Ohio do-it-yourself enthusiasts Amber and Trey Masciarelli install the Sanibest Pro grinder system in the basement, adding instant equity and appeal to their first major project. A toilet that flushes upwards, says Amber, “blew our minds.”
SHADYSIDE, OHIO — When Amber and Trey Masciarelli purchased their own home in Bellaire, Ohio, in 2019, they intended to hire multiple contractors to renovate the house to their liking. The Covid pandemic, however, had other plans. With the world unexpectedly shutting down in March the following year, the Masciarellis found time at their disposal and pivoted their plans.
The couple began working on renovation projects independently with no prior experience in home renovations. With YouTube, TikTok and Instagram within reach, the couple completed all their desired renovations, including a bathroom and kitchen remodel, by December 2020.
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The Masciarellis shared their do-it-yourself renovations and creations on TikTok, growing their follower base to 500,000 by the start of 2021. As building-product companies began noticing the couple’s popularity, they began to offer free products to use and spotlight on social media, but the Masciarelli’s house was already complete.
“It’s a foreign concept to us that companies will send you products for free,” says Amber. “It seemed like too good of a deal to pass up, so we knew we had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on our hands.”
Realizing that the opportunity was there to create a sustainable income from their newfound passion, Amber looked on the market for a house to flip and located the perfect opportunity in Shadyside, Ohio. They took a leap of faith, and the DIY Designer Duo was born.
With their growing follower base and high-end building-product companies scouting the DIY Designer Duo, the Masciarellis knew all eyes were on their flip house. Wanting to add value and a wow factor to the home, they decided to add a second bathroom in the basement, which already had a bedroom.
After first inspecting the basement, the duo initially determined there was no existing plumbing. With cost- and time-savings in mind, the Masciarellis had to decide if the conventional route of breaking through the basement’s concrete floor to install drainage truly fit into their flipping plans.
Luckily, Amber’s sister-in-law had experience with Saniflo, having installed a toilet in a basement application with no below-floor drainage. Factoring in the cost of the unit versus a demo of the basement’s concrete floor to install a plumbing system, plus the ease of installation, the Masciarellis knew that Saniflo’s Sanibest Pro grinder system was the best solution — especially for their new DIY persona.
“What blew our minds was the concept that the toilet flushes upwards,” explains Amber, “I knew that this was not only the perfect solution for our flip house, but that our followers would love the concept too!”
Water and organic waste entering the unit’s chamber are quickly reduced to slurry by cutting blades rotating at 3,600 RPM. The pump impeller mounted beneath its motor swiftly ejects the reduced effluent through a narrow-diameter discharge line attached to the top of the unit and running to the main drainage line.
To the couple’s surprise, they found that below-floor drainage did exist through a kitchenette in their basement. As a result, they chose to empty their shower and sink into that line. But the laundry-room washing machine and bathroom toilet would be connected to the new Sanibest Pro. More on that below.
Given a choice to hide the pump behind the wall or install it in front, the duo chose the latter. With the Sanibest Pro, a service panel is located at the top of the unit to provide easy access to electrical components. “The option for the placement is a cool feature with the Sanibest Pro,” explains Amber. “We want to give the homeowner ready access to the unit if there is an issue.”
The next step was to install the ventilation piping. Knowing that the bathroom venting had to tie into the home’s original venting, the couple found luck was on their side again: The existing vent was only a few feet from where the toilet was to be installed. A flex pipe was tapped into the 1.5-inch vent connection at the top of the unit. The pipe was then tied into the existing 2-inch vent line exiting through the roof.
The factory-supplied discharge elbow of the Sanibest Pro can rotate 360 degrees, to accommodate the discharge line, whatever its direction. The Masciarellis attached a 1-inch discharge pipe to this elbow, which extends from a ¾-inch discharge connection.
The Sanibest Pro can be used to install a complete bathroom located as much as 25 feet below the sewer line. For the Masciarelli installation, the discharge pipe runs only four feet vertically and then five feet horizontally, exiting to the main sewer line behind the home.
Wastewater from other fixtures can run into the Sanibest Pro via a pair of 2-inch inlets located on each side of the grinder unit. If either inlet is not needed, they can be sealed using the included plugs. In this case, the Masciarellis sealed the right side of the unit, while running a 2-inch pipe from its left side to the washer on the other side of the bathroom wall, about 10 feet away.
The duo found the installation of the Sanibest Pro seamless and easy, completing the install in two days after putting in their new basement floor.
“When you first look at the unit, it can be intimidating,” explains Amber. “But we watched the online videos, read the instructions and started dry-fitting components. We soon realized how easy it is to install.”
With three more houses in line for a flip, the Masciarelli’s main goal is to inspire other people to take renovations into their own hands. Their current follower base on TikTok has reached over 1 million followers, while their YouTube audience has grown to over 26,000 followers. On Instagram, their follower base is nearly 30,000.
“All of the things you want in a house, you can do it yourself,” exclaims Amber. “Products like the Sanibest Pro make the impossible possible for anyone!”
ABOUT SANIFLO SFA SANIFLO U.S.A. – whose parent company originated macerating plumbing technology — offers a complete line of waste and drainage pumping systems for residential and commercial applications. Saniflo developed its innovative, “above-floor plumbing” technology more than a half-century ago and has led its commercialization worldwide. Today, the company markets macerating technology through 24 subsidiaries in 50 countries and has sold more than seven million units worldwide since 1958. Saniflo markets through independent sales agents throughout North America, and the product line is currently available at distributor and dealer locations throughout the United States and Canada.
For more information, contact Saniflo at 1-800-571-8191. Or visit the Saniflo website at saniflo.com.
For editorial assistance, including photography, contact John O’Reilly c/o GreenHouse Digital + PR: 815-469-9100 or [email protected].
Instructions and parts were carefully studied to prepare for installation.