The Difference Between a Bottled and Mains Fed Water Dispenser
The main difference is the way water is delivered to the Water Dispenser.
Bottled Water Dispensers need:
Water supplied from large plastic bottles, holding around 19 litres, installed on the top of the dispenser
Some storage space nearby to hold a stock of bottles to prevent running out
Someone to change the bottle when it becomes empty (when full they are heavy and awkward to move)
Someone to make sure replacement bottles are ordered when stock runs low
Connection to mains electricity if water is to be chilled
Sanitising to ensure contamination through handling is kept at acceptable levels
In summary, Bottled Water Dispensers are convenient as they can be sited almost anywhere. The only restriction on location being access to mains power if the water is to be chilled. However, they need frequent attention by someone in the office or workplace to make sure the supply never runs out. Also the bottles (empty or full) take up valuable office space. The total footprint of the dispenser plus a sensible supply of bottles needs to be taken into account in any cost of ownership calculation.
The bottles, when full, weigh around 20kg, or 44lbs, so there is a Health and Safety risk whenever they need to be exchanged or moved around the office. The Health and Safety Executive General Risk Assessment Guidelines suggest that this weight should not be lifted above waist height by men; and not at all by women.
Mains-Fed Water Dispensers need:
A connection to the mains water supply – this is usually part of the installation process. There is no need to site the dispenser close to existing copper pipe as the connection is usually made using “food-grade” plastic pipe which can be run unobtrusively over quite large distances.
Connection to mains power, for chilling and/or heating at the point of use.
Sanitisation of the internal components regularly and effectively.
Since there are no bottles the total footprint is much smaller as there are no bottles to store nearby. This also means there are no heavy weights to carry or empty bottles to dispose of. Once installed there is no other administrative overhead in terms of managing supplies or reordering, or in time spent changing empty bottles for full ones.
These are the main reasons we only supply Mains-Fed Water Dispensers for either chilled, ambient or hot water. There are others so watch out for a coming article on Ten Reasons why your office needs a Mains-Fed Water Dispenser.