Bathtub Muffler

Reducing Bath Fill Noise

Like David D. Friedman, I take long baths and read. I need quiet time before bed in order to sleep, and a long hot bath with a non-threatening book works well for this (calculus is the best soporific!). Yes, it costs water and energy, but I live in Oregon, with more water and energy than most places.

But the noise of the occasional hot water refill interferes with my wife's sleep, who goes to bed before I do (reread "quiet time" sentence above).

A trick that reduces the noise:

Wrap the end of the faucet spout with a washcloth, so that a "pipe" of washcloth hangs down into the water. Secure with rubber bands.

The washcloth slows fill rate a bit, but it also eliminates most of the noise. It does this five ways:

This also allows turning off the faucet handles with toes without risk of feet veering into a scalding hot stream.

Yes, this uses up washcloths (you want to change them or they will mildew). But if yesterday's scrub washcloth becomes today's sound reduction washcloth, then tomorrow's hang-out-to-dry before laundering washcloth, you've merely added one "wet day" on the way to the laundry hamper. I usually dry them for two days so they are bone dry before they go in the hamper, and have a repurposed towel rack under a cabinet for the purpose.

faucet with washcloth wrap

Faucet running full blast, quietly. 1600x1200 picture

A note about David Friedman's refill valve problem

A tap off the main faucet to a valve at the head end of the tub feeding a meter of garden soaker hose might be even quieter, and solve the "controls in the wrong place" problem (there could be mildew problems, though). I bet DDF could figure out a way to keep the hose clean, and pay a plumber $500 to add the extra piping and valves. The extra pipe should run in the cavity between the wall and tub, with heat-reflecting foil on the wall, so the cooling pipe heats the tub anyway. For extra bonus points, put an inline heater on this pipe, and for safety add a foot of electrically-insulating plastic pipe between the heated pipe and the electrically-grounded new valve. Since the new valve will get used a lot, hunt for a design that doesn't need washers changed every 6 months.

Alternate to this alternative, a foot pedal valve from the hot incoming pipe to a soaker hose spout at the faucet end? They make such valves for surgeon sinks and emergency showers.

BathtubMuffler (last edited 2013-09-25 16:34:51 by KeithLofstrom)