If you're considering a Toto Washlet for your home, you should first take a look at what kind of toilet you already have. The Washlet is not a complete toilet unit, but instead a high-tech seat that gets mounted on top of an existing toilet. Toto also makes toilets that are compatible with the Washlet, but it's possible to use the Washlet with other brands as well. Before purchasing a unit, you might consider visiting the manufacturer's Web site to see what kind of Washlet will fit on your toilet -- they come in round and elongated shapes and are made to fit one- and two-piece toilets.
To allow the unit to fit properly, the existing toilet must have at least 1.75 inches (4.5 centimeters) of space between the front of the toilet tank and where the seat bolts would be mounted. Because the unit has automated controls, there must be a grounded electrical outlet within 3 feet (about 1 meter) of the toilet so you can plug it in. Professional plumbers are qualified to install the unit, but installation instructions come with the unit, so you may be able to take a DIY approach. The Washlet has several key parts:
- Heated seat and lid unit -- fits on top of your current toilet
- Water filter and drain -- attaches behind the unit to supply water to the spray wand
- Water supply hose -- connects the unit's water supply port to the water source at the rear of the toilet
- Jet spray wand -- sits underneath the lid in the back to spray water up on the user upon command
- Control panel or remote control -- either located next to the unit or mounted on the wall (depending on the model) and lets users activate and stop water streams, as well as adjust water pressure and temperature
In addition to these main functional parts, one other feature that the Washlet model boasts is the self-cleaning nozzle. It is sensor- or remote-operated as part of the jet spray wand, and it cleanses the wand by passing through a sheet of water as it extends -- and then again as it retracts. The wand is built from antimicrobial plastic and has an additional silver ion coating, which is said to fight the growth of microorganisms.
Now that you know how the Toto Washlet works, read on to find out whether it lives up to its claims and really is better for the environment.