If you are thinking about moving your toilet to a different location, or perhaps you have spoken to your plumber about the possibility of adding an extra guest toilet into your home, you may have had the term ‘macerator’ thrown your way, but what is a macerator and what do you need to know about a macerator?
The term to macerate means to soften and break up or grind up. A macerator is a special toilet pump that will soften and grind up human waste, using fast rotating stainless steel blades to chop and grind and help push it in any direction that is needed (up, down, sideways… without the need for gravity). The steel blades can even handle items that should not be flushed down a toilet, and when mixed with water, this will create a fine slurry that is moveable.
The fine slurry is expelled through pressure and able to pass through ¾ inch or 1 inch pipework, leading to the sewage pipe. This means the toilet does not have to be fitted on the sewage line like previously, but will allow you to convert any room into a guest toilet. Especially as with a macerator toilet there is no need for a in-floor sump system but just the macerator itself that is connected behind the toilet and can be concealed inside a wall.
A macerator is not limited to a toilet alone, it could be used if you want to move your washing machine or a sink to a different location, because grey water from a sink, shower or appliance can all be pushed through the macerator as well.
Some well known brands to choose from are; Saniflo, Grundfos, Turboflush. The unit can cost from just under £300 to almost £800. When it comes to labour, even if plumbing in a new toilet on a macerator, this can be a much quicker job than plumbing a toilet onto the soil stack. Most macerator toilets can be plumbed in from half a days labour. If you are only needing a macerator to be switched out and replaced with a new macerator, this could be as quick as 90 minutes to achieve.
Don’t be surprised if some of the labour cost is lifted to allow for the awfulness of the job, as the smell can be overwhelming and dealing with macerator issues might involve the plumber having to use their hands to manually clean human waste off a blade!
Cost to fit a macerator
Replace an old macerator for a new without moving a toilet
Fit a new toilet with a macerator in new location
Fit a macerator to a washing machine in a new location
The macerator will be positioned directly behind the toilet. The waste from the goes straight into the macerator, where mixed with water, the waste will be propelled through a pipe and it requires electricity to do so. A macerator just needs a decent water pressure to connect to, an electrical power supply to operate the machine and it will need to be connected to small-bore pipework as a discharge pipe that is ¾ inch or an inch diameter. This pipework is easy to add into an existing building as it can be traced to run under floors, behind walls and in ceiling voids to join existing drains where it will meet up with a soil stack to eventually run down into the sewer.
Make sure to use a plumber who will double check that all the pipework is correctly sealed for no leaks when installing your macerator and that any beds in pipework are gradual not sharp elbows where the waste might get blocked. The macerator will need to be vented into your home vent set-up but it can be installed as a wet system vent. Most macerators do need to be plumbed in no more than 12 feet below the sewer level or 15 feet away from a soil stack.
Like any pump, the macerator can block, fail or worse break. A common issue people have reported is the toilet still running even when the macerator pump has been switched off.
This could be from a blockage in the pump or pipework or the microswitch misfiring. To clear a blockage do not try yourself, get a professional to avoid injury as it might involve clearing debris off the stainless steel blades. For the microswitch, waste stuck between the switch and tank floor might have the switch register a full tank. Debris will have to be cleared manually before restarting the pump.
A macerator creates more noise than standard plumbing but if it is even noisier than normal or vibrating, this might indicate blocked waste in the blade. Another fault might be the macerator tripping the electrics. Never delay when it comes to water and electrics so do get this issue seen to immediately as perhaps water is getting into the electrics. On the whole, a decent brand macerator and fitted by a trusted plumber, should not give you any issues.
|Cost to fix a leak||£240|
|Cost to unblock a clogged toilet||£69|
|Cost to unblock a sink||£68|
|Cost to install a thermostatic mixer shower||£245|
|Tap replacement cost||£120|
|Cost to seal or re silicone a bath or shower||£56|
|Cost to install a shower booster pump||£252|
|Cost to replumb a house||£3750|
|Cost to replace toilet float valve||£41|
|Cost to replace a toilet||£110|
|Cost to replace a bath||£200|
|Cost to remove and refit a kitchen sink||£110|
|Cost to plumb in an outdoor garden shower||£302|
|Cost to replace mains water supply pipe||£350|
|Cost to replace kitchen mixer tap||£151|
|Cost of public liability insurance for plumbers||£6.00 per month|
|Cost to install or remove a dishwasher||£70|
|Cost to install a power shower||£780|
|Cost to install a washing machine||£70|
|Cost to fit a sink waste disposal||£75|
|Cost to install an ice machine||£66|
|Cost to plumb in a hot tub Jacuzzi||£450|
|Cost to replace heating expansion header tank||£134|
|Cost to fit a home garden sprinkler system||£575|
|Cost to fit a new bathroom basin||£162|
|Cost to fit an outside garden tap||£68|
|Cost to fit a water softener||£110|
|Cost to fit a macerator||£80|
|Cost to find a leak||£165|
|Cost of an emergency plumber||£280|
|Cost to replace a cold water storage tank||£130|
|Cost to fit a boiling water tap||£70|
|Cost to install a bidet||£256|
|Cost to install a basement sump pump||£660|