Instant boiling taps and hot taps are gradually replacing kettles. It is said that Quooker taps are found in one out of five kitchens in the UK. An instant boil tap may be what you need if you do not want to wait for your kettle to boil. You can get a cup of hot or boiling water, anytime you want. It could also be the perfect upgrade to give your kitchen a sleek look. Instant boiling taps are ideal for kitchens with a modern design.
These taps may be used to make hot drinks like tea or coffee. They may also be used to steam vegetables, cook pasta, fill hot water bottles and sterilise baby bottles.
Instant boil taps dispense boiling water at the push of a button. The average kettle takes about 3 minutes to boil. On the contrary, hot taps save time and are quite convenient. However, not all of them dispense boiling water, that is, water at 100°C. Some may give water at 97°C, and some at 85 to 90°C. Generally, most instant boiling taps dispense water at 98°C.
Hot taps date as far back as 1970, when Henri Peter, a Dutch manufacturer was trying to create instant soup. He realised that it would be hard to make instant soup if one had to boil water in a kettle for five minutes first. He performed some experiments in his house, but they were very unreliable and could not be used. A few years later, he ran out of money. His son continued the experiments, and in 1992, he designed the first Quooker tap, known as the Quooker Basic.
Types Of Instant Boil Taps
There are different types of instant boil taps. Some may dispense only boiling water or all of boiling water, cold and hot water, depending on the model. Some instant boil taps may dispense filtered hot or cold water too. Furthermore, some boiling taps may be equipped with safety mechanisms. They may have child locks or insulated pipes to prevent contact with hot surfaces. Some hot taps may also have indicators to show when the filter needs to be changed.
Instant taps also vary depending on how they are installed. They may be over-the-counter taps or under-the-counter taps. Over-the-counter taps are often attached to a wall. They are usually single dispensers, and they provide only hot water. They are perfect for office areas and staff rooms.
On the other hand, under-the-counter hot taps are more versatile. They would be perfect in a kitchen. They can be connected directly with the primary water source. They can also be used to replace regular kitchen taps. A significant advantage of under-the-counter taps is that they make your counter area more spacious.
Different hot taps make use of different mechanisms. Some instant boiling taps like Qooker and Zip make use of a pressurised system. While some others like Mokka and Cuppa make use of a non-pressurised or vented system. Non-pressurised systems are considered to be safer than pressurised systems.
Review Of Quooker Taps
Are you considering purchasing an instant boiling tap? There are many brands out there from which you could make a selection.
One of the most popular brands of instant boiling taps is the Quooker taps. They dispense boiling water at 100°C. They also dispense standard hot and cold water and filtered cold water. Quooker taps have two types of tanks. The first one dispenses only boiling water while the second one dispenses both boiling and hot water. The containers, which are heavily insulated, are placed beneath the kitchen sink. They are connected directly to the water supply and are electrically heated. The water is then dispensed through a tap attached to the kitchen sink.
Here is a review of Quooker taps to guide your choice:
- Boiling water: Quooker taps are the only hot taps that dispense boiling water at 100°C. This feature is as a result of its vacuum insulation mechanism and thermos technology. The tanks hold water under pressure at 110°C, but, water is dispensed at 100°C.
- Energy: They are the most energy-efficient hot taps to be used in the kitchen. If you need boiling water several times a day, you should consider purchasing a Quooker tap. It is a more excellent choice because it conserves more energy than a kettle. Its vacuum-insulation mechanism ensures that only 10W of energy consumption is used to maintain water at a hot temperature.
- Safety: Every year, kettles cause many accidents, especially among little children. According to the Child Accident Prevention Trust, every year over 6500 children below five years visit the hospital for kettle-related accidents. Stephen Johnson, the managing director of Quooker, claims that its hot taps are positioned behind the sink and cannot be pulled forward. Thus, this helps to minimise the risk of accidents. He also claims that water comes out of the tap in a fine spray, instead of a stable jet. Thus, the flow of water helps to prevent one from getting scalded.
- Fresh and Filtered Water: Quooker taps provide fresh boiling water daily because water is kept at 110°C in the tank. They make use of an active-carbon filter in the tank to purify the water.
- Cost: The Quooker taps purchase price ranges between 850 to 1,150 pounds, depending on the size and type of the tap. However, the cost could also be increased due to installation, repair, and maintenance. Simply put, Quooker taps could be said to be a bit pricey.
Other great brands include Abode which offers three-in-one taps that have magnetic safety catches. Another globally recognised brand is Grohe. Insinkerator is also famous for its waste disposal units, and they have great hot tap systems.
Do Instant Boil Taps Save Money and Energy?
One-fifth of the amount of energy consumed by a single family is for domestic hot water. The proportion is even higher in apartment blocks. Instant boiling taps have been canvassed as a way of reducing energy consumption in a house.
Quooker states that its hot taps have a high-vacuum installation and they use 50% less energy than a kitchen boiler. It also claims to be the most energy-efficient hot water supply for the kitchen. The cost of using a Quooker tap is said to be three pence per day (one penny per litre). On the other hand, the cost of boiling water in a full kettle is about two and a half pence per boil. Typically, a full kettle approximately contains one and a half litres of water when filled up. This clearly suggests that Quooker taps save more money than using a kettle.
However, according to Andy Smale, an energy consultant at Expert Energy, the difference in what is saved is quite small. He claims that hot taps consume a little energy to keep the water hot continuously. But, this could cost more than boiling a kettle a few times a day. Boiling water using a kettle for two small mugs of tea (250ml) six times a day costs 5.46p per day. The total amount would be 38p per week. This is based on the assumption that a kettle generally contains 500ml of water when it is boiled.
On the other hand, hot taps cost about 5.27p per day and a total of 37p per week. Thus, the difference in savings is merely 1p per week and about 25 pounds per year. Even though using a hot tap is slightly cheaper, it would require many years before the savings would be significant. The hefty purchase price installation and maintenance costs are the reason behind this situation.
A significant advantage of instant boil taps is that they help to conserve water. This advantage is because the taps only dispense what is needed. According to Stephen Johnson, hot taps can save about 100 litres of water annually. On the other hand, about 67% of kettle owners overfill their kettles, re-boil and eventually waste the water. The wasted water roughly equates 3,500 tonnes.
According to Andy Smale, the way kettles are designed cause them to waste energy. Overboiling and loss of heat through the kettle’s body can cause the loss of over 25pc of energy consumed. Furthermore, the minimum amount of water a kettle contains when it is brought to the boil is 500ml. Thus, this would result in boiling twice the amount of water needed to make a small cup of tea.
However, Quooker taps are designed in such a way that they reduce heat loss because of their vacuum insulation. They do not re-boil water or overboil. But if they are left continuously on without use, the amount of heat loss is almost the same as what a kettle loses. Therefore, switching off your Quooker tap when not needed, for example at night, would help to conserve energy. It would also help to improve the overall efficiency of the tap.
In conclusion, purchasing an instant boiling tap will not drastically reduce your electricity cost. However, it is quite convenient.