How Does a Water Dispenser Work? (Three Different Types)

showing how does a water dispenser work

Water dispensers are the go-to in countries where it’s unsafe to drink tap water directly, but they are also very common in parks, schools and offices that want to provide easy access to drinking water. As the name suggests, the purpose of one is to dispense water. But how does a water dispenser work?

Allow us to explain the general functioning of how one works and the types available. 

How Does a Water Dispenser Work?

The functioning of one depends on the type of dispenser it is. Generally, there are three types of water dispensers:

  • Bottle-load 
  • Mounted 
  • Point-of-use

Looking for one of the best water dispensers? See the Avalon countertop bottleless dispenser

Bottled Water Dispenser 

how does a bottle water dispenser work

A bottled water dispenser has a massive 5-gallon water bottle set upside down on the machine. Once the tap is opened, vacuum and gravity work together to make water flow down and out through the tap.

Here are a few things you should know about bottle-load water dispensers.

  • The tap or knob comes with a flow restrictor that regulates the water stream.
  • Since the water source is a 5-gallon water jar, these dispensers need frequent replacements. For the same reason, their maintenance costs are also higher. 
  • These jars are filled with filtered and clean water, meaning they work perfectly on filter-less water dispensers.

Mounted Water Dispenser

drinking water fountain dispenser

Also known as water fountains, mounted water dispensers are commonly found in public areas like parks. They look like a regular basin, with the only difference being that the water here is projected at a slightly higher angle.

As the name suggests, mounted water dispensers can be mounted on a wall. That said, you can also leave them standing. The water source could be a storage tank or underground water reservoir connected to the fountain with pipes. 

Here are a few things you should know about mounted water dispensers:

  • Flow of water is controlled by a knob or a button, just like a regular tap, and has a built-in flow restrictor.
  • Water flows as long as the button is pressed and stops when released to minimize water wastage. 
  • The water is usually sourced from the local municipal water supply, meaning you get it without any temperature processing. This means you will get cold water on cooler days, and you have to bear with hot water on warmer days. However, you can connect water fountains that have access to electricity with a water cooler to dispense cool water on hotter days. 

Point-of-use Water Dispenser 

student drinking water in school

Point-of-use water dispensers are the most common. They are usually found in schools, colleges, and office buildings, and are directly connected to the main water supply line of the establishment to give you unlimited water access 24×7, not to mention that they also do away with the hassle of replacing water jars.

They work using the usual knob and button mechanism, i.e., the water will automatically flow once you press the button or turn the knob. 

Here are a few things you should know about the point-of-use type:

  • Since these dispensers are installed inside buildings, they are usually connected to coolers or heaters to regulate the water temperature.
  • Have built-in water filters to purify the water coming from the storage tank.

READ MORE: 3 Best Water Softeners 

Where Do You Usually Find Water Dispensers?

Here are four places where water dispensers are most commonly found:

1. Educational Institutions 

Students spend a sizable part of their day in schools and universities, and a single bottle of water will hardly last a whole day. That’s why educational institutions are often legally required to provide a clean source of water for their students for free.

2. Parks & Tourist Spots

water dispenser in the park

Parks and tourist spots are mostly government-controlled. Governments have a civic duty to provide for the welfare of their citizens, and that includes providing clean water in parks and other public places. Usually, these water fountains are easy to maintain and use.

3. Workplaces

Employee welfare should be the number one priority of organizations, as it helps improve their overall productivity. Workplaces often offer water dispensers to make their employees’ lives easier. Point-of-use dispensers are the most common dispensers used in workplaces.

4. Homes

Certain states and cities deliver hard water to homes, making water dispensers a necessity for households.

These dispensers are slightly more advanced and come with built-in filters and cooling systems. 

How to Choose the Right Water Dispenser

Choosing the best model for your needs is not rocket science. Here are a few tips that will help you zero in on the perfect dispenser for your needs:

1. Water Capacity

5 galloon water dispenser

Your daily water requirement should be in sync with the storage capacity of your particular model. For example, bottled-down water dispensers have a storage limit of 5 gallons and are ideal for smaller establishments. On the other hand, a dispenser connected to the main water supply would be a perfect fit for large organizations.

2. Temperature Regulation

Certain water dispensers like water fountains do not allow users to change the temperature of the water. On the other hand, advanced water dispensers like point-of-use water dispensers can be connected to a cooling or heating element. 

Consider the average water temperature in your area and your personal needs to figure out if you need a model that allows you to change the water temperature. For instance, it would make sense to go with a point-of-use dispenser if you live in an area where the water supply is too warm for direct consumption.

3. Drainage System

A well-planned drainage system will keep your dispenser dry and sterile. Make sure to check where the water drains and how efficient the drainage line is. You should also consider the ease of cleaning and maintaining the device.

Summary on Using a Water Dispenser

So, how does a water dispenser work? Simply put, all three types(bottle-load, mounted, and point-of-use), work slightly differently and are better suited for different types of locations and organizations. That said, you do not need to know the exact details of how they work to get a fresh supply of water, although this information might come in handy during occasional maintenance and cleaning sessions.

Related Article:

Filter your water with a Culligan System

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