Hot and cold reversed in whole house + single lever faucet backwards

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by sstchur, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. sstchur

    sstchur New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Sammamish, WA
    I'm nearing the end of new construction and the other day I did a walk through the home just to check things out. The city inspector was there to do his thing ahead of getting the certificate of occupancy. I learned from him that the hot & cold water in the whole house was reversed and he demanded this be fixed.

    I'm wondering how this happens in new construction? Whose fault would this have been? The plumber?

    Also, in the laundry room, there is one of those single lever faucets (the kind where you lift up to turn on and push down to turn off and swivel side to side to choose hot or cold or in between). Well, on this one, you PUSH DOWN to turn the water on and LIFT UP to turn the water off. What the heck is that about? How is that even possible? Am I dealing with a builder who has hired a completely incompetent plumber?

    If it matters, everything in the house is Delta.
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,438
    Location:
    IL
    Who pays for the rework? I wonder if you would be well off to hire a house inspector such as one who is usually hired when somebody is buying a used house.
  3. sstchur

    sstchur New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Sammamish, WA
    Yes, we have an inspector coming Tuesday (same one I used when I bought my last house who I know and trust).

    The hot/cold issue has been addressed, but we (my agent and I) also discovered a leak in the basement (mother in law suite). One of the two sinks in the bathroom looks to have been shut off (I guess because of the leak). And the carpet in the room adjacent to the bathroom is obviously wet, and the hardwoods next to the bathroom a cupping a little. Not sure if this leak happened when they fixed the hot/cold water reversal or not.

    But the faucet in the laundry room.... that has not been fixed. I wonder if the builder even knows about it.

    What I'm really wondering if all of this is a case of "ok, mistakes happen... no big deal as long as they address it." Or is it more a case of "Tis should never happen and it's a sign that these people don't know what they're doing?
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,136
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Leaks should never happen, but they can.

    Hot and cold can get crossed, but that's rare too. PEX changes how some things are run now, a bit more confusing unless you color code.
    It's hard to mess up color coded PEX. Though my stuff on the vans is clear.

    In the old days of purely running copper, we would run the hot high, and the cold low. No real rule about that, but it saved a lot of time in the long run. There was less thinking involved.

    Delta tub shower valves can be reversed with the cartridge. Same with Moen. Knowing that, a lot of plumbers don't worry much about which side of the valve is plumbed, but make sure at trim that the cartridge is set correctly. Even the instructions that come with the valves show how to install in back to back installs, where one is reversed.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,843
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; we would run the hot high, and the cold low. No real rule about that, but it saved a lot of time in the long run. There was less thinking involved.

    You mean it takes more "thinking" to remember "Red is hot and blue is cold"? I thought the reason for using PEX was because almost any "dummy" could install it. It was why PB was so popular. A "professional" would spend a few hours drilling holes and securing the fixture stubs, then a "high school dropout' came in and ran the tubing from point A to point B, making a spider web in the process. One problem with having a tub/shower valve piped backwards or back to back is that the water heater is seldom functioning when the valves are trimmed out, so unless there is some indication as to which one is backwards, (I would spray the backwards one with red paint), you have to guess or come back later to fix it.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
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