The domestic kettle, along with the advent of electricity, revolutionised the way in which we made hot drinks. From tea to coffee, hot chocolate and other beverages, we can now enjoy our favourite cuppa within minutes of flicking on the kettle.
At home, this is a fabulous invention and one on which we rely but at work, the domestic kettle struggles. Although a full kettle will boil eventually, the kettle will also fade away and need to be replaced. Depending on the frequency of use, it may be that in the workplace, the kettle is replaced every few months.
There is another option, and that is a hot water dispenser. Not an uncommon sight in offices and businesses across the country, you may be wondering if such a device is right for your workplace. It would, after all, save on time and stops queues forming at break times and lunch. Hot water on tap sounds almost too good to be true, and when you take into account the following factors, your workplace will also have the perfect hot water dispenser to meet all your needs…
It is everything, certainly, when it comes to hot water dispensers, and there are two sub-factors that come into play;
- The size of the dispenser itself – not every office is gifted with an enormous amount of space. Thus, you don’t want a gargantuan hot water dispenser taking over half of the kitchen. There is a range of compact hot water dispensers, perfect for your workplace. If you have limited wall space, you will find something to fit, or you can opt for a counter top version instead.
- The capacity of the dispenser – just like a kettle, hot water dispensers are a vessel that boils water but maintains the heat within it in an insulated tank within the unit. Thus, you need to have some idea of what the draw will be on the dispensing unit. Smaller offices or businesses may find that a 2-litre capacity is enough, or you can opt for a larger 5-litre unit or the bigger option of a 10-litre unit.
How hot is the water? And what about safety features?
Health and safety in the workplace is paramount. Just as you don’t want a member of staff wobbling up a 10-foot ladder to change a lightbulb, when they use the hot water dispenser, you don’t want them scalded or burnt.
You may also find that some employees will lament the passing of the kettle because “water from the hot water dispenser is not at boiling point”.
Water is dispensed at a piping hot 96° and this, say tea and coffee experts, is a great temperature to make a cuppa. Boiling water can scald the tea or coffee (or hot chocolate, or powdered soup…) and this means that you get a burnt taste, something that people become accustomed too, thus assuming that is how tea should taste.
On the safety side of things, rather than the kettle full of scolding hot water being moved, employees are dealing with a smaller vessel in the shape of a cup or mug. This instead of knocking or dropping two litres of boiling water, they are knocking over probably about 8 fluid ounces of not-quite-boiling water, so there is less chance of complete catastrophe.
You can also ensure that people know how to use the unit correctly and, if you have concerns about vulnerable adults or children hurting themselves, you can opt for a child-proof lock on the dispensing tap.
What about cost? Isn’t is more expensive to keep hot water hot than boiling a kettle?
In most cases, hot water dispensers use less energy to not only boil a tank of water but to keep it at a perfect-for-tea 96° than a domestic kettle. The best way to think of this is to consider the amount of energy used and for how long.
A domestic kettle has an element that switches on when the switch is flicked. It draws energy to boil the water, using this same high level of energy to the point where all the water is boiling. Boil a small amount and the kettle takes only a few minutes but when there is a full kettle of water needing to reach the boiling point it takes longer.
A hot water dispenser has an insulated water tank thus, as it draws energy to heat the water, it retains a lot of heat. Tests by leading consumer agencies such as Which? have found that hot water dispensers heat water quicker. They then draw minimal energy to maintain this heat, again helped by the highly insulated tank at its core.
Even better, not only will your hot water dispenser use less energy, some of our dispensers are made from 95% recycled material too.
Which is best – wall or counter top hot water dispenser?
We firmly believe in presenting businesses with as many options as possible, simply because one office or workplace is not the same as the other. This is why you can opt for counter-top hot water dispensers, or wall mounted ones, including a great slimline version for when space is tight.
Take a fresh look at hot water dispensers and what they will do for your workplace.