It’s summer, and you’re hot. Everyone and everything is hot, even the dog. Fortunately, dogs don’t sweat, but you do – and so does your toilet tank. Ever wondered why your toilet tank develops so much condensation on the outside that it drips down to make a puddle on the bathroom floor? Your Toronto plumbers know why. And it’s not just a messy bathroom that results. The water can seep in under your flooring, staining the baseboards, rotting the subfloor and making the joists water-logged. It can also turn your drywall soggy, rot the cavity insulation and discolour your the wall paint with mildew.
The Cause of the Problem
Toronto’s humidity is legendary. Every summer, the City swelters beneath humidex levels of up to 50 degrees Celsius, with air saturated with moisture. The water in your toilet tank, however, is cooler – usually in the region of about 15 to 20 C. In homes without air conditioning, or those where the inhabitants keep it a comfortable 22 to 25 C, as soon as the warm, moist air meets the toilet tank, it cools down and forms drops of condensation on the surface. As this collects, it runs down and forms puddles on the floor. Toronto plumbers know just how dangerous these puddles can become.
Resolving the Issue
There are a couple of ways to solve the problem. The first is, obviously, to dry or cool the air in the house using either a dehumidifier or aircon. These may seem like ideal solutions to the heat in addition to the sweaty toilet, but the levels of operation you need to resolve the problem entirely might not be comfortable to live with. In addition, running the units all summer long can be costly and result in high hydro and /or gas bills. Anti-sweat valves are an option Toronto plumbers recommend you can use, whether you change your interior air temperature or not.
You can buy an anti-sweat valve at Home Depot or Rona, and install it yourself if you have the right tools and are handy with DIY work. If not, contact your Toronto plumbers to have them fit it. The valve splices into the water supply line leading to the toilet tank, and lets a little hot water into the line to warm up the water in the tank and bowl. This brings the temperature of the water closer to the temperature of the surrounding air, preventing the shock that causes condensation when the two meet at the toilet tank’s surface. Adjustable valve models enable you to regulate the temperature and shut down the flow when the water reaches the right level, and this avoids wasting water and energy.
Fitting the Valve
Install the valve in a suitable location in the cold water line supplying the toilet, by splicing a copper-T fitting into the line at a location accessible from the hot water supply. If you aren’t sure of the best location, your Toronto plumbers will be able to help with this and any other plumbing repairs. Connect the valve to a section of pipe leading from the T-fitting. Add a section of piping from the hot water supply to the joint, and fit compression rings to help prevent leaks. Adjust the temperature of the water flowing through the valve by opening the cold and hot water sides of the valve equally. Flush the toilet and let it stand for an hour before checking for condensation. If necessary, adjust the balance of the water flow several times until you find the right temperature to prevent the tank from sweating.
Before your sweaty toilets cause problems that require extensive and costly repair work in your home, contact your Toronto plumbers for a free estimate to resolve the problem. In the long term, a few dollars spent now will give you many trouble-free summers, without needing to air condition your whole house to prevent water damage.