Ever wondered how hot and cold water dispensers actually work?

April 8, 2022

It may be that, as long as the water machine dispenses great tasting water at the temperature you want it, you don’t give much thought to the mechanics behind it.

But the process of filtering the water, heating or cooling it and then dispensing it, is a simple, yet fascinating process.

It is a process that creates water that is safe to drink, free from toxins and chemical residue from the cleaning process at water treatment plants.

And this is how it works: The above technical diagram shows the process of filtering and heating or chilling water in a plumbed-in water dispenser. The process is similar with a bottle-fed dispenser, and equally as fascinating.

What does happen every time you press the tap and pour a cup of water?

Plumbed-in water dispensers use water from a rising main. This essentially means that it must draw water from a mains supply and not from a holding tank.

As the water is pulled into the system, it passes through a two-stage activated-carbon filtering process. Carbon removes chlorine, sediment, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), taste and any odour to the water.

In the above diagram, the water dispenser dispenses both hot and cold water. Thus, there are two parts to the system.

Hot water dispensing – after the two-stage carbon filtering process, some of the water is siphoned off and pushed through the heating element. Acting like a filament in the base of a domestic kettle, it heats the water to the perfect temperature for tea and coffee making.

As the water is heated to 90° plus, water-borne bacteria are killed by the heat thus, once the water has passed through the active carbon filters, it does not need to pass through any further cleansing process.

Chilled or cold water dispensing – this water undergoes a few more processes so that the cup of water you drink, is free from bacteria and safe to drink.

Once passed the carbon filters, the water enters a UV chamber. The UV light in the chamber is part of the purification process. UV light of a wave-length has the ability to disrupt the DNA of water-borne micro-organisms. This means that tiny organisms that would normally thrive and multiply in the water are effectively removed.

Into this chamber, CO² is added. The process of adding CO² happens in plumbed-in water dispensers that have the option for carbonated or sparkling water. Carbonation is the process of adding carbon dioxide (CO²) to water to create a sparkling drink.

This water is now filtered into a tank so that when the corresponding tap or lever is pressed, hot, cold or sparkling water is dispensed.

When you read the technical specifications of water dispensers, you will see that it has a ‘cups per hour’ measurement. This refers to the holding tank at the end of the process and the fact that the water, to taste as good as it does, needs time to pass through this filtering process.

The bigger this final folding tank, the more ‘cups per hour’ it will be able to dispense.

The versatility of hot and cold water dispensers

Water dispensers are an incredibly versatile piece of workplace kit. They dispense hot, cold or sparkling water on demand, ideal for when the office, school, college, factory or retail unit is busy.

You will have many questions no doubt. For example, maybe you wonder if the hot water from one of our dispensers really is ‘hot enough’ for tea or coffee?

Hot water is dispensed at the optimum tea and coffee-making temperature of 94°c. Tea and coffee connoisseurs look on in horror as boiling water is poured onto coffee grounds or tea. Boiling water produces a scorched taste to your favourite beverage. With a hot water dispenser, you enjoy your favourite hot drink tasting as it should taste.

Servicing and maintaining water dispensers is not difficult either. In fact, it is part of your servicing contract that we clean the system, replacing the carbon filters in a timely manner. This ensures that invisible water-borne bacteria cannot begin to grow in the water or on any of the internal mechanisms.

How to choose the right water dispenser

We have a range of water dispensers – choose from cold water only machines, hot and cold water on tap or, a unit that offers sparkling water too. There are bottle-fed water dispensers or mains fed water coolers, as described above.

We have the right water dispenser and the right package for you.