Macerator Toilet vs Vacuum Marine Toilet – Head-to-Head Comparison

When it comes to buying a marine toilet, you have many options. So, it must be confusing for you to pick the right one. Among different types of marine toilets, macerator and vacuum toilets have made it to our list today. If you are wondering – macerator toilet vs vacuum marine toilet – which one is the best? We are here to answer your question!

Today, we will provide you with a detailed article about the two types of marine toilets. There will be a head-to-head comparison table, including the basic functions and desired features. Be ready to flush away all your questions!

Read : Kohler Highline vs Cimarron Toilet: Which One Should You Pick?

Macerator Toilet vs Vacuum Marine Toilet: Function

Manufacturers engineer toilet units based on the following three main functions:

  1. Evacuation of all solid waste and liquid in one flush
  2. Rinsing of toilet bowl surfaces to remove all stains
  3. Preventing odor from spreading from sewage tank traveling back through the toilet bowl

A macerator toilet is an all-in-one solution for getting rid of all the waste below the main sewer line. Macerator toilets use powerful suction, created at the bowl’s exit, to empty the toilet bowl. 

The pump does not store vacuum or suction. Rather, it supplies suction simultaneously. The modern macerator toilets feature centrifugal pumps and cutter blades or shredders. The shredders break and liquidity waste into tiny particles.

On the other hand, vacuum toilets create and store vacuum in a remote tank using a diaphragm pump. The stored vacuum is later used to empty the toilet bowl through a valve.

Read: American Standard Toilet Vs Toto: Which One Should You Buy? 

Macerator Toilet vs Vacuum Marine Toilet: Power Consumption

We can measure the power consumption of a toilet pump by multiplying amp (ampere) by time. Here, time represents how long the pump runs.

The pump of the macerator toilet requires 10 amp in 10 seconds. So, the minimum power consumption stands at 100 amp-sec. Suppose, with a 12-volt electricity supply, the pump draws 20 amp for about 10 seconds, so that’s 200 amp-sec.

On the other hand, a vacuum marine toilet pump – usually runs for about 45 seconds – requires 6 amp. So, the least power consumption stands at 270 amp-sec.

Using a macerator pump equipped with a seawater pump will require a minimum of 180 amp-sec (18 amp x 10 seconds) power.

So, a macerator toilet pump has a lower power consumption than a vacuum marine toilet pump.

Read: Sewage Ejector System vs Upflush Toilet: Which One Should I Choose?

Macerator Toilet vs Vacuum Marine Toilet: Water Consumption

A vacuum marine toilet needs less amount of water to empty its bowl than a macerator toilet. A macerator toilet requires half a gallon (2273 mL) or more water on average for a single flush. 

For a vacuum toilet, you will need a pint or two (568-1136 mL) for a single flush. It depends on how long you depress the pedal for a flush.

However, macerator toilets now use as little water as vacuum toilets. Thanks to its latest control features! With the modern design, the macerator toilet turns on the discharge pump and draws just as much water as required.

Macerator Toilet vs Vacuum Marine Toilet: Installation

A vacuum marine toilet unit has three main components. They are the toilet bowl, the sewage tank, and the vacuum generator. You need to plumb the components together without any leaks. While installing a vacuum marine toilet unit, you must ensure the vacuum generator maintains an ideal distance from the bowl. We recommend you go for a certified installer for boat builders and aftermarket installation.

A macerator toilet usually has a toilet bowl, macerating pump, and outlet. You can install the macerating pump with an extension pipe. The standard macerator toilet and self-contained one have one difference. 

The pump is integrated into the toilet in the self-contained one. So, it requires less installation time, and you can use it for a temporary purpose.

In the case of a self-contained macerating toilet, you can easily do the wiring by connecting the positive and negative ends to the toilet. All controls are usually prewired at the factory. So it’s an easy DIY hack. You can easily install a macerator toilet without intensive labor costs.

So, a macerator toilet is easier to install than a vacuum Marine toilet.

Macerator Toilet vs Vacuum Marine Toilet – Maintenance

Macerator toilets are easier to maintain. Primarily, you need to troubleshoot the control for any issue. If any part of the control is damaged or broken, you can easily replace it. Water seal and discharge pump are also reliable for long-term use. A macerator toilet requires less maintenance overall.

Vacuum toilets are a bit difficult to maintain. You need to check their valve seals, leaks, the functionality of the vacuum switch, etc. If there’s a vacuum leak, you might not easily detect it. You may need to seek help from a professional to fix issues.

Macerator Toilet vs Vacuum Marine Toilet – Noise

The older or traditional models of macerator toilet creates loud noise because of the use of a rubber impeller. But the modern models feature centrifugal design for their discharge pumps. Hence, the newly designed models create almost no sound. You will hear only a slight gurgling sound when the toilet unit runs out of water.

On the contrary, vacuum Marine toilets are popular for making discharge popping sounds. Several users say it sounds like a bullet shooting through the pipe.

Note that all vacuum marine toilets and a few macerator toilet unit models need pressured water for flushing. Hence, you should consider the noise the diaphragm pump makes because of pressurized water. It happens due to the toilet system.

Macerator Toilet vs Vacuum Marine Toilet – Odor

When it comes to spreading odor, a macerator toilet surely wins the trophy!

A macerator toilet features a vented loop with a water seal. The seal prevents a direct connection between the sewage tank and the toilet bowl. As a result, bad smells from the sewage tank hardly travel back through the bowl. Additionally, the seal is reliable for short-term and long-term storage.

But in vacuum toilets, there is no water seal. The vacuum’s negative pressure prevents odors or gases from spreading through the toilet bowl. When the vacuum pump is turned off or broken without a water seal, a direct connection happens between the holding tank and bowl. 

There is a valve between the hose and the toilet bowl. With the loss of vacuum, the seal on the valve is compromised, and odors easily spread through the bowl.

Macerator Toilet vs Vacuum Marine Toilet: Comparison Table

Let’s glance at all the differences between macerator toilets and vacuum marine toilets

          Categories    Macerator Toilet  Vacuum Marine Toilet
Power consumption (average)180-200 amp-sec270 amp-sec
Water consumption2273 mL per flush568-1136 mL per flush
InstallationEasierRequires certified installer
MaintenanceEasy to replace parts and maintainRequires professional help
Odors/bad smellsSpreads fewerSpreads more
NoiseLess noisyMore noisy
Required Space/SizeRequires less spaceRequires more space


When it comes to the debate of macerator toilet vs vacuum marine toilet, hope you have found your answer! Comment below if you still got any questions. 

Related Post:

Kohler Highline vs Cimarron Toilet

American Standard Toilet Vs Toto

Sewage Ejector System vs Upflush Toilet

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