How does the water cooler work?

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Water cooler or water dispenser is a multifunctional device that is designed to provide hot and chilled drinking water to a sufficiently large number of people. As a rule, coolers are focused on use in office and administrative buildings, in educational and medical institutions, although nothing prevents them from being used at home.
In addition to models that can both heat and cool water, there are dispensers only with the function of heating (these are usually put in schools and hospitals) or only with the possibility of cooling water.

The functionality of the cooler is often not limited to the possibility of changing the temperature of drinking water. Dispensers can have a built-in filter, refrigerator, cupboard for dishes or products. A water cooler with a large enough fridge can also be used as a mini-bar. Sometimes, the water dispenser can be supplied with a water aerating unit.
By type of installation distinguish floor and table water coolers. They differ primarily in height, floor dispensers noticeably higher. Water cooler table, as you might guess from the name, should stand on the table, although it is suitable and strong pedestal.
How does the water cooler work?
So, the most common functions of a water cooler are heating and cooling. Electric heaters are Used for heating. The water in the cooler is heated to no more than 95 degrees Celsius. This is enough to make tea or coffee. At the same time, the water is not brought to a boil, which allows it to better preserve the taste.
To cool the water dispenser can be equipped with a compressor or thermoelectric (electronic) module.
The design and principle of operation of the compressor are exactly the same as in the most ordinary refrigerators. Only less power. The cooler, equipped with a compressor, is able to cool the water to 5 – 9 degrees Celsius.
Thermoelectric cooling is realized using Peltier elements. Electronic cooling allows you to get water with a temperature of 13 – 15 degrees.
In addition to cold and hot water, many coolers can produce and water at room temperature. And some models allow you to adjust the water temperature to within a degree.
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How to fill the water cooler?
The most familiar version of the cooler is designed for the use of purified bottled water. There are two options for loading bottles – top or bottom. In the first case, the water flows into the inner tanks by gravity, with the installation of the bottle bottom for pumping the pump is used.
The most common bottles for coolers with a capacity of 3, 5 and 6 gallons or, if in liters, then 12, 19 or 22 liters. At the same time, 19 liter (or 5 gallon) bottles are most often used. It should be noted that there are special adapters through which it is possible to establish 5 liter bottles with drinking water which now are almost in each grocery store.
But there are other modifications. In particular, with the possibility of using conventional tap water. This cooler is connected to the water main, from where it collects water as needed.
In addition to these two principal structures, there is a third, which can be considered intermediate. In a standard-size bottle mounted water purification system, and filled with tap water. Then this bottle can be used with any conventional cooler. When the water runs out, the bottle must be removed and refuel directly from the tap.
A purifier or read more about filters in the water dispenser
The cooler, which is designed to connect to the water main and has a built-in filtration system, is also called a purifier.
Before use, tap water must be cleaned, so an effective filtration system is installed in front of the inner tanks of the cooler. A common solution is a 4 – to 5-step cleaning, which includes mechanical filtration, disinfection and sorption cleaning. Other cleaning technologies can be used, including ozone, ultraviolet or reverse osmosis treatment.
Therefore, in each case, you need to find out what kind of filtration system is installed in the model you are interested in and whether it is suitable for cleaning the water that comes from the tap in your home.
A fairly common solution for purifier water purification is the use of ultrafiltration membranes. The pore size in such membranes is larger than in reverse osmosis membranes. Therefore, the cleaning speed is much higher, and in addition, water retains most of the salts. Accordingly, if someone believes that reverse osmosis cleans water too much, then ultrafiltration will be a reasonable alternative.
Filter elements, which are usually made in the form of a replacement cartridge, have a limited service life, in most cases – no more than 6 - 12 months.
In addition to replacing the filter elements, the cooler or purifier needs periodic sanitation. An unpleasant smell can serve as a sure sign, but it is not recommended to bring to such a state. It is better to strictly observe the frequency of preventive treatment specified by the manufacturer.