“ Brand: Saniflo / Type: Macerator Pump „
This, I suppose, is a bit of an oddball subject for a review, but we have had use of the product for nineteen years, since moving to our present house, and only very recently had to replace it.
Why might you need one?
The Saniflo Sanitop Macerator Pump makes it possible to install an extra loo with a wash basin virtually anywhere in the house. When we moved in to our house, there was only one loo, despite the house being of a good size, and so we looked for the best site for a second one. We found it - under the stairs, where there was room for a loo and a wash basin, as well as extra storage space. The only problem was that it was some distance from right part of the drainage system, but our friendly local plumber advised us that he could install a loo by using a Saniflo unit.
The Sanitop needs electrical power, as one of the things it does is to operate a little chopper that spins around inside. The reason for this, is that the system depends on relatively small bore pipe work for its success, as the pump propels the waste material upwards through the pipework a little way so that it can then flow gently where it needs to go, i.e. into the correct part of your drainage system.
Essentially, the Sanitop is a box, with contents. You can see the approximate size from the picture - roughly 34 cm wide, 27 cm high and 17 cm deep. You need a bit of space behind the loo to fit it in (about 20 cm) so planning is important. A large aperture connects to the back of your loo. Another takes the overflow from you cistern, so that is a good fail-safe mechanism. The wash basin outflow feeds directly into the Sanitop through another pipe, and there is one more to take everything away. With ours, all of the pipework to the Sanitop is plastic, so it's really easy to fit. I didn't fit the first one, but I put the second one in myself, and even was able to adapt some of the pipework, Saniflo having slightly changed the model after 19 years.
When you either release water from the washbasin, or flush the loo, then the water goes into the Sanitop. As soon as it reaches a certain level, the chopper spins round and the pump operates. It only runs for a few seconds for each visit, so the use of electrical power is minimal. Whirr, whoosh and everything has gone.
With the first Sanitop, just occasionally (about once every six years) it would get too congested and then there was the less than pleasant task of removing the unit outside to remove the cause of blockages. At the same time, I would give it a jolly good clean. Not nice! We have learned that it's best not to overload with paper - the same as any loo, really - so multiple flushes provide the answer here. When purchasing the replacement model (the reason for this was that something had worn out and the pump mechanism would not turn off: it looked expensive to get someone in, so I sold the old Sanitop to a plumber and bought a replacement) I also obtained some specialised cleaning fluid, and a little alarm system that would alert us if the unit was not working properly and getting too full.
Almost all of the time, the Sanitop is a "fit and forget" piece of kit. It occasionally needs servicing, which takes a couple of hours, but you feel quite good after it's all back in place! With careful searching on the Internet, you can usually get a unit for around £300.