Sun-Mar: Use and Maintenance

Aug 2, 2018

Sun-Mar Initial Start-Up

The following is general instructions for starting up your compost mix of your Sun-Mar toilet. To begin use of the Sun-Mar Unit you need to do the start up procedure and then follow through on ongoing toilet maintenance routine. It usually takes about six weeks before a compost is properly established. 

    Getting your Sun-Mar Compost Start UP: 

    1. ADD 3-4 gallons of Sun-Mar Compost Sure (half the 30 litre/8 gallon bag provided) to the drum. Rotate the drum to mix. 
      Why? Provides Carbon base and initial mass for compost
      2. ADD 1/2 Microbe Mix packet at startup, other 1/2 in two weeks (or on next visit if cottage is in use.
      Why? Add in necessary microbes which will break down the compost.
      3. SPRINKLE about 1/2 Gallon of warm water in the drum. Allow the compost to absorb the water (about 1 hour) 
      Why? Helps moisten the carbon base. 
      4. PLUG IN Power cord on unit to get fan and heating element working. (for electric models only)
      Why? The unit is ready to use. 
      5. SPRAY Compost Quick enzymes into drum before and after mixing. Coat the evaporation chamber with it before using the unit. 
      • Speeds start up of compost by acting as a catalyst to assist bacteria.
      • Prevents possibility of start up odor in evaporation chamber
      6. RAKE Loose peat moss from the evaporation chamber until the compost is established, which takes approximately 6 weeks.
      Why? Until the compost is active, some peat mix may fall through the screen or door into evaporating chamber.

      How do you know when your Sun-Mar Compost is properly established? 

      1. Compost volume increases more slowly 
      2. Compost turns black and becomes loam like (like a fertile soil made of sand, clay, and water) 
      3.  The toilet paper decomposes within a few days. 

      Now your Sun-Mar Toilet is ready to be used like a regular toilet. 

      Sun-Mar Daily/Regular Maintenance 


      Daily: Add compost bulking material at rate of cupful per person per day. 

      Add 1 cup (or 2 handfuls) of Sun-Mar Compost Sure (or 50/50 mixture of peat moss and non-cedar wood shavings) to the Bio-Drum after every bowel (pooping) movement. This usually represents one cupful per person per day of use. 
      If you have a central unit, peat mix only needs to be added when you do rotations at end of weekend (part-time weekend use) or once every 2 days (full time use).
      Why do you need to add compost bulking material?
      • Maintains the carbon/nitrogen balance
      • Absorbs liquid
      • Helps oxygen penetrate for aerobic composting

      Rotate the Drum

      When it comes time to empty. You are never dealing with fresh waste. 
      When the drum is 1/2 and 2/3 full, you rotate the drum backwards by releasing the drum locker and dump some compost into the finishing drawer. 
      Leave it there to finish the batch composting for 3-4 weeks. 
      To rotate: do 4-6 complete revolutions. Three times a week when in use, or if only used on weekends, rotate only on departure. 
      Why do you need to regularly rotate the drum? 
      • mixes and oxygenates the composts 


      Emptying the Sun-Mar Toilet

      When do you need to empty the Sun Mar toilet: Empty the toilet when the drum is 1/2 to 2/3 full. 2/3 full means the compost reaches about 2-3 inches below the drum door when the door is open. 

      How to empty the Sun-Mar toilet: To empty the compost in the drawer, pull the drum locker button and rotate the handle counter-clockwise. Turn at the same speed you would normally for mixing. If needed, use the rake to level the compost in the drawer. If there is not enough compost in the drawer, turn the handle clockwise again for 1 rotation. 

      Now leave the compost in the finishing drawer for 3-4 weeks or until you need to remove compost from the drum.   

      Why do you need to empty the Sun-Mar Toilet? 

      • It moves some compost to the next stage for finishing 
      • Ensures that the drum does not get too full 
      • Provides extra time for the composting to be completed  

      Part-Time use Sun-Mar Maintenance: 

      Unplug the unit if you are planning to leave your Sun-Mar for more than a few days. If you are just using the toilet for just the weekends, then you may unplug the toilet. 

      Consider installing a timer to shut the unit off after 48 hours to evaporate excess liquid. If you are leaving for a period of more than a few days, or the compost appears dry, add about 1/2 gallon of warm water before leaving to keep the compost moist. 

      Why do you need to unplug the Sun-Mar when you aren't using it? 

      • Helps conserve power
      • Keeps compost from drying
      • Additional water helps keep the compost moist 


      Sun-Mar Models:



      Sun-Mar Compact 

      Sun-Mar Centrex 1000

      Sun-Mar Mobile Sun-Mar Centrex 2000 
      Sun-Mar Excel  Sun-Mar Centrex 3000 

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