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Designing a marine bidet


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The "poo" thread got me thinking-  Why not design a bidet fixture for marine toilets?

I recently installed a bidet into my toilet at home. I'm no stranger to these fixtures, having used them in the Near East and Europe. I greatly prefer them to wads of paper.  One of the biggest gripes about marine toilets is how easily they clog and people putting foreign material into them.  I've read many posts from people who state that they keep a trash can for used toilet paper next to the toilet because they refuse to risk clogging the toilet with paper.

Such a fixture could be designed to work with salt or fresh water. It could have the option of an electric or hand pump to generate the spray. It would simply bolt on under the existing toilet seat like my unit at home.

What say the quorum? Would you use it if it existed?

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14 minutes ago, loneshark64 said:

I want mine connected via NMEA 2000 so I can control it from the MFD. Maybe WiFi for the video feed. And gimbals, of course.

You're not far off from reality. Home bidets can be ridiculously complex and luxury minded.

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9 minutes ago, Israel Hands said:

That's going to fill the waste tank rather quickly, no?  And would have to tap into fresh water system...who wants a shot of marina bottom water up in the netherparts?:huh:

A fine spray under high pressure uses very little water.  I agree that nasty marina or harbor water is not optimal. I would design the system to use both. There are serious health risks involved with tying anything toilet related to the fresh water system. I'm thinking a small, dedicated tank for the bidet is the solution.

I know that there are ways to tie fresh flushing water from the water tanks that involve check valves and solenoids. I'm not sure I want to go that route.

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57 minutes ago, Ajax said:

The "poo" thread got me thinking-  Why not design a bidet fixture for marine toilets?

I recently installed a bidet into my toilet at home. I'm no stranger to these fixtures, having used them in the Near East and Europe. I greatly prefer them to wads of paper.  One of the biggest gripes about marine toilets is how easily they clog and people putting foreign material into them.  I've read many posts from people who state that they keep a trash can for used toilet paper next to the toilet because they refuse to risk clogging the toilet with paper.

Such a fixture could be designed to work with salt or fresh water. It could have the option of an electric or hand pump to generate the spray. It would simply bolt on under the existing toilet seat like my unit at home.

What say the quorum? Would you use it if it existed?

There's the ulta-cheep indo/India style bum-gun. Just hook a pot/sink sprayer it into your pressure water. Of course some user skill is required. 

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I'd like to replace the traditional head in my Centaur with a dessicating/composting head. I can deal with semi-dried shit a lot better than liquid shit, and I'd rather not deal with the plumbing issues inherent with a traditional head. I just haven't found a way to incorporate a bidet yet, though. Mixing poo water into the urine holding "tank" isn't good. Adding moisture to the solids tank isn't good. I've seen recommendations to move to wet wipes instead, but it seems like a half-arsed solution.

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

A fine spray under high pressure uses very little water.  I agree that nasty marina or harbor water is not optimal. I would design the system to use both. There are serious health risks involved with tying anything toilet related to the fresh water system. I'm thinking a small, dedicated tank for the bidet is the solution.

I know that there are ways to tie fresh flushing water from the water tanks that involve check valves and solenoids. I'm not sure I want to go that route.

There's what is called a biological barrier, more than a check valve (although there is one of those too). I put a freshwater-fed electric potty in our trawler for cruising, following the mfgr's instructions on installing the feed system. There was a large-diameter section, an air chamber basically, with a vacuum breaker and shut-off sensor; this prevented any reasonable possibility of backflow or even any germs swimming upstream. It was not difficult to install but it did have some system requirements, like installing this chamber X height above the potty level. It was certainly not a job for Joe I-Don't-Follow-Instructions-Boatyard-Hoofhands-Guy.

Don't recall the name of the model, I think it was a Raritan. My wife considered it a HUGE improvement over the old head. And push-button flushing took the scary-boat-potty factor out of the equation for guests. Didn't use too much water but then our trawler had ~150 gallons.

- DSK

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My brother lived in Japan for a while, and mentioned to me that they have these little warm water spritzers that are placed on the underside of the seat, and aimed so as to clean your bum. He said it saved time and paper. I don't recall what the activating mechanism was (button, foot pedal, remote control, smartphone app, who knows). Anyhow he liked it.

As to having such a thing on a boat, my experience with toilets on small boats is limited, but they seem pretty small. It might be tough to accessorize them with one of these.

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I recently stayed at a hotel with a toilet with a fancy bidet. Best feature was the night light that just illuminated the bowl.

As you walked toward it in the darkness it really looked like a portal into another dimension. Kinda worried it would suck my bum into another space time.

Kind of like this but classier.

image.png.9227ca117333042187ab2152bc7769e9.png

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Tie that into a sensor in the holding tank, and make it glow red when the tank's above a certain level.

Once the others on the boat get used to it, wire in a hidden switch to override it. Flip the switch, then declare everyone's gotta hang overboard. Problem solved!

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I’ve had (and will have) multiple opportunities to use a very fancy lighted and heated seat bidet in a big Air B n B house we’ll be staying at for a big out of town electrical installation job next week.  Honestly, I just cannot deal with the idea of a toilet spraying water on my anus.  There, I said it.  I lived in Japan for four years - never there either!  It sounds awful.  And ineffective.  And sloppy wet.  There, I said that too.  Ewww. 

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I wasn't keen on the theory until this little thing called ulcerative colitis came in to my life. The bidet has been saving my butt ever since.

It also benefits the ladies... I've been told that it's very refreshing after certain activities, easing the "friction burns".

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6 hours ago, Rasputin22 said:

Introducing the Swash 1400 Luxury Bidet Seat: Our Top Five New Features! -  Brondell

The Portal...

You hear stories about snakes, lizards, big spiders, etc lurking in the bowl at night.   This way you can check before you sit when it's dark.

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Just now, Ajax said:

That's a little stronger than I had in mind. 

Most you can adjust the power and angle of attack.  If you go full-bore, just remember to change it back to the original setting or the next occupant may get a surprise. 

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2 hours ago, slap said:

You hear stories about snakes, lizards, big spiders, etc lurking in the bowl at night.   This way you can check before you sit when it's dark.

The town where I used to wurk took its water directly from the Columbia River.  Just went through some settling tanks, light chlorination, then out to the town.  Most older houses had toilet clams.   You’d see them just down there in the channel below the bowl where the brush doesn’t usually quite reach.  You’d sneak quietly into the bathroom to see if you could catch a glimpse before they… clammed up.  So yeah, your junk would be dangling right down there in front of the clam.  But they can’t reach out that far.  Probably.  :unsure:

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I grew up in a house with a bidet.  When I left home, I lived for years without one, and missed it.

Then my muslim friends introduced me to a lota.   No complexity, and it does a great job.

I have several: brass, stainless steel, aluminum, and plastic.

The brass one is prettiest when polished, but I'm too lazy to polish it.  Stainless stays pretty, but although it's a lot lighter than the bronze, it's heavier than the aluminium.  The plastic one is lighter still, and its long spout is handy, but I don't trust plastic to stay clean.  So even though the aluminium one oxidises, it's the one I use most.

On a boat, I use a plastic one, 'cos it makes less noise when rattling around.

802429616_Lota-stainless.jpg.d002a1cb5eed1d1d0c00d79bdb8085a6.jpg                 484893445_Lota-LongNosePlasticLota_500x.jpg.2df8d79da1aa73b327919a1a32b22879.jpg

 

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22 minutes ago, penumbra said:

Kind of shocked the brain trust didn't already highlight a youtube flesh pusher's prior efforts on the topic:

 

 

That's a white man's bum-gun, as posted in the first several posts.  

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15 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I’ve had (and will have) multiple opportunities to use a very fancy lighted and heated seat bidet in a big Air B n B house we’ll be staying at for a big out of town electrical installation job next week.  Honestly, I just cannot deal with the idea of a toilet spraying water on my anus.  There, I said it.  I lived in Japan for four years - never there either!  It sounds awful.  And ineffective.  And sloppy wet.  There, I said that too.  Ewww. 

I’m with you on this. I’m a traditionalist. Imagine you are at a bar drinking with Robin Knox Johnson, Bill Tilman and Larry Pardey, and you say “Hey guys, I’m going to put a bidet on my boat!” Just say no.

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3 hours ago, loneshark64 said:

I’m with you on this. I’m a traditionalist. Imagine you are at a bar drinking with Robin Knox Johnson, Bill Tilman and Larry Pardey, and you say “Hey guys, I’m going to put a bidet on my boat!” Just say no.

They might say it was a great idea, and start oversharing their own experiences of bum rash

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7 hours ago, loneshark64 said:

I’m with you on this. I’m a traditionalist. Imagine you are at a bar drinking with Robin Knox Johnson, Bill Tilman and Larry Pardey, and you say “Hey guys, I’m going to put a bidet on my boat!” Just say no.

Pardey did have a tub… Even if there was no visible means of filling it.

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8 hours ago, loneshark64 said:

I’m with you on this. I’m a traditionalist. Imagine you are at a bar drinking with Robin Knox Johnson, Bill Tilman and Larry Pardey, and you say “Hey guys, I’m going to put a bidet on my boat!” Just say no.

When I used to work (using the word loosely) doing fish species identification on foreign fishing vessels, mainly Taiwanese, they usually had a cage 'seat of ease' over the stern where you went to take a dump.

If the weather was lively, it was also a bidet.

And no plumbing required.

I have a Lavac head. One of the things I find quite annoying about it is, you can't tell if the turds have gone away until the vacuum bleeds off and you (or the next person) opens the lid. I've fitted a washdown pump with hand hose/rose so you can wash/flush stuff into the pump hole, thereby guaranteeing the turds go away.

It would also serve as a bum washing device. If so desired.

FKT

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10 hours ago, loneshark64 said:

I’m with you on this. I’m a traditionalist. Imagine you are at a bar drinking with Robin Knox Johnson, Bill Tilman and Larry Pardey, and you say “Hey guys, I’m going to put a bidet on my boat!” Just say no.

If you're drinking with those three you have no need for a bidet.

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On 11/13/2021 at 2:15 AM, Ajax said:

The "poo" thread got me thinking-  Why not design a bidet fixture for marine toilets?

I recently installed a bidet into my toilet at home. I'm no stranger to these fixtures, having used them in the Near East and Europe. I greatly prefer them to wads of paper.  One of the biggest gripes about marine toilets is how easily they clog and people putting foreign material into them.  I've read many posts from people who state that they keep a trash can for used toilet paper next to the toilet because they refuse to risk clogging the toilet with paper.

Such a fixture could be designed to work with salt or fresh water. It could have the option of an electric or hand pump to generate the spray. It would simply bolt on under the existing toilet seat like my unit at home.

What say the quorum? Would you use it if it existed?

There are a number of them available that you can retrofit to RVs. The major difference between boat and RV here is the fresh water source if you're a saltwater flush installation.

But if you can get a freshwater source to the device, it would be easy enough to fit. The hardware is cheap as chips. For RV, they just make a T in the freshwater feed and use that, so if you already have a freshwater toiler it's easy.

Uses freshwater - downside.
Tricky to rig with warm water...also a downside outside the tropics.


Does not use TP and arguably does a better cleanup - huge upside.

I'd consider it, if I was keeping my boat, except I don't have an easy source of freshwater near the toilet.

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On 11/12/2021 at 12:57 PM, Zonker said:

I recently stayed at a hotel with a toilet with a fancy bidet. Best feature was the night light that just illuminated the bowl.

As you walked toward it in the darkness it really looked like a portal into another dimension. Kinda worried it would suck my bum into another space time.

Kind of like this but classier.

image.png.9227ca117333042187ab2152bc7769e9.png

That looks like something outta Buckaroo Banzai to transport you to the 8th dimension!

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On 11/12/2021 at 8:49 AM, Israel Hands said:

That's going to fill the waste tank rather quickly, no?  And would have to tap into fresh water system...who wants a shot of marina bottom water up in the netherparts?:huh:

Or would it use less water, since you aren't pushing TP down the pipe? Less clogging too. (And someone is going to bring up bagging TP. Whatever.)

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Yeah, that was my experience, trying to learn to waterski. (Everyone else had been doing it since they were like, five.) I didn’t get invited back…

Before Covid, some friends in the city took me out to a cool wine/jazz bar near their place.  The latest thing about it, that everyone was raving about, was the heated bidet in the uni.  Some people were in there for a looong time.  The control panel was so complicated, I was afraid to touch it.  But I had a nice seat on the bench by the fireplace, practically cheek to cheek with the piano player/vocalist.  It was a pretty good (if slightly constipated) night.  

Sadly, I hear the place didn’t survive the covid real-estate/rent asymptote.  

 

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On 11/12/2021 at 6:00 AM, loneshark64 said:

We could go full on Japanese techno toilet.

I've got one of those at home. Heated, lighted, self-opening, heated bidet water, self cleaning, multiple spray patterns, etc. It's very nice. 

I have a fresh-water bidet on the boat too - reach over and grab the shower sprayer. It's heated too, if the engine has run in the last coupla days. 

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Americans are so funny... and I'm one of them.

I never paid much attention to the idea. I'd had them in a few hotels.

But them my wife started chemo, diarrhea is part of the journey, so I installed one. For her, it has been a life saver. But I also changed my opinion... because I was wrong before and because most of the negatives expressed above (which I also believed) are simply incorrect. They really work and are much cleaner. We're all afraid of what we don't understand.

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How do you dry your lower parts when the water is done spraying? Just sit and drip dry or is there a heated fan on these bidets? 

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20 minutes ago, Sail4beer said:

How do you dry your lower parts when the water is done spraying? Just sit and drip dry or is there a heated fan on these bidets? 

When I was doing management consulting in Europe, one of my clients was the leading manufacturer of toilets to luxury hotels.  Their models had essentially blow driers built in.  Good bidets are very very nice, none of the issues those who have not used them imagine.

It was an interesting company. Built their own really high end robotics - Toyota came for a site visit to see of they made such excellent surface finishes.  

 

I never thought much of their advertising copy but ....

CAN A DRYER BE INTELLIGENT? Yes, as the dryer arm is extended independently of the spray arm and aligns itself automatically into position. The air temperature is reduced gradually, therefore leaving a changing heat sensation on drying skin.

TWO NOZZLES ENSURE A NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCE A pulsating shower spray – refined through dynamic aeration – ensures a more intense clean, a particularly pleasant and revitalising feeling and lower water consumption.

A DISCREET NOZZLE The separate Lady shower is characterised by its particularly soft shower spray. Its nozzle is integrated into the spray arm and is therefore hygienically protected when not in use.

INTUITION AT YOUR FINGERTIPS Intuitive usability is the idea behind the remote control. All inputs can be dealt with using one hand. The display on the rear allows individual settings and indicates when descaling is pending.

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9 hours ago, estarzinger said:

When I was doing management consulting in Europe, one of my clients was the leading manufacturer of toilets to luxury hotels.  Their models had essentially blow driers built in.  Good bidets are very very nice, none of the issues those who have not used them imagine.

It was an interesting company. Built their own really high end robotics - Toyota came for a site visit to see of they made such excellent surface finishes.  

 

I never thought much of their advertising copy but ....

CAN A DRYER BE INTELLIGENT? Yes, as the dryer arm is extended independently of the spray arm and aligns itself automatically into position. The air temperature is reduced gradually, therefore leaving a changing heat sensation on drying skin.

TWO NOZZLES ENSURE A NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCE A pulsating shower spray – refined through dynamic aeration – ensures a more intense clean, a particularly pleasant and revitalising feeling and lower water consumption.

A DISCREET NOZZLE The separate Lady shower is characterised by its particularly soft shower spray. Its nozzle is integrated into the spray arm and is therefore hygienically protected when not in use.

INTUITION AT YOUR FINGERTIPS Intuitive usability is the idea behind the remote control. All inputs can be dealt with using one hand. The display on the rear allows individual settings and indicates when descaling is pending.

Say what??  I don't have a display on my rear or want it de-scaled either!

 

https://microship.com/boat-bidet/ This sounds nice though.  Heated seat for the cold mornings!

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2 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

De-scaler? Does it work on fish?

You'll have to ask Estarzinger.  I am suspecting it has to do with de-scaling the heater, but the way it is written made me think of some high pressure acidic blast to descale my ass.  

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12 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

De-scaler? Does it work on fish?

I know you all are making fun . . . but it is a self-cleaning feature (of the toilet not your ass lol), nice if you dont particularly like cleaning toilets, and saves labor in the hotels.

 

We did some market studies of the US to see what the potential was for these sorts of toilets and determines that the US customer, even the 'high end ones', were mostly too barbarian and uncivilized and closed minded to consider (those were the client's words not mine).  This was some time ago, perhaps @Ajaxis demonstrating that the young US man is more open to such things today :)

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13 hours ago, estarzinger said:

 Good bidets are very very nice

Recently I’ve been working on the electrical for a new house build that has, if I recall, five bidets...each costs around $5000 each...they’re very, very nice (but I haven’t tried them :-) ).  Wife is Japanese, hubby a Westerner.  They obviously have a good budget (the bidets are a small fraction of the total electrical budget), but he’s also clearly catering to his Japanese wife’s needs.. :-)

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On 11/12/2021 at 8:15 AM, Ajax said:

What say the quorum? Would you use it if it existed?

Absolutely, we have a Tushy, saves a ton of paper. Water out there is easy to make. They don't use a lot frankly.

I always ask people........say you got crap on your hands, would you wipe it off with a paper towel, or would you wash it off with water?

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Being a well traveled military man as well as my own personal travels abroad has exposed me to many things, good and bad.

Ok, I won't go to the hassle of designing a dedicated "marine bidet" and I'll just install a "bum gun" and practice my aim. My conclusion is this:

  • Composting toilet is probably best (but doesn't fit in my allotted space)
  • Marine flush toilets only reluctantly pass paper products (and are easily jammed by any other foreign matter such as feminine hygiene products)
  • Keeping a waste basket of shitty, used paper next to the toilet is absolutely unacceptable to us
  • This leaves a bum gun as the workable solution
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I've noticed that all of the negatives are from people that have not used one. Pretty funny and pretty typical.

  • Save TP and clogging.
  • Don't actually use more water because there is no TP to push through.
  • Wife will like it.
  • Drying is really not a problem. Do you buff that area with a towel when you shower?
  • Cleanliness is improved, which has a number of advantages no one has been frank enough to enumerate. You wouldn't wash your hands with a wad of TP:
    • No more klingons
    • Cleaner clothes
    • Reduced need to shower or sprung bath, saving the water you just used.
    • Reduced hand washing. You didn't touch anything if you did it right.
    • Reduced problems with irritation due to saltwater or diarrhea.
    • Faster.

I think Americans are too embarrassed to ask.

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Hmm... even though I used low-volume tubing partly for this reason, it still wastes about a liter of water to get hot water all the way from the heater to the head.  I suppose that volume could constitute the "fresh water flush."  Now we need some rationale for running the engine first thing in the morning. A time when I usually prefer peace and quiet.  Still, the idea is gaining traction.

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6 hours ago, estarzinger said:

a very very smart man

Yeah, I currently find myself in slightly above freezing temps in my boat trying to “finish” a very annoying and of course difficult heater duct/fan installation...in attempt to pull more heat off the diesel cabin heater and duct it down low for her:  happy wife happy life :-)

(Fingers crossed.  But they’re quite cold, so it’s hard. Stupid me, I never thought to actually light the heater when I got here, figuring it wasn’t worth the trouble, since I’d only be here “an hour” :-) )

55189D82-0EB0-42FB-B54E-45E9F8C0BDD0.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

.... duct it down low for her:  

We did pretty well on heating on Hawk . . . except I did not get it down low quite enough, so initially our knees and up would be toasty but feet a bit cold. I put carpet down one winter, thinking it was not nautical and we would have to take it up to go sailing . . . but it actually was extremely grippy (rubber backed) and did not move around at all and we just left it down the whole time we were in the south.  It made a surprising difference in foot warmth.

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8 hours ago, toddster said:

Hmm... even though I used low-volume tubing partly for this reason, it still wastes about a liter of water to get hot water all the way from the heater to the head.  I suppose that volume could constitute the "fresh water flush."  Now we need some rationale for running the engine first thing in the morning. A time when I usually prefer peace and quiet.  Still, the idea is gaining traction.

All our drinking water goes through a Brita jug filter, so we fill that with water used to warm up the lines. No waste.

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12 hours ago, estarzinger said:

We did pretty well on heating on Hawk . . . except I did not get it down low quite enough, so initially our knees and up would be toasty but feet a bit cold. I put carpet down one winter, thinking it was not nautical and we would have to take it up to go sailing . . . but it actually was extremely grippy (rubber backed) and did not move around at all and we just left it down the whole time we were in the south.  It made a surprising difference in foot warmth.

+1 on the floor covering.  On my first boat I used those grippy foam tiles that interlock for gyms.  Interlocking them and cutting them took a few hours.  Easy to lift up any one section for the bilge without a big carpet to roll up.   

Not as nice a boat as Hawk, old glass beast.  But it meant that the propane Dickinson kept us warm and barefoot were comfortable.  I measured the temperature change from ceiling to floor as dropping about 8 degrees over the 6'.  1 degree after.  Propane usage dropped noticeably, I got an extra day between fills.

Seemed to cut down on mold growth too keeping the warm air out of the bilge.  

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On 12/30/2021 at 1:11 PM, thinwater said:

Americans are so funny... and I'm one of them.

I never paid much attention to the idea. I'd had them in a few hotels.

But them my wife started chemo, diarrhea is part of the journey, so I installed one. For her, it has been a life saver. But I also changed my opinion... because I was wrong before and because most of the negatives expressed above (which I also believed) are simply incorrect. They really work and are much cleaner. We're all afraid of what we don't understand.

I had a very similar experience a few years ago when my wife started having similar problems due to some medication she was taking just as Covid was beginning and store shelves were bare.  I was skeptical but found that I liked it a lot more than I ever expected to and it helped my wife with her issues as well.  Then my 92 year old mother broke her right arm so I got her one which helped her out a lot. Its one of those things that sounds sort of icky and unnecessary at first but once you try it you wonder why they aren’t in every home.  Now that I’ve had it awhile I wouldn’t want to be without one in my home. 
 

My boat has vacu-flush heads and a Watermaker so fresh water is available, so I still might install one and since I’m not often plugged into dock power I wouldn’t want to use the heated toilet seat or heated water options.  Plus, it would be one more thing to have to winterize on a boat in a cold climate.  Maybe a bum gun would be a good compromise on a boat though? 

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1 hour ago, jtsailjt said:

 

My boat has vacu-flush heads and a Watermaker so fresh water is available, so I still might install one and since I’m not often plugged into dock power I wouldn’t want to use the heated toilet seat or heated water options.  Plus, it would be one more thing to have to winterize on a boat in a cold climate.  Maybe a bum gun would be a good compromise on a boat though? 

The Vacuflush 506+ actually has a hand-held spray option. I found it by accident looking for a place to buy a replacement 506 online. Several other models use that same style of valve, so I bet you could do this as a retrofit on other models.

See the source image

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  • 1 month later...

We installed one of the ones that just works from water pressure in our RV, no heating, and while the fancy heated one at home is considerably nicer, the unheated water in the RV was not nearly as bad as I was expecting it to be. Helps you conserve water though since you definitely only run it as long as you absolutely need. And that was with using it this past winter when it was near freezing so the water was Not Warm At All.

Highly recommend them, way way better than dealing with toilet paper in the tank.

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