How Cooling Water Devices Work

by : Anna Stenning

What are water coolers? They are quite simply, a device for cooling and dispensing drinking water. However, different types of coolers have evolved depending on various factors such as where to position it, whether it is for domestic or commercial use, and the differing quality of water required amongst other things.

In the 20th century, when the Western world professes to have perfectly drinkable tap water the question is asked, where did the idea of water coolers come from? The whole idea started during the 1920's and 1930's in America when the skyscraper building began. It was difficult in those days to pipe water to the upper floors so the unit with a bottle on top was the viable alternative and the issues of delivery, storing and carrying bottles was not so important as it solved a problem. Today, it is still an option for some companies, depending on their requirements.

In the latter part of the 20th century, advanced filter technology saw the introduction of the plumbed in unit with a carbon filter installed. This meant that the system could be plumbed into the main water supply in commercial buildings, negating the need for carrying heavy bottles, the risk of running out after demanding usage, not to mention the storage, which in major cities can be calculated in square footage. The unit incorporates a carbon filter, which is useful in that it removes approximately 10% of contaminants from the drinking water, namely chlorine and fluoride.

Now there is more advanced technology available and at a competitive price. The latest technology for commercial and domestic use giving the best quality drinking water is using the reverse osmosis process. The water coolers have installed in the unit, a reverse osmosis membrane that works alongside the carbon filter and a sediment filter, removing approximately 96% of contaminants from the municipal water supply.

As with any of the options, there are advantages and disadvantages but generally, the choice would be made depending on costs, maintenance, options for the building where the unit is to be installed and general feeling towards quality of water. Plumbed in water coolers is now the more popular choice for businesses as they involve less maintenance, are more cost effective and require less administration and storage. Companies refurbishing their offices now include the installation of them in their plans. This shows that their placement in the business environment is as essential as the positioning of the desks and computer stations.

The image of the water cooler became synonymous in the 1980's with 'cool' advertising and was used as a prop in many Hollywood films. It was supposed to signify aspiration and affluence in a successful environment. In the present day, its image is synonymous with purity, hydration and health with advertising cashing in on images of snowcapped mountains, rivers running through fjords, clear blue skies and images of the sea with crashing waves on deserted beaches.

With health and hydration regularly featuring in the news, the business of water coolers is a growing one and as the marketing gets more creative and people demand better quality water, the industry will continue to grow.