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How to Buy a Bidet

Though bidets were once found almost solely in European, Middle Eastern, and Latin American bathrooms, they have sprouted up in more and more North American homes during the past decade. In fact, in some regions of the United States, bidets are expected fixtures in high-end bathrooms. Nevertheless, because bidets are relatively new to most Americans and a bit of a mystery, they’re often the, well, butt of jokes.

Matching china bidet and toilet

Although a bidet looks like a toilet without a seat, it is actually more like a sink or small bathtub. It is intended for personal hygiene after using the toilet or for other washing up, such as washing feet.

The word bidet derives from the French word for pony, no doubt indicating the way one sits astride the bowl.

Several types of bidets are made. The bowl is usually a china basin with a drain that can be plugged so the bowl may be filled to serve as a footbath or general-purpose sink.[GARD align=”left”]

If you’re in the market for a bidet, be sure to buy one that will accept the type of faucet or spray that you prefer. Some have a hot-and-cold tap that pours water into the bowl; others have a nozzle that shoots an arc of water up from the bowl’s center; still others have a horizontal nozzle that sprays over the bowl’s rim.

If you don’t have the space nor inclination to install a stand-alone bidet, you can buy a spray nozzle that can be assembled on a conventional toilet. Or, you might consider an electronic bidet toilet seat attachment. Some models offer temperature and water-pressure controls that can be adjusted remotely, a heated hydraulic seat, warm air dry, and even a deodorizer. Before purchasing one of these, however, you will need to make sure that it fits your toilet, depending on whether it is a one- or two-piece unit and has an elongated-oval or round seat.

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Toilets & Bidets

Expert advice on toilets, with toilet and bidet buying guides, step-by-step DIY installation and repair tips, and toilet plumbing diagrams.

Does your toilet need repair or is it time to replace it? Although a toilet is not the most glamorous fixture in a house, it certainly is one of the most important and regularly used plumbing fixtures. All it takes is a day or two without a working toilet to fully appreciate the brilliance of this simple device.

And brilliant it is. Invented by Thomas Crapper in the 19th century, the toilet is a relatively simple but ingenious contraption that operates as an interface between a home’s water supply and waste system to cleanly and safely eliminate waste. You can see this brilliance in action in How a Toilet Works & Toilet Plumbing Diagrams.

Though a toilet may be somewhat underappreciated, it can gain attention in a hurry when it stops working. With this in mind, it pays to have your toilet operate efficiently and trouble-free month after month and year after year.

This section of HomeTips is flush with information about toilets. You will find unbiased guides for buying a new toilet, do-it-yourself steps for how to install a toilet, and information that will help you troubleshoot, repair, and keep your toilet operating properly.[GARD align=”right”]

NEXT SEE:

• Buying Toilets & Bidets

• How a Toilet Works & Toilet Plumbing Diagrams

• Toilet Problems & Repairs

• How to Install a Toilet

Toilets & Bidets

Expert advice on toilets, with toilet and bidet buying guides, step-by-step DIY installation and repair tips, and toilet plumbing diagrams.

Does your toilet need repair or is it time to replace it? Although a toilet is not the most glamorous fixture in a house, it certainly is one of the most important and regularly used plumbing fixtures. All it takes is a day or two without a working toilet to fully appreciate the brilliance of this simple device.

And brilliant it is. Invented by Thomas Crapper in the 19th century, the toilet is a relatively simple but ingenious contraption that operates as an interface between a home’s water supply and waste system to cleanly and safely eliminate waste. You can see this brilliance in action in How a Toilet Works & Toilet Plumbing Diagrams.

Though a toilet may be somewhat underappreciated, it can gain attention in a hurry when it stops working. With this in mind, it pays to have your toilet operate efficiently and trouble-free month after month and year after year.

This section of HomeTips is flush with information about toilets. You will find unbiased guides for buying a new toilet, do-it-yourself steps for how to install a toilet, and information that will help you troubleshoot, repair, and keep your toilet operating properly.[GARD align=”right”]

NEXT SEE:

• Buying Toilets & Bidets

• How a Toilet Works & Toilet Plumbing Diagrams

• Toilet Problems & Repairs

• How to Install a Toilet

Basic Toilet Maintenance & Care

Expert advice on toilet maintenance, and tips for keeping your toilet working smoothly.

What's the best way to keep you toilet operating properly? This article will help.

[/media-credit] What’s the best way to keep you toilet operating properly? This article will help.

If a toilet has been working fine but suddenly flushes or drains very slowly, the problem is usually a clogged drain.

Toilet repair - diagram of how a toilet works

Water flushes a toilet both from the base and from flush passages around the inside of the rim. © HomeTips

If you’ve plunged and snaked out the drain but your toilet still flushes poorly, it may be the toilet’s siphoning action. When a toilet is flushed, water rushes from the tank through the valve seat, around the rim, and through a siphon jet chamber built into the porcelain at the front of the bowl. As the water encircles the rim, some washes down through the rinse holes in the underside of the rim. The rush of water causes a cleansing action and creates enough force to push waste out through the back of the bowl and down into the waste pipe.

First, open the tank and check the water level. A low water level means there may not be enough force to kick off the siphoning action. Toilets are designed so that the tank, when filled to the top of the overflow tube, holds enough water for a good flush. Water-saving devices such as dams, bottles, or bending the float rod will foil the design. You’re better off getting a toilet that’s designed to be a water-saving fixture. Flush the toilet and make sure the flapper allows all of the tank’s water to complete the flush.

If the water level looks fine, the rinse holes may be clogged with mineral deposits, particularly where hard water is a problem. You can clear the rinse holes located just under the rim or near the back of the bowl using a short piece of coat hanger (first turn off the toilet’s shut-off valve and flush the toilet to get rid of most of the bowl’s water).[GARD align=”right”]

Lime Remover (CLR)

Lime Remover (CLR)

Lime remover can dissolve built-up minerals in the toilet’s channels, but this will take eight hours or more. The idea is to dam up the orifices so the lime remover can go to work. Pack the holes with wet paper towels and hold them in place with a generous supply of plumber’s putty. Then pour a bottle of lime remover into the overflow tube and let it sit.

An inadequate flush can also be caused by a broken link between the handle and trip lever or a tank stopper that closes before the tank empties.

 

Featured Resource: Get a Pre-Screened Local Plumbing Pro

Call for free estimates from local pros now:
[telnumlink] 1-866-342-3263[/telnumlink]

Basic Toilet Maintenance & Care

Expert advice on toilet maintenance, and tips for keeping your toilet working smoothly.

What's the best way to keep you toilet operating properly? This article will help.

[/media-credit] What’s the best way to keep you toilet operating properly? This article will help.

If a toilet has been working fine but suddenly flushes or drains very slowly, the problem is usually a clogged drain.

Toilet repair - diagram of how a toilet works

Water flushes a toilet both from the base and from flush passages around the inside of the rim. © HomeTips

If you’ve plunged and snaked out the drain but your toilet still flushes poorly, it may be the toilet’s siphoning action. When a toilet is flushed, water rushes from the tank through the valve seat, around the rim, and through a siphon jet chamber built into the porcelain at the front of the bowl. As the water encircles the rim, some washes down through the rinse holes in the underside of the rim. The rush of water causes a cleansing action and creates enough force to push waste out through the back of the bowl and down into the waste pipe.

First, open the tank and check the water level. A low water level means there may not be enough force to kick off the siphoning action. Toilets are designed so that the tank, when filled to the top of the overflow tube, holds enough water for a good flush. Water-saving devices such as dams, bottles, or bending the float rod will foil the design. You’re better off getting a toilet that’s designed to be a water-saving fixture. Flush the toilet and make sure the flapper allows all of the tank’s water to complete the flush.

If the water level looks fine, the rinse holes may be clogged with mineral deposits, particularly where hard water is a problem. You can clear the rinse holes located just under the rim or near the back of the bowl using a short piece of coat hanger (first turn off the toilet’s shut-off valve and flush the toilet to get rid of most of the bowl’s water).[GARD align=”right”]

Lime Remover (CLR)

Lime Remover (CLR)

Lime remover can dissolve built-up minerals in the toilet’s channels, but this will take eight hours or more. The idea is to dam up the orifices so the lime remover can go to work. Pack the holes with wet paper towels and hold them in place with a generous supply of plumber’s putty. Then pour a bottle of lime remover into the overflow tube and let it sit.

An inadequate flush can also be caused by a broken link between the handle and trip lever or a tank stopper that closes before the tank empties.

 

Featured Resource: Get a Pre-Screened Local Plumbing Pro

Call for free estimates from local pros now:
[telnumlink] 1-866-342-3263[/telnumlink]

How a Toilet Works & Toilet Plumbing Diagrams

A helpful explanation on how a toilet works, with toilet plumbing diagrams and definitions of toilet parts.

How a Toilet Works – Toilet Plumbing Diagram © HomeTips

Start by familiarizing yourself with the basic workings of a toilet. Refer to the illustration at right.

A toilet has two main parts—the tank and the bowl. The bowl holds water and connects to the drain for disposing of waste water and waste. The tank, which sits up behind the bowl, contains reserve water for refilling the bowl plus the devices for flushing clean water into the bowl and refilling the tank.

One of these devices—called a ball cock—is connected to the water supply and controls delivery of water to the tank. When the tank’s water rapidly drops down into the bowl (upon a flush), the pressure causes the bowl’s waste water to go down the drain. The drop in water level is sensed by a float, ball, or pressure gauge, and this triggers the ball cock to refill the tank.

What is a flapper valve?

Toilet Flapper Valve

When a conventional toilet is flushed, water from the tank rushes into the bowl through an orifice called the flush valve. Before you trip the lever, this valve is plugged with a rubber stopper, called a tank ball, flush valve seat ball, or the newer, more effective flapper or flapper ball. [GARD align=”right”]

The valve and the flapper together are called—not surprisingly—the flapper valve. Tripping the lever simply lifts the rubber flapper off the valve and…whoosh, the water flows into the toilet bowl!

A flush valve is 2 1/2 inches in diameter as is the ball-shaped part of the flapper. The flapper hinges onto the vertical overflow pipe that’s next to the valve, and a small chain connects the flapper to the trip lever. The advantage of a flapper over the earlier stoppers is that it doesn’t have as many parts to foul or get hung up so it’s less likely to let the tank “run” or leak into the bowl.

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