This thread really seems to be the most comprehensive source of information on usung Japanese washlets. Thanks to all!! Even if it´s quite old already I should add my 2 Cents:
Here is another positive experience of using an Jap. model abroad. Brought a National Showerlet (then, one of better models with motor lid) about 6y ago to Germany.
(note: National was the sister brand of Panasonic, some years ago Matsushita has streamlined their brand portfolio and only Panasonic remains...)
Installation was not a big issue. However, no way to adjust this fixture thingy to the holes in my toilet. Just glued it on toilet surface using flexible assembly adhesive (don't know the right name, this suff that comes in caulking cartridges, like silicon but much firmer). Can really recommend this if the screws and distances will not fit at all. Should e removable (Will try soon...)
Electricity I did give a big thought. Just hooked it up to a 500w 230V-110V trans. Trans has no earth... Will improve this.
So far everything worked fine until recently the washlet breathed its last... I believe it was the hard water here
(especially in my town). Maybe newer models are less sensible. Maybe there is a way to decalcify once in a while flushing lemon acid or so... Not sure.
Already ordered the next washlet to be brought by friends in their moving container. This time TOTO. Reason are Japanese user reviews and our personal feeling having used both. (This time with sensor lid ;) And TOTO is THE ORIGINAL.
Price is now below JPY41000 for KV446 (w/ sensor lid but no fan)
My idea is to install this time a Japanese 110V socket connected to a trans hidden in the 'sanitary installation block' (hope you understand): No ugly black trans on the floor and earth can be properly connected.
So my clear message is:
-DO IT if you want/can ship it at reasonable cost/effort and do not mind using a transformator (US&Co.: You are even luckier).
-Installation is much easier as it seems at first sight. At a pinch you can glue as well. Inch based fittings seem to be standard in most countries. Worst case you need some small adapters.
-The show effect of motor lid is PRICELESS ;)
-Cannot say anything about water hardness. Should be an issue. With our very hard water National lasted 6y. Good? Aver? Bad? Don't know...
-In Europe models of same functionality and quality are still rare and cost are higher by factor 2-3!!
- For latest prices check here: http://kakaku.com/kaden/toilet-seat/