A watched kettle DOES boil, eventually

Over a working day we monitored the time spent waiting for a kettle to boil. On average, each person waiting was making a round of drinks for five people, filling the kettle between half and two-thirds full.

We included the time spent filling the kettle from the tap, just a few feet away from the kettle base. We stopped recording when the kettle switched off at boiling point. Time spent pouring was not recorded.

Summary of results

35 people in the office. Each has – on average – four hot drinks each day.

One person makes a round of five drinks.

Minutes spent filling kettle and waiting for it to boil: 2

Minutes per round of five drinks for whole company: 14

Multiplied by four rounds per day: 56

Throw in two client meetings (two extra rounds): 60

Four more rounds to replace drinks gone cold: 68

One person queues for kettle and chats while waiting: 70

This happens about five more times a day in the whole team: 80

Oops – kettle wasn’t filled enough to cope with giant “fun” mug: 82

Four giant “fun” mugs in the office, so three more kettle reboils: 88

Someone has a cold – extra kettle boil required for Lemsip: 90

Total minutes spent each day on waiting for kettle to boil: 90

That’s an hour and a half, each and every working day.

Over 250 working days – a typical year – this adds up to: 375 hours

Or, based on an average 8.5-hour working day: 44 days

If everyone’s on minimum wage of £6.08, this costs: £2228.00

Cost to buy a Lincat FilterFlow water boiler (approx): £400

Which equates to a payback time of just 10 weeks, without considering the cost of boiling more water than you need, each and every time you boil the kettle…

Time to buy a Lincat FilterFlow wall-mounted water boiler?


  1. Multi Deck Chillers
    Nov 6, 2012

    Hi. You’ve put together a great post here.

    I’ve learned from experience that when buying kitchen equipment it’s important not to be tempted by cheaper, cut-price models. The initial savings may be offset by future servicing and repair costs. If in doubt, go for a reputable, long-standing brand. They’re a popular sellers for this very reason and are more likely to offer good customer support.

    Best wishes, Alex.

  2. When calculated and shown like that, it makes total sense to buy an automatic water boiler!

    We have found Lincat Water Boilers to be the most reliable. Not the cheapest, but very reliable.

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