In recent years, kitchen and home technology has come a long way, and there are so many useful and interesting gadgets you can incorporate into your home. One of these is a boiling water tap or instant hot water tap! Let’s take a look at what it is, the different options that are available, and whether these are an energy-efficient option for your kitchen design.
What are boiling water taps?
A boiling water tap is a type of faucet you can place by your sink or on a countertop, but it’s not your average tap! In addition to the usual cold and hot options, you also get boiling water directly from a compact undercounter boiler. This means you can make a cup of tea, sterilise baby bottles, or fill a pot to boil pasta in an instant, no kettle needed!
What types of boiling water taps are out there?
All the big sanitaryware brands make boiling water taps, and they all have their own take on design and functionality. In general, however, there are 3 main types of instant hot water taps to choose from:
Standalone boiling water taps
This is an option for when you want a single tap for boiling water, while also keeping your existing hot and cold-water taps. It will sit on your worktop or at the sink and needs a separate installation and hole alongside your existing tap. These taps can give cold or boiling filtered water.
A good example of this is the Insinkerator Filtered Cold and Boiling Water Tap, which comes with a compact 2.4 litre undercounter boiler and an adjustable thermostat. Another good option is the Grohe Red Duo, which has a larger 5.5 litre boiler and is A+ rated for energy efficiency.
3-in-1 boiling water taps
These are a very popular choice because they combine a traditional mixer tap with a boiling water tap, all from the same faucet. This is great for your main kitchen sink and is a very compact and stylish option that needs minimal installation compared to installing multiple taps.
The Quooker tap, Quooker Fusion is a good example of a 3-in-1 boiling water tap, offering hot, cold, and boiling water that hits 100 degrees Celsius. It has a 3 or 7-litre boiler and can dispense around 3 litres per minute. Another popular choice is the Quettle Signature Modern tap, which is a very affordable boiling water tap. It also offers hot, cold, and boiling water from a single faucet, and has a 2, 4 or 7 litre boilers.
Multifunction taps/4-in-1 boiling water taps
These are the most advanced and most expensive option when you’re looking at instant hot water taps. It can dispense hot or cold mains water, filtered and chilled, boiling, and carbonated water all from the same spout.
One of the most popular of these is the Franke Omni 4-in-1 boiling water tap, which has a capacity of 4.2 litres, up to 5 bar water pressure, and a 3-year guarantee. Perrin & Rowe also have a more traditional-looking version, with a compact 2.4 litre boiler and the ability to operate at low water pressure. The Quooker 4-in-1 is also a great option for instant 100 degree boiling water, cold water, and sparkling water, as is the Zip 5-in-1 boiling water tap, which offers boiling, chilled, sparkling, and filtered water as well as hot and cold water for washing up from two separate taps.
TIP: If you don’t want the expense of a boiling water tap but would like filtered water, you could choose a 2-in-1 tap. This will give you hot and cold mains water as well as fresh filtered water straight from the tap. Brita is a good choice if you are considering one of these more affordable taps.
How do boiling water taps work?
Boiling water taps connect to your kitchen’s plumbing for their water supply. But unlike a regular tap, they also connect to a small, powerful boiler that is placed under the counter beneath the tap. This boiler uses an electrical connection to heat the cold water flowing in from your mains. They can supply standard hot and cold water just like a normal mixer, but there will be an additional handle to activate the boiling water, which can then be supplied almost instantly. You usually have to pull or push the handle to activate the boiling water, and as soon as you release the handle, the boiling water stops.
So, is it worth getting a boiling water tap?
These taps are more expensive, and you do require space under the counter to hold the boiler. However, there are many good reasons to spend a little extra to get one:
- Boiling water in an instant – They are very convenient, as you don’t need to fill or heat a kettle – and you get boiling water as soon as you need it, no need to wait.
- Save water – Great in bigger homes where water has to travel a long way from your home’s boiler to the kitchen. Usually, you’d have to wait minutes before the flow of water heats up, wasting litres of water in the process. In fact, the average UK person uses 150 litres of water a day, and the country wastes 3 billion litres of drinking water every day! With a boiling water tap you get hot water for washing up in seconds, saving hundreds of litres per year.
- Space-saving – Boiling water taps are very compact, which is ideal for small kitchens where you want to make the most of your counterspace and avoid having a kettle. This is especially true if you get a 3-in1 or 4-in-1 option. For small kitchens, a 2.5 litre boiler won’t take up much undercounter space at all.
- Practical prep spaces – If you have a big kitchen, a boiling water tap is a huge time-saver and a great feature for your kitchen island. There’s no need to walk between taps, fridges, and kettles to get carbonated water, boiling water for tea, or water for prepping food. It’s all right there at your fingertips.
How much water can the tank hold?
This depends on the tap you buy. Some come with small tanks of around 1.7 litres, while premium models have tanks of up to 7.6 litres. When deciding what size is right for you, consider how often you would be using it, how many people will be using it, and how much undercounter space you have beneath your sink. For an average family, between 3-5 litres is the best tank size.
Energy efficiency and safety
Boiling water taps are designed with safety and energy-efficiency in mind, and each tap model has their own safety mechanism style and energy-efficiency rating.
Are boiling water taps energy efficient?
Boiling water taps use much less electricity than kettles, making them very energy efficient and budget-friendly! While each model is slightly different, in general they use 3p per day or 6% of your energy bill per year, while a kettle uses a massive 2.5p per boil (according to Npower). That means that boiling an electric kettle just once uses more electricity than a boiling water tap will in one day! Of course, this depends on your energy tariff, but since the average UK household boils their kettle 4 times per day, you can definitely expect to save in the long term.
Should I turn off the boiling water tap at night?
There’s no need to turn off your boiling water tap at night, but it will help bring down your energy consumption. If you want to keep your energy usage and bill as low as possible, turn off your boiling water tap at night or while you are out at work, and turn it off when you go away on holiday too.
One common question is, are boiling water taps safe? The short answer is yes! While a kettle can be tipped over or spilled, a tap is completely stable. In addition, all boiling water taps have to be activated by pushing in a handle or pressing down on a safety button to release boiling water. As soon as you release the button or handle, the boiling water stops. Another safety feature is that they supply boiling water at a much lower pressure than cold or hot water. This prevents the boiling water from splashing up. This means you can’t accidentally scald or burn yourself with a boiling water tap.
Best brands and where to buy your boiling water taps
So, which boiling water tap is best? As with any product, there are a lot of brands delivering boiling water taps of different styles, quality, and performance levels. So, where should you buy a boiling water tap? We recommend looking at products from the leading brands from reputable sanitaryware and plumbing suppliers, including the following:
Abode– offer a 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 solutions with magnetic safety catches: Abode (Pronteau)
Brita – Leading multifunction filter tap manufacturer (not boiling): Brita
Grohe – a global brand with many advanced options: Grohe
Insinkerator – famous for waste disposal units but also good value hot water tap systems: Insinkerator
Quooker – has made hot water taps since the 1970, boosting cutting edge features and design. Th is is one of the most popular 3-in-1 boiling water taps: Quooker
The Pure H2O Company – they produce Quatreau, the ultimate designer tap with touch screen technology: Quatreau
Hot Water Solutions Ltd – this company provide a range of taps from stand alone to 4-in-1 systems: Boiling Hot Water Taps
Zip – one of the few top brands with its own nationwide installation service. This company offers a 5-in-1 tap: hot, cold, filtered, boiling (98o) and carbonated! Zip
Installing a boiling water tap – Costs and fitting
Because the installation process is a little more complex and there’s also a boiler that comes with the boiling water tap, upfront and installation costs for boiling water taps are higher. It’s good to keep this in mind during the design phase of your kitchen renovation or build, although the long-term savings and convenience of these taps does make them budget-friendly over the years to come.
Also, keep in mind that 4-in-1 or 3-in-2 boiling water taps are more expensive than standalone options. While additional features like flex taps, touch sensors, and large tanks will also increase the costs involved.
In the UK, the cost of a boiling water tap is between £570 – £1,000, although there are even more expensive luxury taps on the market. In addition, the cost of installing the tap will likely be around £1,000 for smaller installations and up to £2,500 for luxury, high-end options. Some companies also offer free installation services, so be sure to ask when you are looking at different options. This can be a great saving on your project!
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