Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your health. Drinking plenty of water each day boosts energy, improves cognitive function, and keeps your body running optimally. But having to refill small water bottles or plastic cups constantly can be a hassle. This is where a large capacity water cooler comes in handy!
Water coolers with 3-5 gallon tanks are ideal choices for providing fresh, cold water conveniently throughout the day. Whether it’s keeping your family hydrated at home or keeping your staff happy in a busy office, having a water cooler that can accommodate frequent use without constant refilling is key. But not all large capacity coolers are created equal.
In this blog, we’ll go over the critical factors to consider when selecting a high-quality water cooler. We’ll also provide recommendations on the best large capacity water cooler models on the market based on extensive research and reviews. Let’s dive in!
Key Considerations When Choosing a Water Cooler
Selecting the right water cooler for your needs starts with understanding the different features and options available. Here are the top factors to weigh:
One of the most important aspects of any water cooler is the type of filtration system used. The filtration removes potential contaminants and improves water taste and odor.
The most effective filtration systems use activated carbon combined with reverse osmosis (RO). Carbon blocks chemicals and impurities while RO removes bacteria and microorganisms. Some systems also incorporate a UV light to further disinfect the water.
Basic water coolers may only use a simple carbon filter, which removes some contaminants but not as thoroughly as carbon + RO systems. Also beware of models that don’t filter water at all before cooling and dispensing.
Many water coolers allow you to dispense both hot and cold water. This added versatility is great for making coffee, tea, instant oatmeal and other hot beverages. It also enables customizing the temperature to your liking.
Look for models that let you adjust the cold water temperature specifically. The ideal chilling temperature is around 40-45°F. Water that is too cold, below 38°F, can potentially cause stomach discomfort in some people when ingested.
Water coolers offer different types of dispensing:
- Push button – Dispenses water as long as button is pressed
- Continuous flow – Water flows continuously after button press until pressed again to stop
Continuous flow allows for faster dispensing but may lead to more waste. With push button, you control water volume more precisely. Consider your needs and usage preferences.
The whole point of getting a large capacity water cooler is fewer refills, right? Look for models with reservoirs that hold 3-5 gallons of water. This range provides a good balance between capacity and appliance size.
With a 3-5 gallon tank, you’ll likely only need to refill once or twice a day even in busier environments. Larger tanks also retain colder temperatures longer between refills.
Water coolers incorporate features to prevent leaks and other hazards:
- Leak prevention – Drip trays, overflow drains, leak detectors, and automatic shut-off
- Child safety – Locks to prevent unauthorized use
- Safe materials – BPA-free plastic and stainless steel components
Prioritize coolers with multiple precautions. Leaks can cause major water damage over time. Child locks provide peace of mind around little ones.
Electric water coolers use internal compressors to chill water. This can generate noticeable operating noise. Compressor humming and vibrations are main culprits.
Look for coolers with proper insulation around the compressor to dampen noise. Rubber bushings on mounts can reduce vibrations. Also check decibel ratings – lower is quieter.
Size and Dimensions
Before purchasing a water cooler, measure where you plan to install it. Water coolers range from 2-4 feet tall.
The footprint ranges from 12”x12” up to 18”x18”. Make sure you have ample clearance around the cooler as well.
Consider the space needed to conveniently dispense water and change bottles. Tight fits will just lead to frustration.
Ease of Use
You want a water cooler that’s simple and convenient to operate each day:
- Bottles vs. tanks – Bottles are easier to handle than drainable tanks to refill. But tanks allow using your own water.
- Changing filters – Look for quick access and replacement of filters every 6 months.
- Cleaning – Models with removable reservoirs simplify cleaning.
Prioritize functional design that minimizes hassle. Changing water jugs and filters should be straightforward.
Durability and Longevity
Water coolers have working components that endure wear and tear over time. Look for models constructed to have a long, useful lifespan.
- Reservoir material – Stainless steel lasts longer than plastic without imparting flavors.
- Frequent use – Components like pumps and tubing should withstand constant daily use without failing prematurely.
- Warranty – A longer warranty indicates confidence in longevity.
Brand Reputation and Warranty
With frequent use, it’s smart to choose an established brand with a track record of quality. Lesser known brands may cut corners and use inferior components.
Look for water coolers backed by a solid warranty, at least 2-3 years. Warranties protect against early part failures.
Recommended Top 5 Large Capacity Water Coolers
Now that you know what to look for in a high-performing water cooler, let’s review my top recommendations in more detail:
1. Alpine Cooler Pure
Overview: This Alpine model is my top choice for home and office. It has a spacious 3 gallon tank and efficient carbon + RO filtration.
Filtration: Uses 5 stage carbon + RO filtration to remove up to 99% of contaminants. Also has UV sterilization.
Temperature Control: Dispenses both hot and cold water. Cold temp adjustable from 35-55°F.
Dispensing: Push button dispensing helps prevent accidental overflows.
Safety Features: Has leak prevention, overflow drain, and child safety lock.
Noise Level: Compressor is insulated to dampen noise. Runs quietly.
Dimensions: 16” W x 14” D x 40” H. Solid build quality.
Ease of Use: Lift bottles for easy refilling. Filter changes are straightforward.
Durability: Stainless steel cold water tank is corrosion resistant. Built to last with heavy usage.
Warranty: Comes with an impressive 5 year limited warranty.
Pros: Excellent filtration system, convenient push button dispensing, very quiet operation. Durable construction.
Cons: A bit pricey but worth it for the quality and purification performance.
2. Brio Self Cleaning Water Cooler
Overview: This Brio cooler has a large 5 gallon tank and self-cleaning features for low maintenance.
Filtration: Triple stage filter removes contaminants and is self-cleaning to prolong filter life.
Temperature Control: Dispenses cold water only. Temp adjustable down to 35°F.
Dispensing: Continuous flow dispensing fills cups and bottles faster.
Safety Features: Has child safety lock and integrated leak detector.
Noise Level: Average noise levels. No major insulation.
Dimensions: 13” W x 13” D x 41.5” H. Smaller footprint.
Ease of Use: Drainable tank is convenient but heavy to transport to sink to refill.
Durability: Plastic cold tank. Average durability with heavy usage.
Warranty: Backed by a 3 year limited warranty.
Pros: Large tank capacity. Self-cleaning filter saves maintenance. Quick continuous flow dispensing.
Cons: No option for hot water. Drainable tank is hard to empty and refill.
3. Aquavera Cooler and Water Dispenser
Overview: Space saving water cooler ideal for smaller kitchens and offices. Has multi-step filtration.
Filtration: 4 stage filter incorporate carbon block and cotton pre-filters to handle chlorine and sediments.
Temperature Control: Dispenses cold water only. Adjustable thermostat down to 47°F.
Dispensing: Smooth, continuous flow dispensing. Dispenses 0.6 gallons per minute.
Safety Features: Has automatic shutoff when tank is empty and after releasing button.
Noise Level: Compressor is insulated for quieter operation. Unobtrusive.
Dimensions: 12” W x 12” D x 33.5” H. Compact, space saving design.
Ease of Use: Easy lift 3 gallon bottles. Convenient slim size fits nicely on counters.
Durability: Stainless reservoir prevents corrosion and stands up to heavy use.
Warranty: 2 year limited warranty on parts.
Pros: Slim footprint saves space. Good filtration system. Durable stainless tank.
Cons: No option for hot water. Only basic carbon filtration.
4. Vitapur Countertop Water Cooler
Overview: Affordable option for low to moderate usage. Has easy push button dispensing.
Filtration: Incorporates a 3-stage filtration system with sediment, carbon, and carbon block filters.
Temperature Control: Dispenses cold water only. Lacks temperature adjustments.
Dispensing: Smooth push button dispensing prevents accidental overflow.
Safety Features: Overflow drain directs spills into drip tray to protect floors.
Noise Level: No insulation around compressor results in noticeable humming.
Dimensions: 11.5” W x 14” D x 16.5” H. Shorter height fits under cabinets.
Ease of Use: Convenient push button dispensing. Simple to load 3 or 5 gallon jugs.
Durability: Plastic cold tank may eventually crack or develop pinhole leaks.
Warranty: 1 year limited warranty.
Pros: Affordable price point. Straightforward push button dispensing. More portable size.
Cons: No temperature control or hot water. Noisy compressor. only 1 year warranty.
5. Avalon Premium Hot/Cold Water Cooler Dispenser
Overview: Top quality hot and cold water cooler with premium features. Has solid 5 year warranty.
Filtration: Uses a 6 stage filtration process, including sediment filters, carbon block and granular carbon filters to remove odors and flavors.
Temperature Control: Dispenses hot and crisp cold water. Cold temp adjustable.
Dispensing: Elegant faucet-style continuous flow dispensing into glasses and bottles.
Safety Features: Features child safety lock and integrated flood prevention.
Noise Level: Heavily insulated cold reservoir prevents vibration and noise. Very quiet.
Dimensions: 14.5” W x 14.5” D x 41.9” H. Sturdy stainless steel construction.
Ease of Use: Easy to load 3 or 5 gallon water bottles for refilling.
Durability: Durable stainless steel cold tank can withstand years of frequent dispensing.
Warranty: This cooler is backed by an industry leading 5 year limited warranty.
Pros: Superior hot and cold filtration. Whisper quiet operation. Durable stainless tank. Excellent 5 year warranty.
Cons: Higher price but reflects quality construction and filtration. Worth the investment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Water Coolers
If you’re still debating getting a water cooler, here are answers to some common questions:
How often do you need to refill a 3-5 gallon water cooler?
With medium to heavy use, expect to refill a 3-5 gallon water cooler tank 1-2 times per day. Factors like number of people drinking and glass size impact refill frequency. Try reminding staff to use refillable bottles to make water last longer.
What is the best water temperature from a water cooler?
The ideal water temperature from a water cooler dispenser is 40-45°F. Much below 38°F, and the cold water can cause gastric discomfort when ingested in quantity. Dispensing around 40-45°F provides refreshing chilled water safely.
How safe is the water from water coolers?
Water coolers from reputable brands that use thorough filtration methods deliver clean, safe drinking water. Filtration removes harmful contaminants, while antimicrobial treatments inhibit bacteria growth. Just be sure to replace filters regularly.
Where is the best place to install a water cooler?
For convenience, install water coolers in high traffic areas like kitchens, break rooms, and lobbies where people congregate and thirst needs are frequent. Ensure there is access to water lines for plumbed models or power outlets for dispenser models. Avoid direct sunlight which can promote algae growth in bottles.
How much electricity does a water cooler use?
Electric water coolers use very minimal electricity, similar to a single light bulb between 50-100 watts depending on cooling capacity. Well-insulated units are most energy efficient. Non-electric coolers require no power. Overall, water coolers are low energy appliances.
What maintenance is required for water coolers?
Water coolers have minimal maintenance needs. Replace filters approximately every 6 months depending on usage. Occasionally sanitize and deep clean the reservoir. Inspect for leaks. And call in experts for any significant repairs needed so as not to void warranties.
How long should a water cooler last?
With proper maintenance and care, a quality water cooler should last 5-10 years based on usage levels. Signs yours may need replacing include rust buildup, bothersome leaks, strange tastes/odors indicating ineffective filtration, and lack of cooling capability.
Are water coolers noisy to operate?
Some electric water coolers emit noise from internal compressors, especially if not properly insulated. Non-electric coolers operate very quietly. Seek out models with noise reduction features like encased compressors and vibration dampening to keep unwanted noise to a minimum.
Quench Your Thirst With a Reliable Water Cooler
Having clean, cold water always available is a convenience you’ll get used to and appreciate, especially on hot days! Spend time upfront selecting the right large capacity water cooler using the key buying considerations and top model recommendations provided.
A high-performing water cooler with ample tank size, advanced filtration, easy maintenance, and longevity becomes a reliable gadget you can’t imagine living without. Never struggle through a day of dehydration again. Stay refreshed and hydrated with crisp, cool water that’s just a button away!