Toilet Installation Part I

Macy M29 comments13685 views

So, this is part one of the toilet installation.  Let me tell you a little bit about my toilet.  Sit back, it’s a long one…

So, here is the story…  About 6 weeks ago, I am finally getting ready to install my toilet, the one received just about a full year earlier…  You can read about it HERE.  A basic run down of the story goes like this though:  I ordered a composting toilet from a ‘reputable dealer’ locally here named Sue.  Sue was found via Sun-Mar’s website and at the time was the only local dealer.  Sue gave me a receipt for the following items:

Centrex 2000 NE Composting Toilet    $1,795.00
Toilet                                                     $   295.00
AF/Waterless Kit                                   $   135.00
Estimated Shipping                               $   200.00
Sub-Total                                              $2,425.00
Discount                                              – $   425.00
Balance Due                                          $2,000.00
The NE in that model number stands for non-electric… What Sue actually ordered was the electric model (which the company said they cannot even rectify because it was her mistake, though I am past asking for that to be rectified).  The electric version has different (bigger) dimensions and a required plug-load, the main reasons I went with the NON electric… Well that isn’t what I got and I made my peace with that…
At the same time I also ordered with it the toilet part and the water-less conversion kit which I was told I would need, that made enough sense to me.  I received one box with the toilet part in it (it arrived broken) and with misc. pieces.   I don’t know exactly what is entailed in the water-less conversion kit (it is not pictured anywhere on the website) but I expected a separate box for it since it was a separate ticket item.  I only ever received the two boxes.  So about a week after receiving it last June I called the ‘reputable dealer’, Sue, and explained that I wouldn’t be installing the toilet in the near future (I did expect to have it installed by this point mind you, but life happens, backs get broken etc…) and that I was concerned that I was missing a piece.  She assured me that everything I needed was in the box with the toilet.  I have not given it a second thought.  All this time the boxes have been sitting in the corner of my dads shop, ready to be installed when I was ready for it, according to the company and their dealer.   
NOW, I am getting ready to install the thing, it looks as though I am missing pieces.  Important pieces.  I called the company (directly mostly because Sue is sort of nutty, extreme prepper style), I provided my receipt and explained the whole story and was told that there was nothing that they could do, they show that the items were delivered in two separate shipments eight days apart which I can guarantee  that there was only ever one shipment received.   Aside from that I was told when the shipment was coming so that I could take an hour or two off work to be there when it was delivered, which I did (I was told it would come in one shipment, on a semi, from New York) .  I was never told of two shipments and honestly just don’t believe it.  
So their answer… “it’s been a year, there is nothing they can do” after  they ‘did their research’.   Sun-Mar seems to be ok with delivering a sub-par, incomplete and broken product by all accounts. 
How on earth a company can see it as acceptable to ship the wrong order both incomplete and broken is beyond me.  What stinks right now though is that I have spent $2,000 and I literally do not have a usable product.  There is no way to install this unless I give Sun-Mar MORE money for something I have already bought.  
I feel trapped and swindled most definitely.  I absolutely cannot, in any way, recommend Sun-Mar to anyone, and I would HIGHLY encourage you to avoid their products unless they rectify this situation.  
*update – after contacting the company and explaining the situation further to the president along with sending a copy of the blog I intended to post I was contacted by the head of their customer service department, told that the second package was in fact never signed for and that the other customer service rep should have been able to see that and that I should not have been left hanging like I was with an unusable product and no solution.  They agreed to send me another conversion kit at their expense.  I was told it would be here in a week and a half.  At the week and a half mark I was contacted and told that it was back-ordered and would not be in for another week and a half and then they would ship it to me.  I explained that this has held up my construction for several weeks and asked them if they could over-night it to me so I could install it ASAP since I am already living in my house with no facilities.  I received a response that it would be sent on standard UPS, end of story.  Three weekends passed and then it finally arrived.  Long story short, they did the bare minimum to even get me the pieces I need to make this a functioning composting toilet… I am not impressed.  I debated back and  forth on whether or not to post this but transparency has always been key for me and this build is no exception.   I feel like my experience is going to be helpful to someone.  I am just in shock at how their business is ran, even if they did do the bare minimum to make things right,  I still ended up with the wrong unit and a broken toilet.  Though soon I hope to be able to use my own bathroom, it will be nice not to have to make nightly trips to James’s house, especially as the pregnancy continues further.
Oh yeah, I’m pregnant! 😉 (more on that later)
Thank you everyone for letting me vent. 

That all being said here are some pictures of its installation part one as well as a few extras including my electrical closet doors and some Denny!  At the bottom there are a couple of links to some videos of Denny going up and down the stairs!  I can’t figure out how to embed them… the internet is hard sometimes 😉



  1. you really ought to post something about this on their Sun-Mar facebook page…sometimes it makes the difference

    1. I believe I have spoken to nearly everyone behind the company, or was told that I have pretty much talked to everyone that could ‘do anything’. I think their MO is to push off responsibility to their salespeople which really aren’t associated with their company by the sounds. I thought this was a creative way to help local economies across the country but it seems its a creative way to bypass any accountability, they told me several times that I needed to work it out with ‘my rep’, not ‘their rep’.

  2. Hi Macy. Nice pictures. Denny is getting biiiig 🙂
    I’m glad you finally have the toilet. I thought that were installing it outside the house, in an outhouse or something. Now I see that only the composting bin is outside (no idea if that’s the name of that big box). Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.
    And again, Congratulations on the comming baby.

    Oh I almost forgot: to embed videos, you have to get the link from Youtube. You go to the video, click on the “Share” botton (I hope is Share, cos’ I have it in spanish and here says “compartir”). Youtube give you options, like “shot link” and “Embedded”. Just copy that link and paste it to the page when you are writing the post, and voilá, it appears as you publish the thing.
    Well, that wasn’t a very clear explanation, I hope it works.

    1. Thank you, I am going to have to play with that more for sure, i think WordPress doesn’t like it, I was doing just that and I couldn’t get it to show up, I’ve tried a little before but I think I will conquer this! I would like to post a walk-through so I better! Thanks for your always kind words!

      1. My blog is WordPress as well and it works ok for me. Maybe depends on the “Theme” you have.
        Here is the link Youtube gave me for your video, you may check if it is the same link it gave you.
        Oh, and is the video where Denny is climbing, the other video have some type of problem, it doesn’t work):
        And I was watching your pics in more detail and I notice the ivy. Growing nicely.
        And good luck with the worm composting. It seams that you are going to be really busy.
        Saludos 🙂

        1. Well that totally works! Oh, I should update on the planters! I hoped they would grow faster but it is filling in, slowly but surely!

  3. congrats about your happy news…shame about the toilet saga, what a nightmare. we have a very basic compost loo outside and i think it will stay that way!

      1. Hi Macy, I am not on facebook anymore, so I lost your message to me about this toilet.I seem to recall that you wound up liking it.I have one question.We live in New Hampshire-how would one keep this toilet from freezing(the compost-box part of it.
        Thank you,Carolyn

        1. Hi Carolyn!
          I do like the potty, just not the customer service received by the company! unless you enclose it somehow nothing will keep it from freezing. When temperatures are below 55 degrees the unit just acts as a holding tank, when temps come back up composting resumes!

  4. Thanks for the information on Sun Mar. I work as a rep in the energy and environmentally responsible sector and I certainly will not promote this companies products given the way you were treated.
    Ron in Rochester, NY.

    By the way…Good luck with the family thing.

  5. Sun-mar deleted my inquiry from their Facebook page about your situation, it appears they are not accountable to their customers. Just another bad company with no ethics or integrity. I will certainly never buy any of their products and will deter any one I know from doing so. Company’s must respect their customers.

  6. Thank you for your query. Sun-Mar distributes its products through a network of thousands of dealers across North America. This customer was originally referred back to the dealer they purchased the product from as is standard procedure. Once they were unable to receive a satisfactory outcome and after due investigation the problem was rapidly solved by Sun-Mar directly.
    We are disappointed by this customers experience, have put in place steps to try to ensure an incident of this nature is not repeated and have apologized to them and corrected the issue. We are unable to comment on their reason for continued dissatisfaction. Our company and staff is however proud of the fact that tens of thousands of very satisfied people use our products every day and that we are providing a high quality solution in an environmentally friendly manner. Should you require anything further please contact our customer service department manager at 18883410782 or via email

    1. This is a pretty poorly put together apology note. It reeks of over-defensive language. Your customer is not a “they” – it’s a “she”. Your definition of ‘rapid’ is laughable. You should really put forth a much stronger effort towards your damage control team.

      My wife and I will be using a compost toilet in our tiny house, and I can guarantee you it won’t be a Sun-Mar.

  7. Wow what a terrible experience. but everyhing can’t be sunshine and rainbows I suppose. I’m glad to hear that you finally have a toilet at least. 🙂

  8. Hey Macy! I love your blog, it has great unbiased info that I definitely enjoy. I was wondering, with this large composting unit under your trailer, do you have to detach it or is your home still road worthy with it underneath? Hope you are enjoying your wonderful toilet still.

    1. I do have to detach it, its not actually attached, its jut a bin that sits directly underneath, I pull it out, plunk it on the patio ad hit the road!

  9. Wow! Another fantastic post. I will be passing this one on for sure. Sorry to hear about your troubles with Sun-Mar support. In reality, your dealer should have taken better care of you on these issues.

    The dealer is responsible for handling claims and working with Sun-Mar on your behalf. The few times we have had damaged goods in shipping to our customers, we have taken care of the issue quickly and to their benefit even if we lose money on the sale.

    1. I totally agree with you, I tried as much as I was comfortable to handle it through her but she is ‘out there’… I think if that is the way they are going to set up their business model they should vet their dealers better, she made me extremely uncomfortable (and messed up too much!)

  10. Hi Macy! I’ve just discovered your blog and will be doing more reading of the different posts you’ve shared. I’m beginning research on tiny living. I want to retire in 3 years and believe this might be a great financial alternative for me. I saw the picture of the view of your home toward your bed and loved it. Do you have sketch of the layout of your home that I could see? Thank you for your informative posts. I’m learning a lot!!!

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