I have a faucet that is turning in the wrong direction. Please see picture below. How do I fix this?

Closed Position

Open Pos

Handle Removed

  • which way is it open
    – Traveler
    Jan 7, 2023 at 19:02
  • it opens towards the wall, not towards the sink.
    – Bhupen
    Jan 7, 2023 at 19:48
  • It is meant to do that, otherwise you would have the handles sticking into the sink while water is running
    – Traveler
    Jan 7, 2023 at 20:02
  • 1
    @Ruskes - that's exactly what they're designed to do. Both taps should pull towards you [which means they turn in opposite directions.] It's an old victorian idea, fairly recently revived [past 30 years or so] but also survives in medical scrub sinks, where the levers are large enough to be used with your elbows. My bath & washbasin both do the same.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 8, 2023 at 14:45

3 Answers 3


If that applies to both the levers, then I would suggest that the complete assembly has been mounted about face.

This also seems to be confirmed by the waste plug pull (or push) is at the back, a similar one I have is at the front.

Remove, swap and refit. shut off the water supply first though, either to that unit or further upstream.

  • Yes, this applies to both the levers. I dont think I understand. Could you give more details to this layman.
    – Bhupen
    Jan 7, 2023 at 19:51
  • @Bhupen disconnect it, unscrew the fixings then rotate it 180 degrees clockwise then refit and reconnect. That way the waste pull will be at the front.
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 7, 2023 at 19:52
  • 5
    @SolarMike But it is not normal to have the waste pull knob on the front.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 7, 2023 at 20:38
  • 1
    @HotLicks well, I have two bathrooms with 2 sinks and both the taps have the waste pull at the front. So who is not "normal". Also, in every other house I visit the pulls are at the front.
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 7, 2023 at 20:42
  • 2
    Wouldn't simply swapping the valve stem assemblies accomplish the same thing with a lot less hassle?
    – keshlam
    Jan 7, 2023 at 21:11

The direction a valve turns depends on the internal threading in the valve stem assembly. If both valves are rotating in the wrong direction (but in opposite directions), that probably means someone had both valve stems out at some point, and reassembled the sink without checking that they hadn't exchanged them.

To fix, remove the handles, use a wrench to remove the valve stems, reassemble with the one that had been on the left now on the right and vice versa, and reattach the handles.

  • Thanks you for the answers keshlam @Solar-Mike. I'll try em out. I dont know which side is the correct side, I'm just doing what my misses tells me :D.
    – Bhupen
    Jan 8, 2023 at 3:09
  • In case it isn't obvious: turn off the water to the sink before disassembling the valves, using the valves below the sink. Also, removing and reinstalling the valve stem units, it helps to have the sink valve in an open position to avoid having the stem and washer press against the valve seat until you are ready to test the change.
    – keshlam
    Jan 8, 2023 at 3:58
  • Agreed - someone has replaced the ceramic cartridges and put the new ones in swapped.
    – SiHa
    Jan 8, 2023 at 15:51

Test all this with the water off, or reduced to a trickle for testing.

Please initially, confirm both taps should, or used to, pull towards you for 'on'? These mechanisms should be handed - mirrors of each other, so they should turn in opposite directions, one right-handed, one left.
If someone were to be so lax as to accidentally swap them, both would then open the wrong way, ie push away from you.

Will this bit pull out?

enter image description here

I'd also like to see how the other tap is aligned to this piece. It should be a mirror image, so both taps pull towards you.
Also - how many degrees of turn do you get on each tap? I'm trying to decide if these are old fashioned 'screw-out' valves or more modern 90°. If screw out, you may see a slight lift in the tap handle as you turn the water on. I get the feeling they're modern 90°, and the fact that the handle will only fit in one single orientation would support that. 'Screw valve' taps tend to have a system that will let you set the handles at many angles so you can adjust as the washer wears.
…but confirmation would be good.

If that stop will lift out, can you then test the tap has full rotation, in both directions?
If so, then you can replace that plastic stop at a better angle to allow correct tap movement.

I have an alternative theory if the tap is a modern 90° valve, that the valve itself has broken or got something trapped in it, preventing it from turning one way. Once you remove any physical stops on these mechanisms, they should then have a full 360° rotation.
You might need to pull out the entire barrel to properly see what's going on.

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