Bidets are used to supplement or replace the traditional use of toilet paper and are a widely-embraced mode of personal hygiene throughout the world. While not as popular in the Americas, they can be found in luxury homes or those with a distinctly European style.
It is important to understand the plumbing needs associated with installing and using a bidet. Bidet plumbing is very much like that of a standard toilet. Below you will find some valuable information regarding the available styles of bidets and the plumbing needs associated with them.
There are two basic types of bidets you can purchase: the in-toilet spray hose style and the stand-alone bowl. Spray hoses provide superior cleaning by allowing the water flow to be adjusted to the desired angle. Most standalone bidets do not offer that level of customization.
What to Purchase
You can purchase a spray hose or a stand-alone bidet at most plumbing supply or home improvement stores. Before settling on the type of bidet to buy, it is necessary to determine the type of bidet needed. Not all spray hose models are compatible with all toilets. The hose needs to be at least three feet long for maximum effect.
Installing the Plumbing
Regardless of its style, your bidet should come with all the nuts, bolts, mountings and connectors you will need. Before beginning any bidet installation, you will need to cut the water supply to the toilet. Always install plumbing devices according to the manufacturer’s instructions and specifications, all of which are contained within the pages of the product manual.
Spray hose bidets are typically installed on one side of the toilet and are connected directly to the same water source that fills the toilet tank. If you have doubts about your ability to do the job yourself, do not attempt it. Hire a plumber or other certified professional who understands the requirements of installing plumbing fixtures and accessories. Once fully installed, the system should be tested to ensure that everything is working properly and that there are no leaks.
Bidets without a direct vertical drain will require the installation of a p-trap to guide the water through the plumbing system and into the sewer or septic system already in place. A standard P-trap features a drain elbow that connects to the main drain pipe. If your home already has a vertical drain for the bidet that matches or is similar to the toilet, the trap is not needed.
With the right knowledge or aid of a professional installer, a bidet could prove to be a valuable and hygienic addition to your daily personal care regimen. Always be certain that the existing plumbing can accommodate a safe installation.