Electric Water Heating

Recent years have seen the rise of instant boiling water taps, with more and more homeowners investing in these units rather than a traditional kettle. However, with new innovations entering the market, what do wholesalers need to know about the latest boiling water taps? Matthew Hicks, Head of Product at Bristan, explains.


hilst there are a number of instant boiling water taps on the market, not all of these are created equally. And, for installers, the advice of a wholesaler on which model is

safest and most efficient can be an invaluable part of making the right choice. With this in mind, Bristan has put together a few fast facts on the tap trend which has taken the UK by storm.

Are boiling water taps safe? This is one of the most likely questions installers will face when recommending these units – so it’s important for wholesalers to have an answer ready. The idea of easily accessible boiling water can be worrying, especially for those with young families. However, these taps are actually much safer than a standard kettle. Firstly, boiling water taps stay in a fixed location, unlike kettles which can easily be knocked or dropped when pouring. What’s more, a trailing kettle cable could easily be pulled by a small child, with potentially disastrous consequences. Kettles also often get very hot on the outside, which can mean burnt

fingers. Whilst some boiling water taps have the same problem, there are models available that are specifically designed to be safe to touch. Additionally, certain boiling taps include extra safeguards, such as cleverly

designed safety handles. These require a button to be pressed in order to dispense boiling water - when released, the button springs back and stops the flow of boiling water, meaning it cannot be left running unattended. Bristan’s Rapid 3-in-1, for example, includes both of these safety features, ensuring peace of mind for both the installer and the homeowner.

Is a boiling water tap more cost-efficient than a kettle? One of the biggest issues with kettles is overboiling. Many people will completely fill the kettle just to make one hot drink, consequently wasting energy to boil water which is not ultimately used. This is without even broaching the heat loss that results from often ineffective kettle body insulation. The technology of a boiling water tap means that only minimal energy is consumed to maintain the water at a specific temperature. Heating the water from cold takes just 10-12 minutes, depending upon inlet temperature, but once this heating process is complete, it will stay at this temperature, and will be kept constantly full through displacement. This consistent temperature means that, unlike a kettle, which has to heat

the water from cold, there is no energy spike to bring the water to boiling each time hot water is required. Given that the cost to run is minimal, Bristan would always recommend

leaving a boiling water tank switched on at all times, unless the occupier is going to leave the property for a month or more. As a further bonus, boiling water taps are also more water efficient than kettles, as the user only ever dispenses the exact amount of water needed.

Is there a minimum water pressure requirement? This varies between models, but 1.5 bar minimum for the cold water supply is typical. The mixer function of certain units will work with a 0.5 bar minimum on the hot supply, but due to the boiling water requirements, would still require 1.5 bar on the cold side. January 2019 electrical wholesaler | 27

Matthew Hicks

Will the cupboard which houses the boiling water tank need ventilation? No. We would recommend storing our Rapid 3-in1 tank under the sink for easy access when adjusting the temperature or changing the filter, and no ventilation is required for this. However, there should be air space around the tank, and the tank must be installed upright, never on its side.

Do boiling water taps carry an energy efficiency rating? Unlike many domestic electrical appliances, the EU has not yet drafted an energy label directive for this type of boiling water tank. If such a rating is enacted, installers can be confident that Bristan will label relevant products accordingly.

For further information on Rapid 3-in-1, visit: home/installer-news/rapid-3-in-1-boiling-water-tap

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