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31 July 2012 @ 12:45 am
sweaty toilet problems  
up until 8 years ago or so i lived in texas. now i live in se alaska, so there are things that happen here that i never grew up having to deal with. one such thing is the cold water can get so cold that it causes pipes to sweat unless they are properly insulated.

so take that same idea and transfer it to my toilet bowl. it sweats. and i don't mean a little bit. short of keeping a soggy towel there all day what can i do? does this happen in all cold climates or is it because there's a lot of moisture here too? although it does not sweat all the time. i have noticed that it only sweats when it is either really hot (mid 60s) or really cold (below 20)for an extended period of time. in both instances the thermometer usually reads around 73 degrees.

i would love to fix this as it would help me keep my other problem under control...the mildew. ew! but that is another post entirely.

tia for any suggestions.

edited: thanks for all the comments and suggestions. i will certainly look into adding hot water to the mix. also i was as shocked as some of you were to find out that sweating toilets was normal to most when the opposite was normal to me.
rosina_alcona: pink pyjamasrosina_alcona on July 31st, 2012 11:51 am (UTC)
Sounds normal to me, can you open a window or install a fan? Otherwise you're just going to have to keep the temperature in the room higher, because I assume steam from the shower is condensing on the toilet bowl? I might be wrong - in the UK our toilets are usually in the same room as the bath/shower.
Kizzy: make pies!xo_kizzy_xo on July 31st, 2012 12:29 pm (UTC)
It's condensation. The cold water from the toilet bowl -- and therefore the temperature of the porcelain -- is colder than the ambient air in the bathroom, so putting the two together,,,there you go.

We don't have the condensation issue here at the house, but I remember having it back when we had our lake cottage. I think my mother wiped down the toilet every day, and she used one of those contour rugs around it The condensation will stop once the ambient temperature drops, seeing that the OP lived in AK, of course they wouldn't have this issue up there!
rosina_alcona: pink pyjamasrosina_alcona on July 31st, 2012 12:40 pm (UTC)
I had no idea till this post that I accepted a sweaty toilet as absolutely normal!

OP can you get one of these toilet mats? I appreciate the one I've linked to is absolutely hideous, but I'm sure Amazon will have something better.
Kizzy: make pies!xo_kizzy_xo on July 31st, 2012 01:05 pm (UTC)
I always accepted it as normal during the summer months :shrug: At it makes sense, now when I think of out lake cottage -- we had well water there, and of course it's going to be much colder than municipal water!
pfff, says the whale: angoonanoutlet on August 1st, 2012 04:29 pm (UTC)
unfortunately those mats won't catch the water since it drips mainly around the back and back sides of the tank. although i should look to see if i can find something longer.
stemware on July 31st, 2012 12:46 pm (UTC)
When I grew up up north, much of the year the toilet would be sweaty. It makes sense. Ground water is fifty degrees or less, air temperature higher, and the dewpoint in the bathroom much of the year is probably sixty or so which means anything next to the toilet gets condensation on it.

The real solution is weekly cleaning. There really isn't an alternative. If you clean weekly with something fairly potent, it will get any mildew off and keep any residue from developing that would permit mildew to grow. I mean, you could put a towel or something around it, but that just hides the mildew :-)

Down south water tends to be warmer coming out of the faucet - pipes aren't buried as deep and well water from "close" to the surface is warmer. We rarely have sweaty toilets in our house even though it's humid here - I'm in Virginia.
Chrisrevchris on July 31st, 2012 12:52 pm (UTC)
There are insulation kits you can get that install inside the tank that will reduce the amount of condensation you get, or you can have a plumber install a mixing valve that will add some hot water to the toilet fill line so as to raise the temperature of the tank water and make it less likely to sweat.

Both of these options will reduce the amount of condensation, but neither is a perfect cure-all.
(rhyme writer): Shadowsrymrytr on August 1st, 2012 07:24 am (UTC)

Ya just made me think of how the winters are in Minot North Dakota. What is needed is an old fashioned Head Bolt Heater.


pfff, says the whale: angoonanoutlet on August 1st, 2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
i have never heard of this. i must google to find out more. thanks.
(rhyme writer): Shadowsrymrytr on August 2nd, 2012 01:38 am (UTC)


A "Head Bolt" Heater was a device we used back in the 60s and 70s. Back when you could access the bolts in a car's motor and insert this little heater. Then, in the coldest weather, you plugged the heater into the electric and the engine block stayed warm enough during the night to keep it from freezing up, so that you could start the motor, in the morning.

When we came back to Seattle, people would see this electrical cord hanging out through the grill, on the front of the car and when we tried to say that "we plugged the car in each night, to keep the motor warm", the gave us that look!

Lauraeightydollsyell on July 31st, 2012 02:13 pm (UTC)
yup - normal for an un-insulated toilet - which basically just means it has Styrofoam in the tank. Growing up with sweaty toilets, we just wiped the toilet down with a dirty towel after we showered in the am - sub floors and no mildew issues.
pfff, says the whale: angoonanoutlet on August 1st, 2012 04:34 pm (UTC)
the mildew is an overall bathroom issue unrelated to the toilet. however it has ruined the wall behind the toilet despite us replacing sections of it just a year ago. :(
Leeshers: Hyperboleleeshers on July 31st, 2012 04:23 pm (UTC)
I think when we were kids we actually had warm water going to the toilet and I dont remember having that problem.
I dont have anything constructive to add, but I giggled a little at something in your post. I moved from AK to CA when I was a kid and I have completely forgotten a time in which the "mid 60s" was hot! :)
(Deleted comment)
pfff, says the whale: angoonanoutlet on August 1st, 2012 04:31 pm (UTC)
my honey and i wanted a change and a small. remote island needed a teacher so we went.
kailen: Cellular Elliotkailen on July 31st, 2012 08:23 pm (UTC)
I live in Minnesota and my toilet has always sweated. It never occurred to me that a toilet would *not* sweat...
lapenn: book teaselapenn on August 1st, 2012 04:21 am (UTC)
We also live in MN, and we have this issue too when it gets hot and humid here.
l_a_d_y_l_o_v_e: cloudl_a_d_y_l_o_v_e on July 31st, 2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
Perfectly normal, I believe. That's the case here in Michigan anyway. I just moved back here from Alaska, and I certainly didn't have the sweating toilet problem in AK. Then again, I didn't have a toilet. :)