One of the most common upgrades made to homes in 2020 may have been adding a bidet, in response to the shortage of toilet paper that was temporarily experienced.
There are two types of bidets – the traditional standalone option that is more common in larger restrooms that can hold both a toilet and separate bidet; or they can be installed as an attachment to an existing toilet (or similarly a combination toilet/bidet unit can be purchased). During the bidet upgrades in 2020, many homeowners elected to use the bidet attachment option as the upgrade of choice.
Contrary to popular belief in regions where they are uncommon, bidets are not toilet alternatives. They emit an arc of clean water from a nozzle that can either be beneath the rear of the rim or deep within the fixture cavity. Water temperature and pressure can be adjusted with knobs in order to arrive at the desired settings. Some bidets come with built-in air dryers that can be used to dry wet areas.
Considerations for Adding a Bidet Attachment
If you are looking to add a bidet attachment to your existing toilet, or if you’re purchasing a home that has had this added, there are a couple of considerations you should keep in mind.
These bidet attachments require power. Where is the power outlet? Is it conveniently located next to the toilet? If not, is the cord running from the bidet-seat to the available outlet not too much of an eyesore? Has the personal installing run an extension cord to the outlet (which is a safety hazard)? Are there other appliances that need to be plugged in to the same outlet? Will you have to unplug one device to plug in your bidet and vice-versa?
Warm Water Attachment
If you’re buying a bidet-attachment with a warm water option, you need to be sure your bathroom has a warm water connection that you can easily access. Is the warm water attachment in a cabinet under the sink? Are you willing to drill a hole in the cabinet to thread a hose through to the toilet? Are you comfortable with the look of your bathroom after connecting the hot water to your bidet attachment?
Inspecting a Bidet
If the home has a bidet attachment, it will be inspected as part of the existing toilet, while separate units will have their own inspection. The primary focus will be on functionality answering questions such as:
- does it function properly?
- is water flowing through the bidet hose properly?
- are the controls functioning properly?
- is the electrical connection working and safe?
- does the bidet flush properly if applicable?
- is the unit free from water leaks?
- is there any visible damage to the unit?
Benefits of a Bidet
- People who suffer from hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, or have recently had rectal surgery can find relief from painful paper wiping with the more gentle water flow of a bidet.
- As the bidet requires less operator mobility, they are easier to use for the elderly, disabled, and obese.
- Many believe that the use of bidets is more hygienic and effective than toilet paper. Regardless of this claim’s validity, the user has the option to use both methods if they desire.
- Bidets eliminate the expense of toilet paper.
Safety Precautions for Bidet Use
- Users should familiarize themselves with the rate of temperature and pressure changes that occur when they adjust the controls. Sensitive regions can be burned if the user is not careful with temperature, and high water pressure can be irritating.
- Bidets have the potential to transmit contagious diseases. This is of greater concern in public restrooms than in homes.
- Users should know in advance the direction of the water arc and position themselves accordingly. The spray can be powerful enough to strike a person in the face.
- Bidets operate and appear similar to drinking fountains, although the two should never be confused. The bidet’s water jet can touch an unclean surface and become contaminated.
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