If you're fed up with waiting for the kettle to boil, or tired of having to put a pan on the hob to heat up water for cooking, a boiling water tap might be the way to go. Boiling water taps allow you to bypass both routes and get the job done using a slick and stylish integral design that’ll sit on your countertop and be ready for action whenever you need it.
Boiling water taps are definitely a great way of making your kitchen area more efficient, and they look really good too. However, the best boiling water taps are costlier than traditional kitchen chromework. Plus, you’ll need to be sure you want one, because installing a boiling water tap can involve quite a lot of rigmarole in terms of fitting not just the outlet some but under the countertop plumbing too.
Why should I buy a boiling water tap?
The best thing about having a boiling water tap is the way that you can get plenty of hot water as and when you need it. This on-demand supply saves you having to boil the kettle, or heat up a pan of water on the hob. Adding to the appeal is the way that you can turn the tap on and off for the exact amount you need. Over time this can save money as you're not wasting water and you're also using less energy too.
On top of that, a boiling water tap will add an extra dimension of coolness to your kitchen. Although there is some plumbing to be done underneath the worktop, your counter space should look great once you’ve got one installed. Boiling water taps are available in various designs too, so more often than not you’ll be able to get one that fits in with the design style of your kitchen.
However, if you’re going for a full-on kitchen makeover the boiling water tap can make a fab centerpiece for your fresh new look. Pic the right design and it’ll be a real compliment to work surfaces and units. Boiling water taps are also a practical solution for anyone who struggles with conventional kettles, or who finds moving a pan full of water around the kitchen hard work.
Boiling water taps usually have a child-friendly design too, which means your young ones won't scold themselves by accident. As with any new kit you plan on getting for your home though, it’s always best to check individual specifications before you buy because there are many variations on the boiling water theme.
Finally, as if that wasn’t enough to convince you about the appeal of boiling water taps, they can make your water taste rather better too thanks to their built-in filters.
Why should I not buy a boiling water tap?
The main reasons would be cost, the fact that they are more of a luxury than a necessity, and the space required to fit them.
We have heard it said that a boiling water tap is a handy space saving method, as you don't need a kettle. However, a quick comparison of the size of the cupboard under your sink, and the size of your kettle should make it clear this is not the case. The heating and filter elements of a boiling water tap mean you will lose a lot of your under-sink storage real estate.
Admittedly, this is unlikely to be a heart-breaking outcome for most people contemplating buying a boiling water tap, but it is worth knowing.
Do boiling water taps actually dispense boiling water?
Curiously enough, a lot of them do not; they dispense water that is very, very hot, but not boiling. Does this really matter in most cases? Probably not. However, tea lovers will be aware that a proper cup of tea requires boiling water, and so water at about 95ºC simply will not do.
There are taps that dispense gen-u-wine boiling H2O, however. So if that is what you require, make sure you check before buying.
What is a boiling water tap going to cost me?
One of the potential downsides of getting a boiling water tap is perhaps the cost. You’ll need to pay quite a lot of money to buy the tap and an associated fitting kit in the first place, with even the cheapest models costing hundreds. Head for top-of-the-range versions of boiling water taps and you could be looking at well over a thousand.
While boiling water taps can be installed without the help of a professional it’s better to enlist the services of someone who knows what they're doing. That’s going to add extra cost, but could end up saving you money in the long run, especially if it helps avoid mistakes being made with the installation.
On top of the tap, the kit that comes with it and the installation you’ll also want to factor in maintenance of the boiling water tap and its associated plumbing. Boiling water taps offer convenience, but they also need to be serviced and have filters replaced.
That's because another thing that could have quite a dramatic effect on your enjoyment of a boiling water tap is limescale. If you happen to live in a hard water area you’ll know only too well of the destructive nature of limescale build up. Left unchecked it can literally destroy taps and other fittings.
To counter this, the majority of boiling water taps include a limescale filter – think of it as an enormous, industrial-strength Brita. The down side to this is that, as with Brita, you'll need to keep paying for replacement filters. Although unlike Brita, this is only every six months or so, in the case of most taps.
Any other costs for a boiling water tap?
Well, using a boiling water tap isn't going to be free, even though manufacturers love to remind you just how efficient they are compared to using the kettle. If you’re the sort of person who has endless cups of tea during an average day, and even more so if you're now working from home a lot more, the boiling water tap does eliminate the need for switching on your kettle all the time.
During our recent look at the Quooker Fusion Round the company explained that the tap costs just 3 pence per day when it’s on standby. Obviously if you are dispensing boiling water multiple times per day, it costs somewhat more.
However, owning a boiling water tap is as much about the experience and convenience factor as anything. It’s a style statement that gets a tedious job done quickly.
Which boiling water tap shall I buy then?
You’re reasonably spoilt for choice when it comes to the range of boiling water taps on the market. Granted, there aren't as many variants as traditional kitchen chromework, and the way they're engineered can sometimes dictate how they look and where you can actually fit them.
In that respect you’ll want to spend some time picking through our best boiling water taps guide to get an overview of what to expect. Be sure to check that you’ve got space for the various pipes and other plumbing work that will need to go under the kitchen counter. Some models have tanks, in varying sizes that also need to be accommodated. If you’ve got a svelte galley kitchen then you’ll have to be even more cautious.
When it comes to brands then head for the premium names and be prepared to spend near the top of your budget in order to get the best. Like everyday chrome taps, looks can often be deceptive and what might appear shiny and practical when you buy it might be anything but after a while, if dreaded limescale rears its ugly head.
Brands we tend to stick with include the likes of Quooker, Grohe, Franke, Abode, Quettle and the curiously monikered InSinkerator.