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Water coolers : Water dispenser choices: hot or cold, freestanding or countertop
Once you have decided to take the plunge and invest in a water cooler or dispenser for your business, the next step is to decide which type of unit will best match your situation. Water coolers and dispensers may be freestanding or wall-mounted, countertop or under-the-counter.
Freestanding and wall-mounted water coolers are typically best for open work spaces like offices, meetings rooms or reception halls, while kitchens of small businesses and sole traders may find space-saving countertop or under-the-counter water dispensers more practical. Many of these units can be taken to trade exhibitions to provide drinks on stands – check with your supplier for models best adapted to this kind of usage.
Water dispensers for hot and cold thirsts
Your dispenser’s first job is to provide chilled drinking water on tap, but units fitted with water heater systems can be used to make coffee, tea, hot chocolate or instant soups. Ambient, chilled and hot water are dispensed through different faucets operating on a valve system. Hot water is usually released by pressing a safety button to avoid accidents.
Water dispensers heat mains-fed water using an integrated compressor, which produces heat by compressing Freon. The water will not boil as hot as it would in a kettle, but it will be hot enough to provide a safe water supply for hot drinks (usually around 60 degrees Celsius). Some plumbed-in water dispensers may have a heating element to increase the temperature of the hot water supply to improve diffusion of tea and coffee.
A few things to keep in mind
- Dispensers with heating systems come in a range of designs and materials, from plastic to aluminium, stainless steel and glass.
- Most water heater systems have a safety button rather than a lever to operate the hot water faucet, which reduces the risk of scalding accidents. Water is dispensed from different faucets, which reduces the risk of accidental scalding.
- If you have a dual-temperature water dispenser, you will also need cups to accommodate both hot and cold drinks. This will add a bit to the cost of your dispenser.