The Inax Toilet Scam
It’s been a little over 12 years since we built our house. The toilet on the first floor is an Inax model CW-H22 washlet toilet. (H20 type) So, to get right to the point, a little over 10 years after the house was built the lights for the washlet strength started to flash. Nothing seemed to be wrong with it, but once the lights started flashing, you could no longer adjust the water pressure on the spray.
How I fixed it…
I checked the user’s manual and it said that you should get the washlet checked after 10 years of use. Seemed a bit odd that it would start blinking right about the time they recommend a service call. (Paid, of course) So I pulled the washlet off the toilet, took it apart, cleaned it up and looked for a reset button or something. No such luck. The lights still blinked even though everything except water pressure adjustment was still working. Okay, I can put up with a little blinking in the bathroom.
Fast forward 2-and-a-half years. The toilet seat was sitting on the toilet a bit crooked, so I reached down and straightened it out. Snap. One of the anchor bolts holding it to the porcelain bowl broke in two. Oh what the hell, they’re plastic and it has been 12 years so it wasn’t that surprising.
Go online to look up some replacements and ho, ho, ho but what do I find? Some Japanese guy going through the same blinky-blinky I have. (His blog is here.) Well, he didn’t just put up with it. He called Inax and when they tried to get him to pay around $60 for the guy to come out and look at it, he gave them shit. He got them to admit that the washlet wasn’t broken and it was just time for a check-up. He even tried to get them to tell him how to reset it, but they just stuck with the “only a service man can do it” line. When he pressured them with putting a claim in to the Japanese better business bureau, they offered to “fix” it for free.
But, lucky for us, this guy knows a bit about circuitry. He did a bit of research and figured out what was what “under the hood.” Apparently, there is a timer built into the circuit board. They loop a wire up out of the resin coating the board. When the serviceman cuts the wire, the blinking stops and operation returns to normal.
I’ll post a quick how-to below – or you can check out his original site to see how he rebuilt the charcoal filter and turned off the timer.
So, here is the washlet when you take the cover off and clean it up. As you can see, the electronics are located in the “arm” on the left.
You can see the circuit board here. The black plastic panel is for the buttons. One odd thing is that the two fuses in the top right have been coated in resin, so even if they blow, you’d have to replace the whole washlet.
The point we are interested in is the condensor on the far left bottom on this picture. The one with the red wire running next to it.
Okay, do you see the loop of bare wire sticking up out of the resin? Get a small pair of snippers and cut that SOB right the hell off. Trust me!
This is apparently connecting to a timer that they have rigged in their circuitry to screw up the operation of the unit after 10 years. After cutting this and putting your washlet back together, it should work just fine. No blinking lights, and you can now adjust your water pressure.