This blog will introduce you to bidet sprayers & bidet toilet seats and take you through all the important points that you need to consider before purchasing a bidet sprayer or a bidet toilet seat.
With the world facing a pandemic (COVID-19), toilet paper has become somewhat of a precious commodity. Panicked shoppers somehow felt the need to buy in bulk or risk running out, this resulted in the toilet paper aisles being left bare, for weeks.
Naturally, people started looking for alternatives for cleaning up after using the toilet. Two great products for doing so are bidet sprayers and bidet toilet seats, somewhat of a foreign concept in the western world, these devices have been used in Asian countries for years.
Not only are these devices great for your backside but also great for your pocket and most importantly for the planet. And it is high time we start thinking about the planet!
Being a manufacturer of bidet toilet seats and bidet sprayers, we saw a surge in interest for these products, therefore, we provide some insight into these fixtures and how they can save you from the toilet paper hunt.
What is a Bidet Sprayer?
A Bidet sprayer also known as a handheld sprayer is a device designed like a shower head with a trigger that allows the user to control the flow of water while in use. that is placed near a toilet bowl and is used for after bowel movement cleaning.
It is worth mentioning that a handheld bidet sprayer has a single cleaning function unlike a bidet seat that comes with a number of cleaning functions to suit the individual user’s needs.
It comes with a hose-pipe of differing lengths that can easily be attached to your existing water supply for the toilet utilising a T-shaped valve.
What is a Bidet Toilet Seat?
A Bidet toilet seat is a type of toilet seat that has a built-in nozzle that sprays water, allowing the user to clean themselves after using the toilet.
Bidets are a standard toilet fixture that you will find in toilets across Japan and is now making its way across toilets around the world.
Variations include a non-electronic bidet seat that has a lever or a dial to control the water flow and an electric (smart) version that comes with an in-built water heater and a number of cleaning modes to suit the user.
Another product you will find in the market is a bidet attachment that pretty much converts a standard toilet seat into a bidet toilet seat.
What to look for when buying a Bidet sprayer?
- Adherence to Regulatory Standards: Each country has set certain standards when it comes to plumbing products, make sure that the bidet sprayer kit that you invest in adheres to these standards. Bidet sprays should have Watermark certification to AS/NZS 3718 and should be installed to the requirements of AS/NZS3500
- What Comes Out Of The Box: What comes out of the box of a bidet sprayer kit will vary and so will the price. Most kits will have a sprayer unit, wall bracket, the hose and some screws however some kits might also include a T-shaped or Dual Shut-off valves to connect the bidet to the water connection. These valves can also be purchased separately if required.
- Material: Construction material plays an important part in determining the durability of the handheld bidet sprayer. The most common type of bidet sprayers you will find will be manufactured either using PVC plastic, brass (with a chrome-plated finish) or even stainless steel. For obvious reasons, the bidet sprayer built with metal will last longer as compared to the plastic models. Also, check for the material used for the wall bracket. Metal brackets are preferred over plastic ones. Additionally, you should ensure that the metal sprayer that you choose is actually anti-corrosive.
- Hose Pipe Quality: You will need to ensure that the hose pipe that comes as a part of the bidet sprayer kit is actually Watermark certified to withstand the pressure running within the water mains.
- Installation: Installation is a very important consideration. Before you decide to install the bidet sprayer on your own, it is best you check if you are allowed to undertake the installation or if you will require a trained professional to do so. In some cases, a D.I.Y. installation can also cause your home and contents insurance to become void. So it is best to check with your insurer as well.
- Back-flow Prevention Valve: It is important that the bidet sprayer is fitted with a backflow prevention valve to avoid any contamination of the main water supply. Ensure that the bidet sprayer kit comes with a dual check valve fitted within the hand piece. Each country has specific regulations around this as specified by the state or federal authorities. In Australia, the relevant standards are provided under AS/NZS3718. Please check for similar standards for your country if you happen to be residing outside of Australia.
- Usability: Usability is very important especially in the case of elderly or users with limited mobility. Make sure that the user feels comfortable operating the bidet sprayer and does not have any movement-related issues. If for any reason the user does not feel comfortable using the sprayer then a bidet toilet seat will be your best bet
- Warranty: Expect to get at least a 12-month warranty from the manufacturer.
What to look for when buying a Bidet toilet seat?
- Adherence to prescribed regulatory standards: The first and the mosr important point, ensure that the bidet seat that you purchase adheres to the product standards and water consumption standards as prescribed by the regulatory authorities. In Australia, the bidet seat should meet the standards as prescribed under WMTS-051:2016 for Watermark certification and installation requirements are prescribed under AS/NZS3500.This product does not fall under the water saving scheme
- Budget: The most important thing to consider is the budget you have to invest in a bidet toilet seat. There are two options available i.e. non-electric (manual) bidet toilet seat and an electric (smart) bidet toilet seat. Manual versions can cost you less than $100 whereas the electric counterparts can cost up to $1000 depending on the number of features that they provide.
- Shape of your toilet seat and its measurements: Toilet bowl shapes can vary, from round to elongated. It is best to take note of the shape and the measurements of the toilet bowl.
- Presence of an electrical connection: If you are thinking of purchasing an electrical or smart bidet toilet seat make sure there is a power point available near the toilet suite. It is advisable that a trained professional or a tradesman undertakes the installation of this product.
- Features: Starting with a manual or non-electric bidet toilet seat essentially you will be getting a replacement toilet seat that comes fitted with a nozzle and a dial or a lever with posterior and feminine cleaning modes. Most manual (non-electric) bidet seats use cold water, a heated water option is only available if you decide to connect the hot water line coming into the bathroom. Keep in mind that this is more work and a professional will be required to undertake the installation. And even if you successfully connect the hot water line there may be a slight delay in the hot water pumping through to the seat. With smart or electric bidet seats, the story is quite different, expect to get a number of features including a heated seat, multiple cleaning functions including posterior, feminine, swing and massage. Additionally a fitted remote to control the features of the seat, ability to adjust the water temperature, a self-cleaning nozzle and also a dryer function.The features you get with an electric bidet seat will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and so will the price.
- Presence of a backflow prevention valve: Much like bidet sprayers, bidet seats also come with a backflow prevention valve to ensure that the water supply does not get contaminated. In fact, this is a requirement as prescribed by the government. In Australia, the specific requirements are provided under AS/NZS3500. If you reside outside of Australia then it is worth checking for the requirements as prescribed by your local, state or federal authorities.
- Warranty: Expect to get at least a 12-month warranty from the manufacturer.
To sum it up, it is important to understand your needs, budget and what will be required to install a bidet sprayer or bidet toilet seat based on the layout of your bathroom.
In terms of pricing, bidet sprayers seem to be the most economical option followed by manual bidet seats and then smart bidet seats. However, it is important to factor in the cost of installation as well.
While bidet seats can easily integrate with your existing bathroom decor as they are simply replacing a seat on your existing toilet suite, on the other hand bidet sprayers will be an extra fixture placed beside your toilet suite.
And finally, make sure that you invest in a quality (Watermark certified) product that is installed as per the prescribed standards so that it is safe to use and long-lasting.
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