- Question: [Sunday, 4th Nissan 5783]
I have a minibar water dispenser that I use during the year for both hot and cold water. I would like to know if I may use this also on Pesach? Does it need to be koshered, and if so how?
To use it on Pesach for cold water, a simple good cleaning of all the surrounding parts suffices. Using it for hot water on Pesach is a bit more complicated and practically it is best to simply not use it for hot water during Pesach. Nonetheless, those who wish to continue using it, may do so in the following manner through first Koshering it:
- All the surrounding parts are to be well cleaned, including its inner and external parts, buttons, and openings.
- To remove all the current water that is inside the system, including both the cold and hot water, and have it automatically refill completely with new water. [One is to press the hot and cold water taps until he estimates that all the cold and hot water has been removed and replaced with new water]
- To boil the new water that was placed in the hot water tank.
- After it reaches a boil one is to completely remove all of this hot water.
- Pour 2 to 3 cups of boiling water over the external parts of the system, including its opening.
- The system may now be used for Pesach, including its hot water.
Explanation: Unlike a portable hot water urn, water bar systems do not really have any contact with Chametz, as they can only be used for pouring into another item, and hence ideally they should not require Kashering and may be used regularly on Pesach. However, in truth, after further contemplation, it is understood that this is not correct, as people often, and at least on occasion, poor the hot water directly into a vessel that contains a Chametz ingredient, such as instant soups and instant noodles and the like. This creates the halachic issue known as Nitzuk Chibur, of which we are initially stringent to rule that the top item absorbs from the bottom item that it is poured into. Hence, it is to be koshered if one desires to use it, and its method of koshering is as stated above. This method is similar to doing Hagalah to a pot by boiling water inside of it.
Sources: See regarding the issue of Nitzuk Chibur: Admur 451:59 regarding Minhag Nashim to not use the pot used to Kosher with Iruiy Keli Rishon due to Nitzuk Chibur; Rama Y.D. 105:3; Taaz Y.D. 105:6; P”M 105 M”Z 6; O.C. end of 452; Elya Raba 451:40; Darkei Teshuvah 105:96-100; Otzros Yerushalayim 11 p. 172; Minchas Yitzchak 5:81; See regarding Kashering a mini bar: Sichat Hashavua Pinat Halacha of Rav Ginzberg, received from Rav Levi Yitzchak Halprin of Mochaon Hatechnelogia Yerushalayim