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Instant Hot Water Dispenser Worth It?

Romanmk Mar 14, 2008 10:56 AM

Are those instant hot water dispensers, with small faucet installed next to the sink, worth the $2 or $3 extra per month spent on the electrical bill? My water heater is at the opposite end of the house, and it takes a long time for the hot water to reach the tap in my kitchen. So it might save water. Although, we don't drink a lot of tea or hot beverages.

  1. GarlicandGinger Mar 14, 2008 11:21 AM

    I don't have one installed, but I think they're definitely worth it. Imagine having near boiling pasta water instantly! That right there saves you gas/electricity to heat the pot + the time it takes to bring the water to boiling.

    1 Reply
    1. re: GarlicandGinger
      Chuckles the Clone Mar 15, 2008 10:08 AM

      >> That right there saves you gas/electricity

      Not necessarily. The water in the instant-heater had to be heated in the first place, using that "saved" energy. Plus it's been radiating away all day. So in total more energy has been expended to boil the water.

      That said though, these things can actually end up saving energy. When you need to run the water for a minute to get it hot, you're also heating up all the pipe between your water heater and faucet. And that couple of gallons of water that went down the drain? That means an equivalent amount of cold water went into the water heater and will eventually need to be heated. So all told, depending on your usage patterns it could end up saving you.

    2. ccbweb Mar 14, 2008 12:00 PM

      I don't think they're worth it. A small electric water boiler is inexpensive (as little as $15 or so on Amazon) and uses electricity only when you actually need it to boil the small amount of water you need.

      1. r
        renov8r Mar 14, 2008 01:58 PM

        These things are kinda handy, though with microwaves most folks don't really crave them the way they did back in 70s. They are a not for every one -- the flow rate is more like a drinking fountain than a pot filler, which is perfectly fine for a cup of tea, but not ideal for filling a gallon for pasta...

        The biggest objection is that there is a very limited number of styles for the spout -- they wised up & realized chrome clashes with all the fancy new faucets finishes, but they still only have a handful of styles. The little heater box takes up a bit of space, but is not really a problem under most sinks,for safety reasons you don't want to mess with that.

        I doubt it'd cost $3 a month, it only uses a tiny amount of power for the short time it is on.

        If you have issues with hot water taking a long time to get to the tap you can address that separately - several solutions will speed up the delivery of hot water throughout your house, for a retrofit it is easier to use a recirculating pump. Any plumber ought to happy to install one. If you are going to do a major remodel you could even loop the hot water lines to cycle the water back to the heat source.

        1 Reply
        1. re: renov8r
          Romanmk Mar 14, 2008 10:36 PM

          Thanks I'll look into recirculating pumps too.

        2. l
          lagatta Mar 14, 2008 04:15 PM

          No, get a good kettle - though it will probably cost you a bit more than $15. I have a large Russel Hobbs and I could fill a dishpan with it if need be. Or do a small teapot - almost instant, that.

          What on earth is a water boiler? Does that mean a kettle?

          1 Reply
          1. re: lagatta
            Romanmk Mar 14, 2008 10:45 PM

            It means electric kettle.

          2. ipsedixit Mar 14, 2008 04:30 PM

            Why not just get one of these from Zojirushi?

            http://www.zojirushi.com/ourproducts/...

             
            2 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit
              Quine Mar 14, 2008 10:55 PM

              OOH those are GREAT! I have one after experiencing the one my Ex BF has. very efficient , and yes they hold a good steady hot water, and when asked do a mad boil in a few, far faster and better than the microwave. You find that instant hot water addictive....yeah it's boiling, you can hear it.

              1. re: Quine
                ipsedixit Mar 14, 2008 10:58 PM

                Yeah, I'm not sure what did with myself before I got one of these.

            2. r
              RGC1982 Mar 14, 2008 04:33 PM

              I knew someone who used to have one, and I didn't think it was hot enough to make a good cup of tea.

              1. s
                souvenir Mar 15, 2008 11:56 AM

                We had one for about 4 years, insinkerator brand, and then it died (had a 3 year warranty, of course). Apparently if you go away for more than a couple of days, you should unplug it. We never did this and I've been told that this possibly contributed to its shorter life span. I miss the functionality and intend to buy another one.

                I used it for all kinds of things, in addition to tea. I don't love having an electric kettle on the countertop all the time. I think the Zojirushi types are cool, and used one during a hotel stay. But since I don't like an electric kettle taking up counter space, I don't think I could stand the even larger Z models taking up that much visual space all the time.

                The instant hot water dispenser was handy for beverages, for cooking, for warming dishes, for quick clean up of spills on tile and grout. Those are the most frequent uses that come to mind.

                I haven't had a chance to do the research yet on the current models and brand track records. A friend has a Kitchenaid which is older than ours and still going strong.

                1. b
                  Bite Me Mar 15, 2008 02:44 PM

                  I have one and I like it a lot. We use it for making hot tea or hot water and lemon after dinner. We don't use the kettle anymore. I do not use it to fill the pasta pot. For that I start with the cold, filtered water, for which I also have a small separate spicket. I do not know know if the heater increases my monthly bill significantly. I'll ask my husband to handles the bills.

                  1. t
                    torty Mar 15, 2008 10:57 PM

                    When I had a functional one I liked it for pasta water (like a head start) and for a quick tea. When I lost it (incompetent plumber unable to reinstall unit in new house) I thought I missed it, but now I just set my pasta pot in the sink and start it running before I take the prep items out of the fridge. We all learn our orchestral movements in the kitchen and getting water to the boil is just a part of it. Do not think I would intentionally add one to a kitchen again.

                    I do have to admit that I have seen those hot water dispenser pots in Japanese households but I do not understand how they work or how they are used. If anyone can provide a brief synopsis I would be grateful.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: torty
                      ipsedixit Mar 16, 2008 02:08 PM

                      I have a Zojirushi hot water thermos and it's great.

                      It keeps the water a various temps, e.g. 105, 175, or 210.

                      You can also ask it to do a re-boil at the touch of a button. With the pot full, it takes less than 1 minute for it to come to a rolling boil.

                      I keep my pot at 210 F, and whenever I need hot water -- either for tea, a little bit to loosen up soup, etc. -- I just hit the button and voila, hot water!

                      I don't really use it when I want hot water for cooking -- e.g. pasta, etc. For that, I'll just boil water on the stove.

                      I reserve the hot water dispenser for hot water that I actually drink or consume.

                    2. Cookiefiend Mar 17, 2008 10:16 AM

                      I love mine! Love it, love it.

                      When it went out last year - the little thing under the sink is like a hot water heater and did what hot water heaters do, it filled with sediment - I was a bit unhappy. It was expensive to replace that part, but it works again and I was happy.

                      1. j
                        josephnl Mar 17, 2008 01:12 PM

                        We love our In-Sink-Erator instant hot water faucet. Not only for tea, instant soups and coffee, but also for putting into messy pots so they soak clean, quick cooking oatmeal, and so many uses. We use ours at least 5-6 times/day and can't imagine being without it.

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