Quookers and boiling water taps - are they worth it?
By Matt Clear
What you need to know before buying an instant hot water tap, including the differences between Quooker, InSinkerator and other brands.
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.
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.
Why consider installing a boiling water tap?
The main advantage is that they provide hot water much more quickly and easily than a kettle. They also make it much easier to add just the amount of water you need - you simply keep the tap on until your mug or pan is full, and no further - so there shouldn't be any wasted water.
Manufacturers claim that boiling water taps use much less energy and water than a kettle and therefore cost less. Quooker says that its taps cost 3p per day when on standby. This is comparable with the cost of boiling a litre of water twice a day in kettle - although bear in mind that if you use your Quooker at least once during the day, it would cost more than 3p.
Quooker also says that its taps are safer than kettles, as they have a childproof handle and insulated sides that shouldn't feel hot to the touch.
The design could also be a plus for some people - as you won't need a kettle, you'll save on worktop space and your kitchen will be tidier. Those who have problems lifting and tipping a conventional kettle may also benefit.
What are the downsides of installing a boiling water tap?
The most obvious one is cost. The cheapest boiling water taps cost a couple of hundred pounds, and those that can dispense water at different temperatures will set you back a lot more than that.
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 getting a plumber in.
You also need to clean the tap and tank from time to time to keep them free of limescale, and change the filters.
Boiling water tap features to look for
A boiling water tap doesn't have to mean adding a second or third tap around your sink. Three-in-one taps are available, which can dispense warm and cold water, as well as boiling water.
Four-in-one versions go even further by dispensing on-demand filtered water. Two-in-one taps that just dispense boiling and cold water are also available.
Boiling water taps come with different-sized tanks. The smallest can hold around two litres of water while the largest can hold as much as eleven litres. Unless you often need a lot of water from your tap at once, one of the smaller tanks should do the trick.
Boiling water tap brands explained
Price: Quooker prices start at £850 for its Basic model, and go all the way up to £1,750.
Tap options: You can choose between a separate boiling water tap with accompanying mixer tap, or the Quooker Fusion which is a single tap for hot, cold and boiling water. All have built-in filters and include installation costs.
Tank size: Quooker tanks come in 3-litre, 7-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.
Price: InSinkerator's taps start at £220 without installation.
Tap options: The most widely available brand, InSinkerator offers two taps that provide boiling water instantly, two that provide boiling and cold water, and a three-in-one tap for £729 including installation. All come with built-in filters.
Tank size: All of InSinkerator's taps come with 2.5 litre tanks
Price: Grohe's Red hot water tap comes in chrome (£1,699) and steel (£1,799) finishes,
Tap options: As well as the different finishes, you can choose the Red hot water tap with either a rounded or square design. Each version of the tap has a built-in filter. It also comes with a five-year guarantee, unlike most taps which only come with two-year guarantees.
Tank size: 3 litres
Price: Around £450 without installation.
Tap options: CDA makes just one hot water tap, the three-in-one TH100CH, which has a built-in filter.
Tank size: 2.4 litres