Sewage incinerator?

Questions, answers and advice for people who own or work on houses built during the 20th century.

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Sewage incinerator?

Postby DwightB on Mon Jul 16, 2007 10:14 pm

I recently visited a large house that was built in 1915 and was given a complete top to bottom tour of the place. There is an unusual device in the basement and the current owners hadn't been able to discern its original function. It is a metal canister about 24" across and about 36" high, including legs. The bottom 8 - 12" contains a large ash drawer. The upper part is a gas-fired burn chamber. There is an interior "bin" divided in half vertically which can rotate so that one half can be accessed though an opening in the top while the other half is positioned under a chimney. The bin can be rotated by a lever on the top so that either half can be accessed by a lid. The instructions printed on the side tell how the day's "charge" will be dried on one side, while the previous day's "charge" is burned in the opposite side. It never says "sewage" or "garbage" in the instructions. I read the label and instructions and eventually decided it was a home sewage incinerator. It was designed to handle two "loads" from the house's chamber pots. The lever simply turns left or right to expose one half or the other. The fresh load will dry while the previous load is reduced to smoke and ashes, going either up the chimney or down into the ash drawer. It is gas fired and doesn't really appear to be a 1915 appliance. There is no patent date anywhere. The present owners had no idea what its original purpose was and hadn't used it at all. The gas supply is a modern plastic coated ribbed supply pipe. There are ashes in the drawer, but I think it has only used by a previous owner for paper waste disposal.

Has anyone ever heard of such an appliance before? I cannot find anything like it online after days of searching. The name is "Duo-Way" and was made by "Republic", but no clue as to when/where on the label.
-- just wandering
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Postby S Melissa on Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:41 am

I kinda doubt it is a "sewage" incinerator - I doubt that raw sewage would be safe to dispose of in that way, nor do I think it could be successfully dried in a 24 hr period enough to actually burn. They do incinerate sewage sludge these days - but after it has been processed quite a bit,, and typically not in nice neighborhoods :shock:

Rather it probably is a garbage incinerator - my folks had one for years - one of my jobs was to take the garbage to the basement, and put in the incinerator and burn it. Mostly waste paper and some kitchen stuff (back then not much plastic and a lot of the food went to the compost pile). It was gas fired - and could still be used but is illegal in our county now, and folks have disconnected the gas to it.

who knows - maybe someone will recognize this - and I'll learn something new!!
Melissa
Canton, MI
1860 Italianate - Reuben Huston Home
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Re: Sewage incinerator?

Postby dhnva on Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:24 am

There's no such thing as a "sewage incinerator." The Republic Duo-Way was a gas-fired garbage disposal unit sold in the 1940s and 50s. One chamber used a low gas flame to dehydrate garbage and the other compartment incinerated it. Gas-fired basement incinerators were a fixture in many large homes.
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Re: Sewage incinerator?

Postby lisa2 on Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:34 pm

I have one in my basement just as you described. I have been searching for it myself but have only found you. I have a buyer but not sure of its worth. Have you gained any info about it?
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Re: Sewage incinerator?

Postby lisa2 on Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:35 pm

I have one in my basement just as you described. I have been searching for it myself but have only found you. I have a buyer but not sure of its worth. Have you gained any info about it?
lisa2
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:28 pm


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