Apr 232018

Mark Mercer (Leeds & Bradford) would like help with the following please:


We have been asked by an OT to source a boiler to be used by a man with no arms. He lives in a council flat in sheltered accommodation and is determinedly independent. He has a single short stump and could handle a boiler tap with a long lever but the only one we are so far aware of  does not output via a swinging arm which is a desirable feature in this case.  There are plenty of water heaters with swinging arms but the ones we have looked at so far limit the water temperature to about 75 deg. and require filling from a tap.

The management of the complex will fit the boiler but it must be sourced and approved by the OT who is asking for our help. The potential risk of scalding is the main reason the OT has appealed to REMAP.

The geyser must be:

  • The permanently plumbed in type.
  • Electric not gas
  • Not have a very high flow rate (in case a bowl or spoon is placed under it.)
  • Outlet via a swinging arm.
  • An outlet control that we can modify by way of an extension arm or remote control.

We would be most grateful if anyone is aware of a product that might fit the bill.



  9 Responses to “Suitable boiler for man with no arms”

  1. Thank you for all the suggestions. In the end a geyser was installed by the property management

  2. Many thanks for all suggestions. I am afraid I had not seen them till today due to PC problems. In the event the OT arranged for the installation of a standard wall mounted geyser and I made a handle to attach to the tap. Client well pleased.

  3. HI
    With water over 75º the SPEED of the water should be kept low to help prevent splashing, if that’s actually a concern for this chap.
    If the flow rate is say 4 litres per minute and the outlet large diameter, the speed of the water is slow – essentially “falling” from the tap outlet.
    Flow regulators are available. Pressure regulators are different – not useful here.
    and infra red/proximity
    operated valves are available.

    Undersink and oversink heaters are available, but note that some store and some do not. This fellow will need a store in order to get sufficient water heated to a high enough temperature. They come in a range of capacities, eg 10 litrres (a bucketful).
    Would a conventional kitchen tap shaped (inverted “J”) outlet suit? It would very probably be cheaper to use an ordinary tap left fully open with the flow controlled by a separate valve than to source a special “valveless” outlet.
    Presumably he needs this to work with an existiing sink?

    He will need this putting together from components, I’d expect. I doubt there’s a “kit” available which fits all his requirements – whatever they are precisely. It would still be a set of parts needing someone certificated (at least “Part P” electrical) and competent with plumbing to fit it.

    Chris R
    (Electronic Engr, & IOP Plumber)

  4. Hi Having used several water boilers mounted above a sink I would make the following comments.
    They were unreliable probably due to very hard water.
    Reducing flow rate can increase temperature in non sophisticated water heaters.
    You do need a certain temperature to mitigate legionella, this means that water in schools is far too hot without mixing in cold.
    Could you devise an auto filling pipe for the tap fill type and reduce flow from the outlet thus possibly increasing temperature.
    There are under sink boilers available that are pretty foolproof albeit very expensive at least £300 but most safety concerns will have been addressed. They would be easy to modify, the operating valve and outlet valves look simple but that may invalidate guarantee. Look at InSinkErator Hot Tap GN1100BR.
    And I would have thought this type of boiler is far safer and more convenient than a kettle.

  5. I think the first question is what does he want the boiling water for? if it is for tea / coffee (never put boiling water on Coffee!) then a teas made / coffee maker is the answer, if its for blanching vegetables then splashing is a major concern – I cannot think of any other reason anyone would want boiling water ‘instantly’ can the question be asked first before we move further down the road..

  6. Hi Mark. Before looking at the solution we have been asked about, it would be worth finding out what happens before and after. How does the cup get there, how does he handle the cup after it has been filled with boiling water etc etc.

    But in principle, I could see a possible solution around a conventional boiling water mixer tap like the one below. Lets assume the existing sink has a right hand draining board, and this type of tap is mounted along the right hand side of it rather than at the back – such that the boiling water lever is close to the front of the worktop. Add a 90 degree extension lever, and operating the boiling water would involve pushing that lever down from a safer distance (where a block could be stuck to the worktop to stop it being operated at too high a flow). The lever could also be held up for filtered cold water.

    If the existing sink is a left hand drainer, then it would need some sort of removable cup support to go over the sink (or perhaps a different tap).

    On these types of taps, the boiling water/filtered cold lever is always spring loaded/centered for safety reasons, but its difficult to see how ALL the risk could be removed.

    House cold/hot could probably be left disconnected if not required.


  7. I believe that requirement cannot be met in a single, Commercial, Off the Shelf, product. What may do the job is the following:

    1) Fit an adjustable water pressure limiting valve in the mains cold water supply feed.
    2) Fit an unvented electric water heater, eg an undersink one. This will need to follow the installation requirements for the chosen heater, eg outlet over-pressure release into a tundish, etc.
    Fit a hot water lever operated tap, rated for the chosen water temperature and suitable for the user.

    That would be permanent and plumbed in. It would be electric. The flow rate would be limited by the pressure limiting valve and over pressure release be there as a safety measure. The outlet is independent and of your choice.

    Which leaves the outlet control mechanism. I’m not sure what you mean by that – unless possibly the lever of the tap. It would be possible to add an electrically or pneumatically operated water control valve on the mains water inlet side – so that no water would flow until, say, a foot-push “button” was depressed.

    I’d suggest that outlet pressure limits are as important as output flow rate limit, if not more so. Even a very limited flow rate of 4 bar pressure could be rather hazardous.

    I’m an electronics engineer, not a plumber, I hasten to add. But I fitted such a system for my elderly father. He could turn the tap on, position the teapot ready to put under the spout (holding it in both hands), then operate the foot switch to allow the required volume of water to flow. Then release the foot switch, carry the pot to the table, then return to put the tap to the off position. This was demonstrated to his OT before his first use – and very much approved.

  8. Have you considered an in-line under-counter unit like this: https://www.grohe.co.uk/en_gb/kitchen-collection/grohe-red.html . There may be surface mounted units available.

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