6 Benefits of Switching to Bottleless Water Coolers


What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “water cooler?” Does your mind immediately go to an image of an upside-down 5-gallon water jug? If so, you’re not alone. That upside-down jug has been an office staple for decades. But did you know there’s an even cooler (pun intended) water dispenser that surpasses its 5-gallon water jug counterpart?  

It’s been given a lot of names over the years: point of use water cooler, bottle-free water dispenser, plumbed-in water cooler, water filtration machine. For the sake of this article, however, we’re calling it a bottleless water cooler.  

A bottleless water cooler is filtered immediately at the point of use; hence why it’s often referred to as a point of use water cooler. It’s different from a traditional water delivery service since it filters water on-site rather than at an off-site manufacturing plant. Like traditional water coolers, bottleless dispenser’s primary function is to provide easy access to clean, filtered drinking water, with several bonuses. We’ve listed those benefits below.  

Bottled Water Coolers V Bottleless water Coolers

1. Safety Threat vs. Safety and Convenience  

Bottled Water Coolers 

Bottled water coolers require regular replenishing and changing out 42-pounds of water every few days can be an unpleasant disruption during work. It’s dangerous too. Sprains and strains from lifting heavy objects like water coolers are among the top 5 most common workplace injuries.1 And if your employees work more physical jobs, like those working manufacturing plants or distribution centers, it’s likely they are already dealing with a number of safety precautions. Don’t add unnecessary strain to their workday by making them lift and carry a 42-pound jug every time the water jug runs dry.

Beyond the heavy lifting, businesses that use water delivery services put their employees at risk of catching and spreading germs. Delivery service personnel come in and out of offices all day, touching door handles and water jugs your employees will eventually touch.  

Bottleless Water Coolers 

Since a bottleless water cooler is filtered immediately at the point of use, you never have to think about replenishing your supplies. Quench water machines are automatically scheduled for annual filter changes and preventative maintenance visits. That eliminates all the headaches that come with replacing your water supply, including safety hazards and the risk of spreading germs.  

2. Manual Cleaning vs. Self-Cleaning  

Bottled Water Coolers 

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends cleaning the cooler with every change of the bottle, or every six weeks, whichever arrives first. Sanitizing a water dispenser is multi-step process that requires cleaning supplies like bleach and vinegar.  

It is possible to find bottled water coolers designed for self-cleaning. Those coolers are often bottom-loading and tend to be more expensive.2 

Bottleless Water Coolers 

Point of use water coolers have built-in features that do most of the cleaning for you, including ultraviolet (UV) sanitization technology. UV sanitization technology can be used in bottleless water system tanks to inactivate or kill micro-organisms, typically by destroying their DNA or their cell wall membranes.  

3. Tabs and Buttons vs. Touchless 

Bottled Water Coolers 

Communal 5-gallon water jug dispensers require fingers and hands to dispense, which puts your employees at risk of spreading germs. The CDC says, “you should consider what items can be moved or removed completely to reduce frequent handling or contact from multiple people.”3 Luckily, there are hands-free alternatives.  

Older bottled water coolers with touch tabs also tend to be prone to leaks and spills.  “Our associates used to leave the tabs up on the 5-gallon water jug dispensers, which would cause spills in the warehouse,” said Reginald Pero, Health Safety and Environmental Supervisor at a DHL Supply Chain| ASOS distribution center. “We switched to bottleless water coolers to keep the building clean and dry.”

Bottleless Water Cooler 

The market demand for touchless water coolers has skyrocketed since the beginning of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. In response to this demand, product engineers have worked round-the-clock, creating point of use water machines that you can dispense without physical contact. As of now, touchless point of use water cooler options includes infrared sensor dispensing, QR-code interactivity dispensing, foot pedal dispensing, and paddle dispensing.  

Beyond offering a touchless solution, bottleless water coolers are designed to prevent leakage. They only dispense water when a person is physically operating it, which reduces the risk of spills, leaks, and accidents.

4. Taking Space vs. Saving Space 

5 gallon water jug rack

A rack of jugs taking up space in a manufacturing plant.

Bottled Water Coolers  

While an office filled with water jugs might inspire some cool fort ideas, it’s not practical in the workplace. Most businesses want to make sure that their resources are being used wisely. Floor space and storage areas can be hard to come by in office buildings, and when they’re filled with 5-gallon water jugs it can be frustrating.  

Bottleless Water Coolers 

Instead of wasting valuable space on plastic water bottles, why not get a bottle-free cooler so you don’t have to store water bottles anymore? Bottle-free water dispensers just need space for the machine itself and nothing else.   

5. Harmful to the Environment vs. Sustainable

Bottled Water Coolers 

While those plastic, non-biodegradable 5-gallon water jugs are recycled and refilled with water after you’re done with them, the demand for them continues their production, and the environment suffers, even with the best water delivery services. Consider also the gas and emissions necessary to deliver water jugs to your workplace. Quench studies found that a passenger vehicle that travels around 47,000 miles releases as much CO2 as a jug delivery service delivering water to a business with a headcount of 50.  

Bottleless Water Coolers 

Instead, of harming the environment with your company’s hydration needs, try out a bottleless water cooler. Unlike a water delivery company that produces, fills, transports, delivers and recycles 5-gallon plastic jugs, a bottle-free water dispenser delivers water directly from your water line. That cuts out the plastic containers and office water delivery truck emissions and translates to a 98.73% reduction in your carbon footprint every year, according to Quench research. 

6. All-in-One vs. Limited Options 

Bottled Water Coolers 

Every now and then you’ll come across a water jug dispenser that dispenses both room-temperature water and hot water. It’s an exciting day when you can have both hot tea AND refreshing ambient all at the same time. However, when it comes to a bottled water cooler, it usually doesn’t get much more exciting than that.  

Bottleless Water Coolers 

If you really want to impress your employees, visitors, and guests, get them a water cooler they’ll want to brag about. There is a plethora of point of use water coolers that do more than just ambient or cold water. Take the all-new Quench 960/965 for instance. The Quench 960 offers ambient and hot water dispensing, as well as chewable nugget ice all in one machine!  

It’s Time to Trade in Your Bottled Water Cooler and GBottleless with Quench 

You might think, “With all the benefits listed above, surely a bottleless water cooler is going to cost more.” The opposite is true! A company of 50 workers using a bottleless water cooler will wind up spending about 80% less than a company using a jug delivery service.  

What else do you want to know about bottleless water coolers? Quench offers tons of information and resources to help you make the best hydrating decisions for your office. To help you determine which ice maker machine is best for your workplace, click here to use our  Product Finder

Are you interested in talking to a Quench Water Expert directly? Call us at 855-331-2502 or click the green button in the top right corner to get a free quote and learn more about the options available to you.  

[1] https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2016/05/18/409006.htm

[2] https://www.chicagotribune.com/consumer-reviews/sns-bestreviews-kitchen-the-best-water-cooler-20190909-story.html

[3] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/pdf/Reopening_America_Guidance.pdf