Battle of the Quooker – hot water tap (May18)

Most people complain that their husband / male partner, doesn’t help enough with the washing up.  Mine does too much!  He’s obsessive about it.
This means he gets up early in the morning to get into the sink before the day starts – and also before the cleaner comes.  Another part of the ‘problem’ is his insistence that there’s only one way to load the dishwasher – his way!  There’s a tray at the top for the cutlery, which has to be laid exactly to plan.  I made an effort to conform, but never get it quite right, so I’ve stopped trying!  And, when I do the washing up, I’m more interested in speed than quality, which means that Jamie may actually do it again – much slower.
There’s a certain irony to this state of affairs because I’ve actually been paid a large sum of money in consultancy fees to write a leaflet on washing up.  The key theme was to advise on the greenest approach and consider the merits of hand washing the dishes or using a dishwasher. 
We have a combi – which is
particularly good if you want
to turn off your boiler all day

That’s where the Quooker comes in.  For those that haven’t come across this before it’s a tap to provide both boiling water for hot drinks, as well as hot and cold water for washing up.  When, it was first recommended to me I wasn’t very keen because I thought it would use more energy by having readily available hot water all day.  But I’m now convinced of its eco-virtues.

Apparently, it costs about 3p a day on standby and a further 1p per litre for boiling water after that, which is roughly 1/5thof a penny per 200ml cup.  Boiling a kettle costs between 12p and 15p each time, depending how full it is – and generally you’ll be boiling more than you need.

Another major advantage of a Quooker, is that you don’t need to have your boiler on for washing up  in the middle of the day.  Particularly in households with a large boiler, and people at home all day, this can be a significant energy saving. 
I may not be the chief washer upper in our family but I am the chief cook. In that capacity I do produce a lot of pots, pans and dishes that need cleaning.  Not long ago, I’d been super-productive and there was a large pile of washing up by the sink.  That’s when I discovered another energy saving benefit of the Quooker. 
Press down twice to get boiling water.
One tap for multiple purposes –
hot drinks, filtered water and washing up
Jamie called me over to verify that the water wasn’t hot.  Actually, it was hot, but not at full heat. This wasn’t what he wanted to hear and I could see that he was feeling very grumpy about it.  The Quooker wasn’t doing its job he said.  But, I think it was!  When, Jamie was in a better mood, I suggested that he needed to be much less wasteful with the hot water than he has been, because there is only a certain amount in the tank, and it needs a some time to heat up again.
It’s a disruptive technology.  You can’t just do exactly what you did before and have unlimited hot water.  Jamie admits that he can now do a good job with less waste – he doesn’t just leave the hot tap running, whilst doing something else!  There’s a parallel here with electric cars.  They have lots of benefits, but do require journeys to be planned more carefully, to avoid getting stranded without enough charge to get home.
The Quooker is not the only hot water tap, but it is the market leader – and claims to be only one that produces properly boiling water – the others are a few degrees off.  And, for anyone worried about the safety, they seem to have got this well covered. It would be pretty difficult to turn it on by mistake, so it’s apparently safer than a kettle.
However, the eco-credentials are what I’m interested in:
  • It’s more energy efficient than a kettle
  •  It doesn’t need your boiler to produce hot water throughout the day
  • It means you don’t have to run the tap waiting for water to heat up
  • It encourages less wasteful washing up

I’m not sure if Jamie’s fully with me on this yet, but he seems to be coming round. And, most importantly, it hasn’t killed his enthusiasm for being chief washer upper!  All I’ve got to do is be a bit more appreciative.  I’m working on that.

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