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PLUMBING SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
AGE of PLUMBING MATERIALS & FIXTURES
AIR DISCHARGE at FAUCETS, FIXTURES
ANTI SCALD VALVES
ANODES & DIP TUBES on WATER HEATERS
BACKUP PREVENTION, SEPTIC
BACKUP PREVENTION, SEWER LINE
BACKWATER VALVES, SEWER LINE
BATH & KITCHEN DESIGN GUIDE
CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS in WATER
CHLORINE IN DRINKING WATER
DEBRIS in WATER SUPPLY, Water Heater
DEPTH of SEPTIC TANK
DRAIN & SEWER PIPING
FAUCETS & CONTROLS, KITCHEN & BATH
FAUCETS, OUTDOOR HOSE BIBBS
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOOR DRAIN / TRAP ODORS
FLUSHOMETER VALVES for TOILETS URINALS
GAS PIPING, VALVES, CONTROLS
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
HARD WATER - SOFTENERS
HEAT TAPES, Heat, Insulation prevent Freeze-Up
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LEAD IN DRINKING WATER, HOW to REDUCE
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MIXING / ANTI-SCALD VALVES
MUNICIPAL WATER PRESSURE IMPROVEMENTS
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS IN WATER
ODORS, SEPTIC or SEWER
ODORS SEWER GAS in COLD WEATHER
ODORS, SULPHUR SMELL SOURCES
ANIMAL or URINE ODOR SOURCE DETECTION
PIPING IN BUILDINGS, Clogs Leaks Types
PLUMBING FIXTURES, KITCHEN, BATH
PLUMBING NOISE CONTROL
PLUMBING VENT DEFINITIONS & CODES
PLUMBING VENT DEFECTS & NOISES
PUMPS, WATER REPAIR
RELIEF VALVE LEAKS
RELIEF VALVES - TP Valves on Boilers
RELIEF VALVES - STEAM TP VALVES
RELIEF VALVES - Water Heaters
RELIEF VALVES - Water Tanks
REPAIR BURST LEAKY PIPES
SEPTIC METHANE GAS
SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SHUTOFF VALVE LOCATION, USE
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
SWEATING (CONDENSATION) on PIPES, TANKS
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
WATER PUMPS & TANKS
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER SOURCE ALTERNATIVES
WATER SUPPLY & DRAIN PIPING
WATER SHUTOFF VALVE LOCATION, USE
WATER SHUTOFF VALVE, WELL PUMP
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Toilets for elderly & disabled users: this article provides information about using tall height toilets or chemical toilets or composting toilets for elderly or disabled people for convenience (close access) or to avoid the effects of medication on septic tank bacteria. Our page top photo shows a fully automatic composting toilet. Below we describe chemical and composting toilets for disabled, sick, or elderly people's use. Waterless toilets, low-water toilets, and other alternative toilet designs may solve practical problems in providing convenient, sanitary facilities for temporary or even longer term care of elderly, disabled, sick, or injured people. Special care needs to be taken to provide proper toilet height, grab rails, and maintenance.
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At TOILET TYPES we discuss various heights of toilets and recommend taller toilets for people who may have difficulty sitting down on or rising up from other toilet models. Readers should also see TOILET ALTERNATIVES for a discussion of Camping & Emergency Use Toilets, chemical toilets, waterless toilets, graywater systems, composting toilets, home health care toilets, incinerating toilets, outhouses, and latrines.
Question about using a chemical toilet because medications are killing septic tank bacteria:
My uncle is on some medication that has killed all the bacteria in our septic system. We were told the only way to get the bacteria back was to stop having my uncle use the septic system and we needed to get him a chemical toilet. What do you suggest we get. We have to be able to use it in the house because he is disabled. We have to solved the problem of the stinky septic ASAP. - K.H.
Toilets for the disabled or elderly that are connected to building plumbing and municipal sewer or private septic systems are different from other models principally in their height above the floor. But if you need to use a separate toilet that is not connected to plumbing, either for physical convenience or to avoid placing excreted medications into a septic system, alternatives are available.
The most simple solution to your problem would be using a portable camping toilet as we describe below. Alternatively, the chemical and waterless toilets we describe here may be suitable, depending on how far you'll have to travel to empty the toilet into a municipal sewer or an RV dumping station.
Use a chemical toilet: A very simple, inexpensive chemical toilet is something you can purchase immediately, for example at camping or RV suppliers, or online even at Amazon.com where we purchased the very inexpensive Century portable chemical toilet shown at left.
Possible use of a composting toilet: Alternatively, you may find that some composting toilet manufacturers produce a completely self-contained unit that is also suitable. Some composting toilets are already taller than the simple chemical toilet we show here, avoiding the need to elevate the toilet for comfortable use.
The ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADA 4.16) & ADA Fig. 29b specify that the height of water closets (toilets) shall be 17 inches to 19 inches, measured to the top of the toilet seat.
You will probably need to build a stable, secure wooden base to elevate the toilet so that the top of the seat is 18" or 19" above the floor - otherwise an elderly or disabled person may have trouble getting up and down from the toilet. In our photograph (left) and at How to Use & Maintain a Chemical Toilet you can see an example of a wooden base that we built for this purpose.
And you'll want nearby grab rails consistent with ADA 4.26 & ADA Fig. 29b. These aids are missing in our photograph (above-left).
Our wooden base included 1" x 1" rails around its perimeter and spaced to assure that the toilet would not slide around or move off of the base. For an elderly or disabled person you may also need to secure the base to the floor. Don't secure or glue the toilet itself to the wooden base as you'll need to be able to lift it away for emptying or cleaning.
See Composting Toilets for possible models that may also be suitable for elderly or disabled use.
Watch out: before using a composting toilet to receive waste from people whose medications include lots of antibiotics or other medicines that may kill bacteria, discuss the question with the composting toilet manufacturer. If the medications kill bacteria in a septic tank, the same drugs will certainly kill bacteria necessary for a composting toilet system to work properly.
At TOILET ALTERNATIVES you'll see we list other more sophisticated (and much more costly) types of waterless toilets - most of these will require installation by an expert as they include vent piping and in some cases an external reservoir tank. These are more permanent installations, but the result is a more "normal" looking toilet that is bolted to the floor.
For short term use a camping toilet can be as easy as a chemical toilet to place close to bedside or in an otherwise accessible location for disabled, sick, or elderly person use.
Watch out: a free-standing portable toilet may be tippy or a bit short; you may need to provide grab rails or personal assistance to make using a portable toilet easy and safe for people who are disabled.
Elderly or Disabled Assistance with Chemical or Composting Toilets:
Simple chemical toilets require that the user, or an aide, open the flush valve after use so that waste can spill into the bottom reservoir, then push a plunger to wash the bowl with fresh water, then close the valve.
Where to Empty the Chemical Toilet:
When the bottom reservoir is getting full it is separated from the top half of the toilet by two clips and emptied into a plumbed toilet or septic tank. But if your purpose was to avoid placing excreted medications into a private septic system or tank, you will need to empty the toilet reservoir into a toilet that is served by a municipal sewer or perhaps an RV dumping station. RV HOLDING TANK DUMP INTO SEPTIC TANK? discusses this topic.
This is an easy, simple system, but requires assistance from someone besides the user if an elderly or disabled person is involved - at least to empty the tank on occasion. A chemical deodorant placed in the base is inexpensive and keeps things pleasant and sanitary.
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