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Community and Q&A

Squat toilet: Alternative minimalist design?

Hal Sartelle | Posted in Building Code Questions on

The squatting position is thought by many to important benefits over what we might consider a modern civilized toilet to be.

Are squat toilets now code approved in the US?

If so,they are in my Western eye unsightly and create an undesirable contour in the floor. That said is there a way to help make sure this flap drain doesn’t clog if one daily toes a duty down the lifted grated drain during a 15-20 gallon shower? Is there a way to purpose the shower water into a flush? for the drain?

For some cleaning after doing your business isn’t complete without a shower. Necessity being the mother of invention no doubt some people combine the two. While I respect some might find this offensive, I’d rather hear wisdom, than “ewww” to what people do behind closed doors.

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  1. Charlie Sullivan | | #1

    From a green point of view, the main issue seems to me to be minimizing the water used in a flush. Depending on the cost of your water source, that can be a significant financial benefit as well. Modern toilets are pretty amazing feats of engineering in terms of flushing with minimal water consumption. That might point towards building a foot platform around a modern toilet rather than finding a way to flush waste down a shower drain.

  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    Many people who grew up (or traveled widely) in Asia prefer squat toilets. Some health experts point out that this posture is ideal for easy defecation.

    I don't think that most U.S. building inspectors would grant an occupancy permit for a new home unless the home includes at least one conventional (American-style) toilet.

    There is a standard solution to your dilemma, however: you can install a stand that allows users to adopt the squat position with an American-style toilet. These devices are available for purchase online. Here are some links:

    Welles Step Squat Toilet

    Poop stoops

  3. Richard McGrath | | #3

    Doubt the AHJ will agree . Get yourself a Squatty Potty . A bit entertaining or just plain nasty , not quite sure

    Who comes up with this stuff ?

  4. Joe Suhrada | | #4

    If hate any thing that minimizes my water use. My water is a renewable resource. My well produces over twenty gallons a minute for 30 days straight, 24 hours a day (I flushed my well out to remove sediment) and I have a large and over sized septic system that percolates like no tomorrow. I don't need low flush toilets but the geniuses of America in public policy decided that what is needed in Arizona is necessary here on the edge of a thousand acre swamp filled with artesian springs in upstate NY. But thanks to them I can expend twice a much soap, bleach or whatever else I need to clean my toilet bowl twenty times more than when toilets actually flushed and used enough water to keep themselves clean. Pure geniuses they are, I tell you. Too clever. End of rant.

  5. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #5

    This thread isn't about reducing water use, as far as I can tell. It's about squat toilets. Squat toilets flush, just like American-style toilets.

  6. Joe Suhrada | | #6

    Oh, I thought they were some kind of latrine pit. Like a slit trench in a room. Not something I ever encountered or designed for places with no running water. It seems people want to set up a system to defecate in the shower? Whatever they are, I am sure they are a niche market but I do not see universal acceptance for them outside of a certain immigrant market.

  7. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #7

    Over the last 50 years, I've used hundreds of squat toilets, in France, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, India, and Japan -- and they all flushed, just like American toilets.

  8. Hal Sartelle | | #8

    If you don't have a flap drain as pictured... Urban Dictionary calls what you to get it down the drain a "Waffle Stomp". I wonder if the Waffle Stomp macerates it enough, whereas just toeing it down the flap drain will cause clogging. That's the issue.

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