103 – Condensation Examples

Condensation Examples


A cold beverage bottle “sweats” in summertime when exposed to the warm air. A toilet tank can “sweat” in summertime when the cooler incoming water reacts to the warmer temperature of the ceramic tank.  Likewise, in the winter time, the cold incoming water reacts to the warmer temperature of the tank causing it to condense. Condensation forms on window panes in wintertime when the warm air of the room comes in contact with the cold outside air. Condensation can form on the cool surface of a bathroom mirror as a result of the warm air from the shower stall contacting the mirror. Incoming cold water in wintertime can cause copper pipes to sweat in the warmer climate of a basement. Water heaters can “sweat” when incoming cold water temperature is drastically changed by the heat of the gas burner. Energy-saver water heaters “sweat” because more heat is transferred into the tank (making them more efficient) but the condensation caused by the combustion process does not evaporate causing the vapor to drip.  A solution to this annoying condition is to place the water heater into a drain pan to collect the water until it naturally evaporates.  Plastic drain pans are readily available.  Some gas utility companies and local building codes may not permit a plastic pan under a gas fired water heater.  Most plumbing supply houses have a source for metal drain pans.

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