Pullcord switch noise
New Pullcord switches widely used in bathrooms have become noisy over the last few decades. In some cases they can wake the whole household up at night.
Sound reduction strategies
Pick your switch
These are quieter than average.
2A switches are less noisy than 10A ones.
When mounted to plasterboard, the board acts as a sounding board, increasing the noise. Its quieter to screw the switch through to a timber joist, though there isn't always one in the right place.
A 1A tablelamp pullcord switch can be fitted inside a standard pullcord switch enclosure, mounted on rubber tap washers. But these aren't as robust, abuse of the pullcord can break them.
Mounting the switch enclosure to the ceiling with tapwashers helps a lot.
- The traditional fixing consists of, in order: ceiling plasterboard, switch enclosure base, screw
- A rubber mounted fixing consists of, in order: ceiling plasterboard, rubber tapwasher, switch enclosure base, rubber tapwasher, large metal washer, screw
- See Fan_noise_reduction#Flexible_mounting
Low level lighting
Standard mains wallswitch on 6v operating a relay.
Switches outside the bathroom
Pullcord switches are then unnecessary. Children can be a nuisance with them.
Luxury options can be silent, but expensive.
Switch above ceiling
Occasionally its possible to mount the switch to timber above the ceiling, and run the pullcord through a very small ceiling hole with a drilled disc on the plasterboard to tidy it up (and stop the cord damaging the plasterboard). Round the edges of the hole to avoid cord damage. This is doable where there's loft access above.
Bathroom lights operated by a PIR sensor are sometimes suggested. In practice they result in complaints such as being dazzled by unwanted light at night, and lights going out when busy.