Hot water faucet on left?

After reading the thread concerning light switches, I’m now curious about water faucets. Is the hot=left and cold=right configuration only an American setup, or is it that way all over?

I think it’s standard worldwide. So blind people don’t burn themselves, my mum says. Or, I suppose, so that non-French-speaking tourists don’t get burned by taps which say “C” for “chaude”.

I’ve heard that in Japan, Hot is on the right and cold is on the left. My incredibly reliable and authoritative source (college legend related in a training course) follows.
Japanese exchange student gets in shower and there is no hot water. He takes a cold shower, calls facilities maintenence and departs for class.

Facilities maintenence at U of Maryland was pretty good, but they assigned “H” and “C” knobs independent of temperature.

Now “No hot water” is one of those high priority (fix today) work orders like “no heat” or “Tribbles in closet”. Maintenence comes that day, checks the hot water (fully functional), and leaves a little “we were here,” card.

Student returns, finds card, asssumes problem is fixed, and winds up taking another cold shower the next morning.

I don’t know how many iterations the student and facilities went through, but eventually maintenence and the student were in the room together and found they were turning different knobs for hot water.

You have now received your diversity training for Spring Semester 1995.


[hijack warning]
this is “diversity” training? Sounds more like STUPIDITY training to me. .How can anybody be so stupid that he doesn’t try both of the knobs in front of his face when one of them doesnt work like he expected?

What bothers me is that , to appease the god of political correctness, anything that is different (“diverse”) is automatically considered positive, and must be welcomed as a Good Thing. Somebody in your diversity training class should have had the guts to speak up and say " the foreign student did not deserve any sympathy.His stupidity is not my problem.Teach me how to greet him without offending his culture (e.g. handshake with left hand is rude to Arabs, Japanese dont touch strangers , etc).Teach me his social customs(e.g. removing shoes before entering a house). But don’t expect me to assume that everything he does without thinking is excusable, just for the sake of “diversity”.
[sorry 'bout the hijack]

and now back to the faucets: I’ve heard that in Death Valley ,california and other places where people live in mobile homes in the desert, the faucets are reversed. Reason–the weather is so hot that the water pipes, even if buried, carry hot water. For cold water, they fill the"hot water" tank inside the house with water, which gradually cools down. but flows out of the “hot” faucet.

( Sounds like an urban legend to me, but it makes a nice story

How is it possible to take a shower using only one faucet? If you only use the “hot” you will get burned and if you only use the “cold” you 'll freeze. If this story is real, then the student was ultra-stupid.

Supposed to be Hot-right Cold-left here in the UK, I’m pretty certain, but you would be very lucky to find any consistency. Most houses are somewhat randomly assigned, with either combination being available on any sink/bath in a house. The house live in is one of the very few I have come across the has any consistency, mainly because I have swapped around the non-conforming ones myself. Too much time on my hands.

I am in Japan at the moment - hot water is on the left, cold on the right, just like in the states.

In Australia and NZ cold right, hot left.

I just wanted to further confuse matters by relating the faucet setup in my house. Kitchen: hot on right, cold on left. Bathroom: hot on left, cold on right. I guess my house is multicultural.

I suspect faucet arrangement is a fairly random and unimportant matter.

Good to see so many responses. I have seen cases where they are backwards just because the plumber installed them backwards. Of course, that’s easy to fix by just crossing the flex supply lines.

The US standard is hot-left, however it all depends on who did the installation. If it was installed by professionals, then they adhere to the standard configuration. If installed by uncle joe & billy bob - whichever pipe lines up easier.

I can pretty much confirm that there’s no left/right dominance in the UK. As a previous post suggested, it’s more to do with convenience - which way the hot and cold pipes are arriving at the point in question.

I also would guess that the less common occurence of mixer taps has made standardisation less of an issue?

This does not jive with my experience in NZ (never been to Australia). On two vacation trips, I could not discern a pattern; the assignment seemed more or less random.

I’ve just done a check here with a plumber/heating engineer who confirms that according to building regulations and as previously alluded to, to give blind people some degree of protection from scalding, Hot should be left, Cold on the right.

But mostly due to carelessness, sometimes the pipes don’t end up conveniently to conform with this, so they just get stuck in where it is easiest.

Flexi-pipes are frowned upon in professional installations far more than the tap inconsistency, only bodgers like me resort to that due to terminal laziness, and only then when they are concealed. Plumbers consider them ‘amateur’ and unworthy of their professional abilities. Sooner screw it up and to heel with the regulations.