Understanding What Side is Hot Water On: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to our article on “what side is hot water” the standard positioning of hot water taps! If you’ve ever wondered why hot water is typically found on the left side of a faucet or if there are any exceptions to this rule, you’ve come to the right place. Understanding the reasoning behind hot water tap placement is not only interesting but also practical, as it can help you navigate the plumbing world with ease.

Did you know that the convention of placing hot water on the left side actually dates back to the early 20th century? It’s a fascinating historical aspect that adds depth to this seemingly simple topic. So, let’s dive in and explore the standard positioning of hot water taps and any unconventional placements that you may come across.

At a glance: What’s behind the topic.What you need to know: An overview of the key information

  • The standard positioning for hot water taps is to have them on the left side.
  • There are exceptions to this rule, with unconventional hot water placement in some cases.
  • Identifying hot and cold water taps can be done through color coding or temperature-based faucet handles.

what side is hot water

Hot Water On The Left: The Reasoning Behind

Intriguingly, the placement of hot water on the left side of the faucet has a rich tapestry of history, culture, and psychology behind it. In the early days of indoor plumbing, accessing hot water was no easy feat, leading to its placement on the left to distinguish it from the cold water tap. Cultural influences have also played a significant role.

Countries like the United Kingdom have long upheld the tradition of left-side hot water taps and right-side cold water taps, a custom passed down through generations. Delving into the realm of psychology, humans naturally associate the left side with warmth and comfort, while the right side evokes a sense of coldness. By aligning the placement of the hot water tap with this innate preference, the user experience is enhanced.

So, the next time you turn on the left-sided hot water tap, take a moment to appreciate the historical, cultural, and psychological factors that have shaped this ubiquitous practice. It’s a small yet meaningful detail that brings both convenience and comfort to our everyday lives.

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what side is hot water

Understanding Hot Water Tap Placement: Convention, Exceptions, and Easy Identification

  • The standard positioning for hot water taps is on the left side of the faucet.
  • This convention is based on the logical reasoning that most people are right-handed, and having hot water on the left allows for easier control with the dominant hand.
  • However, there are exceptions to this rule, with some unconventional hot water placements. In some cases, hot water taps may be on the right side or even in the center of the faucet.
  • Vertical faucet handles can also be a point of confusion when it comes to determining which way is hot water. In general, if the handle is pointing up, it is typically for hot water, while if it is pointing down, it is for cold water.
  • Customized settings on certain faucets can sometimes lead to mistakes or confusion. It’s important to understand and familiarize yourself with the specific settings and controls of your own faucet.
  • Navigating the plumbing world can be made easier by identifying the hot and cold water taps. Some faucets may have color coding, with red typically indicating hot water and blue indicating cold water.
  • Temperature-based faucet handles are a modern solution to identifying hot water. These handles may have indicators such as red or blue dots, or even LED lights that change color depending on the water temperature.

Customised Settings: Personal Preference or Mistakes?

Placing your hot water tap is a matter of personal preference. We all have our own routines and habits that influence where we want to customize the settings. Some prefer the left, while others choose the right.

There are reasons behind these preferences. Some stick to tradition, while others consider their kitchen or bathroom layout. However, it’s crucial to avoid mistakes when customizing the tap settings.

Switching the hot and cold water taps by accident can lead to unexpected and dangerous situations. Always double-check to ensure the hot water tap is on the desired side. Ultimately, your personal preferences matter when it comes to tap placement.

Customize the settings to suit your needs, but remember to be cautious and avoid mistakes for a safe and comfortable experience with your hot water tap.

Comparison of Hot Water Tap Placement in Different Countries (Tabelle)

Country Hot Water Tap Placement Reasoning/Tradition Exceptions
United Kingdom Right side Traditionally, hot water taps are placed on the right side in the UK, dating back to the times of separate hot and cold water systems in Victorian homes. This placement allows for easy identification and separation of hot and cold water sources. In some modern buildings, hot water taps may be placed on the left side for convenience, especially when the hot water supply is directly connected to the tap.
United States Left side In the US, hot water taps are typically placed on the left side, following the convention of having hot water on the left and cold water on the right. This placement is based on ergonomic considerations, as most people are right-handed and can easily control the temperature with their dominant hand. There may be variations in certain regions or buildings, but the standard placement is on the left. Some modern buildings may also have single-lever taps that combine both hot and cold water controls.
Germany Left side German hot water tap placement follows the general European convention of having hot water on the left and cold water on the right. This convention ensures consistency across plumbing systems and makes it easier for people to adapt when using taps in different locations. Exceptions can be found in some older buildings where the placements may differ due to historical variations in plumbing practices.
Japan Left side In Japan, hot water taps are usually placed on the left side due to the influence of Western designs and the preference for having hot water on the left and cold water on the right. This placement aligns with the ergonomic preference of most people, as the left hand is often used to control the water temperature. Exceptions exist in certain traditional Japanese buildings where hot water taps may be placed differently to adhere to cultural or architectural traditions.
Australia Left side In Australia, hot water taps are typically placed on the left side, following the European convention of having hot water on the left and cold water on the right. This placement allows for consistency in plumbing systems and ease of use. Exceptions can be found in some older buildings or renovated spaces where the placements may differ due to individual preferences or design choices.
France Left side In France, hot water taps are generally placed on the left side, similar to the European convention. This placement ensures consistency and familiarity for both residents and visitors when using taps in different locations. Exceptions may exist in certain older buildings or unique architectural designs where the placements may differ for aesthetic or practical reasons.
China Right side In China, hot water taps are often placed on the right side. This placement is influenced by traditional Chinese culture, where the right side is associated with positive energy and strength. Additionally, it is believed that placing hot water taps on the right side promotes good fortune and prosperity. Exceptions can be found in some modern buildings or international hotels where the placements may follow Western conventions for practicality and ease of use.
Brazil Right side In Brazil, hot water taps are typically placed on the right side. This placement is influenced by the historical legacy of Portuguese colonization, where the plumbing system adopted the European convention of having hot water on the right and cold water on the left. Exceptions may exist in some modern buildings or renovated spaces where the placements may differ for design or practicality reasons.

Temperature-Based Faucet Handles: The Modern Solution

Revolutionizing Plumbing: The Rise of Temperature-Based Faucet Handles Gone are the days of trial and error when it comes to finding the perfect water temperature. Temperature-based faucet handles have emerged as the new frontier in plumbing technology, transforming the way we interact with our plumbing systems. Convenience takes center stage with these innovative handles, offering a user-friendly design that makes adjustments effortless and intuitive.

Bid farewell to the frustration of constantly tweaking the faucet to get the right temperature. With temperature-based handles, you can effortlessly tailor the water temperature to your liking, ensuring a consistently comfortable experience each time. But convenience is just the tip of the iceberg.

The market is teeming with a myriad of options to cater to individual preferences. From touch-sensitive controls to sleek digital displays, these handles come in a variety of styles and designs that seamlessly integrate with your bathroom or kitchen decor. Whether you crave a modern aesthetic or prefer the timeless charm of a traditional look, there’s a temperature-based handle that suits your taste.

Advanced technology lies at the heart of these handles’ precision. Thanks to cutting-edge sensor technology and temperature control systems, manufacturers have crafted handles that offer accurate adjustments. Not only does this enhance convenience, but it also promotes water conservation by reducing the need for excessive temperature changes.

In a world where every detail matters, temperature-based faucet handles are the modern solution for a seamless and user-friendly plumbing experience. Their plethora of benefits, wide variety of options, and technological advancements have revolutionized the world of plumbing. Bid adieu to guesswork and welcome effortless control over your water temperature.

The future of plumbing has arrived.

what side is hot water

How to Determine Which Side is for Hot Water on a Faucet

  1. Check the faucet handles to determine which side is for hot water.
  2. If the faucet handles are horizontal, look for color coding. Typically, the handle with a red indicator or a letter “H” represents hot water.
  3. If the faucet handles are vertical, feel the temperature of the handles. The handle that feels warmer is usually for hot water.
  4. If there is no clear indication, consult the user manual or contact a plumber for assistance.

Is There a Universal Standard for Hot Water Tap Placement?

The positioning of hot water taps has evolved over time, differing across cultures and regions without a singular norm. This disparity arises from diverse sources of hot water and is influenced by technological advancements and cultural inclinations. Moreover, cultural beliefs further influence the perception of hot water, with some considering it a means of purification while others view it as a symbol of opulence.

However, this lack of standardization can pose risks, as visitors may unknowingly scald themselves or encounter difficulties in locating the appropriate tap. Therefore, it is crucial to acknowledge these disparities and ensure clear labeling of taps to prioritize safety for everyone.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the standard positioning of hot water on the left side of faucets is based on the traditional plumbing practice of placing the hot water supply pipe on the left?


My name is Warren and I am a professional plumber licensed and insured in the State of California. I have been in the business for over 10 years and have undertaken small and large projects including bathroom renovation, toilets, garbage disposals, faucets, sinks and kitchen plumbing jobs. This site is based on my experience with toilets. I have installed the best brands and models in all sizes and shapes. I hope this helps you with the unbiased information that you need to make the right decision.



In conclusion, understanding the standard positioning of hot water on the left and the reasoning behind it provides valuable insights for homeowners and plumbers alike. While there may be exceptions to this rule with unconventional hot water placements, it is essential to navigate the plumbing world by identifying the hot and cold water taps accurately. Color coding and temperature-based faucet handles can help simplify this process.

Although there may not be a universal standard for hot water tap placement, this article has provided useful information to help readers determine the hot water side. We hope this article has been helpful and informative, and encourage readers to explore our other articles for more valuable insights into plumbing and home improvement topics.

If you’re curious about whether hot water is on the left or right, check out our article “Is Hot Water on the Left or Right?” for all the answers.


Is hot water left or right in Europe?

In Europe, shower knobs typically follow a consistent pattern: turning left means hot water, while turning right means cold. However, it’s important to note that not all showers use the traditional red for hot and blue for cold indicators. Some showers in Spain, for example, may display the letters “C” for “Caliente” (hot) and “F” for “Frio” (cold). If you find yourself feeling confused by the knobs or unsure of how to adjust the water temperature, remember that the hotel staff is available and ready to assist you at any time, day or night.

What side is hot and cold in Europe?

In the past, hot taps in the UK were traditionally positioned on the left side while cold taps were on the right. However, this arrangement has now been reversed.

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