What is a Saniflo Toilet?

How Does a Saniflo Toilet Work?

Why use a Saniflo toilet?

How long does Saniflo toilets last?

Pros and Cons of a Saniflo Toilet

How Much Does a Saniflo Cost?

How Do You Keep a Saniflo System in Full Working Order?

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Saniflo Toilet?


Saniflo pumps are a common feature in many homes that allow you to remove waste when flushing from below the drainage line.

But if you’re new to Saniflo, or if this is the first time you’ve considered having a macerator toilet installed, you probably have a few questions.

“How does a saniflo toilet work?” ... “How much is a saniflo system?” … and “Where does saniflo waste go?”

To help you out, we’ve put together this expert guide to how saniflo toilet pumps work. Taking you from installing a saniflo toilet to the pros and cons of saniflo pumps, you will be upflushing in no time.

What is a Saniflo Toilet?

A saniflo toilet differs from a conventional toilet in two ways. Firstly, it macerates (breaks up) the waste in the toilet using a blade. Secondly, instead of flushing waste through drainage in the floor, a saniflo toilet uses a centrifugal pump to flush the waste out of the toilet and into the general waste system.

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How Does a Saniflo/Macerating Toilet Work?

A Saniflo toilet is made up of four key components. These are called:

  • Float Switch (Membrane)
  • Microswitch
  • Blade (Macerator)
  • Impeller

Each has its own separate function that works together to help flush waste away from your home. We’ve noted each component below in the order that they operate.

Step 1: Blade Macerates the Waste

When the toilet is flushed, the waste (urine, faeces, toilet paper) is funnelled into the blade. When the waste hits the blade, it will be macerated into smaller pieces. This allows the waste to be flushed into the general waste system with ease.

Step 2: Float Switch is Activated by the Waste(Membrane)

The float switch (also known as the membrane) is a small float that helps operate the pump. After the waste has been macerated by the blade, it will then go on to gather in the tank. Over time the waste will accumulate in the tank slowly raising the float switch. When the waste reaches a certain level, the float switch will detect pressure from the water and will operate the microswitch.

Step 3: Microswitch Activates the Impeller

As noted above, the microswitch is operated by the float switch (membrane). When the microswitch is operated, it will activate the impeller which will then pump the waste out of the toilet and into the general waste system.

Step 4: Impeller Pumps Out the Waste

This is a rotating component of a centrifugal pump that will accelerate the waste out of the Saniflo tank and into the general waste system.

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Why use a Saniflo toilet?

In the majority of situations, a regular toilet is going to be far more practical than a saniflo toilet system. But sometimes, a saniflo is far easier, cheaper and less time-consuming toilet to install. These situations include:

Your plumbing system is not designed for a regular toilet

If you have no existing underground drainage lines, then a Saniflo toilet will be far cheaper to install than a regular toilet. Removing the need to rip up flooring or foundations, a Saniflo can be installed without any sort of drainage line.

You want a bathroom installed quickly

If installing a bathroom quickly is important, then a Saniflo toilet is the better option. Installing a toilet can be a big job for a plumber, especially if you need to install underground drainage lines. Taking around two days to install, a Saniflo toilet is the much quicker job.

You don’t want to remove walls or flooring

If you have an en suite, for example, you may not want to remove walls or flooring in your bedroom. In this case, a saniflo system will be the perfect option.

You don’t want a permanent toilet installed

In some cases, it might be that you only need a toilet installed temporarily for an elderly or disabled tenant. In this situation, it would be more practical to install a saniflo toilet that can be easily removed at any time.

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How long do Saniflo toilet pumps last?

Saniflo products usually last somewhere in the region of 10 to 15 years. In most cases, with proper care, a Saniflo system will last a lot longer. It also depends on how often you intend to use the toilet. All toilets are tested up to 50,000 flushes. That could, in many cases, be a lot longer than 10 years.

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Pros and Cons of a Saniflo Toilet?

If you’re doing your research on Saniflo products, then I’m sure you will have seen them touted as the revolutionary product that will complete all your home renovation dreams. But seriously, why should you invest in a Saniflo toilet? Here we list our top reasons for buying a Saniflo toilet.

Fighting Gravity

When the flush is activated in a standard toilet, the waste is sent into the general waste system using gravity. Simply, the toilet piping goes directly down into the sewers.

When a toilet is located below, or a good distance from the general waste piping, it may be necessary to upflush the waste. Simply, the toilet piping does not go directly down into the sewers and instead needs to travel up or horizontally before reaching the general waste line.

In this case, it would be appropriate to install a Saniflo toilet to ensure the toilet flushes efficiently and waste pipes do not become blocked.

Environmentally Friendly

If you are environmentally conscious, then you will be happy to know that macerator pumps are far more efficient than a standard toilet. First, shredding the waste ensures that you get a smooth flush to the general waste line. Second, using an impeller to accelerate the waste to the sewer uses far less water than a standard toilet.

Easy Installation

Standard toilets can be quite hard and time-consuming to install. Luckily, one of the major advantages of a Saniflo toilet is the ease at which they can be installed. Avoiding the need to break floors (or the bank) a macerator pump has the ability to upflush meaning you don’t need to make extensive changes to your plumbing. This ensures the construction work is completed quickly and at a low cost.

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How Much Does a Saniflo Cost?

Saniflo systems come in all manner of shapes, sizes and pump capacities. Some will service a single toilet only, some will service a complete bathroom and some will service an entire office. Fortunately, deciding which one is right for you is not a difficult task. It all depends on how much waste you want to upflush. Here we list the simple domestic circumstances and the appropriate pump for the job.

Single Toilet Only - Saniflo Domestic - £242

If you’re only looking to upflush a single toilet, then the Saniflo Domestic is the perfect option for you. Running at 240 volts, the Saniflo domestic comes in at nearly a pound per volt at £242.

picture of a saniflo single toilet system


Search prices on Saniflo Domestic here.  

Single Toilet and Sink - Saniflo Sanitop - £285

If you would like to upflush a single toilet and a sink, then you will need to purchase the Saniflo Sanitop. Coming in at £285, the Sanitop is a powerful macerator pump that can handle up to two bathroom appliances.

picture of saniflo sanitop toilet system

Search prices on Saniflo Sanitop here. 

Toilet, Sink, Shower and Bidet - Saniflo Sanipro

If you would like to upflush all your bathroom appliances (up to four), then you will need the Saniflo Sanipro. With the capability to upflush your toilet, sink, shower and, if needed, bidet, the Sanipro is a bargain at £332.

picture of a saniflo sanipro bathroom system

Search prices Saniflo Sanipro here. 

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How Do You Keep a Saniflo System in Full Working Order?

Occasionally you will hear stories about how ‘Saniflo toilets seem to break easily’. In our experience, most issues with a Saniflo system come down to misuse. Here is our best advice to keep your Saniflo in full working order.

  • Only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed into the system
  • Do not flush sanitary items like wet wipes, condoms or tampons into the system
  • Try to flush the Saniflo system at least once a day
  • If you’re going on holiday (even for the weekend) we recommend flushing the system a couple of times before you leave
  • Do not empty washing machines into your saniflo system. There is an appropriate model for this purpose

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How Much Does it Cost to Install a Saniflo Toilet?

While it’s not a particularly difficult task to install a Saniflo toilet, there are several components to the job that we believe are best left to the professionals. Take the electrics for example. There are several regulations that need to be followed, and we believe in a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach when dealing with water and electricity.

So how much will it cost you to install a Saniflo toilet? Well, each home and job will vary, but after speaking to a variety of plumbers, we’ve agreed that if you have pre-purchased the Saniflo system, then it would come in at around £500-£800. This is based on about 10-16 hours of work at a cost of about £50 per hour.

Number of Hours Work - 10 - 16 hours
Hourly Rate - £40 - £60
Estimated Cost of Installation - £500 - 800

Please note: Plumbing prices will differ based on your location and the required work to complete the job in your specific situation. The above is to be used as guidance only. To ensure you are paying the lowest price possible we recommend purchasing the Saniflo system through an approved Saniflo distributor.

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