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Mains Fed and Bottled Water Coolers - What's the Difference?

Both mains-fed water coolers and bottled water coolers offer easy-to-access drinking water. But is there a difference between them? And do they come with a different set of benefits?

Continue to read our guide as we explore the main characteristics of both mains-fed and bottled water dispensers.

Mains-Fed Water Dispenser Considerations

A mains-fed water dispenser is plumbed directly to the building's water supply. They are commonly utilised in various establishments, industries, and homes. Available freestanding, countertop, or integrated – mains-fed water coolers are versatile, making them a popular option for many environments.

Benefits of Mains-Fed Water Dispensers

There are many benefits of a mains-fed water cooler; these include:

quality & reliability

1. Various Water Types Available – When you choose a mains-fed water dispenser, you can select a variety of water types to be supplied. Chilled, hot and even sparkling water can be supplied from our hot and cold water dispensers, which gives the consumer control over which water type they want to drink at a push of a button.

2. Environmentally Friendly – Because these coolers are plumbed straight into the main water supply, there is no need for excess plastic. Mains-fed water dispensers reduce your carbon footprint by 86% compared to a bottled water cooler.

3. Hygienic – Our water dispensers have our Hygienic Plus and ThermalGate technology to ensure you always have access to safe, clean water. These technologies remove 99% of all bacteria and regularly disinfect the machine.

4. Reliable Supply of Water – As mains-fed water coolers are plumbed into your water supply, you don't need to refill it or change the bottle for access to water. The only thing that will disturb your water supply is if your supplier has an issue.

5. No Heavy Lifting – Once your water dispenser is installed, that is it. You, or your staff, won't have to lift any heavy water bottles once one has run out.

6. Space-Saving – With plumbed-in water dispensers, you won't have to find space for empty or full bottles. Not only that but there are also additional space-saving options with mains-fed water coolers. If you're short on floor space, you can opt for countertop dispensers or water taps.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​7. Hassle-Free – Installation and maintenance of mains-fed water dispensers is easy. If you rent or buy water dispensers with us, we have a team of expert engineers ready to install your water cooler. You can also choose a tailored service plan to ensure your dispenser is always at its best. Find out more about our range of services.

Cons of Mains-Fed Water Dispensers

Although mains-fed water coolers are great, being environmentally friendly, space-saving and hygienic, there are some potential drawbacks that you need to consider before choosing this type of water cooler:

  1. Need a Water and Electricity Supply – As mains-fed water dispensers are plumbed into your water supply, they need to be able to be hooked up to this. They also need an electricity supply to work, to supply hot water electricity is necessary to heat the water.

  2. Placement isn't Flexible – As these water coolers need to be plumbed into your water supply and need electricity, you may be limited in where you can place them. Once they are installed, you also can't move them around.

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Bottled Water Dispenser Consideration

Bottled water dispensers have a large bottle on the top of the dispenser that you access water from. Some have different water options, and many suppliers allow you to send used bottles back for reuse. These are generally free-standing and are what most people imagine when imagining a water cooler.

Benefits of Bottled Water Dispensers

  1. Easy to Install – These water coolers don't require access to your mains water, so they are easy to install. Plug them in, add the water bottle to the top, and you're good to go.
  2. More Flexible Placement – The only consideration that will limit where you can place bottled water dispensers is access to a plug socket. Other than that, you can put these water coolers where you like. And if you have a reshuffle, you can move where the water cooler is.
  3. Low Maintenance – These water coolers just need regular cleaning and replacement bottles as and when the current bottle is empty, making them low maintenance.

Cons of Bottled Water Dispensers

Like everything, there are some potential drawbacks to bottled water dispensers that you should consider before choosing them:

  1. Need an Electricity Supply – As has already been mentioned, bottled water dispensers do need an electricity supply to function, which can slightly limit where you can place them.
  2. Plastic Use – Bottled water dispensers use plastic bottles. Although most suppliers will collect and reuse bottles, they can only be reused a finite number of times. So, in the end, you will be creating plastic waste.
  3. Requires Storage Space – The bottles waiting to be collected or used require storing. They may be collected every week, but you still need room for the bottles to be stored.

Should You Choose a Mains-Fed or Bottled Water Dispenser?

Mains-fed or 'plumbed-in' water coolers require a mains feed to be installed by your water supplier - they are used where there is an adequate supply of mains water. Bottled water coolers do not require any plumbing as they use delivered bottled cases. Therefore, while a mains-fed cooler dispenses water through a system linked to the water mains, a bottled water cooler is linked to a supply of large bottles of water.

Which you should choose will depend on several factors; each has its benefits and drawbacks. However, mains-fed are our preferred type as you don't need to store big bottles and reduce plastic waste. They are hygienic and, although they do require maintenance, ensure you always have a supply of fresh, filtered water.

For more, discover our range of water dispensers to learn more about how we can help you fit these into your workplace.

Learn More

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Buy or Rent

At BRITA, we offer full purchase and rental options for mains-fed water dispensers. See the buying and rental page for more information about payment plans.

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Customer Service

If you would like guidance and advice on which water dispenser is best for your work environment or home, get in touch with our helpful customer service team.

If you'd like to discuss a how a BRITA VIVREAU dispenser can benefit your workplace, call us on 0345 674 9655 or contact us below.

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