Hot and Cold Dispensers – The Good, Bad and Ugly
If you use, or are considering using, a Hot & Cold-water dispenser for your home or office, then this information will help you get the most out of your dispenser.
Hot and Cold-water dispensers are a wonderful item and come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. Here in the Philippines, the most common are the type that takes the 19 Litre or 5 Gallon round water bottles. These bottles are commonly referred to as Gallons (said ‘Galloons’) or ‘rounds’ as they are referred to in the industry.
Most dispensers come in white but you can also purchase black, silver and grey units if you look hard enough. Prices can vary dramatically depending on where you purchase, the brand selected and country of origin. The cheapest typically being built and imported from China. Most units, regardless of where you buy and the brand should come with a 12-month warranty. How easy it is to get customer service if something goes wrong is dependent on the brand and where you purchased.
At Aussie Aqua we purchase dispensers in bulk through our wholesale provider and hence we are well looked after on warranty issues because of the number we purchase every year – typically hundreds.
Depending on the brand and location of purchase you will pay anywhere from P5,000 through to P20,000 peso for a top brand, all singing and all dancing model. The average price through a retail store will be around P7,000 or P8,000 for something decent.
What NOT to do with your Dispenser!
Hot and Cold Water Dispensers
Number One Rule:
Never use the wrong voltage outlet. Now I know this seems obvious, but you would not believe the number of dispensers we need to repair because of the client using the wrong voltage for the machine purchased. If you have a model that uses 220v – 240v then you should never plug your unit into a 110v outlet. The unit may run if you accidentally or inadvertently plug into the wrong outlet but it will not run efficiently and will likely damage the internal components.
The problem here in the Philippines is that many homes and units have outlets catering to the different voltages and these can use the same plug types or very similar. This causes confusion especially with staff that don’t know the difference or check the required voltage on your dispenser.
The bottom line: Always use the correct voltage for your unit.
Number One and a Half Rule:
Never, never, ever – let your dispenser run dry. This means you must always have water loaded and available whilst your unit is turned on. If you happen to run out of water it is imperative that you turn the unit off (normally has hot and cold switches on the rear) and unplug the power cord from the power outlet.
Running your unit dry WILL cause damage to the small motors in the unit that are used to keep your water hot and cold. If you run dry of water and a motor burns out, then warranties will be voided and it’s usually easy for the manufacturer to know how the damage was caused.
At Aussie Aqua we are often repairing units because of this oversite. In many cases, the cost to replace the motors is such that it’s usually better to simply buy a new unit.
The bottom line: Never ever let your unit run dry whilst plugged in and powered up.
Obvious but not often Done!
Keep your unit clean and free of mold, dirt and dust. It seems obvious but you must clean your unit regularly. I don’t mean just the outside of the unit I mean ‘inside and out’. Most important is the inside or the holding well where you place the bottle. This whole component is designed to be removed and cleaned regularly.
Many times, when people call and complain of water not tasting right or a little off in color. The cause can usually be traced back to the dispenser unit. The holding unit WILL attract mold and mildew if you don’t keep it clean. A weekly wipe out is recommended and a thorough cleaning after removal of the tub each month is a great way to ensure you keep your water tasting great.
In addition, as your unit ages the hoses in the unit can become old and brittle or deteriorate to a point where the water fails to run sufficiently from the faucet. Moreover, calcium builds up and can cloud the water coming out of the faucets. This is most noticeable for the cold-water faucet as we usually don’t mix the water with other substances.
The other issue often experienced by our customers is that of Ants and Cockroaches in or around the water.
Keep in mind a dispenser is an ideal environment for ants and cockroaches, the back of the unit is usually dark and warm, and these little critters will thrive in this type of location. Ants will be attracted to your dispenser for a number of reasons but typically in search of water to survive. They will also be attracted to any foodstuffs or sweet drinks like iced tea that may have been spilt on the floor or unit. Again, more reasons to keep your unit and the surrounding floor areas clean.
The bottom line: Keep your entire unit and surrounding area clean.
Advertisement – Our Plug!
If you are thinking of purchasing a dispenser – why not talk to us first? We can put you on the right track and advise you of the number one thing to do before switching on your unit for the first time.
At Aussie Aqua we provide a full dispenser refurbishment and cleaning service that is second to none.
We will pick up your dispenser, take it to our facility for thorough cleaning and return your unit, normally within the same day, all for only 300 pesos.