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Toilet Seat Warmer 101: Different Bidet Water Heating Systems

Toilet Seat Warmer 101: Different Bidet Water Heating Systems

Bidet Toilet Seat Warmer Water Heater

Bidets: they’re designed to provide a relaxing, soothing experience, right? If you’ve ever used a bidet that only offers cold water, though, or that doesn’t come with a nice, toasty, pre-heated seat, you know the situation can be a little more jarring than blissful.

Fortunately, the times are a-changing, and warm water bidets (with a built-in toilet seat warmer) have become all the rage in recent years.

While this is relaxing and welcoming even in the best of circumstances (Tropical environments and summertime seasons, for example), they’re also ideal for chilly environments, people with scarring, old wounds, or certain medical conditions, and anyone who just likes the idea of warm water on their bums.

To put this another way: a bidet complete with warm water and a toilet seat warmer provides a ton of great benefits, even if you’ve never used one before.

Here’s what you need to know:


Are Warm-Water Bidets New?

Yes and no.

I the recent history of the bidet toilet seat, most units available only offered cold water. These were functional; utilitarian units meant to get the job done, and get the job done they did! The only unfortunate thing was that they weren’t enjoyable to use. If you’ve never experienced it, all you need to do is think, for a moment, about how it would feel to have a splash of chilly water spray your nether regions, and you’ll get the picture.

Luckily, the times have changed.

Today, most bidet toilet seats offer warm water in place of the chilly spray of yesteryear. While this warm water serves mainly the same purpose, it’s much more comfortable to be subjected to and may even provide a more thorough clean than its ice-cold counterpart.

What’s more, warm-water bidets offer a level of customization unheard-of in older models, as they make it possible for users to change the water temperature, thus adjusting the spray to their own personal preferences.

Wondering how bidets manage to offer this bum-shaking feature? The answer is simple: a few different ways. Today, there are several separate systems designed to produce the same effect. They include electric or non-electric systems, on-demand or in-tank systems, and hybrid systems.

As is true with most things, each of these models offers a series of benefits and drawbacks and a list of pros and cons for customers to pay attention to. Here’s what you should know about each before you make your big purchasing decision:


Electric vs. Non-Electric Bidet Systems

As you start shopping for a bidet, you’ll notice that there are two big, primary divisions: electric or non-electric systems. If the system connects to your home’s electric network, it is (obviously) an electric system. If it operates on a self-contained basis, without plugging into the system, it’s non-electric. When it comes to this division, there are good options on both sides of the aisle.

As a general rule, electric systems are more advanced because they use electricity, which enables them to do more. On the other hand, non-electric systems are generally streamlined and straightforward, a “function over form” sort of bidet.

While some people imagine electric bidets to be expensive or elaborate, they’re generally very inexpensive to maintain and can provide a fantastic option for heated bidet water in your home. If you don’t want to opt for an electric bidet, you can still enjoy warm water in a non-electric model; you just need to find one that taps into your home’s plumbing system and uses the same type of warm water as your bathroom sink.


How Bidet Water is Heated

One of the biggest misconceptions about the modern bidet is that the water that sprays your bum comes directly from the toilet. Let us be the first to assure you that this is not true. If it were, do you think the Japanese, one of the most fastidious and hygienic cultures on earth, would take credit for it? Of course not!

In reality, the water your bidet uses to help you get clean is the same water that would otherwise come out of your kitchen sink. You could drink it if you wanted, but that’d be weird...

This, of course, begs an additional question: how does that water get warm? As it turns out, there are a few different methods.


The On-Board Tank Method

Some bidets solve the problem of warm water by having an on-board tank that stores warm water for on-demand use. When you turn the bidet on, it accesses this water and uses it to help you get clean. The only question then is whether that water comes directly from your plumbing system or was heated internally using the electric bidet attachment. Either way - it’s right there, and it’s waiting for you. All you have to do is engage the system.

Lots of on-board tank systems make it possible to adjust the temperature of the stored water. The system will either provide more warm water or mix it with cool water to generate the temperature you want. Most of these tank systems provide about one minute of continuous warm water before they run out and go cool again. It’s kind of like your home’s hot water tank: when Johnny takes a 45-minute shower and uses it all up, you have to wait for it to fill back up with warm water.

When this happens with your on-board tank bidet, you can expect to wait a few minutes (at least) for the system to generate more water. If you live in a busy household, this could quickly become a problem. To navigate around it, look for a model that either taps into your home’s hot water line (warm water at all times, regardless of use) or offers an ample supply tank or a rapid reheat system.

Beware that certain models designed to go into “energy saving” mode do not keep water heated at all times, so you may find yourself waiting for the warmth...


Tankless Models

Tankless bidet seats don’t have a tank or reservoir, like their built-in counterparts. On the sales floor, these bidets are often called “on-demand” bidets, because they offer warm water as soon as you ask for it. How they do this, though, varies largely.

One such model warms water as it passes through the bidet. By the time it gets to your bum, it’s toasty warm. This is the same sort of technology you see in your bathroom water faucet or really any other fixture that dispenses water a distance from the hot water tank.

These bidets heat up quickly, which makes them ideal for individual or family use. Because the water warms as it passes through the bidet, you won’t ever have to worry about running out of warm water. That said, however, these bidets may offer a small delay in warm water. Most of the time, this is because there’s a bit of cool water already sitting in the lines. If you don’t want this chilly water to hit your bum, you can just run the bidet for a few seconds beforehand or look for a model that offers a pre-flushing mechanism.

While these bidets are convenient, they’re not the most energy-efficient, and many consume a fair amount of energy while they work. Keep this in mind as you shop.


Hybrid Systems

Hybrid systems offer some of the functionalities of both systems above, with some additional features. As a general rule, hybrid bidets provide warm water on an on-demand basis. They do this thanks to an on-board tank, which gets rid of the shock-factor associated with chilly water sitting in your bidet lines.

These bidets also continue to warm water as it flows through the bidet system, which ensures ongoing warm water.


Systems That Tap Into Your Plumbing

If you’re looking for a bidet that doesn’t use any electricity but manages to produce warm water, all the same, you want a system that uses your home’s water lines. These are easy to find and represent some of the most popular bidets out there.


Which Toilet Seat Warmer is Best for You?

Now that you understand how bidets produce and use warm water to provide a more enhanced cleaning experience let’s talk about how the mythical, magical device known as a toilet seat warmer works. While some heated toilet seats use materials designed to trap and utilize body heat, more use electrical wiring that heats the core of the seat and helps it stay toasty warm for you.

Most of these bidet toilet seat warmers, such as the Kohler Novita BH90 and BH93 come with a wireless remote that allows you to control the seat temperature and adjust it to your liking. This makes for a unique and custom experience that you won’t soon forget.


Choosing the Right Model

When it comes time to choose the toilet seat warmer that’s going to grace your household for years to come, diligence is critical. While there are dozens of different models out there, it’s essential to take the time required to find the right one for you. This involves talking to the distributor and manufacturer and ensuring the seat you’re looking at offers the features you want, the price you need, and the warranty you care about.

Not sure, yet, what you need? Check out our selection of bidet toilet seats now.