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91/2056 ZIP Hydroboil electric water heater, sectioned, metal/plastic, made by Zip Heaters (Aust) Pty Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1991. Click to enlarge.

Zip water heater

Made 1991
These small, white, Australian-made boxes are quietly serving instant boiling water to tea and coffee drinkers all around the world. They are more efficient than any urn or kettle.

Patented controls keep the water in the Zip Miniboil between 99 and 100 degrees Celsius. Any steam that's produced is turned back to hot water (condensed) in a patented cowl (hood), and recycled to preheat incoming cold water. No steam escapes to waste energy, damage paintwork or scald people.

By creating the world's first system for delivering boiling water instantaneously, Michael Crouch and his Sydney-based team changed the way hot beverages are prepared in many workplaces and public buildings around the world. The Zip Hydroboil delivers boiling water with little wastage and at relatively high energy efficiency, and it can improve workplace efficiency by reducing the amount of time spent waiting for water to boil.

The key technical feature of this Australian innovation is the accurate control of water temperature, which the patented controls keep in the range 99 to 100 degrees Celsius. Steam is retained within the unit by a patented condensing hood and saves energy by pre-heating incoming cold water. Compared to the traditional urn used in some workplaces, the Zip saves large amounts of energy by not boiling more water than needed.

The inventors named in Zip's 1979 patent application for a ?continuous water heating unit' were Raymond Dennis Massey and Leonard Newsam.

Since this unit was made, the company has continued to innovate, and it now exports a wider range of products to over 60 countries. Having considered sending manufacture offshore, Crouch has decided to retain it in Sydney, to keep supply chains simple and to keep management close to the shop floor. The culture of innovation in the company encourages all workers to suggest ideas for improving products and processes, and the culture of quality ensures its products are highly regarded.

Debbie Rudder, Curator, 2012


Object No.


Object Statement

ZIP Hydroboil electric water heater, sectioned, metal/plastic, made by Zip Heaters (Aust) Pty Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1991

Physical Description

At the front of the heater is a rectangular metal box, painted white, with a red plastic lever to open a chromed hot water outlet on the lower front right. Behind and fitting into the white box is a black-painted rectangular box. An electric lead with 3-pin plug is attached to the left underside of the unit. Part of the heater is cut away to expose: a boiling chamber surrounded by black insulating material; a grey plastic pre-heating chamber; and sensors and controls. The capacity of the heater is 2.5 litres.

The sensors and controls keep the temperature of water in the Hydroboil between 99 and 100 degrees Celsius. Steam is retained within the unit by a condensing cowl (hood) and is recirculated to pre-heat incoming cold water.


On a grey panel at bottom front: 'ZIP Hydroboil / INSTANT BOILING WATER'. On the tap lever: 'Zip'.





The Hydroboil was made by Zip Heaters (Aust) Pty Ltd in the south-western Sydney suburb of Condell Park in 1991. The company made its first water heater in 1947, its first boiling water units for commercial use in 1975, and the first Hydroboil in 1985.

The chief executive and owner of Zip, Michael Crouch, conceived the Hydroboil idea, Raymond Massey led the development program, and Paul Schremmer and Associates were the designers.



The heater was sectioned by the company and donated to the Museum for its exhibition about Australian innovation, 'Success and Innovation', where it was displayed from the launch in 1992 until the exhibition was dismanted in 2011.


Credit Line

Gift of Zip Heaters (Aust) Pty Ltd, 1991

Acquisition Date

9 December 1991

Cite this Object


Zip water heater 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 5 July 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Zip water heater |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=5 July 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Collection Gallery 2 at the Museums Discovery Centre.

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