If you live off the grid, then you probably know what an outhouse is. In fact, an outhouse might just be what you need to be completely independent.
If you are just starting to live off the grid, you might find that an outhouse will save you septic system installation costs.
Even though outhouses have been in existence for a long time, they are not very popular. However, they are still being used for several reasons.
First, they last very long and will have very little or no odor, with proper maintenance. They are also comfortable and easy to build.
Before you build an outhouse, there are several factors that you should be aware of.
Our post provides you with important information regarding the design, depth, location, and other important factors of outhouse holes.
After this, you should have a deep knowledge of all factors pertaining to outhouses. Let’s get started.
- Outhouses and how they Work
- Outhouse Hole: Location, Design, Depth, and Other Things
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Outhouses and how they Work
An outhouse is simply a small structure, normally separate from your main building. It usually covers a certain toilet.
You will find that the toilets that are inside outhouses are bucket toilets, pit latrines, or even dry toilets.
An outhouse hole is the hole on which the outhouse structure sits on. Any waste goes in this hole, where it can decompose.
After decomposition, or after the hole becomes full, you will find that some people will choose to reuse it as fertilizer, or simply get rid of it in other ways.
Outhouses work in a very simple way. The outhouse will provide shelter for the pit latrine. This is where humans will go to relieve themselves.
The hole will collect the feces so that the environment is left clean without defecation. It also aids in reducing spread of certain diseases.
You will find that these structures have certain holes that will help to aerate the structures. As a result, there are no foul smells. In case the smell increases, lime is added to reduce it significantly.
Outhouse Hole: Location, Design, Depth, and Other Things
Anyone can build an outhouse. However, there are different types of outhouses. There are some that are better than others.
For you to create a great outhouse hole, you have to consider and integrate some factors including the location, design, depth, and others. In this section, we will discuss these important factors.
Outhouse Hole Location
You do not want your outhouse to affect or contaminate your drinking water.
Therefore, we would recommend that your outhouse be around 100 feet away from water sources including streams, lakes, and wells.
At the same time, the outhouse should be situated on a high spot. That way, when it rains, the water will not fill the surface.
In case you do not have such a location, then you need to create a soil berm that will prevent the water from going inside.
The outhouse pit, or latrine, should be around 100 yards downwind, as well as down gradient from food facilities.
It should also be around 100 feet from the water sources you have around you. There will be very low chances that the outhouse will affect the quality of water from such a distance.
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Outhouse Hole Design
There are different designs for outhouse designs. They are different in regards to simplicity and appearance.
Before you start the construction of an outhouse, you should decide the number of seats you require, and decide if you will separate your stalls.
In regards to the weather, you can choose to build one with a screen front, which would be great during summers. But when winter comes, it will not do much good.
Remember that there is a possibility a parent might accompany his or her child. In that case, it should be big enough to accommodate both.
Most of the outhouses have rectangular shapes. However, the sizes might vary based on comfort. It is also possible to have a hole over which you will squat. It can also have a set that you sit on.
It is important that you have some form of ventilation and adequate tools such as toilet papers. Hand sanitizers are also recommended as part of the designs.
How deep and how big is an Outhouse Hole?
There are certain safety issues that you should address. The depth of the hole is really important.
Tapeworms are known to move through soil up to five feet in any way.
Therefore, if the hole is around five feet, they will get to the surface and will easily be contracted by those near you, including people and pets.
It is also important to have a level area. You have to ensure that you are not reclined at an angle. Make sure the area is at a nice level.
As for the depth and width, there is no restriction on them. However, it should be greater than two feet by 2 feet. If you want a two-seater, then 4 feet by 5 feet will be great.
The depth should be six feet or more. That way, everything that goes down the pit will remain down there.
Outhouse Hole Number
There are certain outhouses that have multiple holes. Some had two, while others had even three. You have to decide if you want to have more than one holes.
But it is important to consider the number of people that are in your family, or the number of people who will use it. If you have a larger family, then a two-hole outhouse will be suitable for you.
Why does some have more than one? Well, people might assume that it was meant for use by multiple people at a go, which is not the case.
The additional holes allowed for the waste to be distributed in the box under the holes. That meant that it could last a lot longer without filling up.
Outhouse Hole Liner
Pits often have linings. This is an important addition to the outhouse hole. In case the pit does not stand by itself, the lining will stop it from caving inwards.
For this purpose, you can use a range of materials including drums.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do some outhouses have two holes?
Two holes in an outhouse allow the outhouse to be used for longer before filling up, especially when it is meant for large families. When there are two holes, the waste will be distributed well.
Why do some people put a moon on outhouses?
In the past, supposedly, before the symbols of male and female bathrooms were used, people would add a moon to show women’s outhouses, and a sun for the male outhouses.
How to find an old outhouse location?
It is easy to find a location where an outhouse was, even if the outhouse structure is not there anymore. We recommend that you check for any landmarks that might symbolize its existence, or simply look for a dip located in the ground.
Can cornstarch be an odor killer?
Cornstarch is quite similar to baking soda in that it is ground finely. That makes it absorbent. That means it will deal with the unpleasant odors with ease, even in shoes.
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An outhouse is a great addition to your home. It provides you with a comfortable and clean area where you can relieve yourself.
With proper construction, an outhouse can be beautiful and with proper maintenance, can be very clean.
Ensure that you put all things into consideration before you construct one.
Such considerations include the location, depth, design, and every other important factor. Thank you for reading this post. We hope you find it useful.