What home appliance doesn’t have some smart variation these days? We’ve quickly moved from smart phones and smart televisions to smart refrigerators and smart… toilets? A smart toilet system may not be everyone’s priority—if it ain’t broke, as they say—but if you’re inclined to embrace new technology, you might be surprised at the added luxury that a smart toilet can bring to your home.
Here’s all you want to know about smart toilets—even if you were afraid to ask.
What Is a Smart Toilet?
A smart toilet is toilet that functions like any other, but it uses electronic technology for a range of luxury, health, and environmental applications. Many smart toilet models have integrated bidets as well.
Electronic toilets have been around for more than 20 years, but they have only recently become more in demand in the United States. As we’ve come to expect more from our appliances, a multipurpose smart toilet is a natural addition to the modern bathroom.
What Does a Smart Toilet Do?
There are countless models of electronic toilets from a range of manufacturers. The features on one smart toilet may not necessarily appear on another, but here are some common functions and attributes:
- Water temperature and pressure controls. Bidets make for a cleaner, more hygienic bathroom experience, but comfort is dependent on the temperature and pressure of the water. A smart toilet has integrated controls so you can adjust the water temperature and pressure to your personal preference.
- Air dryers. Integrated air dryers are also adjustable and offer a hygienic alternative to bidet towels.
- Lighting. Many smart toilet models use LED lighting for design accents and nighttime illumination.
- Seat warmers. No need to shiver against a cold seat in the winter. Electronic toilets can maintain more comfortable seat temperatures.
- Automatic flushing. A touchless smart toilet flusher is a common feature. Some models sense when you walk away, and others are activated with a wave of the hand.
- Deodorizers. Deodorizing mechanisms can draw air through a carbon filter, neutralizing odors. This method effectively eliminates odors instead of simply masking them with a fragrance.
- Automatic cleaning. Self-cleaning toilets use UV light or replenishable cleaning solutions to kill bacteria.
- Customizable presets. Electronic toilets allow for programmable profile preferences to ensure that water temperature, water pressure, seat temperature, and more are adjusted at the press of a button. Many models allow for remote control operation.
- Music playback. Just in case you want a little mood music, you can buy a smart toilet that is Bluetooth compatible.
- Plumbing protection. Some electronic toilets feature sensors that can alert you to clogs, leaks, and other plumbing problems.
- Health readings. Specialized electronic toilets can measure your weight, blood pressure, or oxygen levels.
How Do You Maintain a Smart Toilet?
A smart toilet requires maintenance and care, just like any other home appliance or plumbing fixture. Even if your model is self-cleaning, periodic manual cleanings are necessary. Avoid using harsh chemicals or excess water on or in proximity to electronic components. You can clean porcelain surfaces just as you would on a traditional toilet. For detailed care instructions, of course refer to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Some electronic toilets also require filter changes. This could be a deodorizing carbon filter or a water filter. As a rule of thumb, filters need to be changed every six months or so, but—again—defer to the manufacturer's recommendations.
Do Toilets Use Electricity?
Traditional toilets do not require electric power to function. If your home has an electric well pump, then your toilet tank will not refill after flushing, but you can still manage to flush a traditional toilet by pouring a bucket of water into the tank.
A smart toilet, of course, requires electric power. In the event of a power failure, nearly all functions will cease to operate. Some models have an emergency flush function, however, and can still be used during a power outage. As with traditional toilets, you may need to manually refill the toilet tank. The viability of a smart toilet during a power outage varies from model to model. If your home is prone to power failures, invest in a model that has an emergency flush feature.
How Much Does a Smart Toilet Installation Cost?
A smart toilet costs considerably more than a standard toilet. You can buy a traditional toilet at a home supply store for less than $200. If you have a plumber install it, your total cost might be $400–$500. A somewhat basic smart toilet can cost $1,000. High-end models can go for $5,000 or more. Smart toilet installation can be more involved as well. It’s not only a matter of hooking up the toilet to the home’s plumbing system. There is an electrical component as well, and that may mean opening up the bathroom walls to run electrical wire or installing an electrical control panel above the toilet. This specialized work can quickly inflate the cost of installing a smart toilet.
The added comfort and modern styling of a smart toilet may justify the higher price for you, but if keeping a tight budget is a priority, a traditional toilet may be the way to go.
Enduring Plumbing Protection
Whether you upgrade your home to include electronic toilets or stick to the traditional models, you can invest in home warranty protection to affordably maintain and repair your home’s plumbing system. If your toilet’s tank, bowl, seals, or operating mechanisms need to be repaired or replaced, Liberty Home Guard has you covered. Our plumbing system protection also covers showers, built-in bathtubs, stoppages, and leaks or breaks in water, drain, and waste lines.
We offer plumbing protection as part of our System Guard plan, which also includes coverage for electrical, HVAC, and water heating systems. You can also invest in our Total Home Guard plan, which folds in coverage for a suite of home appliances. Use our website for a free quote or call (866)-432-1283.