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In today's world, time is at a premium and convenience is king. If the average kettle takes two to four minutes to boil a quart of water, how many hours of your life have you spent standing around waiting for water to boil? An instant hot water dispenser can save you time.
But with all kinds of makes and models on the market, how do you select the right hot water dispenser for you? At BestReviews, our aim is to help you find the perfect fit for your individual needs.
We test products in our labs, consult experts, analyze data, and find out what existing customers have to say. To avoid any potential influence, we never accept free products from manufacturers.
The result? Honest, unbiased reviews that will point you in the right direction.
If you're ready to purchase a hot water dispenser, please see the product matrix above for our top picks.
If you’d like to learn about hot water dispensers and how owning one could save you time and simplify your life, read on for a full shopping guide.
If you're still wondering whether you really need a hot water dispenser, consider a few of the things you can do with these handy kitchen helpers.
You can quickly make hot drinks, such as tea and coffee.
You can fill pots with near-boiling water to cook pasta or rice faster.
You can get instant hot water for foods like packet soup and oatmeal.
You can warm baby bottles quickly and easily.
You can produce very hot water for soaking dishes with stuck-on food.
You can remove stains from clothing and kitchen linens.
Be careful of letting small children around your hot water dispenser – it might be wise to get a child lock for it.
You might be wondering why you'd choose a hot water dispenser over a kettle. Let's look at some of the areas where a hot water dispenser is superior to a kettle.
Hot water dispensers are instant, so you can save yourself a lot of time.
They're great in offices where people would otherwise have to boil water in a kettle over their break or lunchtime.
If you want to fit your hot water dispenser in an existing sink and you have a water sprayer you don't mind losing, you could remove it and put the new faucet in its place.
Hot water dispensers are great for elderly people and those with reduced grip strength, as the risk of dropping a full kettle (and suffering a burn) is decreased.
Kettles usually won't let you boil less than a pint of water at a time. If you require only a small amount of hot water — for a single cup of tea, for instance — a hot water dispenser can be more energy-efficient.
Some hot water dispensers allow you to adjust the water temperature, which makes them more versatile than kettles.
The risk of scalding from hot water dispensers is very low, so they're perfect for elderly people, disabled people, or anyone who has trouble gripping objects.
The tank of a hot water dispenser goes beneath your sink, where it's connected to the cold water supply. When choosing a hot water dispenser, it’s important to look at the external dimensions of the tank portion, as you must have enough space for it in your undersink area.
As for the internal capacity, the majority of tanks hold somewhere between one-half and two-thirds of a gallon. A tank with a larger capacity can heat more water in an hour. Unless you want to make more than 60 cups of coffee in an hour, however, a tank with a standard internal capacity is all you need.
A hot water dispenser has two main parts: the tank, which is fitted under the sink, and the faucet, which sits alongside your other kitchen taps.
A watt is a unit of power, so the higher the wattage, the more powerful the hot water dispenser.
A hot water dispenser with higher wattage will usually heat water faster and in larger amounts.
The hot water is dispensed from a faucet.
But unless you already have the right type of faucet installed on your sink, you may need to buy one separately.
Hot water dispensers have a special kind of faucet that stops water pressure from building up in the tank. Not all hot water dispensers come with a faucet; some are sold as a tank only. If you buy your faucet separately, make sure it's the right kind — a regular tap will not work.
Presumably, you'll want the finish on the faucet of your hot water dispenser to match your other taps and kitchen hardware.
Most hot water dispensers only have faucets that come in chrome, which is a drawback if you have a different finish on your other taps. However, you can find faucets in finishes other than chrome if you do a bit of digging.
If you want your hot water to come out as close to boiling as possible, consider a model that can heat water up to 200°F.
Hot water dispensers offer a variety of heat settings. There's usually a dial on the outside of the tank that lets you adjust the heat.
The exact temperature of each setting varies with different models.
You can look at a product’s wattage to ascertain its power, but it's also useful to know what that means in real terms.
If you read the product descriptions or manufacturer specifications, most will tell you how many cups of hot water the unit can dispense in an hour.
Most hot water dispensers can put out between 60 and 100 cups of water (190°F - 200°F) in an hour.
Some hot water dispensers also come with filtration systems.
The water comes out of your tap pre-filtered, which is handy if you're concerned about the quality of your tap water or if you live in a hard water area.
Unless you have some plumbing experience, we recommend getting a professional to install your hot water dispenser.
Lower-end hot water dispensers start at around $125 to $150. The most expensive units on the market can cost upwards of $600.
With the most expensive options, you're often paying more for a trusted brand name. A decent mid-range option of $200 to $300 is usually just as long-lasting. But while the cheaper models (under $200) work just fine in the short term, they may break down after only two or three years of use.
Q. Are hot water dispensers safe?
A. For the most part, yes, hot water dispensers are perfectly safe. That said, there is a risk that young children could scald themselves. If you can't keep your kids away from the sink — and they're too young to understand not to touch — look for a model with a child lock on the faucet.
Q. How do I install my hot water dispenser?
A. Installing a hot water dispenser isn't exactly straightforward. Unless you're particularly handy, we advise calling a plumber.
The tank needs to be positioned under the sink so it can be connected to your main water supply. It also needs to either be plugged into a power outlet or hardwired into your electrical system. You also need to have a hole in your sink to fit the faucet — or you need to make a hole if there isn't one.
Q. Can my hot water dispenser be installed at any time?
A. Because you require a hole in your sink for the faucet to come through, most people install a hot water dispenser when refitting their kitchen. It is possible to fit a hot water dispenser with an existing sink, but you'll need to get a professional to make a hole for the faucet. And if you have a porcelain sink, you risk cracking it.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.