Instant hot water taps: a buyer’s guide
With prices ranging from £500 to upwards of £3,000, it's worth doing your research
An instant hot water tap provides water at temperatures up to 100°C. They are a significant investment, so it’s worth doing your research before parting with your cash.
There are many benefits to these taps. Not only will you waste less water by using only what you need, it’s also more energy efficient than boiling the kettle. According to the Energy Saving Trust, the UK wastes £68 million a year in electricity boiling more water than is needed. Ditching the kettle also means more counter space, so it’s an ideal solution for minimalists, or those with small kitchens.
Instant hot water tap prices range from £500 to upwards of £3,000, and each model has its own USP. For many, instant boiling water is the priority, but some 5-in-one taps offer boiling, hot, cold, filtered and sparkling water.
Here, Jamie Blake, creative director and owner of Blakes London, offers his advice on the main factors to consider.
Check the temperature
It is worth spending as much as you can on a boiling water tap. Opt for a reputable brand to ensure quality and reliability. Not all hot water taps deliver water at 100°C, which is the ideal temperature for brewing black and herbal teas. So, check before you buy if that is what you want. Quooker, Franke and Qettle all deliver water at this temperature.
Space for the water tank
The water tank is fitted in the cabinet underneath the sink. Depending on the brand you choose, you might lose a quarter of your cupboard space or more. The size of the tank will affect how much water is dispensed in one go. So check the capacity of the instant hot water tap you’re considering, as this varies in different models and ranges from 2-11 litres. A typical three-bedroom household should be fine with a 3-4 litre tank. The unit will also need a power supply.
All boiling water taps should have some form of lock or safety button to prevent scalding while using normal functions. Many designs also include thermally sealed and anti-splatter spouts. Pay special attention to these features if you have young children.
Though an instant hot water tap is fairly maintenance-free, you will need to invest in a limescale-control unit. Otherwise, you’ll occasionally have to remove the limescale residue. Lemon juice or white vinegar is effective at removing the deposits.
Changing the filters
The filters will also need changing at regular intervals. This may depend on water usage, and some taps indicate when it is necessary, but otherwise aim to do it every six to 12 months. In some cases, failure to change the filter can nullify the manufacturer’s warranty. A carbon filter removes impurities and the chlorine taste from tap water, and stops calcium sticking to the element, so it’s well worth making sure these are changed at the required intervals.