If you love the combination of high technology and maximum convenience in your kitchen, you will ‘get’ the benefits of a boiling water tap in an instant. In fact, instant boiling water is what it’s all about. Make waiting for the kettle to boil a thing of the past and get your hot water straight from the tap – genius!
Hot water taps are perfect for our fast-paced modern lifestyles. Whether you’re making tea or coffee, need hot water for cooking pasta or vegetables, defrosting food or doing the washing up, having a boiling water tap in your kitchen cuts down on precious waiting time so you can get on with the job in hand.
Quooker is the best-known brand of boiling water taps, but there are other manufacturers too, including Grohe, Franke, InSinkErator, and HYCO. So, how do you choose the best tap for your needs? Here are some key considerations that should help you to make the right decision.
How does a boiling water tap work?
Essentially, a hot water tap looks much like an ordinary kitchen tap except that it may have more buttons or levers for the additional functionality offered. Depending on the manufacturer and model you choose, there are taps that dispense boiling water only, and others where you can control the water temperature to select hot, cool or chilled water. There are even taps that will dispense sparkling water!
The boiling water tap normally sits under the worktop next to the sink, with a thermally insulated tank that’s hidden from view under the sink. Most have a 2-liter capacity boiler unit, and the incoming cold water is first filtered before being heated to between 98°C and 100°C ready for dispensing through the tap on the worktop.
Is the water really boiling hot?
‘Boiling hot water tap’ is actually a bit of a misnomer since most hot water taps dispense water that is near but not at the boiling point. The Quooker Flex tap is the world’s first 100°C boiling water tap that does actually deliver instant filtered boiling water. But how important is the exact temperature in our everyday lives?
Well, try making a hot drink with nearly boiling water – it simply won’t taste right. And if you’re disappointed with the performance of your boiling water tap, you’re likely to be going back to using your trusty kettle before long. So then, what was the point of getting the hot water dispenser?
What’s more, 100°C boiling water means that it’s sterile and bacteria-free – unlike ‘nearly boiling’ water. The Quooker Flex’ under sink stainless steel tank has a revolutionary vacuum insulation and thermos technology that actually holds the water under pressure at 110°C, and will remove the risk of harmful bacteria including Legionella. There’s a built-in HiTAC water filtration system that purifies the water before it is dispensed.
What about the risks of scalding?
Whether you’re completely new to the idea of boiling water taps, have a replacement tap fitted or need to instruct guests or children in how to use this, safety is always paramount. Luckily, most taps come with safety features designed to prevent injury.
Obviously, if you have children (of any age) in the family, it’s essential to keep them safe from boiling water splashes and scalds at all times, so do spend plenty of time showing them how to use the tap safely, or otherwise teach them not to use it and ask an adult to help instead.
Are boiling water taps expensive?
As a recent arrival in the luxury kitchen gadget market, boiling water taps don’t come cheap. That said, there are savings to be had in terms of energy efficiency.
Electric kettles are notorious for wasting energy through overuse. Typically, we boil more water than is actually needed. There’s also additional heat loss through the body of the kettle. A hot water tap, on the other hand, can dispense exactly the right amount of water – one cup at a time if necessary – so nothing is wasted.
Some manufacturers claim that the cost of using a boiling water tap is 1 pence per litre (or roughly 3 pence per day with average domestic use) compared to the cost of boiling a full 1.5 litre kettle (which works out at around 2.5 pence per boil) which, if accurate, would suggest substantial savings.
As the hot water tank is well insulated, it won’t take much energy to keep the water at/near boiling point, though reheating the water will consume more electricity. So long as you don’t use your boiling water tap for large quantities of water at a time, general running costs are inexpensive.