How to Make A Faucet Handle Turn the Other Direction

  • By: Peter Allen
  • Date: 08/18/2021
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Previously homes had only cold-water lines, and they run smoothly. However, modern-day homes come with both hot and cold water lines in all spaces, especially the bathroom and kitchen sinks. While having both water lines is a boon, the problem arises when the two faucet handle runs in the opposite direction of one another.

It can be potentially troublesome to remember which faucet handle of what water line is in the clockwise direction and which is in an anticlockwise direction. Thus, many plumbers suggest setting the faucet handle orientation in the same direction.

Thus, our plumbing team has come up with yet another groundbreaking solution on how to make a faucet handle turn the other direction.

You have to turn off the supply line, remove the cartridge from the handle and turn it 180° to set its orientation in the other direction. Then, you must re-install the cartridge and set the faucet handle properly.

Now, we will elaborate on the process with step-by-step suggestions and guidelines.

Why Should I Set the Faucet Handle in Another Direction?

We have already discussed that often the hot and cold-water faucets come with opposite orientations. It can be particularly problematic, especially if you are in a hurry.  Then, you might want to set the faucet handle direction of both water lines in the same direction.

However, other reasons might force you to opt for this direction alternating technique for the faucet handle.

Inappropriate Alignment of The Faucet Handle

At times, the faucet handle of your plumbing system might not be aligned properly. If you have a cartridge-made faucet handle, it should be perpendicular or parallel to the countertop when switched off. They should form a mirror image.

When it doesn’t happen, you should know that the manufacturer has aligned the faucet handle turning direction in a worn way. Thus, you must change its turning orientation or replace the handle from the seller.

Turning in An Inappropriate Direction

If you have cartridge handles, make sure it turns in 90° orientation. Also, you must install the cold and hot water faucet handle on the right side of the supply line. Otherwise, the faucets won’t turn. It will result from you changing the entire faucet setup.

Hence, you should be cautious while mounting the hot and cold water faucet handles properly. Otherwise, you may have to replace them.

But don’t worry, we have prepared a guideline even for this mismatched orientation of the faucet handle.

Temperature Limiter Issues

This particular problem is mainly related to the Moen faucet handles. When the temperature limiter reaches below its lowest limit, the faucet handle may have problems with its stopping point. This will cause the handle to move in the wrong direction.

Terry’s Plumbing faucets refer to it as the Rotational Stop Limiter (RSL). It is used to stop the faucet handle from getting too hot. Thus, it comes in useful for stopping people from scalding. Some other brands also use it for their hot water faucet handle.

How to Make A Faucet Handle Turn the Other Direction

Since you now know the reasons why you should consider changing the faucet handle orientation, it’s time to know the solutions.

So, let’s go step by step.

When the Handles Are Misaligned

If the handle moving direction is mismatched, you may try the following steps for the purpose. However, this trick may not work with all models of the faucet handle.

  1. Firstly, reach beneath the sink and turn off the water supply valve.
  2. Put an old towel underneath the faucet handle to collect the screws. It will help you in collecting the screws and stopping them from getting lost.
  3. Remove the screws from the handle and collect them to use while tightening the faucet handle once again.
  4. After that, find the nut retaining valve. You have to loosen it slightly.
  5. Mount the handle to the faucet without the screw. Now, push it in the opposite direction or in the direction you want it to turn. The cartridge and the housing of the valve come with enough space in between them. However, you must not enforce the handle if it doesn’t move. Or, it might damage the threaded part permanently.
  6. If you are successful in altering the faucet handle orientation, tighten the retaining nut. Then, attach the screw to finish off the job.

If You Have Cartridges Base Faucet Handles

The modern-day plumbing for hot and cold-water supply comes with cartridges inside the handle. It moves in 90° orientation, but you have to alter it for user convenience.

Preparing the Faucet for The Process

Firstly, turn off the water supply line of both the cold and hot waters. Then, close the water drain and keep a cloth underneath the faucet. It prevents the screws and nuts from getting lost.

Removing the Handle

Use your fingernail to remove the decorative cap from the handle. Use a screwdriver to remove the screw. It holds the cartridge stem with the handle. Once you have removed the screw, the handle will be loosened. Then, take away the handle from the stem.

Some manufacturers use the set-screw method to connect the handle with the faucet. It is located at the base of the handle. You have to use an Allen wrench to remove the screw from the handle base.

Work with The Cartridge

Now, you have to pry off the nut that retains the cartridge. Use a set of slip-joint pliers to loosen the nut. But you won’t have to remove the nut entirely. Also, you may use the adjustable wrench instead of the pliers set.

Next, hold the cartridge. Make sure you hold it along the stem. Now, pull it upward with an optimal force to remove it from the faucet valve. Make sure you apply a gentle rocking motion to pry off the cartridge from the valve.

Now, rotate it at 180° angle. Now, you have to align both tabs of the cartridge in the same direction. For this, cut the lip of the slots on the valve slightly. Once you have cut through the slot lip, insert the cartridge carefully in the body of the valve.

Finishing Off the Job

Place the retaining nut into the handle stem. Then, tighten it against the threaded ring properly. Then, reconnect the handle of the faucet using the screws. Tighten the screw properly. Finally, replace the decorative cap.

Check the Success

Once the faucet valve reorientation is completed, turn on both the hot and cold-water lines. At this point, you will be able to know the right rotation of the faucet handle.


Whenever you have problems regarding the faucet handle orientation, you can apply these tricks at ease. The guidelines on how to make a faucet handle turn the other direction will help you with the cause.

However, if you have the older versions of the faucet handle that comes with seats in place of the cartridge, you have to replace them. Otherwise, you won’t be able to redirect its rotational orientation properly. Also, you may consider turning its thread in the direction you want. If it doesn’t work, replacing the faucet handle is your last alternative.

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