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Old 10-24-2020, 11:04 PM   #1
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Using shower water for toilet flush?

I am very new to building these but not new to building, I've helped frame many many homes over the years. What I do know about plumbing is that s!$& flows down hill. Lol. My question is has anyone ever thought about using their shower run off as toilet water? I would rather save my fresh water if I could. I'm thinking that I could use a separate grey water tank for the shower and a separate pump for the toilet. Any ideas or has anyone ever done this?

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Old 10-24-2020, 11:08 PM   #2
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That sounds like a great idea. You’ll need another water pump and after you dump your grey you’ll need to add some water to flush.
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Old 10-24-2020, 11:11 PM   #3
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Oh, you’ll need to have a removable/cleanable prefilter to catch hair and such
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Old 10-25-2020, 12:00 AM   #4
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I didn't think about hair hmmm
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Old 10-25-2020, 01:35 AM   #5
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the turds wont mind the hair
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Old 10-25-2020, 05:16 AM   #6
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the turds wont mind the hair
I was thinking about the pump
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Old 10-25-2020, 07:36 AM   #7
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a simple shower drain filter would catch the hair.. not sure if the soap would suds up in the toilet flush pump or not
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:18 AM   #8
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the turds wont mind the hair
I don't think the reverse is true.
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:20 AM   #9
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Makes sense to do that. I've seen little sinks before that fit over a standard toilet tank, any water you use drains right into the tank.
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:29 AM   #10
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I don't think the reverse is true.
I don’t think anyone is planning to use toilet water for their shower
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Old 11-04-2020, 04:11 PM   #11
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There is a toilet out there that has a sink on the tank and you use the water from washing your hands to flush the toilet. Sounds like a good isea
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Old 11-04-2020, 04:17 PM   #12
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Composting toilet?

Have you considered buying or building a composting (aka separating) toilet? I live full-time in an Airstream and installing a Nature's Head was the first thing I did, never looked back. I was fortunate to found a used one on Craigslist for $400.

I'm in the middle of a Promaster campervan conversion and will build one for it myself, duplicating the C-Head toilet. Not difficult, lots of videos on YouTube.
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Old 11-04-2020, 04:19 PM   #13
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Are they really good? I have been wanting to build a bus and thought about using one
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Old 11-04-2020, 04:37 PM   #14
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The gf and I did do some research on those but she wasn't going for it.
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Old 11-04-2020, 04:47 PM   #15
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I'm a female and I find nothing gross about a composting toilet. Changing a diaper or dumping your black tank at a dump station is much worse!!

You empty the pee bottle every 1-2 days, either into a toilet or into nature, and it doesn't smell if you don't let it sit, it's 2 minute chore. I "rinse" my toilet bowl/urine diverter after peeing with a spray bottle with water, a drop of soap and some essential oils in it, that covers any smell you might be afraid of. My pee now smells like lemonade

As of the solids container, the poop is covered and will be dehydrated by a medium like coconut coir and a little fan that sucks air through the solids container. When its time to empty the bucket it literally smells like forest earth and you only see some coconut coir covered clumps. Dump into garbage back and throw into dumpster. Done.
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Old 11-04-2020, 06:15 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bluebird69 View Post
I am very new to building these but not new to building, I've helped frame many many homes over the years. What I do know about plumbing is that s!$& flows down hill. Lol. My question is has anyone ever thought about using their shower run off as toilet water? I would rather save my fresh water if I could. I'm thinking that I could use a separate grey water tank for the shower and a separate pump for the toilet. Any ideas or has anyone ever done this?
Interesting thought experiment.

I have not done this, and like others here I have a composting toilet.

Average RV toilet flush: .5 gallons; average shower: 2-6 gallons, so if you shower once a day on average you'll have 4-12 'flushes' per day per shower. So the idea passes a basic gut check, even if the actual water saved is not much. You'd want to have a 15-20 Gallon 'interim' graywater tank, for a couple of days worth of showers. More if there are two of you.

What will you do with the excess water if you don't use it? add a diverter to send the graywater to your normal graywater tank?

Most pumps are not going to like graywater in the mid-long term. I've done enough plumbing to know how clogged a shower drain can get, so I second the other comment 'what about hair', even though it's starting to gross me out. I would make sure the little tank is removable so you can do a proper job of flushing it out each season.

Other than that, you're talking about a pretty complex plumbing job that may require more maintenance over time. I've harped on that quite a bit when we're discussing these cool ideas because I want to enjoy my bus when I finish it.
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Old 11-05-2020, 05:53 AM   #17
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Yeah I was thinking about sending it to my other tank. What I'm looking at trying is 3 55 gals drums. 1 black 2 gray. I was thinking that I could put a filter like the other guy had mentioned, one that can be accessed very easily or even maybe 2 filters. The 2 grays as close as I can together, middle rear of the bus and the black, rear driver side.
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Old 11-05-2020, 06:37 AM   #18
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I had a similar idea, but not with the shower water. I figure the sink is going to have a similar issue as small bits of stuff get rinsed down the drain and need to be filtered out before pump sucks them up. So I thought I'd install a bucket under the sink that catches the draining water, with the pipe going about halfway down and through a screen. Then all the water below the screen is allowed to sit for a bit and all the solids can settle at the bottom. If any of them are buoyant, the outlet pipe above the screen is where the bucket outputs to an actual graywater tank but those bits are trapped in the bottom of the screen. This makes the collection and cleaning of the filtration bucket easy as it's right under the sink then the graywater tank is protected from foreign debris. After that, graywater used for flushing the toilet should be no more a factor than stale but fresh water I think. I am looking at this approach because I don't plan on a shower in the RV - too much space for too little functionality and besides I don't need the fresh water demand, hot water requirement and after trucking for so long I'd rather earn a free shower with each fuel-up and then I don't have to worry about water usage or cleaning the shower afterwards.
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