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All About the Traditional Bidet Faucet

All About the Traditional Bidet Faucet

Sometime in the 1600s, the bidet first appeared in French homes as a way to freshen up between regular baths. By the 1750s, someone added a hand pump and reservoir system that allowed the user to spray water directly on the skin for a more thorough cleaning. This system worked so well that the bidet was a standing fixture in French bedrooms, where it stayed next to the chamber pot. By the 1900s, the bidet moved into the bathroom, thanks to advances in modern plumbing.

Bidets have been a common feature in European bathrooms for centuries and have grown in popularity across Asia and South America. It took a while, but Americans finally started embracing the bidet during the pandemic. It offered a way to cut back on the amount of toilet paper they used, which was helpful when the inventory in local stores was low.

Types of Bidets

There are three basic types of bidets: standalone, seat, and handheld. They can have different features, like hot and cold water, automatic touch buttons, a dryer option, or a heated rim that can make using the bidet more comfortable. Here’s how they compare:

  • A standalone bidet looks a lot like a small toilet with handles on one side of the rim. In some bathrooms, they have a spot right next to the toilet, but they may be on the other side of the room. This is what most people envision when they think of a bidet.
  • A seat bidet with a built-in sprayer replaces the seat on the toilet. This is a convenient option in small bathrooms that don’t have space for a separate fixture. It’s also great for someone who doesn’t want to get up and move from the toilet to the bidet.
  • A handheld bidet is separate from the toilet and looks like a handheld shower head. The user must pick up the sprayer and manually position it to clean their body parts. Someone with mobility issues may find this type of bidet easier to use since it gives them more control over where the water spray goes.

Knowing which type of bidet you have is important, as it defines how you use it and how much you can modify it. For example, some people prefer the convenience of a built-in seat bidet or handheld bidet since they don’t have to move about the room to use it. They’re also less customizable — only standalone bidets have an interchangeable bidet faucet.

How to Use a Bidet

Using a bidet for the first time can feel intimidating, and understanding how it works can help alleviate some concerns. First, turn on the water to see where it comes from, the direction it moves, and how much pressure it has. On most bidets, turning the faucet handle raises and lowers the water flow volume..

If the toilet has a built-in bidet, sit on the seat like you normally would. When you’re ready to clean, press the wash button or turn on the water. On a standalone bidet, you have the option to sit facing the water or away from it. This is a matter of preference, but many people find it easier to clean themselves when they’re facing the water. As the water flows, you may need to position your body to make sure the water touches all the areas you want to clean. This may require moving around on the seat or standing and hovering over the stream of water. Turn off the water when you’re finished, rinse the bidet, and wash your hands.

If the bidet has hot and cold water, be careful about using the hot water. It can heat up quickly — sometimes too quickly — and burn sensitive areas. When possible, stick with cold water or use a combination of hot and cold water.

How to Install a Bidet

The process for installing a bidet faucet is similar to installing a sink faucet and is suitable for a beginner to complete. Grab the required tools for the job — a basin wrench, adjustable wrench, screwdriver, Teflon tape, and silicone — and keep some towels handy to soak up any water that spills during the process.

  1. Turn off the water supply to the bidet and make sure it is completely empty.
  2. Remove the existing bidet faucet. You may find it helpful to take pictures of the setup so you can refer to it later.
  3. Install the diverter valve and handle, tightening the locknuts to ensure the pieces are secure.
  4. Install the drain at the bottom of the bidet.
  5. Use Teflon tape on the faucet shank and shut off the valve threads. Connect the water supply.
  6. Install the water sprayer assembly. Use silicone and the rubber washers included with the faucet assembly to ensure a tight seal.
  7. Attach the flexib