Drinking water tap options

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When you have a water softener installed you will most likely wish to continue having an option for drinking non-softened water and even look to include a drinking water filter. This is something we recommend to our clients and there are a number of options to achieve this. 

Option 1 – Leave your existing kitchen tap in place delivering non-softened water.

This is the traditional way of doing things in the UK when having a water softener installed. Your installer can adjust the pipework so that you get the benefits of soft water throughout the house but an extra pipe is fitted so the kitchen cold tap gives you normal tap water


  • Cheap option
  • No need for a new tap 


  • Limescale will still build up around the kitchen sink area
  • No option to put soft water in the kettle (see article Soft water for my tea – a very important question about the kettle)
  • No option to have a drinking water filter fitted

Option 2 – Fit a small additional drinking water tap

This is the most popular option for our customers as it is cost-effective and allows the possibility of adding a drinking water filter.. A small extra tap can be added by drilling a hole through your kitchen sink or worktop (no problem even in granite or quartz) to provide the non-softened drinking water.


  • Cost-effective, most small taps cost around £30-£45
  • You can have filtered water to improve the taste and quality of your drinking water
  • Your sink area is limescale free as both the hot and cold tap are supplied through the water softener


  • Takes up more space
  • Installation constraints may apply in some cases

Option 3 – Installing a 3-way tap

Having a combined tap that does everything is growing in popularity. A 3-way tap will deliver hot and cold soft water to keep the draining board limescale free but has a separate lever to deliver normal or filtered drinking water through the same tap nozzle. 

There is a separate tube inside to ensure the drinking water doesn’t mix with any other water. A large range of taps can be purchased through your water softener installer or online.


  • All in one solution that doesn’t take up any more space
  • You can have filtered water to improve the taste and quality of your drinking water


  • Taps are more costly 

Filtered drinking water

If you choose to have a separate drinking water tap or combined 3-way tap, you can also have a drinking water filter added as well. Most water filters are carbon-based and remove chlorine and sediment from the water improving its taste. This is a much more environmentally friendly option than drinking bottled water and will save money too. Please check out the water filters we offer at Shires Water.

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