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Bidets are becoming more and more accessible. Today, you can purchase one that will attach right onto your toilet (sometimes replacing the seat) to keep it both cost-effective and user-friendly. There are some caveats – it is not always an easy job to install a bidet due to differences in toilet models.
How would one go about installing a bidet to a skirted toilet? Skirted toilet seats are often very close to the wall; in order to do this properly, you will need a t-valve connector. Once you have this, the process is simple. Shut off the water, detach the hose, place the t-valve, add the bidet hose and bidet to the toilet, and then turn back on the water.
While this sounds like it could be simple, it is not always so easy. There are factors with pipes, water, fittings, and space along the way. To be best prepared, check out the detailed steps below to ensure that you are as prepared as possible to install a bidet to your skirted toilet.
Detailed Steps to Installing a Bidet on a Skirted Toilet
1.Obtain the T-Valve and Proper Tools
You will need to pick out the proper t-valve ahead of time. Check out my article on the best t-valves here for more insight. In order to do this, check behind you skirted toilet. You should make sure that any t-valve you get will be able to fit back there with enough room for you to tighten it to the hose. As for tools, you should get both a wrench and pliers. It will help to have a variety – including needle-nose pliers to get behind the skirt.
2. Shut Off the Water Supply and Empty the Toilet
The first step to installing any bidet is to prep the area. In order to ensure a non-messy job, you need to shut off the water. The valve is located behind the toilet, likely just barely coming outside of the wall. Spin this clockwise until it is tight in order to shut off water to the toilet.
Once the water is off, you will need to flush the toilet – probably a couple of times to make sure there is no water in the tank. Leaving water in the tank will cause water to come back out of the pipe when disconnecting the hose.
3. Remove the End of the Hose
The ideal side of the hose to remove will be the “female” end – which is the side that is closer to the water tank (and has the hole for insertion). Place a small rag below the pipes and hoses to catch any leaking water. Remove the hose from the pipe that goes into the tank and make sure there is no heavy leaking. Small amounts of water coming out is normal, as it was likely trapped in the pipes unable to flush or backtrack. If large amounts of water come out, immediately replace the pipe and attempt to discover the source of the problem or call a plumber.
4. Place the T-Valve Between the Hose and Underside of the Toilet Tank
Now that you have removed the hose, it is time to install your new t-valve. I suggest tightening it to the pipe coming out of the tank first. This is a sturdy surface and will allow it to refrain from moving as you put the hose back on. Once it is on with the hose attached below it, reach in with a wrench (or needle-nose pliers if need be) and make sure everything is tight. You definitely do not want a leak at this point, so be sure to follow this step closely.
5. Connect the Bidet Hose to the Extra T-Valve Line
Now is when you get to truly install the bidet. Connect your bidet hose to the extra connection point on the t-valve. This should be fairly easy to do, just make sure it is on there snug. Again, you will want to make sure this will not be a leaky point, so proper installation is important.
6. Put the Bidet on the Toilet
If you have not already, place your bidet on the toilet. Since you are installing this on a toilet, it is safe to assume that you are either replacing the whole seat or just adding a small bidet attachment. For attachments, you will likely be able to add this under your screws on the seat, or just clip it to the edge. If you are replacing the whole seat, make sure the size, spacing, and type of screws are compatible. Secure tightly to avoid falling off of your seat when you sit on it.
7. Check All the Connections
At this point, everything that is supposed to be attached should be attached. Take a minute to check that everything is tight. Any loose connection can cause you almost the same amount of time as the initial install – not to mention a mess to clean up. If necessary, find extra gasket rings, use plumbing tape on threading, and use pliers to ensure that everything is as tight as possible without breaking.
8. Turn on the Water
Now is the moment of truth. Twist the water valve counter-clockwise to allow water to run back into the toilet. This should cause the tank, bowl, and lines to the bidet to fill. Pay attention to see if there are any leaky points. If so, you will need to readjust.
9. Test Everything Out
At this point, it may be easy to say that your bidet is fully functional. Do not conclude this yet. Make sure you test out everything, starting with a flush and refill. Watch the lines and connections for leaks. Now test out your bidet, run water from it for 1 to 2 minutes to ensure that everything is functioning properly.
Congratulations! You have now installed (or are prepared to install) your bidet to your skirted toilet!
What do I do if Something Starts Leaking?
If, at any point after turning on the water, you are experiencing a leak, shut off the water and drain the toilet again. Water can quickly cause a mess and damage to your bathroom. Once the water is off, locate the leak and see if you can find the issue.
If it is a hole in either the toilet hose or the bidet hose, you should replace the whole thing rather than patching it. Patching can lead to a leak later – which may not be noticed for a while. If it is on a connection (more likely), you should take it apart and see if there are any noticeable obstructions.
At this point, it will depend on what you want to do. You can try plumbers tape or plumbers putty, or you can replace the entire piece. I like to stay on the safe side and replace any valve connection that is not functioning properly. The initial investment of time, money, and effort will no doubt save you trouble in the future.
What if I am Unable to Remove the Connections Behind the Toilet?
Unfortunately, some skirted toilets are made way too close to the wall to hide the valves and pipes. While this is aesthetically very pleasing, it is a lot of trouble for people who want to shut off water or work on/around the toilet.
The best option, in this case, is to use something small (a stick even) to slowly turn off the water by pushing the valve. Once this is done, you will be able to drain the toilet the same. It is after this that gets trickier, so make sure you have some large rags around.
Place rags around the toilet, and remove the bolts holding it to the ground. You can then pull the toilet out from the wall a couple of inches to be able to reach behind there and work. Doing this may require you to remove a pipe or hose, which can cause minimal leaking (the reason for the towels).
Now you can proceed as usual, just remember to make sure everything is tight before setting the toilet back in its place. The same steps that were described above should still remain, you will just need to carefully manage doing them in the smaller space allowed. Tightening along the way will be critical here as you may not be able to see leaks as easily later on. Follow the steps above, though, and you should not run into any issues.