Bidets are fast replacing toilet paper in homes all over the country, especially for people looking to make their bathrooms more eco-friendly. As such, there are two types of bidets (based on the power source) to choose from electric and non-electric models.
While electric bidets may seem like the obvious choice, many people wonder if their non-electronic counterparts are even worth considering. And that’s what we will find out today.
How Does A Non-Electric Bidet Work?
Non-electric bidet models work using mechanical pressure (water pressure) and they aren’t connected to electrical outlets. They are typically connected to the cold water line of the toilet via a connector, which sends backwater to its tank. However, some non-electric bidet attachments have a hot water output, and these are connected to the hot water supply valve of the nearby sink.
Types Of Non-Electric Bidets
Non-electric bidets are generally available in 4 types, namely:
1. Modern Attachments
These are among the simplest types that can be installed on your existing toilet seat without any intrusive or complex plumbing work. The biggest advantage of these attachments is that they go under the seat and don’t replace any part of the toilet per se.
Construction-wise, modern bidet attachments have 3 main parts- a control knob or sidearm, a water spraying nozzle for rear wash, and the component that’s installed below the toilet seat. Besides, most of them are customizable in terms of the temperature and water pressure for a comfortable experience.
As such, they are hassle-free to install and use as well as cost-effective, especially if you’re on a limited budget. Moreover, most modern bidet attachments are pretty compact, making them ideal for small bathrooms.
2. Traditional Attachements
Unlike modern attachments, traditional bidet attachments have a fixed metal nozzle that makes them less favorable than the former. These are among the oldest and most basic types of bidets with no extra features per se.
3. Bidet Toilet Seats
Non-electric bidet seats are similar to their electric counterparts in the sense that they replace the existing toilet seat and lid. And although most of them don’t facilitate adjustable water temperature, some of these non-electric models are essentially heated seats for a more comfortable experience.
Such non-electric bidet seats may also have adjustable water pressure and a nozzle for back and front cleaning. Additionally, they can be easily installed, require low maintenance, and can fit practically any bathroom layout.
4. Handheld Sprayers
Handheld sprayers function on a manual operation to give users better control over the cleaning process. These easy-to-install attachments are generally installed on the side of the toilet bowl for convenient grabbing, and a lever or button activates the water nozzle.
Moreover, some handheld sprayers come with adjustable water pressure and angled nozzles for enhanced convenience. And since they have no moving parts, maintaining and cleaning them won’t be a challenging task.
Make sure you clean the nozzle regularly to ensure proper water flow, especially if your area receives hard water.
What Are The Advantages Of Non-Electric Bidets?
Irrespective of the type of bidet you opt for, here are a few advantages that you can expect:
1. Easy Installation And Maintenance
Unlike electric bidets, their non-electric counterparts don’t require any drilling or wiring for an electric outlet, and they can work even during a power outage. Moreover, non-electric bidet attachments have fewer moving parts than the former, making installation generally easy for almost any bathroom.
This also means that there are fewer components to take care of in the long run without compromising on longevity. And with features like self-rinsing nozzles (especially in attachments like a non-electric bidet seat), your work is cut down even further.
2. Customizable Water Pressure
The spray pressure of a bidet is a crucial factor that may not seem to be very significant initially. Most people are satisfied with a strong pressure that can push out more water from the nozzles for fast and effective rear cleaning.
However, people with certain medical conditions or injuries on their rear may require lower water pressure, and non-electronic bidets can help with that. Since they are directly connected to the water supply (or valve), you can easily adjust the pressure by turning the valve.
Besides, non-electric handheld sprayers allow you to adjust the water pressure by pressing the lever less or more.
The price of most electric bidets, from the cheapest to the most expensive options, ranges between $200 and $700 (without installation). But non-electric bidets are more economical, with prices ranging between $40 and $200. Besides, you may be able to install them the DIY way, requiring very few tools and accessories and at minimal costs.
As such, non-electric bidets may be one of the most cost-effective updates for your bathroom. Besides, their upfront buying and installation costs practically come to nothing compared to the cost of toilet paper you may have to buy over the years.
Do Non-Electric Bidets Come With Any Disadvantages?
Non-electronic bidets, albeit a hassle-free and affordable way of maintaining personal hygiene, do not have many features compared to electric ones.
Firstly, they don’t come with the compressed air dryer system (which works like a hand dryer) found in electric bidets, meaning you will have to wait for longer for your rear to dry. Some people may use toilet paper for this step, which can somewhat reduce the eco-friendliness of bidets.
Secondly, non-electronic bidets do not spray heated water- you will have to connect them to the nearest hot water line, which can add to the plumbing expenditure. This is especially true for people who don’t have a lot of experience with DIY plumbing.
However, if you don’t require a hot or warm water wash after every bathroom visit, then a dual-temperature non-electric bidet may be a better option. But keep in mind that these models aren’t as commonly available.
Likewise, you don’t get a heated seat or seat warming feature for a non-electric seat and nozzle combo.
Further, manual bidets (i.e., the non-electronic ones) can be challenging for users with mobility issues or those with reduced strength in their limbs and hands. In contrast, an electric bidet with a remote control operation can be more convenient for them, as it requires very little to no effort at all.
People with mobility issues can opt for non-electric bidets with buttons or remote control for ease of use. However, such bidet attachments may cost more money, so factor in your budget.
Electric Vs. Non-Electric Bidets- What Else Would You Miss?
Non-electric bidets are also devoid of some additional features typically found in electric bidets, such as:
1. Self-Cleaning Bowl
Self-cleaning bowls work similarly to self-cleaning nozzles- they are equipped with a spray cleaner that automatically cleans the bowl before and after every use.
2. Self-Closing Lid
Many electric models come with a self-closing lid that closes automatically after every use. Plus, it can help keep kids and pets from the toilet bowl.
3. Night Lights
An electric bidet attachment can also come with lights (typically installed below the rim of the toilet seat) for ease of accessibility at night.
Electric bidet attachments that come with the deodorization (or air freshener) feature has an electric fan and carbon filter to eliminate odor after every use.
Keep in mind, though, that these features are ‘extra’ and don’t really dictate the efficiency of bidets, especially when comparing electric and non-electric models.
Can A Non-Electric Bidet Supply Hot Water Without Electricity?
Yes, technically speaking, a non-electric bidet can provide you with hot water if it’s connected to a nearby hot water supply line. However, if you need electricity to heat water or there’s no tank to store heated water, the bidet won’t spray hot water.
Do You Need A Plumber To Install A Non-Electric Bidet?
Unless you plan on connecting a non-electric bidet to a hot water line, you won’t need a plumber, no matter your expertise level. Most bidet attachments can be easily installed and tested in a few minutes.
Can A Non-Electric Bidet Save Water?
Non-electric bidets can be an eco-friendly option compared to toilet paper, as the latter requires about 37 gallons of water to be made. On the other hand, non-electric bidets use only about one-tenth of a gallon per use through the efficient stream of water for proper cleaning. Besides, these attachments won’t add to your electric bills even with regular use.
How Can You Save More Water With Bidets?
Bidets that come with auto-cleansing technology (whether for the nozzle, the toilet bowl, or both) will invariably use more water than required for just rear washing. And frequent use of such bidets can add up to your water bills.
The easiest solution to this problem is to look for options that are devoid of an auto-cleaning feature. But if you absolutely need them (for ease of maintenance), we’d advise going for a brand that manufactures water-saving or water-efficient bidets.
Do You Need A GFCI Outlet For An Electronic Bidet?
Yes, an electronic bidet will require a 3-pronged ground GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet installed with a minimum of 15 amps. However, bidets with more features may consume more electricity, meaning you’ll require an outlet with a higher amperage capacity. So, contact a qualified electrician for the job.
So, are non-electric bidets worth buying?
The answer to this will depend on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking to replace toilet paper use without making major changes to your bathroom or spending money for hefty plumbing installations, a non-electric bidet can be the right choice.
Although they come with a few shortcomings, they will definitely help you maintain personal hygiene better without burning a hole in your pocket. And if you aren’t on a budget per se, you can always spend more money on additional features like self-cleaning and remote operation.
Want to know more about bidets? Check out our read on the best bidet converter kit.