A Not So Friendly Kettle

Consumer costs for electricity usage are disturbingly high but, is your kettle doing you any favors there, how much does it really cost to make your morning cuppa?

Jonathan Townend, RMN
4 min readOct 5, 2022


The photo is courtesy of the author.

‘A watched pot never boils.’

Phrase Finder.

Heard of this phrase before?

If you haven’t, this simply means that ‘waiting for something to happen, obsessively checking it, does not make it happen faster.’ A variation on the more common phrase of, ‘… watched pot never boils.’

Frustrating, isn’t it?

Very sadly, I tried this today and measured the exact point from the kettle boiling to the equipment automatically switching itself off.

I can hear you all laughing away to yourselves now, saying ‘oh my god you seriously need to get a life if you are doing that!’

Maybe so.

Of course, other appliances may take shorter times but, I’m sure you see the point. This will save on electricity either way, as the principle remains the same.

But I discovered that when the kettle boiled, it then took 1️⃣2️⃣ whole seconds before it actually finally switched off.

That’s 1️⃣2️⃣ seconds of valuable electricity being used by you when you can most certainly avoid the extra cost.

What can you do about it then?

Use this really simple piece of advice.

When the kettle first boils, TURN it off manually.

Don’t wait for the kettle to automatically power down, interrupt this process yourself manually.

Normally the thermostat is curved in one direction, but when the hot water reaches boiling point, the steam produced hits the bimetallic thermostat and makes it suddenly snap and flex in the opposite direction, a bit like an umbrella turning inside out in the wind. The thermostat switches the kettle off.

This device has to cut the current very quickly; otherwise, the…



Jonathan Townend, RMN

Mental Health nurse turned writer. Top Writer in Space. Owner of Creative Passions and The Shortform publications.