Winter Use

Sun-Mar units serve as a reliable year-round facility when prepared for continuous or periodic use during the cold winter months. All units are made of fiberglass and marine grade stainless steel; so even if the compost freezes in the drum, sub-zero temperatures will cause no damage.

Limited Use

For limited use in cold temperatures, the unit can be used simply as a holding tank. For this, sufficient space must be available in the Bio-drumTM and the drum should not be rotated if it contains frozen compost. Electric units should be plugged in when in use, so that the fan eliminates all odors even though no composting is taking place.

If you have a 1 pint low flush toilet, and freezing is expected, turn off the water supply to the flush toilet, and drain any water by loosening the brass nut on the water valve.

Extended Winter Use

For continuous or extended use in winter, the composting unit will have to be kept warm (at least 55o - 60o F) so the compost does not stop.

  • Insulate all piping to avoid ice blockage including vent stacks (on all units), and waste inlet and drain piping where appropriate.
  • While the composting unit is not in use, energy costs can be reduced by installing a speed control on the fan so that very little cold air is being pulled in and the heater is operating less frequently.
  • Keep self-contained electric units plugged in if they are in a cold place. If a self-contained unit is being operated in an unheated space, consider putting a blanket over the unit to keep the unit insulated and further reduce heating costs. Please note that this will not be enough to bring the unit up to a proper composting temperature.
  • Keep central units plugged in and heated.