Toilet tank sweating


I have a Kohler toilet tank in one of the bathrooms that sweats so much that it forms small puddles on the tile floor.
This worries me because I fear it will eventually soak into the baseboard and down to the subfloor and cause a moisture problem. I can't spend all day running back and forth to dry it off.
I've been told that it is because the humidity is too high in my house and that I should get a dehumidifyer. That is out of the question, I cannot afford one. Though there is a certain amount of humidity, it makes it easier on the sinuses this time of year.
The water here is quite cold right now, and I would like a simple solution to this problem.
Have any of you any suggestions that are at little or no cost?
TIA!
Kate
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Don't bother trying to insulate the tank with styrofaom or any other tricks. You need to warm up the water in the tank slightly. A special fitting is made to mix hot water in so you don't get condensation. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/bathplumbing/article/0,26206,1187087,00.html
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An aquarium heater can help.

You might run an $80 window AC indoors for very efficient electric heating.
Nick
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Common solution is to mix a little hot water into the supply with a bit of creative plumbing.
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Two factors governs the speed with which water vapor (from air) condenses on the tank wall (and therefore runs off into puddles.) 1 = Humidity (percentage of water vapor in the air. The amount of water the air can carry is governed by air temperature.) 2 = Temperature difference between the air and the cold wall of the toilet tank.
If dehumidification is not attempted, you could try insulating the tank. This is done by (draining and drying the tank and) gluing expanded poly- styrene or something to the side walls and bottom of the tank. This is commonly done by some builders, using foam a quarter of an inch thick. The effect is small but you can try this cheaply in case it helps.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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Most of the other suggestions relate to supply plumbing, which could get expensive really fast. Many Kohler tanks are available with insulation, for a reasonable cost, and changing the tank is a pretty easy DIY project.
JK

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In the humid months, my wife lays old towels under the toilets that sweat too much. Frank
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snipped-for-privacy@dol.net says...

Tank covers usually work, without the bother of changing towels. We've always had tank covers on our toilets.
--
Keith

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Kate wrote:

leaking. The leak may be so small that you won't see/hear it, but fresh, cold water may be constantly running into the tank. (This can also be caused by a leaking flapper.)
Before you insulate or dehumidify or re-plumb the house <g>, put some food coloring in the tank water. Don't flush. See if the color appears in the bowl an hour later.
Jim
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Excellent suggestion Jim.
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How about an inexpensive plush tank cover from KMart, WalMart, etc? Works for us at our cabin in Flagstaff AZ, where the water gets pretty cold this time of year.
Jerry
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imho:
This is based on what I've been told about my moisture problems, I use to have.
First, If you have too high humidity, you should get a dehumidifer. You might think you can't afford one, but you really can't afford NOT to. Mold and wood damage can be happening. This can cause illness, loss of home, and shorten lifespans of wooden items. Nuff said.
Ok, for the sweating toilet, after I had tackled my humidity problems, I was told I can do the following.
1. Wrap the tank in a jacket. One of those fuzzy things, like a rug. This will help insulate it, and prevent condensation.
2. Install an anticondensation kit, that insulates the tank from the inside. It looks like sheet of foam board you glue to the inside of the tank.
3. Install a mixer valve. This allows a small amount of hotwater to enter the fill line and warm the water. Preventing condensation.
Now not a plumber, or mold expert, just passing on what was shared with me.
tom @ www.Consolidated-Loans.info
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Yeah, I remember seeing the plumber guy on "Ask This Old House" install one of those a while back. The sweating toilet victim seemed to be happy.
Jerry
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On 8 Feb 2007 15:32:30 -0800, "jerry snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com"

Thinking about it, I don't think many people have a hot water line real close. So they have to have one run. I'm guessing this will add significantly to the cost of the solution.
tom @ www.YourMoneyMakingIdeas.com
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I had the same problem too. The toilet was old and worn out anyhow, so I just replaced it with a new one with an insulated tank. Problem solved.

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I would worry that if there is much sweating in this colder weather that your house IS too humid and possibly requires more ventilation in order to avoid potential mould and perhaps ultimately rot. Do you regularly run ventilation fan and/or crack open a window after shower/bath and/or when cooking etc.
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As another newsgroup member has already mentioned, "Ask This Old House" has a show that describes how to help a homeowner to install a mixing device to add a little bit of hot water to the water supply of the toilet tank. You may want to go to their web site to see if they have a summary of that show.
I watched that show quite a while ago. The home owner has several kids and they "seem" to use one bathroom all the time. This combination means that they keep flushing the toilet and keep bringing in fresh and cold water into the water tank.
I am wondering may be you can minimize the problem by adding a low cost water-saving device into the toilet to help reducing the water usage for the "small one". Something that looks like a float that stops the water flow quickly to flush the "small one". If someone has a "big one", he can hold the handle bar down to keep the water flow going to have a full flush. By reducing water usage, you can save money in water bill, and you will add less cold water into the toilet tank every time you flush -- meaning that you will have less toilet tank sweating problem.
Hope this helps.
Jay Chan
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Thanks to all of you for your input.
This particular toilet is in the hall bathroom and is uased all day long by four family members. Thus the constant flow of cold water. I think after considering all of your suggestions I will go and have a look at the warm water idea. My husband is good at everything, so it shouldn't be a big problem for him to connect a small valve with some warmish water blended into it.
Again, many thanks to all for taking the time and thought to help me with this problem!
Kate
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Much cheaper and easier to glue in the insulation inside the tank. I did that years ago. You should be able to buy a kit at most any supply house.
http://www.ehow.com/how_117384_stop-toilet-tank.html
http://www.plumbingworld.com/sweatstopping_toilet.html

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