Boiling water taps have grown rapidly in popularity over the past decade; from being viewed as an unnecessary luxury they are now increasingly a household essential for many homeowners. Quooker UK & Ireland’s Stephen Johnson looks at how changing lifestyles have fed into this trend
We live in a world where people want things delivered at speed. As a generation, we are inherently less patient than we used to be, increasingly unwilling to wait or compromise. Therefore, the primary thing consumers are looking for in their new homes is convenience; this is never truer than in the kitchen. What will be one of the most used appliances, a hot water tap delivers boiling water on demand. On average, we spend four months of our lives waiting for the kettle to boil. Not so with a boiling water tap, which delivers the exact amount of boiling water needed instantly, giving precious time back to consumers to get on with their busy lives.
Concerns around safety used to be a significant factor in dissuading people to invest in a boiling water tap. However, with constant innovation, boiling water taps on the market today are completely safe to use. With user-friendly, in-built safety mechanisms that make it virtually impossible to turn on boiling water by accident, they are ideal for families with small children or those with restricted mobility.
There has also been a significant consumer shift towards more sustainable and eco-conscious consumption. The UK household uses an average of 360 single use plastic bottles per year. To combat this, in addition to the hot, cold and boiling water functions, some brands are turning their attention to new water modes. Some now include accessories that can be added to any existing tap to deliver filtered, chilled and sparkling water from one source. Saving consumers time and counter space, the immediacy of super chilled and sparkling water can be enjoyed without having to wait or waste water. Furthermore, one canister of C02 can yield up to 60 litres of carbonated water which significantly reduces the need for single-use plastic bottles.
With sustainability increasingly at the forefront of consumer purchase decisions, it has never been more important to find creative solutions to the problem of wasted water. Taps that can deliver sparkling and chilled water dramatically reduce this figure, providing a more long-term sustainable alternative. Given new builds have more stringent environmental standards to adhere to, appliances that can save electricity and water are essential.
Furthermore, with a boiling water tap, the consumer also saves water and electricity. When the user dispenses water from a boiling water tap, they use the exact amount of water they need, unlike a kettle whereby more water is boiled than needed. Or how often is a kettle re-boiled because the water has cooled down, wasting yet more energy. Boiling water taps have tanks which store water at high temperatures under pressure. This technology keeps the water hot without needing to use much energy at all. Think of it as an electrically powered flask, from which no energy can escape.
Boiling water taps can use very little electricity and give impressive energy saving results; some units take very little energy (as little as 10 watts) to maintain the water at 110°C. Water only begins to boil in the unit when the tap is turned on and the temperature of the outflowing water drops to 100°C. While the water is coming out of the tap, fresh water immediately flows into the tank to replace the exact amount extracted ready for the next use.
Boiling water taps are also relatively easy to install. There must be access to a 13 amp power socket as well as waste, hot and cold-water supply. These services need to be within 50 cm of the intended install location below worktop height and fully accessible. There is a minimum hot and cold-water pressure of 2 bars, with some tanks only requiring a cold-water supply. Ample under-sink space is needed for the tank and additional accessories.
New-build kitchens that incorporate boiling water taps add tangible value to a property. The significant consumer demand for these appliances proves the extra desirability of properties that are having them installed.
Stephen Johnson is managing director of Quooker UK & Ireland