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Thread: Outhouse question

  1. #1

    Default Outhouse question

    I've got the hole dug for the outhouse and was wondering if there is anything I need to do with the hole before building the outhouse? I was told to line it with some permeable landscaping material but am open to other suggestions. The hole is about 8-9 feet deep, what is the best way to vent it?


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  2. #2

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    Depending on soil conditions with a hole that deep you might have problems with the side walls sloughing off and filling in your hole.Mine is not near that deep and I used the green plywood and built a box to go down in the hole to support the side walls. Of course the bottom is all open. On the venting install PVC pipe through a side wall of the Outhouse under the seat area and run it up a little above the roof line ans use a tee for a top. That way it will provide a draft to keep the smell from coming up inside as bad.

  3. #3

    Default Outhouse question

    I forgot to add, we are also putting a 36" piece of plastic culvert with holes drilled in it. I like the idea of the T on the vent pipe, appreciate the feedback.


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  4. #4

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    Plastic culvert is $1200 so it looks like I may use some plastic 55 gal drums instead. Any other ideas?


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  5. #5
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    55 gallon steel barrels, remove both ends.
    Stack one on the other.
    Bk
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  6. #6

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    Leave the plywood off the front and back under the peak of the roof, and suspend the whole outhouse over a oversized hole, it gets rid of the smell 100%. And leave the door or window open all the time. 55 gallon drums for hole support work but just leaving the hole larger and letting it slough in.

  7. #7
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    As BKmail stated a plastic barrel with both end cutout. If you don't have that use a steel barrel and the same process onthe ends. You then can flush every few years and not worry about thesides caving in.


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  8. #8
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Like Big Bend alluded to, it depends on soil conditions. Around here the loess subsoil is pretty stable and an unlined hole 6-7 feet deep will hold up for a couple decades. Have never felt compelled to line the pit, but if I did I suppose I'd build a crib out of scrap 1x4 or 1x6. When we lived in the Copper Basin on less stable alluvial gravel we made due with a smaller pit about 3' deep and just moved the house every 5-8 years or so.
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  9. #9
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    I moved the outhouse at the cabin in 2014 after 15? 20? years in the same spot. Turns out the nearest neighbor (circa 4 miles) had a 4WD loader/excavator that he let me borrow:

    - Put in a circa 5' diameter by 15' hole;
    - Placed steel road culvert in the dug hole with several (meaning hundreds) holes cut in it anywhere between 1/2" and 1" in diameter;
    - Wrapped the entire culvert with fabric mesh...lets liquids out, but keeps dirt from infiltrating;
    - Used the same PVC pipe venting solution as suggested above;
    - Re-used existing circa 7' x 7' timber based for the "house" with new penetration cut for the PVC vent pipe.
    Back in AK

  10. #10
    Member BIGAKSTUFF's Avatar
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    If this is your 'get away' cabin, a hole 8-9 feet deep should last years and years and years. We had ours maybe 6-7 feet deep, with a steel 55 gal drum shot full of holes and top and bottom removed in bottom of hole. This was at main house when I was a kid. Lasted till I graduated highschool, but of course we ended up with a septic and running water by the time I turned 12. Still used it for some reason pretty often even after getting a inside toilet. Burn paper if you are worried about it filling up, take a bag of lime out with ya. Vent as others have said.
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