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Quookers and boiling water taps - are they worth it?

By Alice Williams

Find out the pros and cons of instant-hot-water taps, how much they cost, and how big brands such as Grohe, Franke, InSinkerator and Quooker compare.

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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. They can be a smart and handy solution if you want to streamline your kitchen surfaces, or find using the kettle a hassle.

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.

To help you decide whether a hot-water tap is for you, we've looked into the pros and cons, and how the costs stack up. Read on to find out more and get a breakdown of what the different brands offer. You can also jump straight to a particular section using the links below:

Why consider installing a boiling water tap? 

Boiling water taps provide instant hot water on demand

The main advantage of these taps is that they provide hot water much more quickly and easily than a kettle. 

They also make it simpler to use just the amount of water you need, as you can fill your mug or pan directly from the tap. Manufacturers reckon that this makes boiling-water taps more efficient than a kettle and therefore less expensive to run. 

Other advantages include:

  • Childproof handles and insulated sides should help to avoid singed fingers
  • More streamlined worktops - you won't need a kettle so you can save on worktop space. 
  • People who have problems filling, lifting and pouring a conventional kettle may find a hot water tap easier to use.

If you prefer filtered water, most models will also remove harsh-tasting chemicals - and in some cases soften and aerate the water, too. So, if you aren't keen on the water in your area, this could help to make it more palatable.

What are the downsides of installing a boiling-water tap?

The most obvious one is cost. The cheapest boiling water taps cost more than £500, and those that can dispense water at variable temperatures will set you back even more, with some costing well over £1,000.

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 a plumber.

You also need to clean the tap and tank from time to time to keep them free of limescale. Most models also require regular replacement filters, which can significantly add to the ongoing cost.

Is a boiling-water tap cheaper to run than a kettle? 

You'd expect anything that can keep water at boiling point would be expensive to run, but if leading brands, such as Quooker, Grohe and Franke, are to be believed then hot water taps can be more economical than your average kettle.

Quooker says that its taps cost 3p per day if left on standby. The cost of boiling a litre of water in a kettle is just over 2p. So, if you boil your kettle several times a day - if you're having a brew in the morning, again when you get in from work, and before bed for example, then you do stand to save on your energy bills. 

However, the high upfront cost of hot-water taps means that it will take you more than a lifetime to recoup your investment. We've done the maths, comparing upfront and ongoing energy costs to our cheapest Best Buy kettle, below.

If you want to save money, you'd be better off choosing an energy-saving kettle instead. These kettles have low minimum-fill levels - usually as little as just one cupful - to make sure you aren't heating more water than you need to, and they'll also switch off as soon as the water has boiled. Head to our guide on the best energy-saving kettles to see the ones we recommend.

Boiling-water taps: features to consider 

A boiling-water tap doesn't have to mean adding a second or third tap around your sink. There are different combination available:

  • Two-in-one taps - dispense boiling and cold water
  • Three-in-one taps - dispense hot and cold water, as well as boiling water
  • Four-in-one taps - dispense on-demand cold filtered water in addition to mains hot and cold water, and boiling water

Some even dispense fizzy water, for the ultimate in on-demand water.

Hot-water tap tank capacity

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 11 litres. Unless you often need lots of water from your tap at once, one of the smaller tanks should do the trick.

Child-safe taps

Red-hot water in an instant could be dangerous, especially if you have children who are used to getting cold water when they use the tap. 

Look out for taps with childproof handles and insulated sides that won't get hot even when the water is flowing. 

Boiling-water tap brands compared 

We've pulled together the costs and specs for the main boiling-water tap brands to help you compare them. See how they stack up in our summary table below, and scroll down for a breakdown of each brand.

Quooker boiling-water taps

How much do Quookers cost?

Quooker prices start at £950 for its Nordic Round model, and go all the way up to £1,890. It will cost more if you want a different finish or tank, but installation is free.

Tap options

You can choose between a separate boiling-water tap with accompanying mixer tap, or the Quooker Flex or Fusion models which have a single tap for hot, cold and boiling water. All have built-in filters. The Flex has a pull-out flexible hose for reaching beyond the sink to fill things up.

Tank sizes

Quooker tanks come in three-litre, seven-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 water.

Maintenance costs and replacement filters

There's a filter built into the hot water tank, which can last up to five years. If you live in a hard water area you can also add a limescale-control unit for £245. Replacement filters for the limescale unit cost £90 and will need to be replaced every 24 months. 

As for the filter in the tank itself, you could either get a Quooker engineer to service the tap and replace the filter for £150 or do it yourself with a kit for £30. 

Quooker also sell a cold-water filter to make drinking water taste better. It's available on the Flex and Fusion taps and needs to replaced every six months.

Insinkerator hot-water taps

How much do Insinkerators cost?

InSinkerator's taps start at £549 without installation. 

Tap options

InSinkerator offers five different taps, including a three-in-one tap with cold, hot and steaming hot water for £729 including installation. All come with built-in filters.

Tank sizes

All of InSinkerator's taps come with 2.5-litre tanks.

Maintenance costs and replacement filters

InSinkerator recommends replacing the filter in its taps every six to eight months. A pack of two replacement filters is £89. 

Franke boiling water taps

How much do Franke taps cost? 

Franke taps are some of the most expensive - starting at £999 for the Minerva and going up to £1,500 for the Omni.

Tap options

The Minerva is a three-in-one tap that provides hot, boiling and filtered cold water. The Omni range and the Minerva Mondial are four-in-one taps that give you everything the Minerva does, as well as cold water from the mains.

Tank sizes

Franke taps come with four-litre water tanks.

Maintenance costs and replacement filters

Franke recommends replacing the filters every four to six months. There's a warning light on the Omni tap that will flash red when you need to change your filters. Each replacement costs £38.

Roux Lifestyle taps

How much do Roux Lifestyle taps cost? 

Famous chef Michel Roux Jnr's kitchen company makes the Monaco hot water tap, which will set you back at least £996.

Tap options

Roux Lifestyle makes one tap, the Monaco. It comes in four metallic variants, with the chrome version costing £996 and brass or gold costing £1,400. The boiler delivers whatever temperature it's set to and there's no combi boiler action to get both cold and hot water.

Tank sizes

2.4 litres, with a touchscreen on the front that allows you to adjust the temperature up to 99°C.

Maintenance costs and replacement filters

The Monaco tap uses exotic-sounding nano filtration paper to keep the tank free of limescale and nasty-tasting chemicals. The paper should be changed every six months, and replacements cost £50.

Grohe hot-water taps

How much do Grohe taps cost? 

Grohe's Red Duo hot water tap comes in chrome (£1,799) and steel (£1,899) finishes. 

Tap options

As well as the different finishes, you can choose either a rounded or square design, and either a medium or large sized tank. 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 sizes

The three-litre water tanks are made of titanium to reduce limescale build up.

Maintenance costs and replacement filters

The Red Duo comes with the smallest of Grohe's filters, which will need to be replaced every 600 litres. Extras cost £64. There are also medium (£129) and large filters (£179), which will need replacing every 1,500 and 2,600 litres, respectively.

Abode hot-water taps

How much do Abode taps cost? 

Abode doesn't sell its taps directly, but through a distributor you can expect to pay around £749 for the Pronteau three-in-one or £1,375 for the Pronteau four-in-one.

Tap options

The three-in-one tap provides hot and cold water as well as 98°C (near-boiling) water. The Pronteau four-in-one also dispenses filtered cold water. The three-in-one tap is available in five finishes: copper, nickel, graphite, chrome and black. The four-in-one only has two finishes (chrome and nickel) but there are five different styles to choose from.

Tank sizes 

Both taps come with a three-litre water tank. The Proboil3 water tank is the first of its kind, according to Abode, which says that this intelligent boiler can take care of its long-term health by running self-diagnostics and alerting you 'politely' when it needs a new filter or descaling.

Maintenance costs and replacement filters

The filter in the three-in-one tap needs replacing every six to 12 months, and a twin pack will set you back £80. The timings are the same if you have the four-in-one tap, but one replacement filter will set you back £99.

CDA hot water taps

How much do CDA taps cost? 

The TH101BR is a three-in-one tap that handles your hot, cold and boiling water. It's CDA's only hot water tap and it costs around £530 without installation.

Tap options

There's not much in the way of options with CDA's tap - it's available with a chrome finish.

Tank sizes

2.4 litres, with a digital display that lets you adjust the temperature up to 98°C.

Maintenance costs and replacement filters

The filter needs to be replaced every six months, or your warranty may be invalidated. A replacement will set you back £37.50.

Zip hot water taps

How much do Zip hot water taps cost?

Prices start at £1,099 and go up to more than £3,000 for an all-in-one model.

Tap options

You can choose from different styles of tap, and there are four options if you’re after a tap that dispenses hot water. Zip’s boiling water taps come with boiling water only, boiling water plus ‘ambient’ water, boiling and chilled, then an all-in-one tap that delivers boiling, chilled and sparkling water. All the taps filter water before it reaches your glass.

Tank size

The taps come with a standard tank size of 3 litres.

Maintenance costs and replacement filters

Replacement limescale filters cost £99, or £199 for a micron filter for the HydroTap G4. Zip recommends replacing the filter annually, though this depends on how often you use it. Zip also advises an annual ‘system sanitisation’ to maintain performance. 

You can also sign up to the HydroCare plan (starting from £37 per month) for ongoing maintenance and support.

How to maintain your hot-water tap

All hot water taps have a filter to remove chemicals from the water. This will make the water taste better - useful if you have a three-in-one tap that delivers cold as well as hot water - and protects the tank from limescale and sediment, which can damage it. 

Most manufacturers recommend that you change the filter every six to 12 months and, in some cases, it can invalidate your warranty if you don't. Some manufacturers also recommend using a descaling solution to clean the inside of the tank.

The tap itself can be cleaned like any other, paying particular attention to limescale around the nozzle.

Planning a kitchen redesign? See our guide to planning a new kitchen.

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