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How To Fix Your Hot And Cold Reversed Water In 30 Seconds


shower cartridgeThe Hot And Cold Water Is Reversed In My Shower!

This repair makes me giggle. Not because of the repair, but because of the image in the customer's mind. When I get a call like this, I can feel the terror in the customer's voice.

Everyone realizes that this isn't a life-or-death repair...I don't know about you, but I generally stick a body part in the stream of water before I commit with my entire body to be scalded or frozen. So when a customer calls with this problem, it is usually because it has become a nuisance (or their spouse is complaining that it needs to be fixed).

Back to the terror...The customer has visions of cutting open walls, re-piping the house, drywall repairs, and huge invoices.

I ask some questions:

Me: "Is the problem limited to this particular shower?"

Caller: "Yes"

Me: "Does the shower have separate handles for the hot and cold, or is there a single handle that controls both the hot and cold?"

Caller: "A single handle"

Oh goody. I am going to be revered like a rock star when I tell this customer that the problem can be resolved in about 30 seconds and you don't even need to turn off the water to the house to do it.

Behind the handle lies a cartridge with O-rings, washers and the like that turn to allow a mixture of cold and hot water to your desired temperature (it's called a mixing valve). All you need to do is rotate the stem 180-degrees.

You will need to remove the handle to get access to the stem. The handle will have a cap on it that you can pop off with a small screwdriver, or it wall be attached with a set screw near the underside of the handle. With the cap off, remove the screw that holds the handle to the stem. Once you pull off the handle, the stem is right in front of you...it is the piece that the handle screws into. Just turn it 180-degrees (you can do it with your fingers) and screw the handle back on.


Is this the same process for fixing the same problem on a single handle kitchen faucet?
Posted @ Monday, June 21, 2010 4:51 PM by Laurie
Yes it is if it uses a cartridge style mechanism, like Moen does.
Posted @ Monday, June 21, 2010 4:57 PM by Mike Klimek
Thanks!! I thought it would be a lot harder to fix. It took me literally the 30 seconds you said it would.
Posted @ Thursday, December 22, 2011 10:20 AM by Robert
I tried this but no luck. I couldn't even turn it with a pair of pliers.
Posted @ Friday, January 20, 2012 2:11 PM by Thomas
read this
Posted @ Wednesday, April 18, 2012 9:07 AM by adam
It took me a minute because I could not loosen the plastic cap. Thank you so much. I did not have to bother my brother.
Posted @ Thursday, November 08, 2012 11:56 AM by Lillian
my idiot plumber was replacing the stems which had been damaged by corrosion. He reversed the flow, didn't check it, and left. When I went to take a shower the next morning, I thought my water heater was bad! Figured it out, called the idiot back. He had no clue what the problem was, and has now been here nearly an hour trying to fix the problem. Think I should tell him how to fix it? He's run in and out of the hose 5 times so far.
Posted @ Friday, January 11, 2013 5:43 PM by Laura
When I turn my valve stem 180 degrees the water is on full blast.
Posted @ Sunday, January 20, 2013 2:18 PM by Wayne
Turn the stem 180° which way. Clockwise or counter clockwise? Sorry to ask such a simple question, but would rather know than have to play around with it.
Posted @ Thursday, April 17, 2014 4:16 PM by Karen
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