Saniflo Logo

 

 

CASE STUDY

For more information, contact:
John O’Reilly, O’Reilly/DePalma
Telephone: 815-469-9100, extension 302

Additional Resources

Saniflo Website

Saniflo Media Room


About Saniflo

Saniflo Backgrounder

Saniflo “How it Works”

Saniflo FAQs


News / Product Releases

SFA Saniflo Supports SCI-Arc/Caltech’s Solar Decathlon Entry with Grinder Donation

SFA Saniflo Provides Saniswift Drain Pump System To Aid Family Counseling Center in Alaska

Enhanced SANISWIFT Gray Water Pump Makes Adding a Wet Bar, Laundry Sink, Shower Easier Than Ever

SANICUBIC 1 Grinder System Offers Clog-Resistant, Lower-Cost Alternative to Sewage Ejector Packages

With Years of Proven Technology, Redesigned SANIBEST PRO Offers Most Powerful Upflush System

Saniflo Unveils SANIACCESS Upflush Macerating Unit, With Double-Panel Access for Easier Maintenance

Saniflo Redesigns Web Site, Offering Enhanced Project-Planning and Product-Selection Features

SANIMARIN Delivers Quiet, Efficient, Reliable Plumbing Solutions for Every Boat Owner

New SANITOP Offers Quiet Performance Plus Ability to Create a Half Bathroom Anywhere

Saniflo Unveils ‘Quiet Range’ Saniplus Macerator With Higher Performance, Quieter Operation

Compact, 1-GPF SANICOMPACT® Saves Water, Turns Tight Spaces into New Bathrooms

New Compact SANICUBIC® CLASSIC Handles Wastewater Removal for an Entire Structure

‘Touch of Security’: New SANIALARM Detects High Water Levels in a Macerator or Gray Water Pump

Powerful, Petite SANISWIFT Gray Water Pump Comes Preassembled, Saving Installation Time


Feature Articles

The Pitfalls of Busting through Concrete

Herndon Plumbing Installer Recommends Above-Floor Plumbing vs. Sewage Ejection

Slumping Economy Prompts Homeowners To Open Doors To Family and Boarders

Now Is an Excellent Time for Smaller Residential Remodeling Projects

A Better Way to Build a Basement Bath

Now That’s Comforting: A Luxury Basement Addition That Doesn’t Break the Bank!


Case Studies

Taking Care of Business: Indiana Wholesaler Saves 12 Hours in Labor Installing Above-Floor Plumbing Systems for New Restrooms

In Wake of Hurricane Sandy, Resourceful Plumber Provides Homeowner with Money-Saving, Above-Floor Plumbing Solution

For Rent: Above-Floor Plumbing System Transforms Wholesaler’s Family Room into Studio Apartment

Landmark Wurlitzer Building Saved Nearly $20,000 On New Sanitary Line with Above-Floor Plumbing System

Saniflo Gives Hajoca Orlando Timely Solution to Restroom Drainage Problem, Showing Maceration Not Just for Basements

When Conventional Plumbing is too Costly or Impossible, One Proven Alternative Pleases Contractors and End Users

When a wholesaler encounters a plumbing challenge, he finds the up-flush solution in his own inventory!

Stafford Springs Plumbing Installer’s Cutting-Edge Design Keys Restoration of 19th Century Remington Rand Building

South Richmond Hill Plumbing Installer Modernized Fordham University’s Walsh Library Restrooms

Sanicubic Lift Station Solves Industrial Firm’s Long-Distance Drainage Problems Cost-Effectively

No Bathroom? No Problem. Easy-In/Easy Out Macerating Toilet Eases Construction Headache

When Conventional Plumbing is too Costly or Impossible, One Proven Alternative Pleases Contractors and End Users

How property owner Kathy O’Brien used Saniflo-brand above-floor macerating toilet systems in three residences in Hawaii, overcoming tough plumbing challenges and increasing her rental income.

BY JULIE REYNOLDS

Bookmark and Share

Download / View News Release:

icon-ms-word  MS-Word (.doc)

icon-document  Text (.txt)

icon-pdf  Acrobat (.pdf)

Image Gallery

— Living on a beautiful Hawaiian island has obvious benefits. But when it comes to home-improvement projects, even an island paradise can present major challenges.

Kathy O’Brien has discovered this first-hand. Over the past 11 years, the retired commercial airline pilot has renovated three homes on Maui, each time facing down one of the biggest and most common home-improvement obstacles: no simple or inexpensive way to install conventional plumbing.

O’Brien’s renovations all included updated and added bathrooms, but excavation for below-grade drainage for the new facilities wasn’t practical for any of the projects. “In Maui, many homes are built on a slant uphill,” she says. “In the area where I live, it is solid volcanic rock beneath the yards. Most houses are up on piers.”

Rock or Cement, it’s Expensive to Dig
O’Brien’s plumbing situation was much the same as mainland homeowners who want to add a bathroom in a basement or garage or on a slab. No matter where you live, digging through concrete (or rock) is costly, time-consuming and very messy.

O’Brien first encountered this challenge when she helped her father update a spare bedroom and bathroom in his two-story island house in 2001.

There was a McPherson up-flush toilet on the lower level that had worked well for nearly two decades, but needed replacing. The toilet’s manufacturer was out of business and local contractors kept steering O’Brien toward the installation of a sewage ejector and a holding tank.

That concept didn’t appeal to O’Brien, especially the need to pump out the tank regularly. Plus, she couldn’t dig through the volcanic rock to bury the tank in the yard.

“I liked the idea of going direct to the sewer,” she says, “but I couldn’t have a conventional toilet, because you can’t hook into a sewer line below the house. The sewer lines are on the street above you, so you have to pump waste up.”

Saniflo SANIBESTUndaunted by the prevailing local advice, O’Brien was determined to avoid the sewage ejection system. When she read an ad in a magazine about macerating plumbing systems from SFA Saniflo in Edison, N.J., she thought she was on to the solution. She called the company herself and subsequently purchased a unit through a local dealer.

“I’m mechanically minded, so I could see the benefit of how the pump works,” she explains. “Macerating technology is a very clean approach.”

How it Works
The Saniflo up-flush toilet looks much like a conventional model, but discharges effluent out its back – rather than out the bottom to a below-floor drain. With an up-flush system, waste and water are routed to the macerating device, housed in a highly durable enclosure set behind the water closet, either in front of or behind the wall. The macerator uses a fast-rotating cutting blade to turn waste and toilet paper into fine slurry that is quickly discharged under pressure through small-diameter piping into a septic tank or sewer system.

Both the fixture and the enclosed macerator are installed directly on top of the floor, while the discharge piping – like the macerator – can be positioned in front of or concealed behind the wall. The system can also handle wastewater from a sink and a tub/shower.

Not having to install a below-floor drain line avoids the expensive, time-consuming chore of breaking through concrete or – in O’Brien’s case – volcanic rock. With macerating systems, walls and floors remain intact, and installation is accomplished quickly and economically with minimal disturbance to room layout.

The system can be fully operational within a day, says Joe Sakofske, manager of Advance Plumbing and Heating Supply Company in Walled Lake, Mich., a member of Saniflo’s nationwide network of wholesalers and distributors.

Sakofske isn’t just a wholesaler; he’s also a customer. He installed a Saniflo system in his own house recently when he added a home suite, so his sister-in-law could move in. “We used a Sanigrind, which saved busting up the floor,” he says. “What would have taken three days with conventional plumbing took us just eight hours.”

Encore Performances
Four years later, in 2005, O’Brien turned to Saniflo after purchasing the house next door to her father’s and renovating it as a rental. The house had a lower-level studio, but no private bathroom. “I knew I could charge a higher rent with a Saniflo installation,” O’Brien says.

At the time, macerating plumbing was still an emerging technology on the island. Because her local dealers were more familiar with sewage ejection, she tapped into Saniflo’s nationwide network of wholesalers and distributors.

Working through Sakofske’s company, O’Brien this time bought a Sanibest model to handle the bathroom sink and tub-shower. The most powerful of Saniflo’s products, the Sanibest is a high-performance, one-horsepower grinding system constructed from hardened steel that can easily handle larger sanitary articles, as well as waste and toilet tissue. That makes it ideal for rental properties.

By the time she bought the third house in Maui in 2010, O’Brien had the macerating plumbing process down to a science. She decided to add a bathroom to the home’s lower level office and, once again, knew Saniflo was her best option. For this install, she purchased a Sanigrind. Like the Sanibest, this model can pump effluent vertically 18 ft. and horizontally 150 ft., easily reaching the sewer connection on O’Brien’s street.

Island or Mainland, Maceration is the Solution
Sakofske says interest in Saniflo plumbing is growing across the United States, as contractors and dealers learn about macerating technology and like what they see. “It’s been used in Europe for some 50 years,” he says. “It has steadily grown in this country over the past decade, but it takes some education before contractors truly understand its value.”

To that end, Sakofske holds two to three training opportunities for his customers each year. “We introduce contractors to Saniflo with smaller projects, such as installing a wet bar in the basement,” he says, adding that time- and cost-savings are a big part of his presentation.

“The worst thing you can tell a homeowner is that you’re going to dig a 20-foot trench in his or her basement floor,” Sakofske says. “People don’t like that. It’s a lot of work, and it’s dirty and expensive. Maceration is a much neater way to go.”

The training sessions are effective and help contractors see the benefits of macerating technology vs. effluent pumps and sewage ejectors, which “can’t handle female hygiene products,” Sakofske explains. “Hygiene products would cause the sewage ejector to get plugged up, and then a repair has to be done. A service tech would need to unbolt the ejector and pump out some of the waste before repairs can even start. It’s a very messy situation. Guys who go into pits to repair sewage ejectors readily see how much better this system is. And once the contractors try maceration, they just take off with it.”

O’Brien is thrilled with the macerating technology and how it has overcome her plumbing challenges and improved her properties. “I’d buy it again,” she says. “I may be the only one who has Saniflo products in Maui, and I don’t know why. It’s wonderful.”

While Sakofske focuses on the contractor market, he also reaches consumers through home shows, where he presents working demonstration units. “If the end-user sees it, they want it, and they ask their contractor for it,” he says. “After the show we always hear from a dozen or so contractors who call and say their customers saw Saniflo at the show.”

 

SFA SANIFLO U.S.A. — whose parent company originated macerating plumbing technology — offers a complete line of up flush toilets and gray 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 14 subsidiaries in 50 countries and has sold more than six million units worldwide since 1958. Saniflo markets through independent sales agents throughout North America, and the product line is currently available at distributor and dealer locations throughout the United States and Canada.

For more information, contact Saniflo at 1-800-571-8191. Or visit the Saniflo website at www.saniflo.com.

For editorial assistance, including photography, contact John O’Reilly c/o O’Reilly-DePalma:
815-469-9100 or john.oreilly@oreilly-depalma.com.

# # #

End User:
Kathy O’Brien
808-661-8485
fly.lahaina@yahoo.com

Supplier:
Joe Sakofske
Manager, Advance Plumbing and Heating Supply Company
joes@advanceplumbing.com
248-669-7474
1977 E. West Maple Road
Walled Lake, MI 48390
www.advanceplumbing.com

Photo Credits:
Erik Aeder

 

Back to top

 

 

IMAGE GALLERY

To download a hi-res image file, click on the desired image or file name and a zip archive automatically downloads to your computer. Due to how various browers handle downloads, you may have to expand the zip archive manually.

Images are 6" x 4" (1800 x 1200 pixels) x 300 ppi ; CMYK; unless otherwise specified. Larger sizes may be available upon special request.


Kathy O’Brien Maui Residences Kathy O’Brien Maui Residences

Homeowner Kathy O’Brien recently renovated three homes on Maui, HI. Tim Williams, installed a Saniflo up-flush toilet in this house, saving O’Brien the cost of excavation.

File Name: Saniflo-CS-KathyOBrian-Maui-9358.tif

Photo Credit: Erik Aeder

“Where I live, it is solid volcanic rock beneath the yards,” says Kathy O’Brien. Costly, time-consuming digging for conventional plumbing just wasn’t an option for this homeowner.

File Name: Saniflo-CS-KathyOBrian-Maui-9418.tif

Photo Credit: Erik Aeder



Kathy O’Brien Maui Residences Kathy O’Brien Maui Residences

In Maui, many homes are built on a slant uphill and placed on piers. “The sewer lines are on the street above you, so you have to pump waste up,” O’Brien says, explaining why she couldn’t use conventional plumbing for her renovations.

File Name: Saniflo-CS-KathyOBrian-Maui-9415.tif

Photo Credit: Erik Aeder

Whether through rock or cement, digging is messy, time-consuming and costly. O’Brien chose Saniflo macerating plumbing to avoid breaking thru the volcanic rock beneath her homes.

File Name: Saniflo-CS-KathyOBrian-Maui-9362.tif

Photo Credit: Erik Aeder



Kathy O’Brien Maui Residences Kathy O’Brien Maui Residences

Here, Maui resident Bonnie Aeder notes the tight space beneath O’Brien’s home. Saniflo up-flush technology is a flexible option allowing installation to be accomplished quickly and inexpensively anywhere.

File Name: Saniflo-CS-KathyOBrian-Maui-9336.tif

Photo Credit: Erik Aeder

Bonni Aeder gets a tour of Max Fuqua’s apartment. O’Brien renovated the home in 2005 with a Sanibest to handle plumbing. The Sanibest is the most powerful of Saniflo’s line, making it a good choice for a rental unit.

File Name: Saniflo-CS-KathyOBrian-Maui-9303.tif

Photo Credit: Erik Aeder



Kathy O’Brien Maui Residences Kathy O’Brien Maui Residences

Bonni Aeder gets a tour of Max Fuqua’s apartment. O’Brien renovated the home in 2005 with a Sanibest to handle plumbing. The Sanibest is the most powerful of Saniflo’s line, making it a good choice for a rental unit.

File Name: Saniflo-CS-KathyOBrian-Maui-9383.tif

Photo Credit: Erik Aeder

The Sanibest is a high-performance, one-horsepower grinding system. In this home the macerating technology handles both the bathroom and kitchen plumbing.

File Name: Saniflo-CS-KathyOBrian-Maui-9377.tif

Photo Credit: Erik Aeder



Kathy O’Brien Maui Residences Kathy O’Brien Maui Residences

The Saniflo up-flush toilet looks much like a conventional model, but discharges effluent out its back, rather than out the bottom to a below-floor drain.

File Name: Saniflo-CS-KathyOBrian-Maui-9316.tif

Photo Credit: Erik Aeder

The macerator is located behind the toilet (it can also be concealed behind a wall). It uses a fast-rotating cutting blade to turn waste and toilet paper into fine slurry that is quickly discharged into a septic tank or sewer system.

File Name: Saniflo-CS-KathyOBrian-Maui-9320.tif

Photo Credit: Erik Aeder



Kathy O’Brien Maui Residences Kathy O’Brien Maui Residences

Like other models in the Saniflo line, the SANIGRIND up-flush toilet system can be installed anywhere in the home, without digging. However, unlike most Saniflo rear-discharging toilet models, the SANIGRIND unit offers a conventional bottom discharge outlet, so the toilet itself must be set on a raised platform to allow for proper drainage.

File Name: Saniflo-CS-KathyOBrian-Maui-9339.tif

Photo Credit: Erik Aeder

Tim Williams, installed a Saniflo up-flush toilet, saving homeowner Kathy O’Brien the cost of excavation.

File Name: Saniflo-CS-KathyOBrian-Maui-9345.tif

Photo Credit: Erik Aeder



Saniflo SANIBEST Saniflo SANIBEST

The Saniflo up-flush toilet looks much like a conventional model, but discharges effluent out its back – rather than out the bottom to a below-floor drain. With an up-flush system, waste and water are routed to the macerating device, housed in a highly durable enclosure set behind the water closet, either in front of or behind the wall. The macerator uses a fast-rotating cutting blade to turn waste and toilet paper into fine slurry that is quickly discharged under pressure through small-diameter piping into a septic tank or sewer system.

File Name: Saniflo-US1-SANIBEST.tif

Image Size: 5.2" wide x 6" high (1583 x 1800 pixels)

For her second rental property, Owner Kathy O'Brien selected the SANIBEST up-flush toilet system, which enables users to create a new bathroom wherever it is most convenient. The system can be fully operational in as little time as a half-day. The most powerful of Saniflo’s products, the Sanibest is a high-performance, one-horsepower grinding system constructed from hardened steel that can easily handle larger sanitary articles, as well as waste and toilet tissue. That makes it ideal for rental properties.

File Name: Saniflo-SANIBEST-Scene.tif

 

 

Back to top