I have a single lever, GIAGNI brand "industrial" style faucet where the handle pulls outward to run the water, then forward and backwards (while in the outward/open position) for hot and cold. Being a full-time stay at home mom of toddlers, I'm constantly using my hot water throughout the day (which is outward/forward). Thus, it's a big time, subconscious habit to "quick-flick" it on and off while it's in the "hot" or "pulled forward" position. Now, there is no issue with my faucet (yet).. But, I have a stressful situation where, every time my father-in-law visits, he constantly gets on my case about turning it off in the "upward" or "central" position. Because he nags me SO badly about it, I have gotten to the point where it absolutely stresses me out to even be in my own kitchen because I can never remember to shut it off the way HE thinks it should be. He's a 70yr old, old-school plumber (worked in the field back in the 80's), and I do trust he knows a lot. However, he is a fullblown pessimist and has an air of arrogance on the subject, yet doesn't seem to be too familiar with these newer modern fixtures and technologies. Untill we bought that particular sink and faucet assembly, he said he'd never seen one like it before. I'm not sure if he's correct on this. Therefore, my question is this: Will keeping it in the forward position when off truly hurt it? And if not, how can I politely yet effectively get him off my case about it? That being said, if it is in fact detrimental to the faucet, then (for my own sanity), I will be getting a new faucet with the two levers on each side where off is the standard because there is no way I will ever get in the habit of turning it off the "correct" way. I've tried.

Thank you so much for reading through and thanks in advance for any input and advice offered!!!

First photo: my off position

Second photo: his off position

my off position

his off position

  • I have a hard time believing that you are causing any problem with the faucet by turning it off so that the water stops flowing, whatever position the handle's in. However, at a minimum, please edit your question to tell us what brand/model the faucet is. Also a pic in the "your" off position and one in "Dad's" off position for comparison may help clarify the situation.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 21:27
  • The only problem is if it is the off position is in hot water range, then hot water will come out when open. If not expected then might be a problem for the person, not the faucet.
    – crip659
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 21:31
  • @FreeMan I've added that information.
    – Rachel
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 22:15
  • 1
    My grandmother thought the only good milk was milk that was cooled in well water(in the well). Valves don't care care if the water is hot or cold.
    – crip659
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 22:23
  • 1
    Tell your father-in-law it is a new type made in England so everything is reversed, just like how they drive on the roads. Also tell him the ball is made of unobtainaium so it will never wear out and is guaranteed for 1000 years.
    – RMDman
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 22:59

1 Answer 1


For safety reasons, especially in regards to children, the "closed" or the "cold" position (depending on type of faucet) is down/forward and the "open" or "hot" position is up/away.

If a child grabs the handle, they will tend to pull down not push up, and thus with a safe configuration they will not scald themselves or leave the tap running unbeknownst to any adults in the home.

Some valves have the "open" position down, for aesthetics, and so the cold position must be forward. The tap will be easy to open by a child, but it will more likely than not be safe.

The hot/cold position in which it is kept off does not generally matter at all for the longevity of the faucet.

Now, if you have a leaky faucet (due to a worn cartridge for instance), it is best to leave it in the cold & off position to save energy cost.

  • Wouldn't a simple solution to this positioning issue be to swap the feed lines under the sink? This moves the forward position to cold.
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 22:32

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