Water cooler size, filtration type and budget are the three main components to consider when purchasing a point of use water dispenser.
POU water dispensers, or point of use water dispensers, are made in different sizes to accommodate different needs. When deciding on which water cooler to purchase, one factor to consider is space. POU water dispensers come in either a countertop version or a freestanding version. Countertop POU dispensers are designed to sit on top of a counter or table and do not require much space and there is no need for floor space. The countertop units typically use a 1 gallon reservoir and can serve up to a 40 person office. Freestanding POU water dispensers are the more traditional larger size and designed to sit on the floor. The largest freestanding water cooler units can hold over 6 gallons and serve a busy 70 person office. Most freestanding point of use water dispensers serve between 40 and 60 people in an office and hold a total of 1.5 to 3.5 gallons of water. This includes both hot, cold and room temperature depending on the model.
The second factor to consider when purchasing a POU water dispenser is how to filter the water and how much filtration is needed. Because POU dispensers connect directly to the city water, using no filtration is just like drinking directly from the sink. If the city water in your area tastes good enough to drink and is filtered properly, then no filtration or very little filtration is needed. However, typically water from the tap contains sediment, chlorine, minerals, and bacteria that can be harmful or simply make the water taste bad.
Most point of use water coolers use a multi-stage water filtration system. Typically, the first stage is either sediment water filter or carbon water filter that removes most of the larger particles and sediment in the water. Further levels of filtration will continue to remove smaller particles and bacteria. Filters with smaller micron levels will catch the smallest bacteria and particles that pass through the first stages of filtration.
In a three stage filter system, Reverse osmosis water filtration is usually the final stage. This method of filtration is equivalent to a .0001 micron filter. A micron is a metric unit of length equal to one millionth of a meter. A human hair is nearly 25 microns in diameter. When the city water has higher levels of bacteria, sediment chlorine, or simply does not taste good, then a three stage filtration system is recommended.
Cost is the next factor to consider after determining the size and filtration needed for your POU water dispenser. On the lower end of the price spectrum, a bottled water dispenser with a POU conversion kit can be purchased for nearly $200. Typically, in this price range filtration is not included with the unit and an additional water filtration assembly will need to be installed. How fast the POU unit can heat or cool water and how much it can store will determine the price of the unit. Prices can exceed $700 for higher capacity units with higher levels of filtration.
Feel free to browse our comprehensive selection of Point of Use Water coolers and feel free to contact our knowledgeable staff to help you decide which POU water cooler is best for you.