How To Reverse Faucet Handle Direction
Faucet handles that don’t turn the right way can be frustrating. Whereas older faucets used to have only cold water lines that ran smoothly, modern homes are not so simple. Now, many homes have hot and cold water lines in all faucet areas, from the bathroom to the kitchen. As good as they can be, a host of problems can accompany the separation.
In some cases, one of the handles on a faucet can turn the wrong way. While this may not seem like a big problem, deciphering the actual temperature of the water can be tricky, which can lead to water scalding.
No matter what type of faucet you have, whether it’s a Delta, Moen, Glacier Bay, or any other type of faucet, this fix is simple. If you are experiencing this problem, read on to help you fix it.
Which Direction Should The Faucet Knob Be Turned?
The type of model will determine the direction in which the faucet turns on/off to regulate flow. In general, cross handles are usually turned in the same direction. This means that the flow is turned on counterclockwise and off clockwise. Think of it as tightening or loosening a nut on a bolt.
Lever handles, on the other hand, are a bit different. Lever handles generally turn in opposite directions. The hot-side handle should turn counterclockwise to turn the water flow on and clockwise to turn it off.
The cold side faucet is the exact opposite – it will turn clockwise to turn the water flow on and counterclockwise to turn it off. These mechanisms allow you to turn the water on by turning the lever toward you, and off by pushing it away from you.
Why Do I Need To Fix A Faucet That Doesn’t Turn In The Correct Direction?
If a faucet is not turning in the correct direction, it is best to have it repaired. For example, Moen’s faucet handles have a temperature limiter. When it reaches below its bottom limit, there may be a problem with the faucet handle’s stopping point, which can cause the handle to move in the wrong direction. This mechanism prevents the water from getting too hot and scalding people.
A handle or lever that does not rotate as required may be faulty, and it is best to fix this problem as early as possible. Fortunately, the fix is fairly simple.
How to Fix a Faucet Handle That Turns in the Wrong Direction
Fixing a handle that is turned in the wrong direction is a relatively simple task that takes only a small chunk of time to complete.
What You’ll Need
- Adjustable wrench or slip joint pliers
- Allen wrench (optional)
To begin, you will need to turn off the hot and cold water supply to the problem faucet you are repairing. Make sure the water is turned off by turning the hot and cold knobs and checking the water flow. Once you’ve confirmed that the water won’t surprise you halfway through your project, you’re ready to begin.
Place a towel at the bottom of the sink to prevent loose parts from escaping down the drain. If the faucet has a decorative button or cover on it, remove it. Using a screwdriver or Allen wrench, remove the screws that hold the handle and stem in place. The set screw may also be handed out near the base of the handle. Once you have removed the screws, take the handle off.
Loosen and remove the retaining nut of the spool with sliding nose pliers or an adjustable wrench. Remove the spool from the faucet valve body by grasping the stem and pulling it up with a gentle rocking motion.
Now, rotate the spool 180 degrees. On the side of the spool are two tabs. Align these two tabs with the slots in the lip of the valve body. Gently insert the spool back into place.
Once you have reinstalled the spool into the body, thread on the locking ring, tighten it with your adjustable wrench or slip joint pliers, reinstall the handle onto the stem, and install the screws to hold it in place. Press the trim cap firmly into its place and reattach it.
Now that you’ve completed your project, it’s time to see if your efforts have paid off. Check the success of your labor by turning on the hot and cold water supply and checking that the handle or lever is operating correctly. Verify that the handle is turning in the desired direction. If so, congratulations, you’ve solved the problem
What About Old Faucets?
Older faucet models operated differently than the modern designs we see today. If you have an older model faucet and are experiencing this problem, fixing it is a little different.
Since most older faucets use a valve with a washer and seat, rather than a spool, fixing this problem is different. They are usually compression-type valves and stem threads that can be turned to the left or right. Usually, the threads on the right side are the hot side.
If you need to change the direction of the handle on this type of faucet, you will need to swap the hot and cold handles and valves. Otherwise, you can buy a new set, with threads, and turn them in the correct direction. Any one of these options should solve the problem at hand.