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How does a water cooler work?

How does a water cooler work?

We all love the cool, refreshing water we get instantaneously from our water cooler whether it be in our home, office or school. But for the majority of us, how this all happens on demand from a mere touch of a button is unknown.

The most popular water cooler is the bottle fed water dispenser. This type of machine gets its water supply from an inverted bottle of water placed on top of the water cooler. When the bottle of water is inverted and placed into the opening on the top of the water cooler, the seal of the water bottle is severed or punctured by a part referred to as the ‘spike’, allowing the water to flow into the water cooler.

Inside the water cooler is a valve that prevents the water from the bottle flooding the water cooler. The water inside the water cooler is fed into a reservoir, where it is cooled using a refrigerant. A refrigerant is a cooling medium that is circulated in pipes that are located close to the reservoir in the water cooler. The refrigerant changes from a liquid to a gas as it moves in the pipes towards the reservoir because of the pressure in the pipes created by a compressor inside the water cooler. The cooled gas in the water pipe is forced through a valve to make it even colder.

When the refrigerant is in a gas form and is circulating in the pipes, it has the ability to absorb the heat away from the mineral water in the reservoir, leaving cool and refreshing water that is readily available. The heat in the refrigerant is then expelled from the water cooler.

As people dispense water, the machine will refill the reservoir and the process begins again. Should the water reservoir empty completely during dispensing, it will take a few minutes before the water cooler chills the water to a low temperature.



Discussion

  1. Peter Hansen  December 5, 2012

    Really interesting post, I’ve learned something new today.

    (reply)

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