A sweaty toilet isn’t an uncommon sight to see and isn't always a huge issue. But, if it’s something that occurs commonly, you might eventually experience some issues in your bathroom. Condensation occurs when humid air meets a cold toilet tank. This can result from hot showers or simply the warm weather temperatures.
While you’re sweating toilet tank itself probably won’t suffer any damage, the same can’t be said for your flooring and walls around the area. Excessive moisture can cause water damage, unsightly stains and lead to mold growth in worst-case scenarios. That’s why it’s in your best interests to prevent condensation from happening by either using a toilet tank liner or bubble wrap.
Why Toilets Sweat
You might have noticed your toilet sweating during the warmer months, especially if you live in an older home or apartment. This excess moisture is a result of condensation.
When the summer hot air hits the cool toilet tank, the warm air condenses causing the tank and toilet to start sweating. Consequently, the moisture finds its way to your bathroom floor and walls, making them damp. In some cases, the sweating can lead to rotting, and not to mention — it’s a slip hazard in your bathroom. Fortunately, you can fix a sweating toilet by insulating the toilet tank and doing other things to reduce condensation in the long run.
How to Insulate a Toilet To Prevent Sweating
Insulating your toilet tank can help you get rid of condensation issues — but it does more than that. For instance, once you insulate your tank, the toilet uses less water per flush, saving you money on the water bills and making a home more eco-friendly. Stores offer insulation kits you can install in a sweaty toilet tank, but you can always use bubble wrap material for simplicity. Here are two easy ways of doing that:
Add a Toilet Tank Liner
A toilet tank liner is essentially thin foam insulation. It has a sticky backing, making it easy for you to attach it to the toilet tank. Here is a step by step guide on how to do it:
Step 1: Locate the Water Shut-Off Valve
Typically, you’ll find the water shut-off valve behind the toilet’s left side. Once you find it, cut off the water supply to the bathroom. Turn it off by shifting it counterclockwise until you can’t anymore to ensure no water will enter.
Step 2: Empty the Toilet Tank
Take the tank lid away, then hold the toilet handle down to flush as much water down the toilet as possible. For any leftover water, vacuum it using a wet/dry vacuum or a cup to throw it down the shower drain. Use a dry towel to dry the tank’s interior completely.
Step 3: Take the Measurements
You need accurate dimensions of the toilet tank. Use a tape measure to capture the height and length of each of the toilet tank’s walls. Then cut your insulation material according to those dimensions. You can use an ordinary utility knife to cut the material.
Step 4: Stick the Liner
Take the insulation material you’ve cut and press it against the walls. Hold the material in place for some time to allow the adhesive to dry. Once it dries up, turn the water back on to refill the tank. Then put the lid back in place.
Tank Liner Alternative: Bubble Wrap
Another easy fix for a sweating toilet is adding a layer of bubble wrap inside the edges of your toilet tank. You will need to follow the same steps we’ve outlined above, from cleaning the toilet tank to cutting pieces that fit.
However, since the bubble wrap doesn’t have a sticky backing, use waterproof silicone caulk. Be careful not to cover the moving parts of the toilet with the silicone caulk since it can get in the way of flushing.
An alternative approach is to cover your toilet tank with a decorative cloth that fits snuggly. However, you have to cover the entire tank for this method to work effectively. Besides, this method only works in case of minor condensation. Consider the other two options for severe condensation issues.
How To Prevent Condensation/Toilet Sweating
On top of insulating your toilet tank, you can make efforts to stop sweating altogether. The simplest way is to lower the bathroom moisture, which ultimately translates to less condensation.
One way to prevent condensation is by using a bathroom dehumidifier. They're extremely cheap compared to a whole house dehumidifier and go a long way in getting rid of humid air in the bathroom.
If your shower head uses a lot of water pressure, one of the downsides is that humidity can buildup more easily. So you can try and take shorter showers or cooler showers instead but that might be a no-go for people who enjoy warm, relaxing showers after a hard day at work. An air conditioner that keeps the air in your home cool can also prevent warm air from building up.
A bathroom exhaust fan is an essential component for fighting humidity and condensation. A quality bathroom exhaust fan efficiently removes humidity, bad odors, and moisture. They can help your bathroom environment remain clean while also acting as a light and heater. If you have an older ventilation fan, it might be time to replace it with one that can do a superior job.
You can also add a toilet mixing valve. The anti sweat valve injects warm water into your toilet tank from the water heater. Therefore, the cold water in your tank mixes with the hot water to warm up and prevent condensation. It's best to get a plumber to install a toilet mixing valve if you want to go with that option.
And if none of that works for you, it might be time for a new toilet. When picking a new one, ensure you choose a suitable toilet for your bathroom space. If you have a small bathroom, consider an equally sized toilet ideal for the area.
Remember that installing a new toilet is not an ideal DIY project since they’re pretty bulky. Even the slightest plumbing mistake can lead to dire consequences. Therefore, consider working with a reputable, licensed plumber.