The sound of a toilet flushing at night is usually too loud, irritating, and disruptive. It can wake you up if you’re a light sleeper, after which falling asleep is often next to impossible.
Luckily, there are tips and tricks you can use to ensure your toilet is quiet when you flush it. From tinkering with your water flow to installing quiet flush valves, here’s what you can do to make your home a more peaceful place during the night.
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Can Flushing the Toilet Really Wake People Up?
Yes, definitely. If a person is a light sleeper, they can be woken up by the slightest of sounds, lights, and smells. The same is especially the case for toddlers and smaller kids, as they usually don’t sleep too deeply.
So, since most toilets are quite loud when you flush them, it’s tricky to do it when you don’t live alone. Matters get even worse at night when homes are more quiet and peaceful. In such conditions, flushing a toilet sounds even harsher, louder, and more disruptive than usual.
Of course, not everyone will hear you flushing a toilet at night. It all depends on what type of sleeper they are, as well as how far the toilet is compared to that person’s room.
Should You Just Not Flush Until the Morning?
To avoid waking their family or neighbors late at night, many people consider leaving the toilet unflushed until the morning. But as appealing as this trick might sound, it is not the safest one.
For one, simply not flushing the toilet means that you will be letting all types of bacteria breed and run rampant in the toilet. During the hours you’ll wait between your bathroom visit and the morning, these microorganisms can make your toilet unsanitary for use.
Next, leaving your toilet unflushed will make your bathroom smell horrible. In the morning, using the room to go about your routine will be unpleasant at best and next to impossible at worst.
However, this particular problem can easily be solved if your bathroom has a window that you can open. In that case, the smell won’t be that big of an issue when you walk in the next day.
In the end, it is all up to you and your preferences. Still, if you’re visiting the toilet for a late night number two, it is best not to leave it unflushed, even if it’s just for an hour or two.
How Can You Make Your Toilet Flush Quieter?
Although flushing a toilet has to make at least some noise, it shouldn’t be so loud that even your downstairs neighbors can clearly hear it. If it is, chances are there is something wrong with the toilet itself.
However, worry not. In most instances, you can easily fix it with a few pro solutions. We will share them all below, as well as some tips and tricks for toilets that aren’t necessarily broken.
1. Loose Parts
Loose fittings in the toilet system can cause a lot of excess noise when you flush. Besides the normal water intake sounds, you might also hear clattering, gurgling, and clicking.
So, it’s smart to check your toilet for loose screws, bolts, and pipes. If you notice anything, simply tighten these bits and try flushing the toilet once more. At that point, it should be considerably quieter.
Lastly, a word of caution: be careful around the inlet pipes. Namely, if you tighten them too much, you could end up closing the water inlet valve altogether. If you do, your tank won’t fill again. So, tighten everything, but make sure the water can still flow freely.
2. Adjust the Water Inflow
When you flush your toilet, its loudness depends on how quickly the tank fills with water. If the inflow is adjusted so a large amount of water is deposited at a fast rate, the toilet will be louder.
On the other hand, if you adjust the inflow so the tank tops up slowly, the noise won’t be as disruptive. Of course, it will take longer to fill, but at least you won’t wake up everyone close by.
This fix is quite easy, as you just have to fiddle with the adjustment screw on the side of the tank. Try out a few pressure points until you find one that works best both inflow and noise-wise.
Besides ensuring the toilet fills slower, you can also reduce the amount of water in the tank. Most modern toilets have bigger tanks that require a lot of water to fill up. However, in practice, you seldom need so much water, even for solids.
So, you can open the tank, peek inside, and turn the fill valve until the water level is lower. That way, your toilet won’t make as much ruckus when you flush it.
3. Install a Quiet Fill Flush Valve
Another way to reduce fill-up noise is to install a quiet fill valve. If you do, you will have a separate outlet pipe that will fill up your tank below the water line. Thus, the noise will not be as disruptive at night.
All modern quiet-flush toilets already have this valve, but you can also install it on older regular models. If you’re unsure which model suits your particular toilet, it’s always smart to ask for help from a professional.
The installation process shouldn’t take more than ten minutes, and most households already have all the tools necessary. Still, you can also pay someone to install the valve for you if you’ve never tinkered with your toilet before.
4. Regular Cleaning Is Important
Sometimes, your toilet can flush loudly because it’s not completely clean. Namely, dirt and debris can easily clog the waterway or the inflow pipes, causing the water to gurgle and have a difficult time filling the tank and the bottom of the bowl.
So, it is pivotal to use a toilet brush to thoroughly clean all parts of your bowl. In addition, you should also open up the tank every now and then and clean it on the inside as well.
As for the regularity of these cleaning sessions, it’s all up to you and your schedule. Still, you should scrub the bowl at least once a week, and check on the tank on a monthly basis. Besides helping with noisy flushing, it will also ensure your toilet lasts you longer.
5. Soundproof Your Tank
Another tip you can use is to soundproof your tank. Since it’s a relatively small item, all you need is some high-quality sound-deadening adhesive tape. It comes in various sizes and colors, so you can easily match it with your toilet.
When you purchase the adhesive, open the tank and start covering the edges of the tank with it. Just make sure the edges and the top of the tank are clean before starting, so the adhesive sticks nicely.
Once you’ve covered every bit, pop the tank lid back on. With the tape, the lid should fit much more snuggly, ensuring that the noise from the water has nowhere to escape. As a result, your toilet will be much quieter when you flush it.
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And in case the tape isn’t cutting it for you, you can also consider buying a toilet tank cover. They come in a wide range of materials, but you should pick one that has the highest sound-deadening potential. Different fabrics (such as wool) can work great, as well as covers made of acoustic foam.
6. Soundproof Your Bathroom
Is just soundproofing your toilet tank not enough? In such a case, you can also consider soundproofing your entire bathroom. By doing so, you will ensure you can do your business, or release some pent-up gas in the room whenever you want and need to.
For starters, you can soundproof your door so that the noise that happens in the bathroom stays there. Using caulk and weatherstripping tape should help you fill in any gaps, effectively trapping sounds inside the room. Lastly, you can also buy a draft stopper to put at the bottom of the door.
If you’d like to take things a step further, you can also tackle your bathroom walls. For example, you can seal any gaps and cracks with a sealant. Alternatively, you can also thicken the walls by adding a new layer of drywall or some thick panels.
Whatever you opt for, your decision should depend on your budget and whether you own or rent your home. In case you have some money to spare and you own your house/apartment, soundproofing your walls and adding construction is the best long-term plan.
But if your budget isn’t that significant and you can’t do any construction, adding acoustic blankets or foam panels is also an effective solution. Your bathroom will be a lot quieter, and you won’t break any rules you agreed on with your landlord.
7. Get a New Toilet
Is your toilet old and broken? If so, replacing it might be the best course of action. With such toilets, any repairs and soundproofing hacks usually aren’t that effective. They are simply too old or defective to function quietly and properly, so attempting to quiet them is usually just a waste of time and money.
To ensure the new toilet doesn’t disturb anyone’s sleep, you should invest in an extra-quiet model. They come in all styles and sizes, and they are designed to make as little noise as possible when you use, flush, and close them.
Fortunately, many models are available at a great bargain, so getting one won’t break your budget. While looking for the best option, just make sure you measure your bathroom in order to find a size that fits your space best.
As far as installing is concerned, it is all up to you. If you feel up to it, you can take an afternoon off and do it on your own. However, it is just as acceptable to hire a pro and let them handle it instead.
There are several tips you can try to make sure your toilet flush is quieter at night. From tightening the inlet pipes and lowering the tank water level to regular cleaning, most of these tricks are ones you can complete on your own.
However, if the flushing noise really bothers everyone in your home, there are also more expensive and permanent changes you can make. These include investing in a new toilet and doing some soundproofing work.
So, all that’s left to do now is decide which solution works best for you. The key to success is experimentation and creativity, so don’t be afraid to mix things up by combining our tricks. Good luck!