where water is scarce or sewer systems are not available. Incinerating toilets has many benefits over traditional toilets, including the fact that they do not require water for flushing and they produce very little odor. 

In addition, these toilets do not require any chemicals or additives, making them more environmentally friendly than other options. However, it is important to note that incinerating toilets require regular maintenance and must be properly ventilated to avoid creating harmful air pollution.

How do they work? Incinerating toilets use a small electric fan to draw air into the unit, where it is then heated to around 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Alternatively, some use propane gas to generate heat. This high temperature causes the organic matter in the waste to break down, reducing it to ashes. The entire process takes about three hours, and the resulting ash can be safely disposed of in a regular garbage can. If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly and efficient way to deal with human waste, an incinerating toilet may be the perfect solution.

Upflush Toilets

Upflush toilets are becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeowners who want the convenience of a flushable toilet without the need for a traditional sewer system. Here’s everything you need to know about upflush toilets, including how they work, their benefits, and some things to keep in mind before you install one.

Upflush toilets work by using a macerator pump to grind up waste and pump it into a holding tank or sewer line.

They are typically used in situations where a traditional sewer line is not available, such as in a basement bathroom or an RV. Upflush toilets have several benefits over traditional toilets, including being easier to install and requiring less maintenance.

They also take up less space than traditional toilets, making them a good choice for small bathrooms.

Before you install an upflush toilet, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, upflush toilets require a power source for the pump, so you’ll need to ensure there is an outlet nearby.

Second, the pump and tank should be installed by a professional to avoid any problems.

Finally, be aware that upflush toilets may not be allowed in some areas due to building codes or local ordinances. Check with your city or county before you install one to make sure it is allowed.

The Pros of Owning a Toilet With No Plumbing 

Here are the advantages of toilets without plumbing-

They’re More Environmentally Friendly. 

Toilets with no plumbing tend to be more environmentally friendly than traditional toilets. This is because they use less water and produce less waste. And, because they don’t require any sewer or septic lines, they can be placed almost anywhere.

They’re Less Expensive to Install. 

Toilets with no plumbing are less expensive to install than traditional toilets because there’s no need to run new plumbing lines. This can be a significant benefit if you’re trying to renovate your bathroom on a budget. 

Easy to Install.

Another great thing about toilets with no plumbing is that they are relatively easy to install. Of course, you will need to hire a professional to connect the waste container to your home’s sewer system, but this is a relatively easy task for someone who knows what they are doing. 

Water Conservation.

One of the most significant pros of using a toilet with no plumbing is water conservation. These types of toilets use little to no water per flush.

In comparison, a traditional toilet uses around seven gallons of water per flush. Over time, this can make a big difference in your water bill and your impact on the environment. 

They Take Up Less Space 

Toilets with no plumbing often take up less space than traditional toilets because there’s no need for a large tank or pipes leading to and from the toilet. This can be a major benefit if you have a small bathroom or are trying to maximize space in your home. 

They’re Less Likely to Clog 

Since there’s no plumbing, there’s also no chance of clogs or leaks in your toilet. This means that you won’t have to worry about expensive repairs down the line and can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your toilet is unlikely to break down. 

They Don’t Make Noise 

Another benefit of toilets with no plumbing is that they don’t make noise. This can be a major advantage if you live in an apartment or other close quarters where noise levels are important considerations.

They’re More Convenient. 

Toilets with no plumbing are also more convenient than traditional toilets. This is because they don’t require a water line or septic tank, so you can place them anywhere in your home. In addition, they typically come with a self-contained holding tank that can be easily emptied when full.

The Cons of Owning a Toilet With No Plumbing

Here we go with the negatives of toilets without plumbing-

Limited Waste Capacity

One of the biggest disadvantages of toilets with no plumbing is their limited waste capacity. Most toilets without plumbing (except pit toilets) only have enough space to hold two or four days’ worth of waste before they need to be emptied.

This means that if you have a large family or entertain often, you may find yourself having to empty your toilet more frequently than you’d like. 

Potential for Odors

Another downside to these types of toilets is that they can sometimes produce odors. This is because the waste isn’t immediately flushed away like it is with a traditional toilet. Instead, it’s stored in a tank where bacteria can begin to grow.

However, some of the manufacturers of these toilets (mainly composting and upflush) have addressed this issue by adding vents that allow odors to escape. Note that not all models have this feature. 

The Mess

If there’s no plumbing, that means there’s no flush. So unless you’re okay with manual labor, be prepared to get your hands dirty.

Not to mention, if there’s no ventilation, the waste can quickly start to build up, leaving you with a big (and potentially dangerous) mess on your hands.

They Might Not Be Allowed in Your Area:

 In some areas, it’s actually against the law to have toilets with no plumbing – so before making your purchase, be sure to check local ordinances first.

Otherwise, you could end up being fined or even having your toilet confiscated by authorities! 


As you can see, there are both pros and cons to owning a toilet with no plumbing. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to purchase one of these toilets depends on your specific needs and preferences.

If you’re interested in saving water or maximizing space in your home, a toilet with no plumbing may be the way to go. However, if you have a large family or entertain often, you may want to stick with a traditional toilet.

Either way, be sure to do your research before making your final decision.

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