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Avanti Water Cooler Review – a good cheap water cooler

Updated on August 10, 2010

I know that water coolers are one of those items that you never really think about until comes time to buy one. I recently had to pick out water cooler dispensers for our new building at work and being quite pleased with the choice I wanted to provide a water cooler review of the one I chose to try and help out anyone else who happens to be in a similar situation.

I work for a small company that has recently upgraded to a nice new office building. Being a typical small company and having spent a lot of money on a new building, I was asked to find a couple of cheap water coolers in my spare time. Being given a budget of about $200, I was told to find 2 water coolers with hot and cold features if I could, which meant that I could only spend about 100 bucks a piece. Most of the water dispensers out there are around that price and you can find a decent deal if you look hard enough. I eventually settled on the Avanti water dispensers with the hot and cold features as it was the best deal on water coolers I could find. It ended up being a little more than $200 (I think around $225 altogether) but it seemed to be the right decision based on the fact that everyone likes it and I’ve had no complaints.

Avanti Water Cooler Review - Benefits

I’ll start with what I like about the unit. The water cooler is normal sized, about 3 feet tall and maybe 12 or 13 inches wide and deep. The size is a little smaller than some of the large water coolers that I’ve seen and it fits next to the fridge in the kitchen area with enough room for people to get around the table that is nearby, even when someone is in that chair. It holds all of the 5 gallon water bottles that we use (we contract out to a bottled water delivery service), but it says that it can handle some of the smaller 2 and 3 gallon sizes. Loading the bottled water on to the water dispenser is fairly easy as the height of the unit is only 3 feet but the trade-off is that you have to bend over more to dispense the water. The first thing I noticed when using the new water cooler was that the water came out at least twice as fast as our old water cooler (which is probably from the mid-eighties). I was really thrilled with this because we use our bottled water to make coffee and it used to take forever to get a pot’s worth of water. The other great feature that I use all the time is the on demand hot water dispenser. The Avanti Water Dispenser comes with a hot water reservoir that holds over a quart of hot water that is ready when you need it. I’m not really a morning person and I end up making oatmeal when I get into work and wolf that down before work starts; the hot water saves a lot of time over throwing it in the microwave for two minutes. I also use the hot water feature in the afternoon if I feel like some tea (I don’t like to drink coffee after 10 am, I’m weird like that); just pop a couple of tea bags in my mug and I’ve got tea instantly. The best feature of the water cooler is the price. When I was shopping around for different water dispensers and coolers they were mostly in the $80-100 range. Most of them were just coolers and didn’t feature the hot water or if they did they didn’t get very good reviews on other sites. For the extra ten bucks we got the hot water and a reliable water dispenser.

Avanti Water Cooler Review -Drawbacks

While I am pleased about the water dispenser, there are a few little things that bug me.  The buttons are a little tricky in that you have to hit towards the middle of the button for it to push in without bending awkwardly.  It’s not really a big deal, it just the outer edges aren’t centered over the spring so it kind of flexes to the side you’re pushing on.  It took me a couple of days to get used to it but I don’t notice it all that much now.  This is even less of a problem on the hot water button because of the child safety feature.  For the hot water side there’s a red lever that gets pushed down before the button gets pushed in.  This actually took me a little bit to get used to and when I came into work real tired I would get frustrated (I just want my oatmeal!).  I don’t care for the safety feature much but if it were at home or anywhere with a child I would probably feel differently.  Probably the biggest problem I’ve noticed with the Avanti water cooler is when I change out the bottles, there is a little collar that attaches to the base of the dispenser.  It’s supposed to twist-lock into place but sometimes when I struggle to get the water bottle off it comes undone and goes with the bottle.  It looks like someone I work with had this problem too because now there’s a small piece of white duct tape strapped to the back that keeps the collar from spinning.  This simple solution seemed to solve the problem although it generally only happens on the one unit, so it could be an idiosyncrasy of that unit (or I’m too careless when taking off the bottle).  These are little nit-picky things that I notice, but may not bother other people.  And considering the price we paid, the Avanti water cooler is good deal

Avanti Water Cooler Review - Overall Impressions

Most bottled water coolers are really the same, the biggest differences come down to price and reliability. The Avanti water cooler was a really good price for the features that it offered (the hot and cold water dispensing) and I felt comfortable purchasing the units because of Avanti’s good reputation. While the dispensers I purchased are nothing fancy (there are much more expensive water coolers out there), they offer the functions we need at work at a pretty good price. I want to be clear that these are anything but top of the line, but they are used every day and live up to our expectations of what a good office water cooler should be.

Some other Water Cooler Resources

Home water coolers - finding the right home water cooler isn't hard, but there are few things you'll want to know before buying a home water cooler.  This article can help.

Office water coolers - office water coolers have a range of options and features and figuring out which ones are best for your business will save you lots of money.

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    • 1000Ways profile imageAUTHOR

      1000Ways 

      7 years ago

      Hi Ray, I'm sorry to hear that your Avanti Hot and Cold Water Cooler is now only a Cold Water Cooler Dispenser.

      It sucks that you can't get a decent cooler, and sucks more that you can't get any customer service. If you are still within 30 days, I would recommend sending the unit back and getting your money back. I know you are soured on the Avanti water coolers, but you might want to try another model.

      Good luck finding a replacement!

    • profile image

      ray vahle 

      7 years ago

      bought wd361 through amazon it made hot and cold water for 3 days, thenthe indicator lights went out. now all it does is make cool water contacted avanti and since it was purchased thru amazon they do not warrant the unit which they manufactured DO NOT BUY ,NO CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!!!!!

    • 1000Ways profile imageAUTHOR

      1000Ways 

      7 years ago

      I'm sorry to hear about your Avanti water cooler troubles. My experience has been with the full size models which work great. From what I've found, many of the cheap countertop models are manufactured by the same facility and branded by the different water cooler companies. One model that looks more robust (and would look nice in the kitchen) is the Oasis Onyx Countertop Water Cooler. It's a little more expensive but might be worth the extra $$.

      Good luck with your water cooler purchase!

    • profile image

      perry and margie johnson 

      7 years ago

      I've owned two Avanti countertop water coolers. Both had the same long term function durability problem. The first thing to fail was the water heating element. This was manifested by the heating of the entire unit including water bottle. This occured at just months after purchase. The cooling apparatus failed on both units within less than two years. I noticed another comment along these same lines when i consulted the net re purchase of a replacement. I'm in a quandary as to where to go for my next unit, without running to those costing $500. any suggestions?

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