The Potty Sniffer provides 3-4 air exchange per minute for a regular toilet bowl which exceeds the ANSI Z9.5-2012 for laboratory fume hood requirements. Read through our How It Works – Odor Sniffing section for a full explanation.
For comparison, a small bathroom – 6′ x 5′ with 8′ ceiling (240 cuft.) is normally equipped with a 50CFM bathroom exhaust fan. To achieve the same number of air exchanges as the Potty Sniffer gets with the toilet bowl would require a 720 to 960CFM bathroom exhaust fan. Note that an electric leaf blower is normally rated for about 400CFM – so you would need to install two of these to vent a small bathroom to achieve the same performance as a Sniffer pump drawing air from a toilet bowl.
But most importantly, users (and their families) that have been involved in our product development testing have been very impressed with the performance of the Potty Sniffer system and also how clean the finished installation looks. That’s another reason why we are so confident that it will work for you that we are offering a 90-day customer satisfaction guarantee as part of our product launch.
No. The Potty Sniffer is designed to perform a very specific odor elimination task, which it does extremely well without needing additional help from a bathroom fan. However, the main purpose of a bathroom exhaust fan is to eliminate moisture laden air, when present, to prevent mold and moisture damage to the room. Most municipalities require exhaust fans to be installed in every bathroom within the home, with some exceptions for bathrooms with acceptably sized windows that can be opened for ventilation.
For bathrooms that only have a window or for times when there isn’t moisture laden air to exhaust, the Potty Sniffer is the best method for removing embarrassing toilet odor.
No. The air pump design includes check valves that prevent gases or fluids from flowing backwards through the line. To verify this for yourself, connect tubing to the OUT port of the Sniffer pump and try blowing air backwards through the pump.
No. The Sniffer pump is designed to handle accidental water pumping conditions without being damaged. DO NOT use the Sniffer pump to pump water or any other liquid in a manner outside of its intended operation.
Our Sniffer pump durability test unit ran a 6 min ON / 10 sec OFF repeating cycle continually for 22 weeks (3,700 hours) before motor bearing failure. Assuming an average home usage of 5 times per day at 6 mins per cycle, this equates to over 20 years of projected service life.
We are confident from our testing results that our customers can expect many years of trouble-free operation under normal operating conditions.
Building and plumbing codes vary by state, municipality, and city so you will need to check with your local requirements for applicability. This will be required for any new construction installations requiring permits and building code compliance inspection.
For an existing bathroom retrofit a building permit is typically not required and the Potty Sniffer is sold as an aftermarket product for DIY installation.
For new construction projects, we recommend a direct to exterior air exhaust venting configuration following regular building ventilation codes. While we designed the Potty Sniffer system to be compliant with the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC), direct toilet ventilation systems are not specifically covered within the scope of the code so applicability is still subject to interpretation by local plumbing code inspectors.
Building codes differ by city and municipality and you will need to verify locally to be sure.
The IAPMO Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) section 310.1 (pg. 60) regarding “Fittings” states that “No double hub fitting, single or double tee branch… or saddle shall be used as a drainage fitting…”. The IAPMO 2015 UPC Illustrated Training Manual clarifies that “These fittings are prohibited because either they are not true drainage fittings with contoured edges to allow proper flow into and down the pipe or they contain obstructions that may cause blockages.”
It is clear from the wording of the clause and explanation in the training manual that the restriction is for saddle fittings that are used for drainage of liquids. The Potty Sniffer fittings are for air and not for use as drainage fittings. The risk of obstruction is also unlikely due to the Sniffer pump being able to generate 10 PSI of pressure to forcibly clear any sort of blockage. However, building codes are subject to interpretation by the local governments so compliance related concerns should be verified directly with your municipality.
Exhausting directly to building exterior is a viable alternative where plumbing codes are a concern.
The Sniffer pump, when installed in a typical toilet tank, measures about 62dB at a distance of 3ft from the tank. This is slightly less than a previous generation bathroom fan up to about 2010, when manufacturers began actively competing to have the quietest bathroom fan as a selling point. The noise level can be further reduced by installing the Sniffer pump remotely in a bathroom vanity cabinet. For users who prefer a “white noise” filled atmosphere while doing their business, then either of these two install methods would be appropriate. If silent operation is preferred, the Sniffer pump may be installed remotely to a basement, garage, or attic space where the pump operating noise can be fully isolated.
Yes. The Sniffer pump operates with 12VDC power which is safe to touch and will not electrocute you when wet.
The AC/DC adapter meets IEC class II power supply requirements which provides two layers of insulation and internal grounding within its casing to protect users. This eliminates the requirement for a third grounding prong for the plug. The power supply will also cut power in the event of a short-circuit condition and has over-current protection.
The Sniffer pump enclosure is designed to meet IP64 ratings which protects against water spray and splash, but not full submersion. The illuminated push button is also IP64 rated and can withstand water exposure and cleaning.
The Sniffer pump runs between 22W and 36W of power consumption depending on the length of tubing used, with longer lengths having greater resistance. With 15′ of tubing the pump will normally run at 26W power consumption.
When idle, the illuminated LED push button and pump controller draws 0.6mA which is only 0.01W power consumption.
For comparison, an average bathroom exhaust fan requires 36W to operate – so about 30% more than a Sniffer pump. But where the real savings are is in the reduction in energy needed to re-heat or cool the makeup air being drawn into the home to replace air being expelled by the fan. A Sniffer pump exhausts 2.2CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air in comparison to a bathroom fan that ranges between 50 to 100+ CFM and requires several minutes of extended run time to fully clear the bathroom air space.
Yes. To disable the blue or green LED push button indicator light, simply disconnect the corresponding wire(s) shown here.
The Potty Sniffer is final assembled in the USA (Livonia, MI) with 50% US and 50% imported components content.
This will depend on how complex the installation is, your skill level, and tools you have available. In most cases it should take about an hour for a simple install.
An example of a simple install is a toilet that is directly above an unfinished basement with a nearby electrical outlet. The basic install procedure is as follows (with estimated time):
- (15 mins) Install the Sniffer pump, intake shroud, and button switch into the toilet tank and verify fitment
- (15 mins) Drill a 1/2″ hole through the floor behind the toilet bowl. Feed tubing and power cable together through the hole
- (15 mins) Drill a 3/8″ hole through the toilet sanitary drainpipe and install the Potty Sniffer vent saddle fitting and pipe clamps
- (10 mins) Complete power cable, power adapter, and tubing connections and plug in main power
- (5 mins) Perform flush testing and verify that the vacuum relief tube and relief valve are properly adjusted
If you have to swap a nearby lamp holder fixture for one with a plug, this will add another 30 mins. It is a fairly simple task but should only be done if you have the necessary electrical skills to do this safely.
The Potty Sniffer has been verified to work properly with standard 3/8″ O.D. tubing and button switch cable lengths up to 60′. For longer distances (up to 120′), the tubing may be bridged between start and end 3/8″ O.D. connections with 1/2″ O.D. tubing to reduce airflow resistance using push-to-connect adapter fittings.
The Sniffer pump performance has been verified to work properly with a 45′ 18AWG power (speaker) cable length. For longer power cable lengths, increasing to 16AWG or 14AWG cable will reduce the amount of DC voltage drop due to wire resistance losses.
26AWG cable used for the illuminated button switch should not have any length issues since the circuit draws very little power and will continue to function properly until voltage drops below 5VDC.
The Potty Sniffer system was designed to use installation materials that are available most home improvement stores. Examples links provided below can be used as a starting point.
- 3/8″ O.D. Flexible Tubing: Home Depot Lowes Menards
- 18AWG Power (Speaker) Cable: Home Depot Lowes
- Southwire (#5579xxxx…) is UL rated CL3 for in-wall use
- RJ11 Telephone Cable: Home Depot Lowes Menards
- Cable should be rated for in-wall use if required for your install
- Telephone Splice Connectors: Home Depot Lowes Menards
- Stainless Steel Hose Clamps: Home Depot Lowes Menards
- 1/4″ ID (3/8″ OD) PEX Pipe Home Depot Lowes Menards
Extended length tubing, power cable, and connection kits are also available through our online store.
This could vary significantly based on the complexity of your installation, but we can consider the following scenario as a guideline:
For an installation that requires a wall outlet to be installed and tubing to be routed in-wall between building levels, you will need to hire an electrician. The average cost to install an electrical outlet and switch ranges between $150 to $300 for labor. A Potty Sniffer system installation would likely be in the same range based on job complexity. You should also be ready to provide tubing, cables, and Potty Sniffer connection kits since these are not normal items for an electrician to have on hand.
For a new home construction with 3 bathrooms it will typically cost less than $800 for a Potty Sniffer whole home kit, tubing, and wiring. Your builder will need to provide you with their portion of cost (labor) to complete installation. We would be happy to discuss your project and installation requirements with you or your builder to assist with costing and system configuration. Contact us for more information and pricing.
We recommend using flexible PVC tubing at the Sniffer pump and air exhaust fittings for ease of installation, however, any plastic tubing or pipe with 3/8″ O.D. may be used with the push-to-connect ports of the Sniffer pump and air exhaust kit fittings. Silicon or rubber tubing that is softer than the standard clear PVC will not work properly with the push-to-connect ports.
Other types of plastic tubing (PE or PEX) may be used for main tubing runs for remote pump installation but will require straight connectors or reducer connectors to transition back to 3/8″ O.D. flexible PVC at the main connections.
WARNING: DO NOT use push-to-connect fittings on portions of tubing run that are “in-wall” or otherwise not accessible after install. In-wall tubing runs should always be of continuous length or use PEX tubing and permanent connection fittings that are not likely to separate.
Yes. You will need to make sure that the wire gage is not too large for the screw terminal connectors, that it is able to fit under the toilet tank lid, and that it is rated for in-wall or riser use (if applicable). The power cable should be a minimum 18AWG gage diameter and capable to carrying 5A current.
For the illuminated button switch, the cable should be a minimum 26AWG gage diameter, with 4 (or more) conductors, and be rated for in-wall or riser use (if applicable).
To uninstall a Potty Sniffer system, simply remove all of the components from the toilet tank and reinstall the refill tubing to the original flush valve connection point or retainer clip.
The air exhaust fitting may be left installed in place once the exhaust tubing is disconnected. To seal the air exhaust fitting, use the 3/8″ push-to-connect plug included with the Potty Sniffer kit to seal the open port. If you don’t have a plug available, the port may be plugged using any 3/8″ diameter rod or refer to our installation manual for instructions on how to make your own plug using a short piece of tubing and a heating flame.