Water Dispensers – Hire Vs. Buy and Bottle Fed Vs. Mains Fed

There are many questions and many decisions, but they all need to be answered in order for your workplace to have the right water dispenser for your needs.

But what water machine and hire questions are you seeking answers to?

#1 How many water dispensers will you need?

This question effectively relates to capacity. If you have a large staff group, you will need more than one machine, preferably based in different areas of your workplace.

Water dispensers can deliver a certain number of cups of water per hour – you will see this highlighted in each product description – and if you opt to buy or lease a water dispenser, you need to be confident it can deliver the water at the right temperature. For example, if you opt for a chilled water machine, it will take a few minutes for the water to pass through the chilling and filtration system, thus if you have ‘overuse’ of that machine, the water is not quite chilled enough.

#2 What range of water temperatures do you need?

Water dispensers are versatile pieces of office kit and can fulfil many needs. Most people are accustomed to water dispensers offering chilled water and water at ‘room temperature’, better described as ‘ambient’.

But did you know, some water dispensers offer hot water too? This means waving goodbye to the kettle and long queues when making a brew.

Water units can offer a combination of ambient and chilled water, as well as ambient, chilled and hot water (a perfect 92° for the perfect tea or coffee). Which do you think would suit your workplace?

#3 Where is the best place to put a water dispenser?

Locating a water dispenser is just as important as leasing or buying the right machine to serve your needs.

All too often, businesses invest in a water dispenser but fail to give thought to its location thus, it sits gathering dust with only occasional use.

Water dispensers need to be located in;

  • High traffic areas – the more people that pass by and see the machine, the more people are likely to use it.
  • Accessible areas – it takes a matter of seconds to fill a small paper cup or glass etc. but if the water dispenser is in an area where it is a nuisance to stop and take a glass of water, it won’t be used.

Water dispensers that are located in areas where staff can stop and take a drink are essential but avoid outside of bathrooms, choosing instead to place water dispensers on corridors through which people will pass several times a day.

Outside kitchen areas and in canteens or staff rooms prove popular, as does a water dispenser in the reception or foyer area too.

#4 Which is better – plumbed-in or bottle-fed water dispenser units?

Both offer the same in terms of quality of drinking water and efficiency of operation. But there are a few things to consider;

Plumbed-in water dispensers cannot be moved – for flexibility in moving a water dispenser, consider a countertop dispenser. Offering the same capacity of cups per minute as its floor-standing counterpart, a table top water dispenser is perfect for when you want flexibility in how and where the water machine can be used.

Consider a plumbed-in water dispenser when there will be a high volume of usage. These fixed water units are common in larger businesses, as well as schools and colleges too.

Plumbed-in water dispensers need a water feed that does not pass through a holding tank – in some larger buildings, the water is stored in large holding tanks so that when people turn the taps on, there is a ready supply. This is not compatible with the filtering system in a plumbed-in water dispenser.

If this is the case, consider a bottle-fed water dispenser, either floor standing or a table-top unit.

BUT…

Plumbed-in water dispensers offer cup after cup of water with no need to change the bottle, as in the case of bottle-fed dispensers. And these bottles – full and empty – will need to be stored, and regular re-orders made.

Water Coolers Together
Water Coolers Together

#5 Which is the better option – lease or buy?

There are pros and cons to both;

Lease packages come with great terms – sanitisation happens on a regular basis, you are assured of fantastic service with bottles of fresh water and cups regularly delivered. There are also some packages that allow for an automatic ‘upgrade’ of your water dispenser every few years so that you have the latest style and water-dispensing innovation.

BUT, you don’t own it.

Buying water dispensers – great for adding assets to a business, many people prefer paying for something that becomes their own. It may be possible to buy into a servicing package, which means that carbon filters are changed regularly and the sanitisation process is regular too.

BUT, to replace or upgrade the machine, you will need to buy or lease a new one.

In some ways, it also comes down to your budget and financial position too, and what works for you. Either way, buying or hiring water machine will reap rewards for your staff and your business.