How to Install a Saniflo Macerating Toilet (in Four Steps)
Sure, installing a Saniflo macerating toilet system can save you thousands on your upcoming bathroom remodel or addition, but how do you install one?
If you’re looking for Saniflo installation instruction, you’ve come to the right place. Saniflo systems are designed to cut down on the need for complex and expensive plumbing, and installing them is a pretty straightforward experience – even if you’re not a professional plumber since it's built to be a DIY project.
In this guide, we will walk you through easy steps of the quick and painless Saniflo installation process. First, we’ll show you how the Saniflo upflush toilet system works.
What’s the Difference Between Saniflo Macerating Toilet and a Typical Toilet?
First things first, let’s talk about how a Saniflo upflush toilet system works.
The primary difference between a Saniflo system and a standard system is the discharge method. A Saniflo macerating system features two unique components: a macerator and a pump.
Here’s how it works
- The macerator includes a rotating blade (think of the blade in the bottom of your blender).
- When you flush the toilet, the macerator turns on automatically, mixes the waste with flushing water, and grinds the solids into a fine slurry.
- The slurry then moves, with the help of your quiet pump, upward through the discharge pipes, to your sewage system, septic tank or holding tank.
Upflush toilets are a functional part of the everyday home, and are commonly used to install a second bathroom in a basement or mudroom, or simply eliminate the need for expensive plumbing overhauls during a remodel. You can read more about how they work here, or everything you'd ever want to know about upflush toilets (and why you want one) here.
What You’ll Need to Install Your New Saniflo System
Before you can get started installing your new system, you’ll need to make sure you have the required tools.
Here’s what you should have on hand:
- A Saniflo upflush toilet pump system of your choice
- An available water supply
- A discharge pipe of a size ranging from ¾” to 1”
- A source of electricity, preferably with a GFI breaker
- A venting source
Should You Hire a Plumber?
This is the immortal question in the world of Saniflo installs: do you need a plumber?
The answer depends on your skill level and personal preferences.
The vast majority of people who purchase a Saniflo system install them themselves, even if they don’t have any plumbing experience. Because Upflush systems are meant to be simple, you won’t have to rent or purchase expensive, custom equipment, destroy your floor, drop a ceiling, or otherwise rip your home apart to install them. Most DIY installation jobs can be done in a weekend or less.
The DIY installation time gets faster if you’re adding a model like the SaniCOMPACT, which doesn’t require venting and will slash about 25% of your installation requirements.
If you decide to hire a plumber, you’re in for a faster installation. Most plumbers can insert the Saniflo system in four hours or less.
How to Install a Saniflo System
If you’ve never installed a Saniflo system, there’s a good chance you’ll be shocked by how simple it is. Just follow these steps:
1. Connect the Discharge Pipe
You’ve selected your installation site, and now it’s time to install the toilet. First things first, you’ll want to cut into your home’s soil stack and install a simple Y-connector to accommodate the discharge pipes from your Upflush system’s macerator.
2. Connect the System to Water
Next, make it possible to flush your toilet by connecting the toilet tank to your water supply. This way, it’s possible to remove waste when you flush the toilet. You don’t need to use warm water for toilet installs, and connecting your system is shockingly similar.
Many homeowners compare connecting the Saniflo system to water to connecting a refrigerator to a water line. Just add an adaptor to your water line, screw in a tap, and connect it. The water can come from a sink, kitchen on the other side of a wall, or anything similar.
If you’d like, you can also connect the Saniflo system after the P-trap. This approach is ideal for anyone who has an existing sink and wants to add a toilet to it or outfit a mudroom or similar space.
3. Connect the Pump to Power
Next, you’ll need to hook the toilet up to power. Find a nearby electrical circuit with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter and plug it in. Most professionals recommend a 15-amp electrical circuit.
4. Vent the Pump
Unless you’re using a SaniCOMPACT, which doesn’t require venting, you’ll need to vent the macerator pump into your home’s vent system. This tends to be the biggest surprise with a Saniflo installation, but keep in mind that you can vent the toilet anywhere. The only requirements are that air has to move in and out and that the vent system must be up to local code.
Four steps and – Presto! – you’ve got a brand-new Saniflo system. Wasn’t that easy?
Tips for Installing Your Saniflo System
When it comes time to install your Saniflo system, you’ll want to keep a few tips in mind. These will help ensure you enjoy a successful project and seamless installation:
- Consider an Extension Pipe. If you’ve purchased an extension pipe to hide your macerating pump behind a wall, you’ll have to keep in mind that the maximum length is 18”. While extension pipes aren’t available for every model, they can be helpful for the SaniBEST, SaniPLUS, and SaniACCESS models.
- Support Your Pipes. As you run the pipes from your Saniflo system to your discharge system, be sure they’re supported accordingly. Check the pipe manufacturer’s recommendations if you have questions. Proper support helps prevent backups and blockages and keeps your system healthy.
- Protect Against Freezing. If you have discharge pipes that are or will ever be vulnerable to freezing, be sure to protect them with an external and approved wrap. This helps prevent pipe breakage and mess. Be sure, also, to winterize your toilet and pump if it is going into an unheated or minimally used building.
- Connect to a Ground Circuit Interrupter. Before you start using your system, ensure it’s connected to a ground circuit interrupter. This prevents power surges and dangerous voltage and ensures that your system continues working properly. Be sure to disconnect the system before cleaning or otherwise maintaining it.
- Keep Your Discharge Pipe Straight. Installation professionals recommend installing a discharge pipe with as few bends as possible. In addition to streamlining the discharge process, this also helps prevent clogs and blockages. For best results, the bends that do exist in your pipes should be 45 degrees or less, which creates a smoother flow system.
If you’re curious about whether an Upflush system will work for your project, contact us today to learn more.
We’re happy to answer any questions you might have regarding the project, and provide a recommendation on the model you might want to choose to produce the best results! We can also answer any questions you may have regarding your own personal Saniflo installation. You can also use our Product Finder Quiz to help identify the right product for your needs. Or,