Can I drink warm water from the tap?
UK tap water is among the best and safest on the planet. The drinking water that comes from our taps has to meet strict government guidelines as well as pass independent tests from the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) to ensure quality and safety.
The presence of microorganisms, chemicals (including nitrates and pesticide), and metals (i.e. lead and copper), plus the appearance and taste of water are all strictly regulated as a result. The use of drinking water filters makes tap water even tastier. But while we have no hesitation filling up our glasses from cold water taps, reaching for a drink from the hot water tap is something we just don’t do, even in the UK.
As a recent blog post of ours discovered, drinking hot water can be beneficial to health. A hot water drink can aid digestion, ease cold and flu symptoms, lessen aches and pains, improve weight management, boost your mood, and lead to a better night’s sleep. But can you drink warm water from the tap? Here we find the answer…
A brief history of hot water systems
Traditionally, the hot water in your taps was supplied by a hot water cylinder hidden somewhere on your property, usually in the attic. These non-combi hot water systems were commonplace within homes throughout the UK and the rest of the world.
With the non-combi hot water systems, hot water was heated and stored in a tank. The water from the hot water tank was therefore deemed unsuitable to drink or use for cooking. The hot water in the tank is simply not as fresh as the cold tap water fed directly from the mains.
How things have changed
While hot water tanks have a long history and still do a perfectly good job providing hot water in the homes they are still used in today, having them as the only method of domestic water heating is now quite rare.
This immersion heated system is generally used as a backup. The invention of the combination or combi boiler transformed how we heat water within our homes. Here Boiler Guide explains more about how combi boilers work:
“By turning the central heating or a hot water tap on will instantly fire the combi boiler into action. Cold water from the mains will pass through the boiler where it’s heated up and then travels through the pipes to either the radiators, tap or shower. Unlike system and regular boilers, there are no cylinders or tanks. Combi boilers will heat up and deliver hot water instantly as and when needed.”
Combi boilers, which can run on a number of fuel types including natural gas, oil, LPG, and electric, unlock several advantages. Their compact design and easy installation makes combi boilers better fits for homes of all shapes and sizes.
Homes with combi boilers also benefit from mains water pressure, which will make that morning shower much more enjoyable and effective. Combi boilers are more energy efficient too, helping you to save money on your gas and electricity bills.
Drinking hot water from a combi system
Your hot water tap is fed straight from the mains with a combi boiler, just like your cold water tap. Hot water provided by a combi boiler system can therefore be used for drinking and cooking.
Remember, the hot water coming out of your tap will never be as hot as the boiling water from your kettle so you probably won’t get your perfect cup of tea!