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Many units are only used regularly throughout the summer. For such seasonal units Sun-Mar recommends that this startup procedure be followed at the beginning of the season.


What Do I Do At the Beginning of the Season?

Follow These Instructions:


any compost that had been left in the finishing drawer, and use the rake to clean out the evaporation chamber, paying special attention to the back two corners of the unit (or left hand side if it is a Centrex family unit).


  • Your fertilizer is ready
  • This is a good time to remove peat debris from the evaporation chamber.


additional drawers of compost (if there is more than 6 to 8 inches of compost in the drum). This is done by releasing the drum lock, and rotating the drum opposite from the usual direction (turn handle counter-clockwise) to extract compost into the drawer.

Since it will have been sitting over the winter and decomposing in the fall and spring, it will be finished and may be removed immediately, without any extra time needed to finish the compost in the drawer. Several drawers may be removed in this fashion if necessary.

Be sure to leave 6-8 inches of compost in the bottom of the drum to start off the season with a "starter batch" of compost.


  • Frees space in the drum for the new season's composting.



1/2 gallon of warm water.


  • Raises moisture level


As an option for optimal composting:

Add SUN-MAR "Microbe Mix" or unsterilized black earth from a garden center. We do not recommend using topsoil as it may contain fly larvae, and may not contain all of the bacterium required.

SUN-MAR "Compost Quick" enzyme can also be used as a compost accelerant.

  • Even though the compost still has microbes in it, you may want to start the year by replenishing microbes.
  • Compost Quick helps to accelerate the action of the microbes