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Last updated: June 27, 2021
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We understand how expensive installing a new toilet can be. That’s where the macerator toilet comes in. It’s an apt solution, except these toilets are not all created equal. You may find a perfectly built unit, only to discover that its discharge distance is too short. To overcome this challenge, choose from our list of top products, which features the best macerating toilet for every use case.
How did we come up with our list? We looked at each product’s dimensions in relation to available space, and we point out the models meant for tiny spaces and those better suited for rooms that are more spacious. The motor speed determines how quickly the pump can grind waste, and the motor power determines how far the pump can discharge waste. To protect the pump components, each product has a maximum fluid temperature below which the water you discharge into the pump should be. Read on to find the most suitable toilet for you based on these and more.
A top choice for those who want nothing but the best macerating toilet system, the Saniflo SaniAccess3 should be installed within 15 feet (vertically) and 150 feet (horizontally) of the main drain pipe. It has an elongated bowl and overall measures 10.75 x 18.75 x 6.75 inches. It runs on a 0.5 hp motor and operates so quietly that you can’t tell the motor is running unless you’re standing near the toilet. It has a 1.5-inch vent diameter and a 3.1-gallon tank, with a running time of 10-12 seconds, which makes it efficient and a good option. If you want to replace the pipes, you can use any PVC discharge pipe. Just ensure that it’s not bigger than ¾ of an inch. The powerful motor has a speed of 3600 RPM and grinds waste quickly.
It comes with all the components needed to run smoothly and is easy to install. If you would like to install the pump behind the wall, there is an optional pipe extension to help you do that. Both the flusher and discharge pipe are located on the left-hand side. It would have been great if the toilet were ADA-compliant, but as it is, only the seat size and height are ADA-compliant; the flushing system is not. What we didn’t like about this toilet is how low the water sits on the bowl.
It comes with a 2-year warranty on the pump and a 1-year warranty on the toilet.
Liberty Pumps ASCENTII-ESW is one of the bigger toilets on the market, and with dimensions of 29.75 x 20 x 32.25 inches, it occupies quite a bit of space. Therefore, you want to be sure that the room is spacious enough to accommodate the toilet without looking cluttered. It’s powered by a 0.5 hp motor with a speed of 3450 RPM, and coupled with the RazorCut blade technology, facilitates speedy breakdown of waste. It uses a one-inch discharge pipe, which some people may find small, but it gets the job done efficiently and does not cause clogging.
LED signal notifies you when something is off, and in case you need to do repairs, there is a side panel that gives you access to the pump, such that you won’t need to uninstall anything to access the unit. For convenience, the seat is replaceable and the toilet is ADA-compliant, so anyone can use it comfortably. This unit uses a control switchboard, not a float system. Therefore, you must wipe the electrodes regularly to clean them of buildup. Otherwise, the pump will not work as expected. Be warned that this toilet is loud. If flushed at night, it will most likely wake the light sleepers in the house up.
It has a maximum fluid temperature of 104°F. A low flush volume of 1.28 GPF ensures the toilet consumes a minimal amount of water.
It comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
The Saniflo SaniPLUS measures 10.6 x 20 x 7 inches and comes in a classic toilet bowl and tank design. A 0.5 hp motor that operates at 10 psi and a speed of 3600 RPM powers it. The blades are quick and efficient, reducing waste to slurry in seconds. The pump discharges waste up to a maximum of 12 feet vertically and 150 feet horizontally. The pump is thermally protected so in case of a leak or overflow, the water won’t damage it. It has a rated water consumption of 1.6 GPF and a maximum fluid temperature of 110 °F. The tank has a capacity of 3 gallons and fills up quickly after flushing.
This pump has a noise level of less than 53 dBA and runs quietly. It’s unlikely to disturb others in the house if installed near bedrooms.
The power cord is 47.5 inches long, which gives you some flexibility on where you can install the power outlet, and you can comfortably plug it in an outlet that’s located a little further from the toilet.
Note that this Saniflo toilet does not come with an elongated bowl (the bowl is standard size and shape) or an extension pipe to enable installation of the pump behind a wall. One of the things we like most about this unit is that installation is straightforward.
It has a 2-year full warranty on the pump and a 1-year warranty on the toilet.
The Thetford Marine macerator toilet is designed for installation on a raised platform and is optimized for use in RVs and boats. It’s only 11.6 inches high and overall measures 11.6 x 14.6 x 17.5 inches. It only requires 12V to run and has a maximum fluid temperature of 80°F.
With a water flow rate of 1 GPM, it’s an excellent water saver, and you will get several flushes per full tank. A high-pressure jet nozzle makes it possible to clean the bowl with minimal water. Choose from two water inlet kits: 1) a Freshwater ECO Kit that uses onboard freshwater and the vessel’s freshwater pump, and 2) a Raw Water ECO Kit that uses externally drawn water and a dedicated pump to flush.
Two check valves and a water trap are used to eliminate odor problems. Control the toilet using the ECO rocker switch, which ensures minimal water and energy consumption, or use the smart flush controller that has high-end flush and tank control features.
This unit may be small, but it uses standard ports, so finding replacements in case you need to repair it will not be hard; the water intake opening is ¾ inches and the waste discharge pipe is 1½ inches.
The toilet is made from Italian vitreous china, a material that is easy to clean and is stain and scratch resistant. For this, the toilet will retain its new-like looks for years.
The Saniflo 023 Sanicompact is designed as a forced main unit that does not need venting, so you don’t have to connect it to a vent stack. It is a single self-contained unit that does not include a separate tank. With space-saving dimensions of 18.5 x 14.5 x 21.5 inches, it is ideal for use in areas with limited space, where a second toilet or half bath is needed. You can add a sink to the connection, but not a shower or tub. The macerator pump uses a 0.3 hp motor, with the macerating blades rotating at 3600 RPM. The pump is designed to be maintenance free and comes sealed, with the expectation that you will not need to service it for the life of the pump. But for this to happen, it has to be installed and used correctly. That said, installation is easy and the accompanying instructions provide a step-by-step guide on how to do it. Should the pump need servicing, however, you can easily take it apart and re-assemble it without trouble.
It uses a one-inch discharge pipe and a rather short 5-inch power cord. At 1.6 GPF, its water consumption is acceptably low, and with a capacity of 0.8 gallons, on the one hand, the tank is quite small, but on the other, it’s great for saving water.
A great choice for homeowners looking to add a full bath to their home, the Silent Venus Macerator Bathroom Toilet can be connected to a sink and shower or bathtub. It’s powered by a 0.5 hp motor, and its blades rotate at a speed of 2800 RPM. This is much lower than the motor speed of many similar toilets, but it gets the job done albeit at a slightly slower pace. It’s efficient, though, and well-placed valves ensure that there is no back flow.
The pump is powerful enough to discharge waste up to 19 feet vertically and 196 feet horizontally. It runs rather quietly, emitting noise at only 39 dBA.
It has a wastewater maximum flow rate of 80 liters per minute and runs on 110V. You can get an extension to enable you install it behind a wall if you would prefer to keep the pump hidden.
This upflush toilet measures 16 x 14 x 28 inches and weighs only 20 pounds, which makes installation easy. Clear installation instructions, including videos, are included to minimize errors. All the connections you need to set it up come with the package.
It comes with a 1-year warranty. Compared to rival products, this warranty period is too short, but the toilet is solidly built, enough to make you take the gamble and buy one. The motor should last a long time, as it is 100% made from copper wire.
At 17.9 x 32.7 x 26.8 inches, the INTELFLO FLO500 is a bit bulky and requires a fair amount of space to install. Nevertheless, this is not an inconvenience, seeing as it has four inlets, and you can connect a sink, shower or bathtub, and a urinal.
It runs on 110V and relies on a 0.75 hp motor that has a speed of 3600 RPM. It uses non-clog blades made from rust-free stainless steel, and given the material’s durability, these should last for the life of the pump.
The toilet discharges waste up to 24 feet vertically and 240 feet horizontally, making it a fitting choice if you want to install a toilet a distance away from the sewer line.
It has a rated flow of 0.75 GPH. The flush handle is located on the right side but can be removed and fitted on the left side if that’s more convenient for you.
Installation is easy, and although the instructions are vague, all the connections you need are included; with a bit of fiddling, you’ll figure out the right way to install it. If unsure, get a plumber to do it for you.
The unit ships in two parcels that include the 500W macerator pump, a round toilet bowl, a water tank, a silent towel seat cover, a soft closing seat cover, and installation accessories. It comes with a 1-year warranty for replacement and a 2-year warranty for repair.
Why are we impressed?
Non-clog stainless steel blades
4 water inlets
Long discharge distance
What negatives must you be aware of?
Scanty installation instructions
Things to Consider
We’ve gone through detailed descriptions of specific macerator toilets and seen how greatly the specifications can vary from one model to another. Now, let’s explore how these toilets work, the benefits of having one, how to install them, and how to maintain them. We’ll also look at the different features you need to consider when buying one and answer a few FAQs on macerating toilets.
Macerating toilets – why are they worth buying?
Regular toilets are installed above the drain line, such that waste from the toilet goes through a trap, into the waste line, and then gravity pulls it down into the drain line. Macerator toilets, on the other hand, rely on a macerating unit to liquefy toilet waste before pumping it out of the unit and into a pipe that is connected to the drain line, into which the waste then drains. Because of this pumping action, macerator toilets are installed below the drain line. The unit then pumps the contents up and into the drain line, which explains why they are also called upflush toilets.
What you have to remember when installing the toilet is that, although the toilet can be installed in a wide range of locations, it should be within a specified range of the drain line. The exact range depends on the pump’s motor power, and usually varies between 10 and 15 feet of vertical lift and 100-150 feet of horizontal discharge distance.
It is recommended to use the macerator toilet as a supplemental toilet, not the main one. Everyday constant use, as applies to a regular toilet, puts pressure on the moving parts and shortens the pump’s lifespan. Overall, though, macerator toilets last as long as standard toilets.
You can connect a sink, tub, and shower to the unit for the complete full bathroom experience.
You can install the toilet at any height. Which means you can install it on the basement or on the ground floor for access by invalids and the elderly who may not be able to go up the stairs.
They are easy to install, and when correctly installed, maintenance free. What you may need to replace in due time is probably pump components, and replacement parts are readily available.
Installing a macerator is cheaper and more convenient than overhauling your plumbing and extending your sewerage system.
If you own an older home and you do not want to overhaul the plumbing for historical and sentimental reasons, you can install a macerator toilet to enjoy the full benefits of an additional full bathroom, half bath, or extra toilet.
A macerator toilet makes it possible for you to transform your mobile home into a habitable place, since you can install one in a facility such as an RV or a boat.
How does an upflush toilet work?
The macerating toilet is similar to a standard toilet, except for the pump and discharge pipe. The main connections you’ll need to make are connecting the toilet tank to your water supply, connecting the macerator to a horizontal outlet on the toilet, connecting the macerator to the discharge pipe, and connecting the macerator to the electrical supply.
The toilet comes with all the components needed for the installation. Begin by installing the vent connection to the macerator. If you are connecting a sink and shower, connect the drain pipe from the sink to the inlet on one side of the macerator. Next, connect the drain pipe from the shower or bathtub to the second inlet on the macerator. Use the discharge elbow to connect the discharge pipe. Then connect the toilet to the main pump inlet.
When you flush the toilet, the water drains into the macerator pump. Inside the pump is a pressure-sensing system, which detects the pressure from the rising water level (due to the flushing action). Once the water reaches a pre-determined level, the pump automatically turns on, activating the blades – which are powered by the motor – to grind the waste into small particles.
The impeller then pumps the ground waste through the internal discharge pipe, out of the pump, through the discharge elbow, and into the discharge pipe. There is a no-return valve to keep the waste from moving back into the pump. Once the waste has been evacuated from the pump, the water pressure drops and the pump turns off. See this video for a demonstration of how a macerator toilet works:
How to install macerator toilet
Cut through the existing venting pipe with a saw and remove about 12 inches of the pipe. Then put rubber adaptors on both ends of the pipe. Add a Y connector, push the adaptors over both ends, and tighten to secure the connection.
Connect the macerator to the sewer line using the discharge pipe, which you connect to the 90 at the top of the pump. For efficiency, use as few 90-degree turns as possible and opt for 45-degree turns instead. This helps prevent clogging and blockage.
Connect the toilet to your water supply using an adapter.
Connect the toilet to power. A 15-amp circuit with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFI) is ideal to protect against power surges.
Important things to note:
Ensure that the vent system is up to the local code.
If installing in an unheated room, insulate your pipes with an approved wrap.
You can use an extension pipe to hide your macerator pump behind a wall.
Features to consider while buying the best macerating toilet
Let’s now look at the features you need to consider when buying a macerator toilet.
Water consumption and temperatures
The amount of water the toilet uses is determined by the flow rate. Toilets with a high gallons-per-flush rate consume more water than those with a lower GPF rate. ASCENTII-ESW and Thetford Marine have a GPF rate of 1.28 and 1.0 respectively, and are some of the lowest water consumers on the market. Many others average around 1.6 GPF, examples being Saniflo SaniPLUS and Saniflo Sanicompact.
Observe the indicated water temperature limit for your model to increase your pump’s lifespan. When the water discharged into the macerator exceeds the recommended temperature, with time, it will damage the unit. This is especially crucial if you have connected a shower to the unit and frequently run long hot showers. Most units have a limit of 110°F, but some like ASCENTII-ESW have a lower maximum fluid temperature of 104°F.
Some macerator toilets come as a self-contained unit with a built-in tank. These are the best options for use in rooms where space is limited. The bulkier design includes a toilet bowl, separate tank, and pump. With these ones, you can hide the pump behind a wall. Others are designed in such a way that the pump is set right at the base of the bowl, and they have a minimalist look so there is no need to hide the pump behind a wall.
Choose between wall-mounted varieties and floor-mounted ones. Wall-mounted units can be an apt solution in rooms where space is limited, whereas floor-mounted varieties like INTELFLO FLO500 and ASCENTII-ESW are bulky and require more floor space.
Blades and motor
Some models, particularly older ones, use dual blades. Although they are effective, they are also prone to jamming when they come into contact with solid objects. If pieces of clothes or other foreign objects accidentally fall into the toilet and are flushed into the pump, chances are it will cause blockage and jam the motor. The alternative and better choice is inverted blades, which are not prone to blockage, clogging, or jamming.
Macerator toilet motors usually have wattage between 400W and 600W, with most rated 0.5-0.75 hp. The more powerful the motor, the more efficient it is in breaking down waste, and the further it will be able to discharge the resulting slurry. Additionally, the more powerful the motor, the quieter the unit runs.
Most units run on 110-120V and are configured to North American voltage standards. If buying a model that is made outside the US or one not solely made for the American market, be sure to confirm what the voltage is before placing your order so you can get one with the correct power settings. As you probably know, voltage ratings and requirements differ across regions, so you need a unit that is compatible with US requirements.
Use one of those power outlets designed for use in moist environments, and add a GFI circuit breaker to protect the unit from power surges.
Macerator toilets are built to last. Their lifespan is at par with traditional toilets, except maybe for the pump, which may malfunction at some point, considering that it has moving parts and a motor. Still, you can expect 10 to 15-year (or more) service from the best of macerating toilets. You will need to stay up to date with the maintenance routine to realize this. Most models are designed as high-performance units that don’t require servicing. But in case the unit develops a problem, you can take it apart, service it, and restore it without negatively affecting its performance. As with other pipe connections, you may occasionally need to replace or repair the piping.
All macerator toilets emit noise, simply because they are motorized, and no motor runs without producing some noise. The amount of noise, however, varies depending on the type and size of motor and any noise cancellation technology that may be used in building the unit. Manufacturers indicate the toilet’s noise level in the specifications, so look for a unit with a low decibel. Anything below 50 dBA will be barely audible and is what you need if you prefer a unit that runs quietly, like the SaniPLUS, which has a noise level of 53 dBA, or Silent Venus Macerator Bathroom Toilet, which is rated 39 dBA. 50-60 dBA is the equivalent of, say, a refrigerator or air conditioner, so it’s bearable for most people. Remember that the noise level applies only to the motor and does not impact the flushing process. Flushing the toilet produces noise, which, more often than not, is much louder than the rumbling of the toilet motor.
Your macerating toilet should come with everything you need to install it, and this is usually the case with most models. Unfortunately, some do not come with all the connectors and the adaptors needed for the installation, in which case you’ll need to buy what’s missing from your local hardware or home improvement store, or contact the seller and hopefully they can supply what’s missing without a fuss.
The best toilets also include clear installation instructions, including illustrations, and in some cases, even videos. Many manufacturers also upload installation demos on their websites and on social media platforms.
You’ll get more flushes if the toilet tank is big, and vice versa if it’s small. But the number of flushes you get will also depend on the flush volume of the toilet. If the tank is big and the toilet has a low flush volume, you’ll enjoy more flushes. Likewise, a small tank with a low flush volume gives more flushes, just not as many as you would get from a bigger tank. If, on the other hand, the tank is big but the GPF rate is high, you get fewer flushes. Some of the models with a high tank capacity in the units we tested include SaniAccess3 at 3.1 gallons and SaniPLUS at 3 gallons.
For a product at its price point, and given its anticipated long lifespan, the macerator toilet sure has a short warranty period. Many manufacturers give a 1- or 2-year limited warranty, with few models like ASCENTII-ESW guaranteed for 3 years. With some brands, you can extend the warranty period by registering the product with the manufacturer. A good example is Saniflo. When you register your toilet with them, they extend your warranty from 2 years to 5 years. Some like INTELFLO guarantee replacements for 1 year and repair for 2 years. The most important thing is to ensure that you get a guarantee from the manufacturer or seller as a sign of good faith, even if it lasts a short time. Research the brand’s record on quality and find out what the experience has been like for other users to gauge whether the toilet would be a good product to own.
It’s important to ensure that your toilet conforms to quality and safety standards as stipulated by US laws. If the product is sold in the US, it’s unlikely that it doesn’t meet the set standards. You can run the product’s serial number or code on different government regulatory databases to check whether it’s listed. There are additional certifications given by independent regulatory bodies that are universally recognized, which point to the product’s conformity to different standards. A CE certificate for health, safety, and environmental protection, RoHS for compliance to check restriction of hazardous substances, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense for water efficiency are among the most common and important ones. The ASCENTII-ESW has a WaterSense certificate, and Silent Venus has both CE and RoHS certifications.
Because of the motor and pumping mechanism, macerating toilets cost a lot more than standard toilets. Prices can run into thousands of dollars, with more affordable models going for $500-600. Some models may sell for less than this, especially if you chance upon a discounted offer. Even though the initial buying price is higher than what you’d pay for a regular toilet, the toilet does not have any running costs, which makes it economical over the long term. Compared to what it would cost to overhaul and reposition the plumbing to install a standard toilet, buying a macerator toilet is a lot cheaper.
How to clean macerating toilets
Use a macerator toilet descaler to remove limescale buildup and keep the pump operating in optimal condition. There are special descalers for this purpose. Don’t use bleach for this. To descale the toilet, turn off the power to the unit, and pour 2.5 liters (or as much as recommended by the manufacturer) of descaler down the toilet. Let it sit for a maximum of 2 hours or for the duration indicated on the descaler label. Turn the power back on. The macerator will automatically pump out the descaler. Wait for it to finish, and then flush the toilet to remove any remaining descaler. Let the macerator pump out the liquid. Then flush the toilet a second time to rinse off any remnant of the descaler. Do this 2-3 times a year if your water is soft and 3-4 times if your water is hard. To clean the bowl, check whether the manufacturer recommends specific cleaning products. If they don’t, use bleach or toilet cleaner, but only in small amounts and infrequently because regular use of such products damages the rubber components of the pump and may eventually render it unusable.
Yes. Macerator toilets can clog when solid waste isn’t fully ground and it blocks the blades or when foreign objects are caught in the blades or holes and they jam the motor. This can be anything from tough pieces of paper (including some types of premium toilet paper), baby wipes, tampons and other hygiene products, and anything that isn’t toilet paper or fecal waste. You can avoid this by making sure that you don’t put anything other than toilet paper in the toilet. To unclog the toilet, turn off the power and disconnect the pump from the bowl. From the front opening, you’ll be able to see what’s causing the blockage. Use a thin wire or small pair of pliers to remove it or engage a plumber to remove it for you. If the blockage is in the discharge pipe that leads to the waste pipe, a plumber is better placed to unclog it. But if you have plumbing experience, you may be able to resolve it yourself.
Macerator toilets can give off a foul smell because of accumulation of limescale, which happens because when the pump discharges waste water, a small amount of the water remains at the bottom. Remember the waste moves up the pipe, so a little bit of it will remain in the system. If the pipe were discharging downwards, the contents would all exit the pipe. This small amount of remnant waste is what becomes smelly over time, and combined with the limescale buildup, it becomes pronounced. If you get a whiff of the smell coming from your toilet, pour the recommended amount of descaler down the toilet, give it time to act, and then turn on the power for the macerator to pump it out. Then flush the toilet to rinse it. The smell should go away.
Macerator toilets produce some noise, but it is not as loud as the noise from a flushing toilet. So as much as the motor of your toilet may be loud, it likely won’t be distracting. Many units produce less than 60 decibels of noise, which is about as much noise as an air conditioner emits. A lot of them have a much lower noise level, so you won’t notice the noise if you’re in a different part of the house. The noise only becomes apparent when you are near the toilet.
Like regular toilets, macerator toilets have, on average, a lifespan of 15 years, and like regular toilets, many will last beyond this period. Some people mistakenly think these toilets can only last a few years because of the moving parts and electrical connections, but they are built to last, even with the moving parts. You can only preserve the life of your macerator pump by installing it correctly and using it properly. Improper installation and use are the two things likely to shorten the toilet’s life. If unsure of the connections, it’s advisable to engage a plumber instead of installing the unit by yourself. In terms of usage, follow the manufacturer’s directions on use and avoid putting things that would jeopardize the efficiency of the toilet inside the bowl.
Our top choice is Saniflo SaniAccess3, which we like because of its modern design, high tank capacity, and powerful but quiet motor. High efficiency, a short running time, and an extension accessory for behind-the-wall installation are other winning points in this model. We also like that it’s easy to install.
Our second choice is Liberty Pumps ASCENTII-ESW, which stands out for its ADA-compliant design and features, powerful motor, and efficient RazorCut blade technology. We also like the LED signal, replaceable seat, and the side panel access. It also has a 3-year warranty.
Our third best macerator toilet is Saniflo SaniPLUS, most notable for its classic toilet design, powerful motor and blade system, and large tank. We like how the pump is thermally protected for longevity, the low noise emission, and the easy installation process. The power cord is also quite long and offers flexibility on where to install the toilet or power outlet.