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Is Your Faucet Reversed? Cold/Hot Hot/Cold? Easy Fix!

Home Inspector with Cape Coral Florida

SW Florida in the summertime the water coming out of the faucets is hot hot hot. It's just plain hot outside and if you have overhead plumbing the water in those pipes is in the attic baking, so it takes a long time to get cold water out of the faucet.

Sometimes, the cold and hot water are reversed. In my experience this usually happens on single-handle faucet or knob. In most cases there's a little cartridge inside the knob that controls the hot and cold water. This cartridge just needs to be adjusted 180 degrees. The fix is actually very easy!

 single lever faucet

Be sure to turn off the water before attempting the fix. This may be under the sink or in most cases outside on the side of the house.

To start there's a little cap on top of the faucet knob that you need to take off. Use a flat-head screwdriver to lift this off. Underneath this cap is a screw. This holds on the hot and cold faucet handle. Unscrew this screw. Then, lift the handle up and tilt it back and remove the handle. Then remove the little ring and clip (not all faucets have these). The cartridge is now exposed. This is the mechanism that controls the hot and cold water. Hold the top of the cartridge, pull it straight out and turn the cartridge 180 degrees. Put the cartridge back in and make sure it's secure. Put the ring and clip back (if you have one), then replace the handle, screw, and the cap. Turn your water back on and test.

faucet on

Now if fixing this during the summer in Florida, wait, wait, wait....because getting cold water in the summer takes time!

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TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Good evening, Jay. Most folks do not know this easy fix. Instead they would call a plumber who would charge them $125 to do a 10 minute job... 

Jul 01, 2011 01:45 PM
Cindy Marchant
Keller Williams Indy NE 317-290-7775 www.marchantteam.com - Carmel, IN
"Cindy in Indy" , Realtor, Fishers Real Estate

I have seen this on inspection reports...but I don't think it has been on a single faucet...but will keep my eyes open to offer this solution next time I see the problem!

Jul 01, 2011 01:56 PM
Carolyn Kolba
Serving Mentor, and all of Lake County, Ohio - Mentor, OH
Keller Williams Realty- Mentor, Ohio

Jay, I remember long ago selling a new home where the faucets were reversed in the guest bathroom.  The new owners did not find out about it... until one night... very late at night... the visiting mother of the wife/owner... happened to sit down on the commode... the lid of which the son-in-law had left up... and "mom" unfortunately sat her fanny into the very hot water in the commode bowl. 

I am told the screams could be heard for miles.

Jul 01, 2011 01:56 PM
Jay Lloyd
Cape Coral Florida - Cape Coral, FL
Allpro Home Inspection

Hi Michael, It is an easy fix, not even so much plumbing as a puzzle...reminds me of the old Operation Game we played as kids!

Hi Cindy, yes, keep this in mind as it I do see this quite frequently.

Hi Carolyn, that's a riot!! It's true, the water in my toilet gets so hot in the summer there's condensation on the lid (if it's left down).

Jul 01, 2011 02:23 PM
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jay, and to think---for almost forever---it has only been "convention" for the hot to be on the left---now it is finally codified to be on the left.

Jul 02, 2011 04:42 AM
Jay Lloyd
Cape Coral Florida - Cape Coral, FL
Allpro Home Inspection

Hi Charles, I've seen Hot/Cold in an up/down in/out circular push-button you name it. There's so many new fangled faucets. One I inspected the other day looked and performed exactly like a stick shift!

Jul 04, 2011 04:24 AM