Which Side is Hot and Cold On A Faucet?

If you have gone to someone else’s place and find it confusing to figure out which side is hot and which side is cold in the shower? You are not alone.. it does happen with almost everyone among us. The problem lies in the fact that there needs to be a consensus in the plumbing industry about the which side is hot and cold on a faucet. 

Quick Answer:

Under ideal conditions, cold water should always be on the right side and hot water on the left. This has been the industry standard followed in the North American region. This is applicable in the case of single faucet or dual faucet options.

Which Way Is Hot and Cold on Single Handle Faucet?

On most of the faucets, hot is on the left and cold is on the right. This has been an industry standard for over 100 years now. You would find the faucets from the brand such as Delta, Kohler, and Moen come with the single faucet options that tend to follow this convention. In some of them, counterclockwise is hot, and clockwise is cold. 


The ideal reason for this is that most of the people are right handed, and they would ideally reach out to the right side of the faucet. It would be a good option to touch the cold water than being scalded by the hot water. 

How to Switch Hot & Cold Water Lines?

The best way to switch between hot and cold handles is to switch your water lines. You have two supply lines located under your sink. You can use the wrench to change the water lines. You should be able to find the water lines below your sink.

Have a look under the sink and locate your hot and cold water shutoff valves. You would find the two oval-shaped chrome knobs. Each of the knobs is attached to a metal water line located just behind the faucet. 

Follow the steps here below to switch the hot and cold water lines:

  • Shut off the water. Turn the knob anticlockwise. Make sure that the water is off by turning on the faucet. 
  • Use a wrench to disconnect the water lines. 
  • Reattach them in the opposite direction and tighten them 
  • Turn off the shut-off valve and check if the water supply has resumed.

Make sure that there is no leakage of any sort. If the faucet handles have any indicators on them, you should switch them as well. 

How To Make A Hot Water Adjustment To Find The Perfect Temperature?

The temperature control on the water faucet can be uncomfortable. This is the common problem that you are likely to come across when using the single handed faucets. 

If the water coming from the faucet is too cold or too hot, you will need to have a temperature adjustment for hot water. The right way to fix it is to change the ratio of hot and cold water. You can do this with the help of a screwdriver.

Use a screwdriver to remove the handle. The actual design and how you remove it would be dependent on the make and model of your faucet. You will have a cover over the screw and can use the screwdriver to unscrew it. You should now find the faucet having one or more screws to let you adjust the screws under it to adjust the water mixture and its temperature. Some faucets may come with a dial which can make it all the easier and more useful. 

If your faucet has a dial or knob, you can use your hand or pliers to move it and adjust it. You will need to turn it anticlockwise to increase the amount of hot water. Turn it clockwise to increase the amount of cold water. 

On a Single Handle Faucet Which Way Is Hot Orientation?

The water faucets are generally designed as a single faucet handle design. This is because the direction of the water is designed at one spot. However, some of the installations will come with two handles as per the preferences – one for hot and one for cold water. 

The single faucet orientation can be helpful in having a better control over the water temperature. This can also be helpful in avoiding the possibility of getting burned due to hot water. 

Why Is Hot Water Coming Out Of The Cold Tap? 

It may be common to find the hot water coming out of the cold tap. Under ideal conditions, a normal reaction would be to wait till the water gets colder. It may be a minor issue in most of the cases. It can also be a severe underlying problem and needs a thorough understanding. 

A few of the reasons can be: 

  • Location of the pipes: In case hot and cold pipes run parallel to each other. The closeness of the pipes can impact the temperature of the other pipe. It can also happen if your cold water pipe is located quite close to the water heater. 
  • High water pressure: A too-high pressure of the water can also be a reason for the water to get a little hotter. It can always cause issues with the entire plumbing and result in the hot water coming out of the cold tap. 
  • Faulty thermostats: The faulty thermostats can be yet another cause for hot water coming from the cold tap. It can cause several other issues with your temperature management in your plumbing system. The thermostat may not be regulating the temperature as expected and cause issues with the proper water temperature. 
  • Copper heating effect: The copper tubing can be an issue here and can result in hot water coming out of the cold tap. The copper pipes come with a great degree of longevity and durability but are also extremely heat conductive. The hot water running through your piping system can turn the entire system to have a slight rise in the temperature of the water.


What Side Is the Cold Water On UK?

In the United Kingdom, the hot water comes from the left hand side and cold water coming from the right hand side. This is done to be in tune with the fact that most of us are right handed and reach out to the right. 

Which way do hot and cold taps turn?

There is no way you can control the temperature of the cold water. The hot water handle opens in the counter clockwise direction, and the cold water opens in the clockwise direction. The cross shaped handles are used in maintaining and managing the hot and cold temperatures. 

Why is hot on the left and cold on the right?

Most of the people are right-handed, and they tend to reach out to the right side of the faucet first. If the right side of the faucet has a hot water connection, you will end up scalding your hand. That is precisely why the cold water is set on the right side and hot water on the left side. 

The Parting Thoughts

Finding which side is hot and cold on a faucet can be a huge concern. The details shared here on how to find which side is hot or cold on a faucet help you understand the concept in a clear way. 

About the author

Atish Ranjan

Atish Ranjan is the founder of WaterBrower. The water-related problems faced by him in his childhood led him to take this kind initiative to help many others who might be facing similar problems. He has been into research and water testing wherein he has found great water treatment solutions in different regions of the world. This blog is about everything that he has learnt during this study. Hope it helps many:)

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