Today, we’re looking at the different reasons your bidet might be running colder than it’s supposed to. Causes range from problems with the bidet or the wrong settings to differing expectations regarding what the cleansing pressure should be.
1. Installation Issues (Non-Electric Bidets)
If you have a dual temp bidet attachment or non-electric seat, it’s possible something went wrong in the installation.
This type of bidet comes with an extra T-adapter and a second hose that have to be hooked up a certain way. The extra adapter is smaller (3/8”) and the second hose is extra-long (~9-10 feet).
Solution: Make sure the 3/8” T-adapter is connected to the hot water shutoff valve underneath the sink. This is to ensure you’re not getting cold water from both the sink and the toilet supply. If installed incorrectly, follow the manufacturer’s directions to put the T-adapter on the hot water shutoff valve.
2. The Water Heater Is Accidentally Set to “OFF”
If you have an electric bidet and you’re only getting cold water, you may have the heater accidentally set to “OFF”.
Models vary, but electric bidet seats have several water temperature levels to choose from, as well as an “OFF” setting.
Solution: If you have an instantaneous or tankless-type water heater, you can go ahead and give it a try. If you have a tank-type or hybrid water heater, switch the heater on and give the reservoir time to heat up.
If you’re not sure which type of heat you have, look at the shape of your bidet. Bidets with tank-type and hybrid heaters are bulkier/higher in the back and slope down to the front. Bidets with instantaneous-type heaters have a lower profile design and more continuous contour.
You can expect a quick burst of cold water (a second or two) with tankless water heater bidets because they can’t heat the water that’s already at the nozzle when you initiate a cleaning session.
3. The Wrong Water Temperature Setting Is Selected
Another potential easy-to-fix issue with electric bidets, is when the wrong setting in place.
Models vary, but electric bidet seats tend to have 3-5 water temperature levels to choose from (in addition to the “OFF” setting).
Solution: Is the water temperature on your electric bidet set to a low level? If so, switch it to a higher setting.
You’ll probably find that you want the highest temp level because electric bidets don’t usually heat water past 104 F (not the ones that I’ve encountered), so the chance of scalding is minimal compared to non-electric dual temp bidets.
4. A Faulty Water Heater
Another potential issue is that your electric bidet is broken or has a broken water heater.
If you’ve had your seat for a while, it could be time for an upgrade of some sort—either new parts or a new bidet.
Solution 1: Send it in for Repair
It’s a bothersome process, but if you’re still under warranty, you can send it in for repair. If it’s not under warranty, it may still be cheaper to get the seat fixed than to buy a brand new one.
Solution 2: Get a New Bidet
If you’re not under warranty or you were quoted a higher price than what it would take to get a new one of similar quality, it’s time for a new purchase.
- Choose a good replacement. I’d go with a quality brand to prevent this from happening again. More and more brands are putting out electric bidets these days. Like with any product, not all bidets are created equal.
- Get a surge protector. Electric seats aren’t the cheapest of bidets, so it’s usually advised that you get a quality surge protector. Treat it like a prized entertainment center.
- Choose a bidet with a great warranty. When choosing a bidet, one of the main things to consider is whether a given model comes with a good warranty. Bidets put out by reputable brands like Brondell and TOTO can last a good long time, way beyond the expiration of the warranty. But, better safe than sorry.
5. You Live in a Cold Climate
Bidet owner’s manuals state that cold bathrooms and climates can result in cold bidet water, at least initially.
This can affect both electric and non-electric models, but especially the latter. The owner’s manual that came with my bidet mentions that when the room temp of the bathroom is low, the water temperature can be slow to warm up when first spraying.
The water temperature put out by non-heated bidets is the same as other cold-water appliances in the home and matches the average cold water inlet temperatures in a given location.
On average, it’s 40-70 F in the US, but temperatures can reach lower levels in the coldest of cold states, especially during the winter.
Solution: Get a warm water bidet, electric or non-electric. Again, colder bathrooms can affect spray temperatures, at least at the beginning of a spray session.
So, if going with an electric seat, get one that sprays water up to 104 F (or higher if you can find it). Some only do 90-100 F which may not be enough for you, since you’re reading this article.
6. You Have the Wrong Kind of Bidet
Most bidets only spray cold water, because non-electric bidets make up a bigger category. With electric bidets, you have seats. With non-electric bidets, you have seats, attachments, and handheld sprayers. Warm water non-electric bidets exist, but they’re less common.
Anyway, when new to the subject, it can be easy to just grab the first bidet that comes up from a search, without considering what kind of features you’re looking for.
Sometimes it’s just assumed that bidets spray warm water when only certain models provide this feature.
Solution: Other features vary, but all electric bidets spray warm water. The specific bidet and type of water heater determine how warm and for how long the water sprays before running cold.
If going non-electric, you’ll want a dual temperature bidet attachment or seat. I always recommend attachments as the best non-electric option because non-electric seats have a more involved installation and don’t offer any unique benefits. Again, make sure you have the right kind of bathroom setup.
Another option is to get a handheld sprayer with a mixing valve to allow for warm water.
7. The Home’s Hot Water Supply Is Down (Non-Electric Bidets)
If you have a non-electric bidet that sources water from a hot water shutoff valve, the water heater may be down.
There are several possible causes of home water heater failure (source)
- Loss of power or gas.
- Circuit breaker or fuse. A tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse can cause water heater failure.
- Thermostat issues. Various causes.
- The pilot light went out. I.e., the little flame visible through the small window at the bottom of the heater.
- Electronic ignition problems. E.g., clogged flame sensor.
- Temperature and pressure-relief (TPR) valve. The relief valve for excess temperature/pressure can get leaky.
- Loose components. Sometimes components like fittings, nuts, or bolts need tightening.
Solution: Check the water temp coming out of warm water appliances that feed from the same hot water supply. You may be able to solve simple issues with a helpful YouTube video, but most issues will call for hiring an expert.
8. Your Electric Seat Has a Tank-Type Water Heater
Bidets with tank-type water heaters often run cold sooner than the user expects, despite working as intended. Tank-type water heaters offer a limited warm water supply of about a minute, though some perform better than others.
If one were unaware of this, it might be confusing why the bidet only sprays cold after a certain amount of time.
A minute is usually plenty long enough, but some bowel movements need a more thorough clean than others. Plus, some users, especially women, like to clean the frontal and posterior regions which can take twice as long causing the warm water to run out mid wash.
With tank-type heaters, water is heated and kept warm in a reservoir. The tanks can only be so big, so the warm water supply is limited. Once it runs out, the bidet can continue to clean with unheated water (typically, 40-70 F).
So, this type of bidet won’t leave you high and dry, but you’ll have to finish cleaning with cold water if it takes more than a minute to clean, which can be cold depending on your location and time of year.
Solution: I’d upgrade to a better water heater—get a bidet with a tankless heater. We cover the best electric bidets with endless warm water in this article.
Another option is to get a dual-temp non-electric bidet if your bathroom will allow for it. Info on the type of bathroom setup you need for this type of bidet can be found in the article on bidet plumbing requirements.
Both options offer limitless warm water and come with their own pros and cons. The non-electric option is cheaper but less apartment-friendly. Also, once you’re used to electric bidets it can be hard to go back.
9. You’re a Victim of Hybrid Heater False Advertising
Are the cleaning sessions with your hybrid water heater bidet colder than you expected? Users of hybrid heaters often find that the water runs cold sooner than advertised.
As we’ve touched on, there are tank-type and tankless water heaters. One uses a small reservoir that runs out in a minute and the other heats water instantly to provide a limitless warm water supply.
Hybrid heaters combine the two technologies in a way that’s supposed to provide endless warm water at a cheaper price.
They’re fine, but most users report that they don’t live up to the marking claims of providing endless warm water. I haven’t used one, but I’ve gone through a lot of user feedback.
They seem to be better than tank-type heaters, on average, but they usually only spray warm for a couple of minutes (about twice as long as tank-type heaters) and some fail to outperform their lower-tech cousins.
Solution: As with the previous scenario, you’ll need a tankless electric bidet, a dual temp non-electric model, or a warm water handheld sprayer.
10. High User Expectations
Maybe the bidet is working, but you’re just underwhelmed by the temperature. Electric bidets usually heat water to between 90 to 104 F which may not be to your liking.
The temperature range is considered warm by plumbing standards (anything over 120 F is hot), but temperature is subjective when it comes to comfort.
The warm rather than hot temperature range is to prevent scalding because the skin around private areas can be extra sensitive and prone to irritation. Causing irritation cancels out the hygiene benefits of the bidet, so it’s something you want to avoid.
But everyone’s different and what one person finds irritating, another might find pleasant.
Solution: Get a dual temperature non-electric bidet (attachment or seat) or a handheld bidet with a mixing valve. Something like the LUXE Neo 320 for an attachment, or a handheld sprayer/mixing valve combo.