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PEI Homeowners use Affordable Above-Floor Plumbing Solution for Renovated B&B
Resourceful owner-couple successfully converts multiple bedroom closets into stylish half-baths for its guests without the costly headache of breaking through concrete to create drainage.
MURRAY RIVER, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND — Mary Ritchie, a registered veterinary technician and her fiancè Tony Reed, a retired home builder, always wanted to own a bed-and-breakfast. After purchasing a 3,400-square-foot home during the Covid-19 pandemic, the couple moved to Prince Edward Island and made their dream a reality by establishing the Olde Anchor Bed & Breakfast.
However, while the couple enjoyed starting this exciting chapter in their life, they soon realized having a half-bath in each bedroom would be a huge convenience, if not an outright necessity — especially since it would eliminate the need for guests to share facilities.
The creative pair subsequently decided, why not convert the closets in two of the bedrooms into half-baths? But when Ritchie and Reed started construction on the first bathroom in 2020, they both quickly realized going the conventional plumbing route would require breaking through the floor — which wasn’t an option, given the time and money it would require.
Reed, who previously installed Saniflo macerating systems during his time as a builder, knew this application would require an above-floor plumbing solution — providing the proper drainage for each new half-bath while remaining within budget and keeping the bed-and-breakfast profitable.
The couple decided to go with the Sanicompact, a self-contained, dual-flush macerating toilet system from Saniflo designed specifically for small, tight spaces. This modern-looking, one-piece toilet is also engineered to use as little as one gallon per flush.
Given Reed’s previous success with Saniflo products, he was confident installing the high-efficiency, Eco Green Sanicompact in each of the three closets, now serving as newly renovated bathrooms.
“The Sanicompact is better for the septic system in the way it reduces particles and waste,” says Ritchie. “Since we are on well water, we try to save as much water as possible. Ultra-low-flush, high-efficiency toilets are very crucial for us, especially with the number of guests we serve each season.”
The Sanicompact combines a vitreous china toilet bowl and a built-in macerator and pump in a single, highly compact unit. Measuring only 18 ½” H x 14 ½” W x 21 ½” D, it can be used to create a half-bath (two fixtures) up to 9 feet below the sewer line, or even up to 120 feet away from a soil stack.
The system can handle human waste and toilet paper in residential applications without a gravity-flow tank. The flushing action and macerating pump cycle are triggered by pressing a push-button on top of the unit. The flushing mechanism is electrically timed to allow water to pass through the toilet.
For the Olde Anchor half-bath installations, the bed-and-breakfast owners avoided the difficulty of tearing up walls and floors in a heritage home by running the one-inch discharge pipe from each Sanicompact beside the chimney line and then tying it into an existing plumbing line in the basement. The total length of each discharge line was around 50 feet.
Each Sanicompact offered another key benefit for the bed-and-breakfast: It allowed for the draining of a second fixture: a small, hand-washing sink.
“There was a lot of convenience and cost savings, because we could tie our sink into the macerating system, cutting down on the amount of plumbing work, but with the same outcome as traditional plumbing,” says Reed.
Throughout the renovation, the owners ultimately made a total of two closet-to-half–bath conversions as time and resources permitted. The entire project spanned approximately a year during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Olde Anchor has been in operation for over a year with an average capacity of 60 percent during peak season, mainly because it is still limited by Covid restrictions. But when the occupancy rate finally starts climbing again, Ritchie and Reed are confident that the Sanicompact will be up to the challenge.
“The quality of the product stands out, compared with other systems,” says Reed, who adds that these successful installations have only motivated him to continue using Saniflo.
“I’m starting another renovation — specifically, an old farmhouse — and I have every intention of using Saniflo on that job too.”
ABOUT SFA SANIFLO®
SANIFLO North America – whose parent company originated macerating plumbing technology – offers a complete line of macerating and grinding upflush toilet systems and drain-water pumping systems for residential and commercial applications. SANIFLO developed its innovative, “above-floor plumbing” technology more than a half-century ago and has led its commercialization worldwide. Today, the company markets macerating technology through 22 subsidiaries in 50 countries and has sold more than six million units worldwide since 1958. SANIFLO products are available through independent sales agents throughout North America, and the product line is currently available at most major plumbing wholesalers and hardware retailers. For more information or installation videos, please visit saniflo.ca or call SANIFLO Canada at 1-800-363-5874.