A Guide to Water Coolers

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What You Need to Know

  1. Water coolers provide an office or home with a reliable supply of chilled, great-tasting water.
  2. Some employers also see additional benefits in water coolers, such as providing workers with a social space to gather around or a means of displaying a corporate brand in a customer-facing space.
  3. Water coolers are generally either bottled or bottleless, with the former requiring the bottle to be changed when empty and the latter usually hooked up to an office's main water supply.
  4. If you work for a large or even a medium-sized company, then chances are, you won't have to go looking for a water cooler supplier, they will come looking for you.
  5. Things to consider when buying a water cooler include up-front costs and the cost of regular maintenance tasks, such as changing the filters.
  6. Also, bear in mind that all water coolers are much less eco-friendly than normal tap water.
  7. However, if you re concerned about the environment, many water cooler suppliers are proudly carbon free businesses and some help fund water sanitation projects in developing nations.

Introduction to Water Coolers

As the name suggests, water coolers provide cool, clean water, either at home or in an office (though the vast majority of water coolers are found in offices and other corporate premises). Generally speaking, water coolers are either 'bottleless' or 'bottled'. Bottleless coolers are hooked up to a building's water supply, while bottled coolers are not, with the water for these being stored in a large bottled that is delivered by a supplier on a regular basis.

Water coolers may offer a range of benefits. These can include:

  • Providing an office with a reliable source of chilled, great tasting, fresh water.
  • Giving employees a social spot to catch up away from their desks; far from being counter-productive, many employers believe that 'water cooler moments' help boost morale, and so productivity levels.
  • Reducing the need to buy individual bottles of water when entertaining corporate clients.
  • Providing a business with opportunities to promote their own brands in customer-facing areas.

Furthermore, bottleless water coolers have the additional advantage of offering all of the above without the need for buying and storing large quantities of bottled water.

Where to Buy Water Coolers

If you work for a large or even a medium-sized company, then chances are, you won't have to go looking for a water cooler supplier, they will come looking for you. If not, then don’t' worry, a simple online search will uncover a wide number of both national and local water suppliers, giving you the chance to shop around and choose the one who best meets the needs of your business. Some of the biggest and most popular suppliers across the UK include Eden Springs and Water Coolers Direct.

Things to Consider When Buying Water Coolers

Again, a simple online search will give you a wide range of prospective water cooler providers to choose from. Remember, don't just sign up with the cheapest or most local supplier, but factors such as price, after-sales service and environmental concerns in mind before you place an order.

Bottled Vs Bottleless

Bottleless water coolers are, generally speaking, cheaper and easier. For instance, once fitted, they tend to take care of themselves, while with bottled coolers, you will have to change the big, heavy bottled once one gets empty and then pay for more fresh bottles to be delivered. However, according to some manufacturers, some employees – and, just as importantly, prospective clients – prefer the 'traditional look' of bottled water coolers. Again, weigh up the pros and cons of each type of water cooler before deciding what is right for your workplace.


One of the main things to consider before buying a water cooler is the price. After all, tap water is significantly cheaper than bottled water, so can the cost of a cooler be justified? Will it make a real difference in your office and will colleagues and employees appreciate it? Again, weight up the prospective benefits of investing in a water cooler and decide whether you should pay for chilled water, bearing in mind that suppliers may require you to sign a 12-month or even an 18-month contract.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Water coolers are relatively simple and do look after themselves most of the time. However, they may still require some maintenance, plus, of course, if you opt for a bottled cooler, you will be required to take delivery of new bottles on a regular basis.

Suppliers should offer a range of maintenance contracts. For instance, Water Coolers Direct offers three levels of technical support, ranging from full, round-the-clock assistance to simply providing new filters and sanitisation kits for you to fit yourself.

Whatever level of maintenance and support you go for, it's worth checking a supplier is a SAFE Contractor approved company.

Environmental Concerns

Compared to tap water, bottled water is very bad for the environment. In particular, environmental campaigners point to the carbon emissions produced by the lorries delivering new, full water bottles to offices worldwide each day, as well as to the large volumes of waste plastic the bottled water industry produces.

If you want to go green, then, bottleless water coolers are far and away the best choice. Additionally, if the environment is a priority for you, consider going with a water cooler supplier that is carbon neutral or one that gives a proportion of its profits to water sanitation projects in the developing world.

Further Reading

  • If you need a bit more kick to your beverages read our guide to buying a coffee maker.
  • You can buy water coolers direct from UK Aqua.

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