A kettle tap, or a boiling water tap, does exactly what it suggests: it provides you with instant hot water for use in your kitchen. So rather than waiting for a kettle to boil, you can experience the luxury of instant boiling water from your own tap.
The tap or faucet will come with a tank and micro-boiler, which will be connected to the electricity system. Many kettle taps are also fitted with a filter. Different manufacturers offer various sizes of tank according to your needs, and you can choose different designs and finishes for the tap itself. The tanks are heavily insulated to avoid heat loss during the day, and most come with safety features to avoid wastage or accidents. For instance, they may include a button that needs to be pressed to allow the boiling water to release, or they have a separate control for the boiling water. The taps themselves will be thoroughly insulated to avoid scalding.
For a 1.5-litre kettle tap tank, you could expect to use around 0.4055 kWh of energy over 24 hours. This is less than the amount of energy you would use if you boiled a standard kettle around six times a day, which would typically consume 0.42 kWh. The insulated boiler kettle tanks avoid excess energy wastage.
The tank can be discretely installed underneath the kitchen sink and with a connection to a power supply.
According to ROSPA, 60 people a day are scalded by ordinary kettles in the UK. For older and disabled people, especially, traditional kettles can be difficult to handle. With their slick, streamlined design, kettle taps help to avoid accidents by allowing you to pour boiling water in a more targeted way. Many kettle taps are fitted with safety features that prevent children accessing their hot water settings. They may also save you water because no boiling water is wasted.
Kettle taps are primarily desirable because of their convenience – whether it's grabbing a cup of tea on the run or filling a pan to boil pasta or blanch vegetables. What's more, the water filter will enhance the flavour of your hot water.
You can have a kettle tap that dispenses only boiling water (100C) or nearly-boiling water, or one that can be used to provide hot (50-60C) and cold water from the same tap using a special 'combi-tank'. Finishes include stainless steel, brushed steel and chrome, in a variety of stylish and contemporary designs, including swivel taps for multiple and single sink designs. Tank sizes range from 1.5 to 3 litres.
The taps are typically designed for a cold water pressure range of from around 1.7 to 8.6 bar. Beyond this level of pressure, with certain models, you may require the use of a pressure-reducing valve.
The kettle tap system should come with at least a two-year guarantee and may be fitted with a ceramic valve that can remove any lime scale build up inside the valve. This valve can be re-fitted without the need to replace the whole tap at a later date.