As far as water dispensers are concerned, there are so many types and models it’s often difficult to make a choice. Satisfying your staff and visitors without wasting time or money can be a real head-scratcher. This is where plumbed-in water coolers come in handy: they are a no-nonsense, multi-purpose and cost-effective solution for all your company’s drinking needs.
Description and models
Plumbed-in systems are available from most manufacturers. There are three general categories of dispensers (freestanding, countertop and taps), and three configurations (hot, cold or both).
Hot or cold?
What will your water supply system be used for? In a waiting room or a busy environment where people come and go, providing cold water might be sufficient. On the other hand, hot water seems essential in a small office or staff kitchen, to prepare tea, coffee, or even soups and instant noodles for lunch. Choose accordingly to your needs, knowing that most systems can be fitted with hot and cold (and even ambient temperature) water faucets.
Freestanding plumbed-in water coolers
As their name suggests, freestanding water coolers are independent units. They take up around one square foot of floor space, but can also be wall-mounted. They plug into the mains water supply and an electric socket, and dispense water at the turn of a handle. They are quite sturdy and cumbersome, so their location should be chosen carefully. It’s the perfect solution for waiting rooms and public places. Prices range from around £130 upwards.
Countertop or under-the-counter systems
Countertop units are more mobile, which is handy if you often redesign your office space. They are also well suited to small staff kitchens. Working on the same principle as their freestanding counterpart, they fit inconspicuously on or under most standard kitchen elements. They can be as cheap as £30.
Water taps are much more expensive (up to £1,000) but they are also a more permanent and efficient solution. They produce cool, boiling or even sparkling water from the mains supply, fit flush with any counter and are equipped with leak detection, a plumbed-to-waste drip tray, and touch control.
Three reasons why you should install a plumbed-in water cooler
Plumbed-in water coolers supply clean, filtered water which is safer to drink and cook with than regular tap water. Chlorine taste, heavy metals such as lead and even limescale are eliminated. It is an environmentally friendly system too (no delivery lorries or bottles that need recycling).
Infinite water at a reduced cost
The problem with bottled water dispensers is that once you are out of bottles, you are out of water! As it plugs into the mains water supply, a plumbed-in water cooler is always ready to provide you with infinite amounts of cool or hot water. Moreover, you don’t have to pay for the extra cost of bottle delivery and storage, just for your usual water consumption. Accessories such as paper cups, swizzle sticks and sugar sachets come at an extra cost, of course.
Peace of mind
In general, a professional plumber will install the water dispenser for a set fee (around £100), but in many cases (countertop units, for instance) you can do it yourself. Once installed, a mains fed water cooler will require cleaning and sanitization every 4-6 weeks, and nothing else.
Benefits of a multi-purpose solution
Because it can provide refreshing drinks as well as near-boiling water to prepare instant snacks, a plumbed-in water cooler is always an appreciated feature in offices around the world. It conveniently replaces regular water fountains as well as hot drink machines, saving space and money.