Which Way is Hot on A Single Handle Faucet
Have you ever tried to use someone else’s shower and you couldn’t figure out what was going on? Don’t feel too bad; it happens to everyone for a reason. The hot and cold knob conundrum is a grey area in the world of plumbing, and in many cases, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus between the inspector, contractor or plumber.
For most taps – hot is left and cold is right. This has been the industry standard for over 100 years. Manufacturers such as Delta, Kohler and Moen produce single-lever taps that follow this convention. But what about the kind of taps where the handle only moves up or down?
On kitchen taps like the Moen Align Pulldown, where the handle is mounted vertically on the side, the situation is the same. The left side is hot and the right side is cold. In other words, counterclockwise (towards you) is hot and clockwise (away from you) is cold.
Supposedly it is for safety reasons, but many people question whether this is really safer. Their thinking is that as most people are right-handed, they will reach for the cold handle first and that it is better to be shocked by cold water than scalded by hot water. I doubt there are many people who have scalded themselves by reaching for the wrong handle.
If you’re left-handed, this might seem like just another unfair smack in the face for right-handers. By that logic, all door handles should be on the right. Why is the flush handle on the toilet also on the left? It doesn’t really make sense, but fortunately, switching between hot and cold water is easy and only takes a few minutes.
How To Switch Between Hot And Cold Water Pipes
One of the easiest ways to switch between hot and cold handles is to switch the water lines. Under your sink you have two water supply lines, one hot and one cold. All you have to do is turn a spanner.
Look under your sink and find the shut-off valves for cold and hot water. They are two oval-shaped chrome knobs. Each one is connected to a metal water pipe that runs up to the tap.
To turn off the water, turn the knobs counterclockwise. After turning off the water supply, turn on the tap to ensure that the water has been turned off.
Next, you can switch the water supply pipe. Use a spanner to unscrew the nuts securing the water supply line to the pipe counterclockwise. Reinstall the water supply pipes in the reverse order and tighten them. Make sure you are screwing them straight, otherwise they will leak.
Now open the shut-off valve and test for leaks. If there is a leak, close it immediately, remove the nuts and retighten them. Test again.
If you have indicators on the handles (i.e. cold is blue, red is hot), you will want to change these if you can.
How To Make Hot Water Adjustments To Find The Perfect Temperature
Another common problem with single-lever taps is the temperature. If the water coming out is too hot or too cold, you may need to make a hot water adjustment. If you want to adjust the temperature, you can change the ratio (mixture) of hot and cold water. All you need is a screwdriver.
Adjusting The Water Mixture
First, remove the handle with a screwdriver. How it fits together depends on the make and model of your tap. Usually, you either pry off the small plastic cover on the screw or there is a screw somewhere under the handle.
Next, you can adjust the mixture. Your tap will have one or more adjustment screws under the handle. Some taps have a dial.
If your tap has a screw, turn it counterclockwise to increase the amount of hot water in the mixture and clockwise to increase the amount of cold water.
If your tap has a dial or a small ball, you can use your hand or a pair of pliers to move it. Again, turning the turntable anticlockwise will increase the amount of hot water in the mixture and clockwise will increase the amount of cold water.