Point of Use Water Cooler Overview and Benefits


Point of use water coolers or POU cooler are water dispensers that connect directly to the building city water source, filter (filters are optional on most units) the water, and heat or cool the water before it is used. Since the water dispenser stores, and heats or cools the water, it will require an electrical power source typically a standard 115 volt outlet is used. Depending on the type of filtration the unit uses, a connection to the building's drainage system may be needed. Typical POU water coolers come in either free standing or countertop units. The freestanding POU dispensers sit on the ground and are up to 40 inches tall; this is the most common sized water dispenser. Countertop units are intended to be used in smaller spaces and sit on a table or countertop. Because the countertop units are smaller, they store less water and are intended to service a smaller number of people.

POU water dispensers can store water in cooled or heated reservoirs. Generally, a point of use water coolers can cool water between 40 - 50 degrees Fahrenheit and can heat water up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. This range is general and may vary between brands. Some POU water dispensers also store and dispense water at room temperature as well, this is known as "Cook" temperature. In the industry, a "Cook and Cold Water Dispenser" would be a unit that stores and dispenses room temperature and cold water. A "Hot and Cold Water Dispenser" is more straight-forward indicating that the unit stores and dispenses both hot and cold water. Some units dispense all three temperatures: hot, cold, and room temperature. Reservoir materials are typically either made of dishwasher-safe plastic or stainless steel. Reservoirs can hold up to 6 gallons and serve up to 70 people.

Point of Use Water Dispenser Benefits

  • This type of water dispenser provides a continuous supply of water since there is no need to replace a bottle, no heavy lifting and no bottle storage.
  • POU water dispensers are also a good method to serve water in places where public safety is an issue since it is difficult to pollute the drinking water with germs.
  • POU water dispensers are typically 20 to 70% less expensive per gallon when compared to bottled water service.
  • When used with filtration systems, POU dispensers provide fresher tasting and healthier water than water straight from the tap.

For more information on how to select the right point of use water dispenser see our POU buying guide.