Feeling out of your depth about mains-connected and bottled water coolers?

The Water People on 23 April 2018

If you've ever worked in an office environment, you've probably found yourself wondering whether a bottled water cooler is a better option than a mains-connection water cooler. You've maybe even found yourself discussing it with your colleagues in a classic example of 'water cooler conversation'. But while it may seem like your office's water supply should simply be a 'go with the flow' situation, there are stark differences between bottled and mains connected water cooler systems in terms of cost, efficiency and quality.

So let's cut to the chase. Water is important. Hydration is important. And when it comes to choosing the right water cooler, you want to make the smart choice.

Here's what to know about bottled water coolers vs. mains connected water coolers - and how to get a high-quality system at a good price.

Water coolers are not all created equal

The first thing to realise is that water cooler technology is pretty sophisticated these days. There are loads of ways to get that crisp, cool cup of water to help quench the sudden dry mouth caused by an urgent project update at 4:45pm.

Bottled water coolers are the most well-known type of water cooler system. You can spot them in the wild by looking for a half-empty plastic bottle protruding from the top of a machine, and casting your mind back to awkwardly struggling with an extremely heavy 15 litre replacement bottle while you temporarily forgot to lift with your legs, not your back.

However, they're rapidly being replaced by a new breed of modern water cooler systems that are better for your knees, your health and the environment. The new systems offer a continuous filtered water supply and reduce the environmental impact of excess plastic and transport.

They're not only bottleless, they're highly versatile. We refer to them as mains connected water coolers, which basically means they're plumbed into your mains water supply. From drinking fountains for gyms, schools and factories to under-sink water chillers for space-restricted staff rooms, these modern water coolers spare office managers the hassle of forever purchasing replacement water bottles as well as providing a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solution.

bottled vs bottleless watercooling systems

Still waters run deep

Here's a handy table we've compiled to help you compare bottled water coolers to mains connected water coolers.

A major thing to keep in mind is that while many think that installing a mains connected water cooler that draws directly from a premises' primary water supply must be costly and intrusive, this couldn't be further from the case.

If you choose a reputable, service-orientated company like The Water People, they'll ensure your new cooler is up and running in no time with minimal disruption to your business's operations. They should also automatically schedule a maintenance program so that you don't ever have to worry about things like purchasing replacement filters or booking for check-ups.

 Bottled water coolerMains connected water cooler
Material Low-quality plastic is used for bottling - which ends up in landfill. No plastic is involved in production and the dispenser's parts can be recycled - environmental win!
Supply Your supply of water depends on stock availability and delivery speed. Your supply of water is unlimited as it flows directly from the building's main water supply.
Upkeep Some administrative work required, including ordering, storing and lifting bottles. No administrative work whatsoever - having a mains connected water cooler means there is literally nothing for you to do except drink your eight glasses a day!
Filtration Bottled water sits in plastic from bottling, warehousing, transport and then end use proving high risk of the qualtiy of filtered water within it. Water from a mains connected source provide 100% filtration at the source at the point of use, purification and protection - plus your choice of hot or chilled water. At a minimum, mains connected water coolers include carbon filtration that removes unwanted contaminants.
Appearance There are no two ways about it - a traditional bottled water cooler is a bulky piece of dated technology. Mains connected water coolers are stylish, modern and clean line, connected to your building's plumbing and come in modern and stylish designs - think solid brass free-flowing dual levered taps or sleek goose neck designs. Once installed, you will never have to worry about bottle storage or maintaining your filtered drinking water system.
Noise Expect a *gurgle gurgle* Silent running compressors.
Reliability Varied by model. Outstanding.
Warranty Sometimes. Always.

Keep your head above water

Cost is always a consideration when it comes to choosing a water cooler for office or domestic use - as well as whether it's renowned for reliability, longevity and value for money.

The lack of need for replacement bottles with a mains connected water cooler as well as the guarantee of cool, great-tasting water whenever you need it makes it a sound investment. Filtered drinking water systems are designed to make people's lives healthier, easier, and more enjoyable.

At The Water People, we don't just tell you this, we show you by conducting regular maintenance checks on all our filtered drinking water systems to ensure that your investment is operating perfectly.

Our ongoing filter change and water cooler service is backed up by an on-call service in the unlikely event that your water cooler breaks down or needs repairs. You can also choose to change your mains connected water cooler's filter every six months yourself - however, our service technicians are more than happy to do this for you as part of our water filter service program.

If you're on the fence about bottled water coolers vs. mains connected water coolers, we advise you to think about the following:

  • How many bottles of water do you purchase on average per month for your office or home?
  • What does that add up to over a year?
  • How much time is spent on average per week tracking water consumption, ordering replacement bottles, putting them in storage, and wrestling them onto the machine?

With a mains connected water cooler, if you change the twin filters yourself every six months as recommended by The Water People, your average weekly cost will be approximately $4.80 + GST.

Now, if you check out the average weekly cost of a bottled water cooler, here's what you're looking at spending per week and per annum:

Quantity of 15 litre bottles per weekCost per weekCost per annum
1 bottle per week $12 $624
3 bottles per week $36 $1,872
5 bottles per week $60 $3,120
10 bottles per week $120 $6,240

When you start looking at the cost details, mains connected water coolers really do deliver more bang for your buck and cause a whole lot less inconvenience than bottled coolers. Plus, they help commit your office to a greener water solution, and can be customised to meet any requirement.

As plumbers, our team at The Water People can give you expert advice on which water cooler system will suit your residential, commercial or industrial needs. Call us on 03 9885 0222 or send us a message online to get a quote.