Which way should cross faucet handles turn?

nomorebluekitchenOctober 8, 2008

My plumber set it up so that the hot turns clockwise and the cold turns counter clockwise. It feels very awkward to me. I want him to redo it, but what is the typical way these usually work?

I'm thinking they both should go on clockwise and off counter clockwise.


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Generally, it's considered most intuitive if cross handles both turn in the same direction. Counter-clockwise to turn the flow on, and clockwise to turn the flow off. This conforms with the same directions you would twist a jar lid to open or close it, or the same directions you turn the nut on a bolt to tighten or loosen it.

Lever handles, on the other hand, should turn in opposite directions. The hot side should turn counter-clockwise to turn on the flow, and clockwise to turn off the flow. The cold lever is opposite, clockwise to turn on the flow, and counter-clockwise turn turn it off. This allows you to pull both levers toward you to turn on the flow, and push them away from you to turn off the flow.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 11:02AM
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My posting above is with reference to a deck-mounted faucet. When referring to bath or shower valves mounted on a wall, levers are usually set up so that lifting the lever on both the hot and cold sides turns on the flow, and pushing down on the lever turns off the flow. Cross handles mounted on a wall usually operate just as they would if deck-mounted.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 11:16AM
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I agree with what wa8b said.

I think your plumber did it right.

I ordered three wall mounted faucets with cross handles and they sent me valves that were for lever handles, which meant that the operated differently - which would drive me nuts.

I had to bug them to send me the right valves, but they did and now the handles operate the same, as they should, imo.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 11:35AM
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wa8b, thanks. I think you're right that it should match twisting a jar or screw open. That will make perfect intuitive sense. I'll have him adjust the hot so that it matches the cold. It is really aggravating the way it is currently done.

thetews, the plumber set mine up so they operate differently now (cold turns on to the right, hot turns on to the left) and it is awful! He did not do it the way I want it, but he's a great guy and he'll fix it. I hope we have the right valves!


    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 12:11PM
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I have to say that I think they should mirror each other. I can't imagine it the other way... but never thought of it... I have 3 cross handle faucets to install in the coming months in the master bath... hmmm...

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 6:31PM
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at the end of the day, it is always to be the way you want it done, and a good plumber can make that happen. however; it is proper for handles and stems to turn opposite (mirror one another). hot is to turn counter clockwise and cold is to turn clockwise.
as for preference- there are sound logicall reasons to have it either way. the only time there seems to be an issue is when the handles are NOT levers. levers are easy to explain by there nature. round and cross levers create debate. since the industry and plumbers like things to be the same or consistant, almost all faucets and especially high end faucets will turn opposite one another regardless of the handle type. but again- a good plumber will make your round or cross handles turn in any direction, left or right- hot and cold. there are many combinations.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 1:13AM
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What plumdog wrote.

The hot and cold mirror one another. Levers and cross-handles can use the same valve stem. I've always installed them to be a counter-clockwise hot valve and a clockwise cold valve.

No one has ever asked for different.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 7:43PM
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