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Comparing the cost of plumbed-in vs. bottled water coolers

Plumbed-in or bottled water coolers begin at around £180 plus VAT, with most models in the £200-£300 range. Plumbed-in dispensers are cheaper than bottled water units in the long run because mains-fed water is virtually free.  

Comparing cost plumbeb

Plumbed-in water cooler costs

  • Dispenser unit: may be cheap or even free if you rent or lease.
  • Installation fee: a set fee (£99) is not uncommon, plus a fee per additional unit installed.
  • Insurance: may be included in a rental or leasing contract, but if you purchase your plumbed-in water cooler this will need to be covered by your building insurance.
  • Service & maintenance: varies according to contract terms (purchase, lease or water cooler rental).
  • Beverage accessories: cups, coffee, tea, chocolate, milk, sugar sachets will add to the cost of plumbed-in units with water heating systems.
  • Other accessories to your plumbed-in water cooler: may include floor mats, refuse bins, drip trays and sanitizing kits…

Bottled water cooler costs

  • Dispenser unit: may be cheap or even free if you rent or lease.
  • Installation fee: virtually nil since all it requires is plugging into a wall electricity socket. Your water cooler supplier will advise you on the best location for your unit.
  • Water: A standard 19-litre bottles costs £5-8 plus VAT, and serves the hydration needs of 5-10 employees per day at recommended levels. This will vary, of course.
  • Bottle deliveries: this will be billed weekly or monthly, and will vary according to quantity.
  • Bottle disposal: your supplier may agree to recycle the bottles; otherwise it may be necessary to arrange for recycling with your local council.
  • Storage: difficult to assign a value, but note that water bottles take up space that could otherwise be consecrated to more productive uses.
  • Insurance: may be included in a rental or leasing contract, but if you purchase your unit this will need to be covered by your building insurance.
  • Beverage accessories: cups are usually included in your supply contract, and if your unit includes a water heater you will also need coffee, tea, chocolate, milk, sugar, etc.
  • Service & maintenance: contracts typically include a six-monthly routine service and sanitisation, plus a change of filter.
  • Other accessories: may include floor mats, refuse bins, drip trays and sanitizing kits…

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