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Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/21/2010 11:20 PM

Okay this came about while I was doing a full plumbing overhaul of a friends house and is probably about as pointless as the which way toilet paper should role off the holder argument but....

Which side of your faucets are the cold control knobs on and which side are the hot control knobs on? Or which way does the lever point for hot or cold? Your house, my house, or industry standard which is supposed to be the hot side and which is supposed to be the cold side?

My buddy and I ran this around in circles and came up with no agreements. So what do you all think? Hot on the left and cold on the right or the other way around?

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#1

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/21/2010 11:27 PM

Hot on the left is standard practice. I don't know if it is law though.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/22/2010 1:16 AM

Agreed. Hot is almost almost almost invariably on the left. But that doesn't prevent the weird oddball installation.

Similar to light switches. Up = on on my neck of the woods, but elsewhere in the world down = on.

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#3

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/22/2010 4:39 AM

Down here in 'middle earth' our bathroom and kitchen faucets are hot-left, cold-right.

It is my understanding that this is industry standard.

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#4

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/22/2010 4:52 AM

I would think it is relevant for the visually impaired, but I expect they'd feel the taps to see which was warmer anyway?
Where does the word faucet come from? I can see tap, as you tap off liquid from a barrel... any ideas? Faucet sounds bonkers to everyone except the US, we all snigger when you aren't listening...tee hee they say faucet.
Del

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#8
In reply to #4

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/22/2010 1:46 PM

...and you've never noticed us snickering when you say, "loo"?

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#10
In reply to #4

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/22/2010 3:22 PM

Looks like it's from your neighbors.

From www.dictionary.com

faucet

c.1400, from O.Fr. fausset "stopper," perhaps dim. of L. faux, fauc- "throat." Spigot and faucet was the name of an old type of tap for a barrel or cask, consisting of a hollow, tapering tube, which was driven at the narrow end into a barrel, and a screw into the tube which regulated the flow of the liquid. Properly, it seems, the spigot was the tube, the faucet the screw, but the senses have merged or reversed over time. Faucet is now the common word in Amer.Eng. for the whole apparatus.

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#13
In reply to #4

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/22/2010 11:57 PM

A faucet refers specifically to indoor usage you have a garden tap out doors and a water faucet indoors, but then that moves the discussion onto indoor bathing and outhouses and it all flows downhill after that.

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#16
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Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 3:26 AM

It's the derivation of the word that interests me.. what does "faucet" derive from? Maybe if the tap is stuck you have to 'force it' ?
Del

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#23
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Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 11:28 AM

It's the derivation of the word that interests me.. what does "faucet" derive from? Maybe if the tap is stuck you have to 'force it' ?
Del

FAUCET, a spigot, vent. (F.,—L.) In Wyclif, Job, xxxii. 19.—O.F. (and F.) fausset, 'a faucet,' Cot.; also spelt faulset, id.—O.F. faulser, to falsify, to forge; whence 'faulser un escu, to pierce or strike through a shield, to make a breach in it;' id.—Lat. falsare, to falsify.—Lat. falsus, false. See False.

well, that really clears things up........

http://www.20kweb.com/etymology_dictionary_F/origin_of_the_word_faucet.htm

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#25
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Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 12:06 PM
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#28
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Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 1:34 PM

Here in Maryland anyway, I don't hear a spigot or a faucet being called a "tap" too often. I think these terms are used most often, even outdoors.

An outside faucet is a "hose bib" on most drawings, and if you try to get one at the hardware store. It's crazy. I have never heard a normal person ever call the outside spigot a "hose bib"

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#5

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/22/2010 5:16 AM

i understand that in Quebec, both taps are marked "C" since it is a bilingual state, and one stands for "Chaud" and the other for "Cold". If you get scalded by the "C" tap, you are told "Excuse my French please"

With apologies to my Canadian friends who have a sense of humour i am sure...

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#6

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/22/2010 9:05 AM

From my old buddy Wikipedia:

"In most countries, there is a 'standard' arrangement of hot/cold taps: for example in the United States and Canada, the hot tap is on the left by building code requirements. This convention applies in the UK too, but many installations exist where it has been ignored."

So, there you have it. If it is on the 'net, it must be true.

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#7

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/22/2010 10:52 AM

Yup, even out here in the boonies - hot left, cold right!

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#9

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/22/2010 2:47 PM

The first thing any plumber needs to learn:

1) hot on the left

2) cold on the right

3) shit don't run uphill!

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#20
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Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 9:56 AM

shit don't run uphill!

Oh yes it can............and when it does.........that's what you call getting your own back.........and everybody else's!!!

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#11

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/22/2010 8:48 PM

Interesting.

The problem for me was that I grew up in a double wide house and some where hot on the left and others where hot on the right depending on what sink you used and labeled as so. Plus my house has hot on the right in the kitchen but hot on the left in the bathroom but then hot on the right again for the washing machine connections. My friends house had the all of the hots on the right for both the bathroom, kitchen, and washing machine but the hot is on the left for the basement sink. I have also seen countless hotels with the hot and cold on either side for the sink and shower.

So you can see from my experiences I have never had any solid points of reference to which is the right or wrong way!

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#32
In reply to #11

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 8:59 PM

Having lived in a single wide..I'm assuming that the plumbing arrangements in the double wide were because the lines ran along the middle/join of the two halves.

The other variety of arrangements could be because of (original) choice by the occupier/builder?

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#12

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/22/2010 11:27 PM

When I was in high school, I worked as a go-fer for an electrician. We worked a housing project and followed a plumber around. He told me all I needed to know to be a first class plumber's helper was, "HOT on the left, COLD on the right, poop don't flow up hill, pay day's on Friday and the boss is a SOB". That settled it for me!

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#14

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 12:35 AM

Agree with JackofAllTrades that convention in Oz is Hot-on-Left, Cold-on-Right.

However I am also of the understanding that this convention is overruled when over a bath, where you would put the Cold tap on the side closest to you. The reason behind this was to reduce the possibility of an unsupervised child turning on the bath and scalding themselves by getting into a tub of hot water, because it was more likely that they would generally turn on the tap closest to them.

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#15

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 2:31 AM

I believe the convention is based on the fact that most people are right-handed. normally people don't want to scald themselves.

thus, it's become an industry standard.

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#17

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 5:02 AM

Hot water from the faucet??? You have hot water from the faucet??? Doesn't that sort of defeat the purpose of showering? I mean, I thought one showered to cool off....

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#18
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Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 5:20 AM

Not all of us live in paradise!

I remember when I was in Qatar in 86 - we turned off the hot water heater and used it as a chiller. The 'cold' water entering the house was to hot to shower in - the pipes were apparently a bit close to the surface outside.

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#19
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Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 5:23 AM

"Cold water entering the house too hot to shower in"- sounds like reality, to me...

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#21

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 10:02 AM

If the taps in a shower are mounted one above the other...........is the top tap the hot tap?

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#40
In reply to #21

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/25/2010 2:03 AM

regardless of convention, it is a good idea to keep the hot water the most 'out of reach' for todders... so the higher or further away from the tub entry would be smart.

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#42
In reply to #21

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/26/2010 12:04 AM

"If the taps in a shower are mounted one above the other"

In this case, I think the installer was drinking too much.

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#43
In reply to #42

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/26/2010 9:30 AM

in this case, Bob, the manufacturer is to blame.

when your eyes are blinded by the soap and you're groping for the handle, pray it's the right one...

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#46
In reply to #42

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/29/2010 10:19 AM

I have seen this in many places..........apart from private homes, in hotels and motels (those that don't have flash mixers)

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#22

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 11:25 AM

When there are separate valves at any faucet assembly serving a fixture, the HOT WATER must be supplied ON THE LEFT. Yes, this was 'conventional' soon after the development of running hot water, but this has also long since been codified in various Plumbing Codes.

International Plumbing Code reference: IPC-2006.607.4

"Fixture fittings, faucets and diverters shall be installed and adjusted so that the flow of hot water from the fittings corresponds to the left-hand side of the fixture fitting."

There is an exception for properly marked shower and tub/shower mixing valves.

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#24

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 11:46 AM

Hot and cold running water INSIDE a house??????

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#26

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 12:07 PM

Evidence based answer: Think back to how many restrooms you've been in where C was on the left and H on the right?

Pedantic answer: Depends on whether the user(s) like to use the "crossover" move. Depends on what country and what language. Depends on whether most users are Right or Left-handed. Depends on whether the brain is male or female. Doesn't really depend on anything.

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#27

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 1:11 PM

So why is the water dispensing fixture called a "tap"?

Because we're not tapping barrels anymore for our beer. And the actual mechanism was a type of gate valve to dispense the liquid.

Now, spigot seems very appropo.

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#29

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 6:16 PM

1. hot is left side, cold is right side.

2.righty tighty, lefty loosey

3.red and yellow kill a fellow, red and black venom lack.

4.red sky in morning, sailors take warning, red sky at night, sailors delight.

The only true constant is number 3

Number 2 not being constant really messed with the tire shops on my old dodge pickup truck.

One side had normal threaded lugnuts, one side had reverse or left handed lugs.

On two different occasions, the left hand threaded side had to get cut off with a blowtorch, because they kept cranking up the pressure, trying to remove them with the air wrench turning to the left.

Somehow i always forgot to warn them that the "L" stamped in the lug stud meant it was backwards, lol. hehe. Im a tree guy, not a mechanic...

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 8:28 PM

Thats the great thing about ditties they are location specific

No 3 red belly black snake, red back spider

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#31
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Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/23/2010 8:54 PM

With that answer..gotta be an Aussie

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#33
In reply to #30

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/24/2010 7:31 AM

ok, i was refering to the poison coral snake, red,yellow and black striped, vs the scarlet king snake, which looks identical but grows larger, and has red,black and yellow stripes.

our black widow spider is also red and black, and somewhat deadly.

Btw, anyone wanting to move into kentucky, i have seen more black widows here than anywhere else in my life.

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#34

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/24/2010 9:00 AM

As noted by many others, the convention is hot on the left. As noted by a few, this has been documented in building codes, at least in the USA.

What I haven't seen anyone else mention yet, single-control fixtures such as many shower knobs are provided with a visual guide that indicates turning (the top of) the knob or lever further to the left will provide more hot water. This may only be a case of design hewing to convention, but there it is.

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#35
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Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/24/2010 9:19 AM

I was recently involve in a project that included a rather elegant (and expensive) single lever kitchen fixture from a well-known manufacturer (I believe it was a US manufacturer, but may be misinformed on this), installed by someone else. The owner of the project noted that the lever worked reverse to be expected- move it to the right for hot water, to the left for cold water. We studied the installation to determine if the fixture had been reversed or possibly assembled incorrectly, and came to the conclusion that it had been installed as intended by the manufacturer, and that the location of discrete blue and red dots suggested that the lever was selecting hot and cold in accordance with the manufacturer's intention- reverse of what one would expect from our understanding of "convention"...

Rules are made to be broken...

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#36
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Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/24/2010 10:07 AM

Was the fixture designed to be facing 180 degrees? And at some point installer realized the outlet would be wrong, and saved himself trouble and just switched the outlet side? That would have left the 2 inlets reversed underneath the sink.

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#37
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Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/24/2010 10:32 AM

bob_c-

The fixture had been installed in accordance with manufacturer's instructions, and no, 180 degrees off would have made the handle inaccessible. Lines not crossed- first thing we looked at. The key was the little red and blue dots- the fixture worked as the manufacturer "intended" it to work. At what stage in the design/manufacture of the product this particular intention was locked in is not clear...

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#38
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Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/24/2010 10:55 PM

I bought a fancy faucet set for my bathroom sink.It was a reduced price special at Home Depot. All of the components were there, so I bought it. As I was installing it I came to realize that I had 2 hot water valves, and no cold water valve. This left me with both of the fancy crystal handles indexed to the left side of the pivot point of the handle. Short of cutting and grinding a new indexing notch in the valve stem, I am stuck with it.

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#39
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Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/24/2010 11:20 PM

All these years I have been laboring under the misconception that such manufacturing screwups were normally dumped here in the Third World where we are supposed to be too uninformed to know the difference...

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#41
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Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/25/2010 11:59 PM

I had just chalked it up to someone switching one of the parts in the box in the store.

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#44

Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/26/2010 5:22 PM

So after all of this it comes down to being an industry standard to have the hot on left and the cold on the right unless of course the company or person building or installing the faucet/tap/valve/thing decides they want it the other way around.

I am right back to where I was when I first posted. Thanks.

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#45
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Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

09/26/2010 11:02 PM

Hold on there. You started this crap, now finish it to the ugly end. What about when the handles are top and bottom. We need an answer to this.

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#47
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Re: Hot and Cold or Cold and Hot?

10/24/2010 4:21 PM

tcmtech wrote: So after all of this it comes down to being an industry standard to have the hot on left and the cold on the right unless of course the company or person building or installing the faucet/tap/valve/thing decides they want it the other way around.

Sandman in #22 cited and quoted the (international) code that says hot on the left. At least one other person mentioned it was also in US plumbing codes.

Sandman did mention an exception for properly marked shower and tub/shower mixing valves.

So I don't think that's back to where you were when you posted this.

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