How to Install a Below-grade Toilet
The basement solution: a toilet that flushes up
I’d like to install a bathroom in my basement, but the drain is on the wall and about 3 feet above the floor. Would a toilet that flushes up work in that location? —Loretta Everhart, Kansas City, MO
That’s exactly what you need. It’s called a macerating toilet system because the toilet bowl is attached to a tank with an electric macerator that automatically grinds up waste and then pumps it up to a drain. That drain can be as high as 15 feet above the unit and as far away as 150 feet.
Unlike standard bowls, these specialized toilets discharge horizontally into the tank, so there’s no need to install pipes under the floor. They’re water-efficient, too, using as little as 1 gallon per flush. To see a video of me installing one of these toilets, made by , go to saboteamos.info/macerator.
If a full-size bathroom is in your plans, consider getting a macerator that’s able to handle wastewater from a sink and shower. These units operate at
less than 35 decibels, a bit quieter than a refrigerator. You can also place the tank out of sight behind a wall, which will help muffle the grinding and pumping noises. Just make sure there’s a way to access the unit for maintenance.
As with any toilet, these units are built to handle only human waste and toilet paper. If tampons, dental floss, or hand wipes are flushed down the bowl, you’ll discover the fun of cleaning out a clogged macerator. —Richard Trethewey