Should I Rent or Buy a Water Cooler?
With UK Aqua you can choose from a range of water coolers including plumbed in water dispensers, hot water dispensers, water boilers, under sink chillers and water fountains.
Why choose a plumbed in water cooler instead of a bottled water cooler?
The main reason why most people select a plumbed in water dispenser is to save money and reduce the hassle that comes with bottled water.
There are other less obvious advantages too.
Is my location suitable for a plumbed in water cooler?
Installing a plumbed in water cooler is a quick and easy job, taking generally no more than an hour.
85% of offices currently with bottled water are suitable for plumbed in water coolers, but there are some points to bear in mind.
What areas do you cover?
UK Aqua delivers drinking water solutions Nationwide, to homes, small businesses and large businesses alike, offering industry leading products and service. Whether you choose bottled water, or a plumbed in drinking water solution you can be assured of receiving water that is not only safe to drink but great tasting as well. Get in touch for more details of coverage.
How do I choose the right dispenser?
There are 3 main points to consider when choosing a cooler are as follows
- Number of users/ high usage
If you have a high number of users or high usage then you need to ensure that the unit will deliver. As a guide to what constitutes a high number of users/ high usage we would suggest an office of over 50 or an environment such as a canteen where there may be regular queue of more than 4 people i.e. a canteen or rest room where people have short set break times.
A direct chill water cooler would be highly recommended for high usage areas. Or consider more units which could also help with queue reduction.
Budget is clearly a factor and at BWT UK Limited you can be assured of getting competitive prices. The main difference between more expensive water coolers and lower cost units is the cooling mechanism and appearance. Lower cost units generally have tank fed systems as opposed to the direct chill mechanism and more basic appearance.
Why filter water?
The main reason for filtering tap water is to reduce chlorine which has been added by the water companies to help purify the water.
Chlorine presence in water through to the tap helps ensure that the water remains clean and drinkable. Chlorine breaks down when the water is exposed to air, but traces that remain can taint the taste of tap water. Filtering at the final point where the water is dispensed means that the water remains clean to the tap, but provides fresh tasting water in the drink.
There is a common myth or consumer conception that the quality of bottled water is superior to tap water, even when filtered. In reality the measures taken by local water companies mean that UK mains fed tap water often undergoes more tests and checks than bottled water. For details of water quality in your area see the Drinking Water Inspectorate website.
What sort of filter do UK Aqua use?
UK Aqua use quality carbon filters that reduce chlorine, bad odour taste and other impurities
Our water has a funny taste, can we still have a plumbed in water cooler?
This depends what is causing the funny taste. The first thing to check is if the water in your building is coming from the mains supply or via a tank see How do I know if our water is tank or mains fed?
If your water is mains fed then a the water filter in the dispenser will help eradicate the most common causes of tainted water.
If your water is tank fed then view details of What if I do have a storage tank?
How do I know if our water is tank or mains fed?
If you are in a large shared building its best to check with your landlord.
If you are in a office/shop or industrial unit the easiest was to do this is to find the stop cock (the tap that turns all the water to your building on / off) and turn it off. If your cold water taps stop running (some dribbling is to be expected as the taps empty) then your cold supply is mains fed.
If the cold water tap in your kitchen area still runs then chances are its tank fed. View details of What if I do have a storage tank?
Please read the file below: Water storage tanks and cisterns
In some buildings there may be a mixture of tank fed and mains fed cold taps. It is important to ensure that the pipe that you propose connecting the water cooler to is mains fed.
I have heard that the hot water from plumbed in dispensers is not suitable for tea?
This is generally true! The hot water from water dispensers usually has a maximum temperature of 95 degree centigrade. To make tea with a tea bag you need a minimum of 98 degrees centigrade , below this temperature you will find that tea will not brew properly.
Whilst the maximum temperature is usually around 95 degrees the average temperature can be lower as the thermostat switches on and off.
If you want hot water suitable for tea then either stick with a kettle or consider a water boiler!
How hot is the water from your hot water dispensers?
The hot water from water dispensers usually has a maximum temperature of 95 degree centigrade.
The average temperature can be lower as the thermostat switches on and off. ie many manufacturers state 85 degrees plus or minus 10 degrees.
Bear in mind as the hot water is dispensed the tank will start to re-fill with cold water so the temperature will drop.
See the specifications for the individual units for more details.
We have lead pipes. Can we still use a plumbed in water cooler?
If you have lead pipes then hopefully you will already be taking precautions as advised by your local water board.
A water filter can help reduce levels of lead but should not be used unless the levels are safe.
Our water has high levels of fluoride do your filters remove this?
Specialist filters are now available to help reduce fluoride levels in water, please contact us for more details.
All the water in our building is from a water tank, can we have plumbed in water coolers?
Check with facilities or your landlord as to whether the water tank is drinking water standard.
The tank needs to meet certain specifications and a regular maintenance program should be in place to ensure water quality remains. If this is the case then connection may still be possible.
How long does it take to install a plumbed in water cooler?
If there is a standard 15mm copper pipe within 2-3m that is easily accessible, then the connection together with initial sanitisation will usually take under an hour.
What maintenance do water coolers require?
Water dispensers or coolers should be periodically sanitised and serviced with filter changes as appropriate.
The period between sanitisations is dependent upon the environment where the water cooler is located. In a standard office environment then the minimum requirements suggested by the industry association are two sanitisations annually. Many customers opt for the manufacturers recommendations of four times per year.
In hospitals, nursing homes, Doctors surgeries or schools then sanitisation should be performed at least 4 times per year.
In addition to the internal sanitisation the units should be inspected for wear and tear, leaks and parts replaced as appropriate.
Can I maintain the water cooler myself?
Yes, the process can be carried out by yourselves.
The work should be conducted by competent personnel using appropriate equipment and materials.
It is advisable to keep a record of when the work was carried.
In reality by the time you have bought the equipment and factored in your staffs time for carrying out the process it's probably saving you very little.
How often do the water filters need changing?
This will depend on the filter you are using and how much water you are dispensing through your cooler.
UK Aqua use high quality Water Regulation Advisory Service approved water filters that will need changing after either 6000 litres or 6 months whichever comes sooner.
In most environments 6 months comes sooner (If your office is open 5 days a week then to reach 6000 litres before 6 months you would need to be dispensing just over 46 litres per day).
What happens If I forget to change the filter?
The filter may well start to harbour bacteria that become trapped inside the carbon. A build up of bacteria can start to contaminate your drinking water.
In addition the filter will start to become clogged effecting flow rate of water. This will lead to wasted time waiting for drinks to dispense.
Can you plumb the drip tray into a waste pipe?
With some units this is possible provided that the waste pipe is accessible and at a lower level than the drip tray. Pumped waste whilst possible is not advisable.
The Borg & Ovestrom unit also has the facility to have an additional waste bottle connected to the drip tray. This is adds 12 litres of spillage capacity to the drip tray and is ideal where spillages and drips are likely but no waste pipe is accessible.
What happens to the drips or spills?
Drips and spills that occur when water is dispensed will generally collected in the drip tray. Regular emptying of the drip tray is therefore required.
A mat below the water cooler is also a good idea as it can help prevent carpet stains or stop hard floors becoming slippery.
What guarantee do you offer for your water coolers?
All cooler come with a 1 year parts guarantee (this does not cover misuse).
What’s the difference between a water cooler and a water dispenser?
A water dispenser is a generic term for a device that dispenses water. This term covers plumbed in units, bottle fed water coolers, water boilers water fountains.
A water cooler is a device that cools water.
We use the term water dispenser or water cooler interchangeably on website when referring to plumbed in water coolers that dispense cold and hot or cold and ambient water.
What’s the difference between a water dispenser and a water boiler?
A water boiler as its name suggests will boil water and dispense it. We like to ensure people are aware of the capabilities of the equipment they buy or rent and therefore would suggest that if you want a hot water dispenser you read the answer to FAQ I have heard that the hot water from plumbed in dispensers is not suitable for tea?
How cold will the water from my water cooler be?
Generally 4 Degrees C +/ - 4 degrees.
The exact temperature will depend on a number of factors including the temperature of the water coming into the dispenser, the amount of water that has just been poured or not from the dispenser and the temperature of the room.
The specifications on each unit show the anticipated chilled temperature range for each model.
Can a plumbed in water cooler run out of cold water?
If the mains supply to the dispenser is interrupted then clearly the water from the dispenser will stop working.
In addition if the unit is a tank chilled dispenser then its not un common for the unit to pour water faster than the tank fills. During times of high usage this can result in significantly reduced flow rate and water not being as cool.
How does the water get cooled in a water cooler?
There are 2 main methods of water being chilled in a cooler tank chill and direct chill.
Tank chill as its name suggests cools the water in a tank surrounded by a cooling band. Generally the tanks have a 5 litres capacity but only hold about 3.2 litres.
Direct chill cools the water in a pipe that is surrounded by coiled cooling pipes. This style will never run out but if all the water that has been chilled in the pipe is poured out then subsequent water will not be as cold as the initial pour after an idle period.