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“Cups per hour” – what does it mean for my boiling water tap?

cupsThe ‘Cups per hour’ measurement is a standard measurement given for taps, counter-top appliances and on-wall boilers which produce boiling water. It sounds like a straightforward measurement, but in fact it causes a huge amount of confusion. billi

Why is ‘Cups per hour’ confusing?

There are 3 main reasons for this confusion:

  1. A ‘Cup’ is 167ml.

This is the measurement used by all manufacturers when deciding on the cups per hour of boiling water their appliances can generate. If you have some of your grandmother’s tea cups from the 1950’s (you know the ones, the dainty little things with handles the size of a penny) then you can visualise how much 167ml is. In today’s world, the minimum anyone is likely to put in a cup is 200ml. In a mug it will be more like 250ml. That’s the first issue, but it is by no means the most important.

  1. People don’t just fill ‘cups’.

As well as staff making cups of tea and coffee, you will probably also use your tap for jugs or flasks, for meeting rooms. These will put an extra load on the appliance. Also, you will find that if instant boiling water is available, staff are more likely to use it for things like instant soup, instant snacks (like ‘Pot Noodles’!) and porridge.

  1. There are peak times and quiet times.

The ‘per hour’ measurement is perhaps the most misleading figure, because it assumes that cups are dispensed evenly each hour, during the day, which is rarely the case.

There will usually be more demand at the start of the day, lunchtime, breaktimes etc – and if your tap can’t keep up with these requirements, you’ll soon start to get complaints.

It is unfortunately all too easy to see that an appliance is capable of producing 100 cups per hour, and think ‘But I only have 10 staff, they are not going to drink 10 cups of coffee, every hour!’.  To put this in perspective, if you have a 2 litre kettle, and it takes 3 minutes to boil, then your kettle could theoretically boil enough water for over 200 cups per hour, but that doesn’t make you think that your kettle is hugely overpowered for your requirements.

So for all these reasons, the ‘Cups per hour’ measure is not the most straightforward to use.

For this reason, we have created a recommended number of users for each instant boiling water appliance, and created the facility to narrow your search based on this (we use a combination of the tank capacity and the power of the heating element).

To use this, head over to our Boiling Water Appliance Selection tool and use the options down the left hand side of the screen to select the right unit for you. And if you need to double check, or if you need any other information, just give us a call on 01934 253600 – we are independent experts in boiling water appliances!