As the name suggests, boiling-water taps provide instant hot water without the need to switch on the kettle or boil a pan on the hob. They can be a smart and handy solution if you want to streamline your kitchen surfaces, or find using the kettle a hassle.
A boiling-water tap is a much more permanent addition to your kitchen than a conventional kettle or plug-in hot water dispenser, as it needs to be plumbed in alongside, or instead of, your standard kitchen-sink taps. To help you decide whether a hot-water tap is for you, we've looked into the pros and cons, and how the costs stack up. Read on to find out more and get a breakdown of what the different brands offer. You can also jump straight to a particular section using the links below:
Why consider installing a boiling water tap?
The main advantage of these taps is that they provide hot water much more quickly and easily than a kettle. They also make it simpler to use just the amount of water you need, as you can fill your mug or pan directly from the tap. Manufacturers reckon that this makes boiling-water taps more efficient than a kettle and therefore less expensive to run. Other advantages include: Childproof handles and insulated sides should help to avoid singed fingers More streamlined worktops - you won't need a kettle so you can save on worktop space. People who have problems filling, lifting and pouring a conventional kettle may find a hot water tap easier to use. If you prefer filtered water, most models will also remove harsh-tasting chemicals - and in some cases soften and aerate the water, too. So, if you aren't keen on the water in your area, this could help to make it more palatable.
What are the downsides of installing a boiling-water tap?
The most obvious one is cost. The cheapest boiling water taps cost more than £500, and those that can dispense water at variable temperatures will set you back even more, with some costing well over £1,000. Not all boiling water taps come with installation included in the price. Although you can install them yourself, it's not necessarily straightforward, so you may need to factor in the cost of a plumber. You also need to clean the tap and tank from time to time to keep them free of limescale. Most models also require regular replacement filters, which can significantly add to the ongoing cost.
Is a boiling-water tap cheaper to run than a kettle?
You'd expect anything that can keep water at boiling point would be expensive to run, but if leading brands, such as Quooker, Grohe and Franke, are to be believed then hot water taps can be more economical than your average kettle. Quooker says that its taps cost 3p per day if left on standby. The cost of boiling a litre of water in a kettle is just over 2p. So, if you boil your kettle several times a day - if you're having a brew in the morning, again when you get in from work, and before bed for example, then you do stand to save on your energy bills. However, the high upfront cost of hot-water taps means that it will take you more than a lifetime to recoup your investment
How much do Quookers cost?
Quooker prices start at £950 for its Nordic Round model, and go all the way up to £1,890. It will cost more if you want a different finish or tank, but installation is free.
You can choose between a separate boiling-water tap with accompanying
mixer tap, or the Quooker Flex or Fusion models which have a single tap for hot, cold and boiling water. All have built-in filters. The Flex has a pull-out flexible hose for reaching beyond the sink to fill things up.
Quooker tanks come in three-litre, seven-litre and 11-litre sizes. There's also a Combi tank that can be used to provide hot (50-60°C) water instantly, as well as boiling water.
Maintenance costs and replacement filters
There's a filter built into the hot water tank, which can last up to five years. If you live in a hard water area you can also add a limescale-control unit for £245. Replacement filters for the limescale unit cost £90 and will need to be replaced every 24 months. As for the filter in the tank itself, you could either get a Quooker engineer to service the tap and replace the filter for £150 or do it yourself with a kit for £30. Quooker also sell a cold-water filter to make drinking water taste better. It's available on the Flex and Fusion taps and needs to replaced every six months.