Swash Ecoseat - Bidet Toilet Seat
Swash Ecoseat installs onto your existing toilet and transforms it into a bidet for personal cleansing. Brondell makes several models of bidet toilet seats with the Ecoseat being the entry level model. More elaborate models add features such as a heated seat, heated water spray and an air dryer.
Installation is Fast and Easy
We installed the elongated model (they also offer a model for round bowls) onto a Kohler toilet. The design is well thought out and installation couldn't be easier. Simply remove the old toilet seat, install a mounting plate and fasten the new seat. The plumbing steps were also very easy - turn off the water, flush the toilet, disconnect the water supply hose from the bottom of toilet tank and attach it to the supplied diverter valve, connect the diverter valve to the toilet tank and turn the water back on. We completed the entire installation in fourteen minutes. They get top marks for ease of installation.
How It Works
The Ecoseat has two spray wands, one for front cleansing and one for rear cleansing. The wands normal position is retracted and hidden from view. When the the control button is selected, one of the wands extends and begins spraying. It will continue to spray until the "Stop" button is pressed (or if you stand up). The controls for the bidet are located on the right hand side of the seat. The three button controls allow you to select front wash, rear wash and off. The buttons can also be used to adjust the position of the two sprayers and the water pressure can be set to one of three levels. The seat has a weight sensor to ensure the unit will spray only when a person is seated. The unit is battery operated (requires 4 AA batteries).
How It Performs
We tested the unit in a home with a family of four. After everyone got over their initial amusement, they used it regularly. Early comments included "its too cold" and "I don't like being wet when it is done". However over the course of a week, as the household grew used to the bidet seat, these comments seemed to no longer be of concern.
Once the button is pressed to start the spray, it takes about 2 seconds for the spray to begin. When the "Stop" button is pressed, the sprays stops almost immediately. The strength of the spray is adjustable and it ranged from gentle to "lightly forceful". All sprays were rated as "comfortable" by the users.
The Ecoseat is easy to clean, it is cleaned essentially in the same way as a standard toilet seat. The wands and filter are the only additional considerations. The wands can be drawn out by hand and should wiped off with a clean damp cloth. A water filter is contained in the diverter valve. It is easy to clean, and should be checked every six months or so, depending upon your water conditions. The seat also has a "slow close" feature to prevent the seat from slamming closed.
The controls are located on the right hand side of the seat. The are easy to use, although they are not intuitive. In order to adjust the pressure or position, you must refer to the directions, as there are none printed on the controls. Also, the forward button controls the rear cleansing and the rear button controls the front cleansing - in our mind, these seem reversed. Also, the controls are difficult to see when seated, although this is not a serious issue since there are only three buttons to operate and they are raised and easy to operate by touch.
This product has several strong points. The ease of installation is excellent. The unit performs, essentially, as advertised. We believe the unit may be a great benefit to persons whose mobility make normal hygiene tasks difficult. Families with young children might also find this a great way to assist children with learning proper hygiene. The gentle wash of water is also soothing for rash or hemorrhoid conditions. The unit is effective for feminine hygiene and menstrual cleansing. The unit reduces the need for toilet paper, which is good for the environment and lessens the risk of sewer back-ups.
In the trial, some members of the family found the cold water spray to be an issue. Selection of a model with a water heating feature should resolve that issue. While the bidet was reasonably effective at cleansing, it did not entirely eliminate the need for toilet paper in some cases. In fact, Brondell claims that its products will reduce toilet paper by about 75%.
In consideration of hygienic and therapeutic benefits of a bidet seat, we can imagine ourselves integrating this product into our homes. The Ecoseat is easy to install and easy to clean. We found the Ecoseat to be acceptably effective at cleansing. We recommend the Ecoseat with a note that if a cold water spray may be an issue, you should consider a model with the heated water feature.
Available in round or elongated oval sizes. Available in white. Suggested retail price $360. Expected street price - $279. Available from Brondell's website and from specialty plumbing suppliers. Find local retailers via Brondell's "Where to buy" link.