The Bidet: Everything you ever wanted to know (and more!)

Common in much of Europe and Asia, bidets are toilet-like plumbing fixtures designed to promote posterior hygiene. Although bidet prevalence in certain regions represents a humorous cultural distinction from American-style paper wiping, bidets do sport considerable convenience and comfort advantages. Bidets are becoming increasingly common in North America and it is important that first-timers and home inspectors understand how they operate.

Contrary to popular belief in regions where they are uncommon, bidets are not toilet alternatives. They are used to wash the anus, inner buttocks, and genitalia, usually after the user has defecated into an adjacent toilet. Some bidets have been incorporated into toilets, especially in bathrooms that are not large enough for both fixtures. Bidets, like toilets, are typically made from porcelain and contain a deep recess within a wide rim. They emit an arc of clean water from a nozzle that can either be beneath the rear of the rim or deep within the fixture cavity. Users can sit on the rim (or seat, if it has one) or straddle the fixture and face in either direction. He or she can decide which direction to face based on the water jet configuration and the part of their body that needs cleaning. Water temperature and pressure can be adjusted with knobs in order to arrive at the desired settings.Some bidets come with built-in air dryers that can be used to dry wet areas. Toilet paper can be used for this purpose if no dryer is available. The bidet can be rinsed after use to keep it clean.

Benefits of the Bidet

  • People who suffer from hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, or have recently had rectal surgery can find relief from painful paper wiping with the more gentle water flow of a bidet.
  • As the bidet requires less operator mobility, they are easier to use for the elderly, disabled, and obese.
  • Many believe that the use of bidets is more hygienic and effective than toilet paper. Regardless of this claim’s validity, the user has the option to use both methods if they desire.
  • Bidets eliminate the expense of toilet paper.

Some Fun Facts About Bidets

  • Although bidet is a French term, the fixture is more common in other European countries such as Italy and Portugal.
  • The first bidets appeared in France in the early 1700s, although no one knows exactly who invented it or when this happened.
  • In the Unites States, bidets are more expensive (around $400) than in countries where they are common, perhaps contributing to their rarity.
  • Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, offers employees the most technologically advanced bidets on the planet. Employees can use a remote to control spray strength, seat temperature, vibration, and deodorization.
  • A bidet for travellers who need to use them on the go is called a bidanit.

Safety PrecautionsInterNACHI inspectors can pass along the following tips to their clients:

  • Users should familiarize themselves with the rate of temperature and pressure changes that occur when they adjust the controls. Sensitive regions can be burned if the user is not careful, and high water pressure can be irritating.
  • Bidets have the potential to transmit contagious diseases. This is of greater concern in public restrooms than in homes.
  • Users should know in advance the direction of the water arc and position themselves accordingly. The spray can be powerful enough to strike a person in the face.
  • Infants should not be bathed in a bidet, as this is unhygienic. An exception can be made if a bidet is solely devoted to this purpose.
  • Bidets operate and appear similar to drinking fountains, although the two should never be confused. The bidet’s water jet can touch an unclean surface and become contaminated.

In summary, bidets are more than just an amusing European curiosity. Despite their expense in the United States and Canada, they are becoming more popular in these regions, and for good reason – many believe they are more sanitary, comfortable, and effective than toilet paper.Nick Gromicko and Kenton Shepard, InterNACHI

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Lay Chan Wee
01:19 31 Aug 21
I was impressed with the service provided by Rui Su. He was organized, explained in detail area that I am not familiar... with. He provided a good report. I will recommend him if you need home inspection.read more
Mary Jane Caro
Mary Jane Caro
14:25 27 Aug 21
I am always pleased to recommend Carol Mose from Mose Home Inspection Services to my clients who have had offers... accepted on residential real estate properties. She is knowledgeable, thorough, provides clear explanations, and delivers comprehensive reports.read more
Massimo Pannunzio
Massimo Pannunzio
22:05 25 Aug 21
Michael has got to be on of the best home inspectors in all of Quebec. It was amazing working with him and he had my... best interest at heart when making a life changing decision. He made sure I had all the answers and made it easy to work with him. I will be using Mose inspection for any moment that I need an inspection done that's for sure!read more
Amanda Lee
Amanda Lee
19:14 16 Jun 21
Amazing experience with Carol Mose who helped me with a pre-purchase inspection! She was very approachable and... observant, and informed me of all her first impressions on-site. This gave me greater understanding of any conditions as I was able to ask any quick questions on the spot. Her reports are the most thorough that I've seen and include diagrams to help explain what any physical signs mean and potential consequences. Could not have asked for a better inspector!read more
Maeghan Banks
Maeghan Banks
15:38 14 Jun 21
Carol was wonderful to work with for our pre-purchase inspection. She was professional, thorough and communicative,... taking the time to explain her findings as we went through the house. After the inspection, we felt we had clear knowledge of the condition of the house (both pros and cons), allowing us to move forward with the purchase with confidence. Highly recommend!read more
Ryan Chalupovitsch
Ryan Chalupovitsch
13:43 01 Jun 21
Carol Mose is the best home inspector in the business. Approachable and extremely knowledgeable. She did an... inspection for me and really took the time to explain her findings and help me understand the home I was looking to purchase. Cannot recommend her enough. Don’t hesitate.read more
Elisabeth Faure
Elisabeth Faure
21:16 29 Apr 21
This is the second time I have used MOSE, and they are always really amazing. Very nice, very professional. they came... to have a look at my roof and let me know if we were due for a repair - I was very satisfied with everything and would recommend them to anybody!read more
Hannah S
Hannah S
22:05 16 Apr 21
I had a great experience with Mose home inspection. My husband and I are first time homebuyers and so had a ton of... questions about the process. Everyone we talked with was really informative and helpful. Michael was our inspector and was phenomenal. The inspection was very thorough and he explained everything in detail with realistic next steps for us to take. We came out of the inspection feeling really informed. Plus, he is just an absolute delight! He had very contagious enthusiasm and made the inspection a really positive experience. Would highly recommend!read more
Gabriel Lukuc
Gabriel Lukuc
03:05 16 Apr 21
Michael was amazing. He took the time to explain to us what’s really important and the reasoning behind it. We’re not... very handy nor savvy when it comes to home construction so we really appreciate him taking the time to explain to us all aspects of the inspection. Also, Michael was friendly, professional and timely; he provided the report over a holiday and a weekend.read more
Stephanie Ballard
Stephanie Ballard
14:24 19 Mar 21
MOSE is the best in the business. Once again we were happy with their inspection services - they are professional,... friendly and knowledgeable. Would not hesitate to recommend to friends and family (and have)!read more
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Rodrigo Morales
18:27 10 Sep 20
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