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Saniflo 023 Sanicompact Toilet and Built-In Macerator Review and Saniaccess 2 Comparison

If you’re remodeling your basement and want to add a half bathroom to it or renovate an existing one, you’re going to have your work cut out for you. Because a basement-level bathroom won’t be able to gravity-drain into your sewer line or soil stack, you’re either going to need to buy and install a sewage pump (which might be an ejector pump or a grinder pump, depending on your needs) or you’re going to need a macerating pump and toilet. A standalone sewage pump will be far more powerful and allow you to handle a greater amount of solids and wastewater than a macerating toilet, but you’re also going to spend much more money buying and installing it. And if you’re already spending several thousand dollars on a half or full bathroom, you’re probably not looking to spend more additional money than necessary.

A macerator pump, however, can be installed for much less in many cases, as you frequently won’t need to tear up concrete flooring the way you would with a sewage pump. This means a faster installation for you or your plumber and less money spent on the project. While you can buy a separate macerator pump and connect it to just about any toilet, we typically recommend buying it with a toilet kit to get rid of compatibility issues. We recently reviewed the Saniflo Saniaccess 2 Upflush Macerator Pump and Toilet as well as the Liberty Pumps Ascent II Macerating Toilet Kit, and preferred the Saniflo due to its greater reliability. Today we’ll review another Saniflo, the Saniflo 023 Sanicompact 48 One piece Toilet with Built-in Macerator. It’s basically a compact, tankless macerating toilet that works well in small spaces and for people with physical limitations or a desire to minimize water consumption. Our full review is below, and you can buy it here.

Key Features of the Saniflo Sanicompact Macerating Toilet (60 Second Summary)

The Saniflo Sanicompact Macerating Toilet is, at its core, a toilet with a built-in miniature sewage grinder pump. Made for use in both residential environments requiring half bathrooms, it’s most frequently used to install toilets and sinks in below-grade settings like basements where gravity drains to sewer lines aren’t available. The system can pump sewage up to 9 feet vertically or up to 120 feet to a soil stack with a required gravity fall of 1/4 foot per horizontal foot. Saniflo explicitly notes it’s capable of handling wastewater effluent from both a toilet and a sink (i.e., a half bath). The system weighs 67 pounds and the macerator features a .3 horsepower, 110-115V, 60Hz 7.2 amp motor. The toilet is 18-1/2″ tall, 21-1/2″ long, and the toilet lid is 14-1/2″ wide.

The china toilet bowl has a macerator pump built into it and as a result doesn’t require a gravity flow tank; the flush and pump cycle occurs after pushing a button on the toilet bowl, and water is sent through the bowl while the macerator and pump handle waste and paper. There is a 10-15 second cycle for the motor before the bowl is refilled with fresh water. A dual flush feature is present via a dual push button to choose between 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf) and 1 gpf. The macerator blades turn at 3,600 RPM and the discharge elbow behind the system can be rotated a full 360 degrees for installation compatibility. It includes a non-return valve to prevent backflow. The toilet does not require venting (connection to a vent stack) as it is a forced main; it’s important to note you might still need to vent additional fixtures if connected to the toilet.

Saniflo Sanicompact Macerating Toilet and Saniaccess 2, Liberty Pumps Ascent II Comparison

Compared to the Saniaccess 2 and Ascent II, the primary advantages of the Sanicompact are twofold: First, it’s far more compact, allowing for a cleaner installation in smaller spaces. Second, it doesn’t require venting, although any additional fixtures you install and connect to it (e.g., a shower, bath tub, or sink) might require venting.

Compared to the Ascent II, it’s doesn’t pump to as much head or as far horizontally, but it has much stronger reviews from clients and is likely to be the more reliable toilet over the long term, which means significantly less cost over time and significantly more peace of mind. Compared to the Saniaccess 2, it also has less head and less horizontal pumping power, but it has the advantage of being a lighter unit and one easier to use for individuals with physical limitations, as there isn’t a tank to avoid behind the toilet and the push button flush system is easier to manipulate than a typical flusher. It’s also more water efficient due to the dual flush option.

Our Long and Short Term Experiences Installing and Using the Saniflo Sanicompact Macerating Toilet

Installing the Sanicompact isn’t different from the installation of any other macerating toilet, and it’s definitely simpler than the work needed to install a sewage pump. The amount of time it takes will depend on your plumbing experience and pre-existing plumbing environment. If you have previous experience installing toilets and macerator pumps or sewage pumps, there won’t be any surprises. Otherwise, you might want to order the toilet and call in a professional, especially if you’re in a hurry to get it installed.

The basic installation steps are a bit simpler than those of most macerating toilets since the macerator is already connected and since there isn’t a venting requirement: connect the toilet to your water supply and connect the pump to your discharge line, plugging in the toilet with a Ground Fault Interrupt (GFI) circuit once you’ve bolted everything down.

The toilet itself can be installed in a range of areas, making it a convenient little toilet for individuals and families who’d like to put one in a loft or attic, a garage, an upper floor, the ground floor, or of course, a basement. When installing it, you might want to consider adding some insulation to the area (e.g., in the walls) since the macerator can a bit noisier than a normal toilet flush. However, most clients don’t seem to be bothered by the flush, so  this is primarily up to user preferences. A number of clients find it quieter than a normal toilet.

Troubleshooting and Installation Tips to Get Your Saniflo Sanicompact Macerating Toilet Working Sooner

When the toilet arrives, once you’ve unpacked it and made sure that all components are present, double check the screws and hex clamps for tightness, as if they’re loose, which can occur from the overseas shipping (many units ship from France), the toilet can end up leaking whenever the pump starts (which is whenever you flush). Additionally, you’ll have an easier time with the toilet seat if you line it up the toilet seat pins ahead of time.

While not necessary for the installation, we’d highly suggest adding a ball valve to your 1″ water supply line as close to the toilet as you can; this will let you shut off water to the toilet without needing to shut it off to your home if you need to pull out the toilet or service it.

Beyond these tips, the biggest advantage of a good macerating toilet over a sewage pump is the fact that you probably won’t need to rip out a lot of concrete to get it installed. The unit has very few moving parts and isn’t likely to need maintenance throughout its lifetime. Perhaps the most significant thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to lean back on the toilet lid; because there’s no tank behind it, there’s nothing to support it, and it can break if you put too much pressure on it.

Saniflo Sanicompact Macerating Toilet Pros, Cons, and Value Comparison

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a compact macerating toilet, the Saniflo Sanicompact is one of the best on the market for under $1,000. It’s quiet, fast, efficient, and reliable while remaining relatively easy to install. It’s not going to be as cheap as a regular toilet, but if you need to add a toilet to your basement or are planning a half bath addition, you’re going to save a lot of money by installing a macerating toilet over a dedicated sewage pump. While a full sewage pump will give you much more power and the ability to handle an entire home or buliding’s worth of sewage,  if you can meet your needs with a macerating toilet instead, it’s worth considering. And between the Saniaccess 2 and the Sanicompact, we’d suggest the Sanicompact if you’re working with limited space and the Saniaccess 2 if you need a bit more pumping power.

You can buy the Saniflo Sanicompact Macerating Toilet here on Amazon. You can buy the Saniflo Saniaccess 2 Macerator Pump and Toilet here.

If you find our work at PumpThatSump helpful, you can put our relentless reviewing of every pump and fixture on the market to the test by shopping via our links above for whatever you need to make your house a home. Despite being self-employed, we promise not to spend it all on health insurance.

Liberty Pumps ASCENTII-ESW 1/2 HP Macerating Toilet Review and Saniaccess 2 Comparison

If you’d like to add a bathroom to your basement or simply do some remodeling to an existing but non-functional half or full bath, you’re probably going to need a sewage pump (either an ejector pump or a grinder pump, depending on your specific needs). However, depending on your plumbing needs, you might also be able to get away with a macerating toilet system. A standalone sewage pump will allow you to pump sewage to much greater heights, at much greater pressures, and to much farther distances while processing larger solids and more wastewater. However, you’ll also spend significantly more on one, both to buy it and to install it–not to mention the additional time necessary for the installation. And if you’re adding a bathroom or working on a remodeling project or addition, you’ll be spending enough money already.

A macerating pump, in contrast, can potentially be installed without breaking up concrete floors or tearing into your foundation and walls. To put it simply, it’s a faster, cheaper, and more convenient job for either you or your plumber, which means more money left in your bank account. While you can buy a macerator pump independently and connect it to most toilets, we typically recommend buying a macerating pump and toilet system simultaneously to eliminate compatibility issues. We recently reviewed the Saniflo Saniaccess 2 Upflush macerator pump and toilet kit; today we’re going to look at a similar system, the Liberty Pumps Ascent II ESW 1/2 HP Macerating Toilet. It’s similarly priced and similarly featured, but is different enough to be worth considering carefully. Our full review is below, and you can buy the ASCENTII-ESW here.

Key Features of the Liberty Pumps Ascent II Macerating Toilet (60 Second Summary)

The Liberty Pumps Ascent II Macerating Toilet is basically a toilet connected to a miniature sewage grinder pump. Engineered for indoor use in remodeling projects such as basement toilet or bathroom additions as well as for business environments in commercial buildings, the system can pump sewage to existing sewer lines up to 25 feet vertically and 150 feet horizontally. The pump has a 1/2 horsepower, 115 volt motor that runs on 60 Hz AC while drawing 7.9 amps. The thermally protected motor turns at 3,450 RPM and includes an automatic reset feature. The power cord is 8 feet long and the pump can handle fluids up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

While shutoff doesn’t occur until a maximum head of 36 feet, the usable maximum head through a 1 inch pipe is 25 feet, presuming the lateral discharge is 150 feet. The ASCENTII-ESW is the macerator and elongated toilet; the complete system with a round front toilet is the ASCENTII-RSW. The ASCENTII-ESW weighs 121 pounds. The macerator unit by itself, the ASCENTII-MUW weighs 22 pounds.

Per Liberty Pumps, the system also accepts additional bathtub, shower, and sink connections, allowing you to form a full bathroom in any environment. This is achieved through a pair of auxiliary inlets; the macerator can use 1-1/2″ or 2″ pipe. It also includes a built in alarm and a 9 volt battery backup, as well as LEDs to provide power status, alarm condition, and alarm battery condition. The discharge and vent connectors can be oriented vertically or horizontally for varying pipe connections. The discharge is 1″ and includes a check valve; it can be adapted down to 3/4.” The vent is 1-1/2.” The toilet is ADA compliant and is a high efficiency toilet that uses 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf). It includes an insulated tank.

The system includes the standard 3 year warranty from Liberty Pumps.

Liberty Pumps Ascent II Macerating Toilet and Saniflo Saniaccess 2 Comparison

On the surface, the Ascent II and Saniaccess 2 systems are similar; they’re both systems integrating macerating pumps and toilets for residential and commercial applications where sewage can’t be gravity drained into a sewer line. The Ascent II, however, has a number of on paper advantages. the max usable head is much greater at 25 ft vs 15 feet; it also includes an alarm and battery backup to the alarm on the macerating pump. It’s also explicitly described by Liberty Pumps as capable of draining bathtubs and showers in addition to toilets and sinks while the Saniaccess 2 only mentions toilets and sinks. It also includes a high efficiency toilet.

That said, when it comes to reliability, we’d put our money on the Saniaccess 2. It consistently has stronger reviews from clients and appears to have greater long term reliability and a more thorough design. We’ll go into this in the next section.

Our Long and Short Term Experiences Installing and Using the Liberty Pumps Ascent II Macerating Toilet

The amount of work it takes to install the Ascent II will vary with your plumbing experience and plumbing environment. If you have prior experience either with sewage pump installation or macerating toilets, there aren’t any surprises here. If not, you’ll want to consider hiring a professional.

The basic installation steps involve connecting the pump to the toilet, connecting the toilet tank to a water inlet, connecting the pump to both a discharge pipe and vent system, and finally powering it up. We recommend a Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) circuit. While the process will be easier if your plumbing is roughed in, the overall installation is rather straightforward, and you’ll be able to plumb a variety of fixtures into the unit, including sinks, bath tubs, and showers. When working, it’s a bit louder than a regular toilet but not significantly louder. Every now and then you might need to double flush to get everything out of the bowl.

The main problems with the Ascent II have to do with its engineering; as noted earlier, the Ascent II appears to potentially suffer from a poor design involving the conduction of the effluent through the electrical probes of the control unit in the macerator. In simple English, poop pushes around the electrical parts, potentially leading to malfunctioning and early failure of the control unit. This doesn’t always happen, but it happens more often than we’d like to hear about it.

It’s also worth noting that the warranty is voided if a range of artificial waste products (e.g., feminine hygiene products like tampons and pads) are flushed down the toilet.

Troubleshooting and Installation Tips to Get Your Liberty Pumps Ascent II Macerating Toilet Working Sooner

The main issues to watch out for with the Ascent II include circuit board failure in the control unit. Clients have also reported problems with constantly activating alarms. Unfortunately, there aren’t really any workarounds for control unit malfunctions besides replacing the unit, which can fail again if the initial issue (exposed circuitry) is still present. The toilet itself is likely to last a long time; toilets are very simple and reliable technology and rarely fail. The vulnerabilities in the macerating pump, however, are much more significant. Generally, if you don’t have any issues in the first year, you’ll probably be fine for additional years. However, if you start having problems within this time-frame, it’s likely you’ll continue to have them unless you replace the entire macerating unit.

A frequently-tried and often successful tip is to flush the unit several times to clear the alarm system; this isn’t a long term solution but it can temporarily clear waste and calm the alarm for anywhere from several days to weeks.

Liberty Pumps Ascent II Macerating Toilet Pros, Cons, and Value Comparison

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a way to add a bathroom or toilet to your below-grade basement, you’ll either have to put in a sewage pump or pair a toilet with a macerating pump and run any additional fixtures through the pump. If you choose the former option and choose a suitable sewage pump, it’ll be powerful enough to handle any residential or commercial application. However, you’ll pay for it through purchase and installation costs. A macerating pump and toilet kit like the Ascent II can get you there for much less money under the right circumstances, but it comes with potential reliability issues. Unless you have a specific need for the Ascent II, we’d recommend the Saniaccess 2 instead. It costs the same but has a much better reputation.

You can buy the Liberty Pumps Ascent II Macerating Toilet here on Amazon. You can buy the Saniflo Saniaccess 2 Macerator Pump and Toilet here.

If you find our work at PumpThatSump helpful, you can support our relentless reviewing of every sump pump on the market by shopping via our Amazon link for whatever you need to make your house a home. Despite being self-employed, we promise not to spend it all on health insurance.