You will, no doubt, be familiar with the "traditional" water coolers with the blue coloured water bottle on top. These are referred to as "bottle-fed" or simply "bottled" water coolers. You may be less aware that it is possible to get coolers that source their water from your mains supply instead of bottles. In addition to cooling your water, they also filter it - providing great tasting water. This type of cooler is usually described as "plumbed-in" or "mains-fed" water coolers. Within the industry they are sometimes referred to as POU coolers (point of use). Both types of cooler are suitable for most environments including offices, schools and universities.
|Bottled Coolers||Plumbed-in Coolers
|Cost of Cooler||Lower||Higher|
|Cost of Water||Cost per bottle||Free*|
|Location||Anywhere**||Within 15 metres of plumbing|
|Water Delivery||Easy to manage||Automatic|
|Designer Coolers Available||Yes||Yes|
|Servicing Required||Yes (Simpler)||Yes|
* You will, of course, need to continue to pay for your mains water
** You just need an electricity supply and a square foot of flat surface
If your decision comes down to cost, then your choice will depend on the amount of water you get through. It's a bit like petrol and diesel engines – in general you need to be doing a pretty high mileage (a lot of drinking) before you will pay off the extra cost of a Eden Plumbed-in Cooler equipped with BRITA.
For more information see our water cooler products and accessories.
Both our bottled and plubed-in water coolers come with two taps, but clearly when buying a cooler you want one of these to give you chilled water - there's no debate there! However, for the second tap you have an option:
Hot - like a conventional hot tap but hotter. Ideal for cups of tea or coffee
Ambient - the water is neither chilled nor heated. Whilst not for everyone, drinking ambient temperature water has been proven to rehydrate your body quicker than chilled or hot water.
Having the hot option is slightly more expensive and if you are working to a budget you also need to consider the additional electricity costs.
Once you have decided what type of cooler you want (bottled or plumbed-in), you need to choose a model. As a general rule you pay more for looks, cooling power and build quality. At Eden you have the choice of standard, mid range or premium models. Due to our UK and international purchasing power (we buy more coolers than any other UK company) you can be assured that you are getting great value for money with any of our coolers.
More expensive models will typically be able to chill water to a lower temperature (and heat to higher temperatures in the case of hot and cold models). In the UK this is only really significant if your cooler is going to be located in a warmer than average environment, in which case we would recommend a premium model. If your cooler is going to be getting a lot of use (e.g. if it's in a canteen), then you should also consider the rate of water cooling (usually reported in litres per hour). Our standard and mid-range models have an excellent cooling rate.
Our premium range is designed for style and is ideally suited to customer facing areas such as reception. If looks are less important to you, then choosing an option with less expensive finishes will keep your costs down.
As service and repairs are all part of the Eden customer service, you can be assured that it is in our interest to give you a well built cooler that is going to give many years of reliable service. There are "cheaper" models available elsewhere, but the lifetime cost of these are usually much higher.
Free-standing water coolers have always been the traditional choice and probably remain the ideal solution if you have sufficient space. Being that little bit bigger they tend to become a focal point and therefore engender the age old "water cooler chat".
Desktop versions were devised in response to those with smaller space. They are ideal for the home (e.g. sitting on a kitchen work surface) or any other situation where space is limited. They tend to be a little cheaper but on the downside the water cooling capacity (litres per hour) is usually smaller. If you go with a desktop bottled cooler (as oppossed to a plumbed-in cooler) then the bottles will be smaller, meaning you have to change them more frequently.
If you have a bottled water cooler then you will need to decide what type of water you want. 'Mineral' and 'spring' water sets the standard in water quality, however some suppliers only provide purified tap water. Although tap water may be perfectly acceptable for some people, before you decide on a water supplier it makes sense to find out exactly what it is you're drinking.
So what is 'mineral' or 'spring' water? According to law, water must ungergo a throrough investigation and meet several criteria before it can be classified as 'mineral' or 'spring' water. These criteria include the nature of the original source, the location of the bottling facility in relation to this source, and whether the water is treated. Strictly speaking, the terms 'mineral' or 'spring' water are intended as a way of classifying the water rather than be the sole indication of water quality. It is quite possible for water to be of the same high standard as 'mineral' or 'spring' water but because they don't meet the precise criteria laid out they can't be labeled using these definitions.
As the UK's leading water cooler supplier, Eden Springs have a national distribution network and therefore choose to source our water from natural aquifiers from three strategic locations across the UK. These local sources are the best option because it means we can reduce our delivery times, minimise our carbon footprint and pass on cost savings to our customers. Hwoever, for this reason, and because we treat our water to ensure it's of the highest quality, it means we can't use the labels 'mineral' or 'spring' water. Rest assured, however, that our natural water sources are of the finest quality and all undergo rigorous testing to make sure they reach the stringent standards imposed by law.
Buying or renting a cooler is not dissimilar to buying or renting a property. In the long run you expect that buying would be a bit cheaper, but if you rent you don't need to worry when the boiler (or cooler) packs in, or any of the other administrative hassles that go along with maintenance - someone else will take care of that for you. With any purchase where there is the opportunity to buy or rent, you need to consider initial costs and ongoing costs before making your decision. Water coolers are no different.
If you are considering renting then you have another decision to make - whether to sign up for a fixed or pay-as-you-go water supply. While the terminology may differ, fixed supply provides you with a fixed number of bottles each month at a total set price, while pay-as-you-go supply means you pay for each additional bottle you require. The fixed supply offers you the benefit of a fixed cost each month making it easier to budget, but may cost more if you don't use all the water you're entitled to.
Some suppliers simply sell water coolers and then encourage you to get water from a third party if you need it. No consideration is given to servicing and repairs so you risk finding yourself with a large bill, not to mention the time consuming job of trying to find someone to fix the cooler for you should it break. Rental contracts on the other hand typically include servicing and repairs. Regardless of whether you choose to buy or rent, Eden Springs always includes cooler delivery and installation. With experience of looking after more customers than any other company we have seen the benefits our customers receive from having a single supplier who is able to cover all their water needs.
Hygiene is a paramount concern with all water coolers. Coolers that aren't properly looked after can rapidly become a health hazard. Similarly, an improperly maintained cooler can become inefficient or break down totally, as a result regular maintenance is required.
The process of cleaning coolers is known in the industry as sanitisation. Your cooler needs sanitising once every three months. Whilst some suppliers suggest this is something that can be done yourself by purchasing a sanitisation kit, this is not a stance that the British Water Cooler Association agree with. The surcharge for having an expert do the job for you is not significant.
Servicing & Repairs
Periodically some of the cooler parts - especially those parts permanently in direct contact with the water - will need replacing. Plumbed-In coolers have a few more parts that need to be changed, and this should be taken into consideration when deciding what type of cooler you want, especially if you are buying rather than renting.
Whilst most well maintained coolers will give you many years of excellent and uninterrupted service, problems do occasionally occur. In this event it is important to employ the services of a professional and ideally you want this cover as part of your overall package.
When buying or renting a water cooler it's wise to find out what additional bits and pieces are included in your package. In some cases you may not need any extras at all so we recommend you do your research before signing up for any costly extras.
Most suppliers will include an initial supply of plastic cups (please ensure that they are recyclable). If you have a bottled water cooler then new cups will usually be delivered with your water. With plumbed-in coolers, extra cups will typically be sent by mail order. Some customers will survive without any cups at all, instead choosing to use and wash up glasses.
Other extras include bottle racks and covers (for bottled water coolers), cleaning kits, and hot chocolate and coffee (if you have a hot and cold cooler). For more information see the cups and accessories we offer with our coolers.