Water Dispenser Buying Guide

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What is a Water Dispenser?

A water dispenser is an appliance that dispenses water.In earlier times, water dispenser was native only to offices, hospitals,and other such workplaces. However, it has now become a common household appliance with many people buying it for convenience.A water cooler is also a type of water dispenser.It is an electric appliance that dispenses cold water.A water dispenser may not always be a water cooler.

Why should you buy a Water Dispenser?

The primary advantage of a water dispenser, as opposed to potable water or regular refrigerated water bottles is its ease of use.You can take a glass of drinking water easily with a push of a button without having to dig into the pot or open the refrigerator every time someone asks for water. It is so easy to operate that even kids can take their own glass of water, without bothering moms all the time. With a water dispenser at work, you don’t have to leave your half-finished work to serve water.

A water dispenser gives you access to clean and fresh water always.Water from a dispenser does not contain chemicals that are generally found in tap water. Some dispensers come with additional water filters, and pure water means good health.

Water dispensers can provide you with cold water instantly as opposed to refrigerators which take a while to cool water.

Some water dispensers also come with a storage cabinet.This means you don’t have to worry about filling bottles separately.

There is less risk of water contamination in a water dispenser as opposed to normal water storage practices.

What are the different types of Water Dispensers?

Water dispensers can be broadly classified into two types: Electric and Non-Electric.Electric water coolers tend to cool/heat water, whereas non-electric models may not dispense cold or hot water.

Additionally, the other types of water dispensers are:

Tabletop water dispensers are low-profile.They can be conveniently placed on kitchen platform or on a table. They use 5-liter water bottles that can be easily purchased from a supermarket.Tabletop water coolers use Peltier devices to cool the water and an air pump technology to dispense the water.

A freestanding water cooler can be placed anywhere on the floor.They are designedto mount water bottles upside down into the water dispenser.

A wall-mounted dispenser, also known as a water fountain, is fixed on a wall.The dispenser allows a continuous inflow of water from the main water source.It has a refrigeration unit to cool the water.Unused water is let off into the in-house drainage system.The wall-mounted dispenser also contains a small tank to store cold water.This way the user can instantly access cold water without having to wait for it to cool.

Bottom-load water dispensersare not very popular, though they have the benefit of not having to lift the heavy water-filled bottles on a dispenser.In a bottom-load water dispenser, water bottlesare placed below the dispenser.

A modern innovation in water dispenser technology is the introduction of countertop devices which take water from the main water source and supplynot only cold water but also boiling hot waterinstantly.

What should you look for when buying a Water Dispenser?

 When shopping for a water dispenser, do bear in mind the following points:

To start off, you need to decide whether you want to buy an electric water dispenser or a non-electric model.Do you want cold water to gush out every time you open the water faucet or normal drinking water would be enough for you?Depending on your preference, you need to choose between a regular water dispenser or a water cooler.Also, depending on where you want to install the water dispenser, and what do you intend to use it for, you need to select from among the various types of dispensers.Your choices could vary from a small countertop to freestanding or wall mounted.It is important to note that bottom-load water coolers do not cool water as effectively as other dispensers.

You may also want to consider the possibility of having an electrical outlet available at the place you want your water dispenser installed.For example, in case of small lawn parties, there may not always be a source of electric power nearby. In such case, a non-electric water dispenser can be ideal for temporary use.

Drinking water temperatures tend to vary from brand to brand.The colder the water, the greater the power consumption of the dispenser.You may want to see the type and the size of the compressor used in water dispenser to learn about its cooling capability.For not very chilling water, choose the one with a smaller compressor unit.

Some models are designed to dispense both hot and cold water.Choose the one with both hot and cold options in order to have a multifunctional water dispenser. You should check the metrics that indicate the water heating and cooling capacity of the dispenser. For example you may see metrics like a hot water supply of 5 litre/hour at 90° C (+/- 5° C) or a cold water supply of 3 Ltr./Hr At 12° C (+/- 3° C). Compare the heating and cooling capacity of different water dispensers.

In case there are budget constraints, you may want to compare prices of different types of dispensers.Non-electric dispensers are much cheaper than the electric models.The price can vary from Rs. 6000 for a simple water dispenser to Rs. 25,000.Among electric water dispensers, countertop models are less expensive than freestanding units.

Child lock is an important safety feature to have in your water dispenser.It is especially important in freestanding and tabletop designs, which have water faucets within the reach of small children.Child lock will prevent the children from opening the tap and spilling water all over, thereby not only saving precious cold water but also saving from the trouble of cleaning the spilled water.In particular, child locks are a must-have for hot water dispensing taps to prevent your child from burns.

You need to check for the space between the water faucet and drip tray.The best water dispensers have sufficient space between the water faucet and drip tray to allow you to fill tall glasses, water bottles, etc.The nozzle of the dispenser should be small enough to easily enter into the water bottle.

A water cooler with a stainless steel body should be preferred over a plastic water reservoir to avoid the taste of plastic in drinking water.Plastic taste is quite common is most water dispensers with a plastic body.

You can choose water dispensers with or without filtration function.There are different filtration systems that come with water dispensers.For extra clean, cold water, you may want to buy a water cooler with filters such as carbon charcoal filter, Ultra Violet filter, water distillers etc.

Ease of maintenance always tops the list when buying any appliance.Though water dispensers are low maintenance, you still need to keep the water dispensing area clean.A removable drip tray makes the cleaning process more convenient.Water dispensers with filters have an added task of changing filters.

What brands are reliable and available in the market?

Some good brands of water dispensers in India are:

Glossary of Terms:

A tank is a storage container for water, attached to a water dispenser.

A compressor is a mechanical device that reduces the volume of a gas and increases its pressure.

A refrigerating system is a cooling system of the dispenser, which enables the dispenser to supply cold water.

A tap is a mechanical device that controls the flow of water from the dispenser.

A button or knob is a rounded piece used to control the functioning of the water dispenser.

A water filter is an equipment that captures impurities from water using a physical barrier, a chemical or a biological process.The main purpose of a water filter is to clean water.

It indicates the heating or cooling capacity of the dispenser. Note that the greater the heating/cooling capacity, the more is the power consumption.

Some water dispensers come with LED indicators for indicating heating or cooling functions.

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