Does Water Dispenser Purify Water?

Last Updated on February 10, 2023 by Claire

Does water dispenser purify water? Most water dispensers do just what their name indicates – store and dispense purified water- nothing more, nothing less. A water dispenser does not purify water, it’s simply a device that stores and dispenses purified water in a hot or cold form by way of an in-built refrigerating unit. Although you can find water dispensers that have a filtering feature, they are still just water dispensers and not water purifiers. Now that you know water dispensers are incapable of purifying water in the “actual sense”, how do you purify your water? What are the benefits of a water dispenser?

Does water dispenser purify water?

Does water dispenser purify water

Most water dispensers do not possess the advanced mechanisms required to purify water into its cleanest form. The filters present in water dispensers are incapable of removing contaminants on a micro-level from hard water or “ordinary” water.

However, there are different types of devices currently available on the market for purifying your water. 

These devices use advanced filtering technologies to decontaminate water by removing all forms of impurities from it (including harmful microorganisms) on a micro-scale.

How do you purify your water?

There are two ways to purify your water namely: water filters or water purifiers.

  1. Water filter

A water filter decontaminates and purifies water by removing microorganisms, sediments, and any other impurities present, to make the water clean and safe for various activities.

However, as good as water filters are, they are not as effective as water purifiers when it comes to removing viruses, biological contaminants, gasses, and minerals from water. Moreover, the CDC has confirmed that “No filter eliminates all contaminants.”

  1. Water purifier

Similar to water filters, water purifiers are also designed to remove impurities from water to make it clean and safe for consumption or use.

However, water purifiers offer a higher level of defense by going a step further by removing viruses, biological contaminants, gasses, and minerals from water. In other words, water purifiers are the best tool for the job of purifying water.

Types of water purifiers

There are three types of water purifiers:

  1. RO (Reverse Osmosis)
  2. UF (Ultrafiltration)
  3. UV (Ultraviolet)

However, some water purifiers use multiple processes such as UV and RO, to purify water—Aquasana, Inc. The most important thing is choosing the water purifier that suits your needs based on the TDS level.

  1. RO water purifier (Reverse Osmosis)

These purifiers use water pressure to force water through a semipermeable membrane with pores as tiny as 0.0001 microns, thus leaving the dissolved particles and contaminants behind.

This is the most effective method of water purification and is sometimes combined with other filtration elements to improve the filtration process and improve the life of the semi-permeable membrane. However, it requires electricity and is notorious for wasting water. Reverse Osmosis is best for water with a TDS level of 500 ppm and above

  1. UF (Ultrafiltration)

Similar to reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration is a membrane-based technology that is used to remove larger particles and suspended solids in water. These water purifiers do not require electricity to function.

While ultra-filtration water purifiers are capable of removing bacteria and all forms of microorganisms from water, they are unable to remove dissolved solids from the water. The UF purification method is better suited to water that isn’t hard since this method has a low TDS level.

  1. UV (Ultraviolet)

Ultraviolet water purifiers- as the name denotes, these purifiers work by exposing viruses and bacteria to ultraviolet light in order to kill them. The great thing about UV water purifiers is they are extremely fast at purifying water and it is possible to remove 99.99% of microorganisms from water using this method.

Their limitations however are, they cannot remove chemicals or dissolved solids from water and they require electricity to function.

What is TDS?

The acronym “TDS” stands for Total Dissolved Solids, which refers to the small amounts of inorganic salts and organic matter such as sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, sulfates, and the likes that are present in “ordinary” water.

TDS is commonly measured in parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per liter (mg/L).

TDS levels in groundwater range from 500-3000 ppm, requiring a RO water purifier to clean and decontaminate it before usage, while TDS levels below 200 ppm are generally considered to be safe for human consumption.

What are the benefits of a water dispenser?

The following are some of the reasons you should consider buying a water dispenser:

  1. Healthy

Water dispensed by these appliances is usually pure and free of any contaminants, bacteria, or viruses that can result in dangerous infections. Some water dispensers use an internal filtration system that filters and removes impurities from the water.

  1. Dispenses water on request

Through the use of an internal refrigerating and heating unit, water dispensers can provide instant hot or cold water immediately when their taps or knobs are opened.

  1. Purer than tap water

Many people do not know that tap water contains many contaminants and bacteria such as salmonella, viruses, and other impurities harmful to human health.

Water dispensers have a filtration system that will help remove all these impurities before they get to your dispenser tap or knob.

  1. Improved hydration

Instant access to clean and safe drinkable water keeps everyone hydrated. Staying hydrated results in improved energy levels and activities.

  1. Small size

Water dispensers very rarely take up much space anywhere you choose to put them, making them better suited to places where space is at a premium.

  1. Improved skincare

According to medical experts, drinking clean and pure water improves human skin. Thus, drinking water from a dispenser is strongly recommended to make the skin brighter and smoother.

  1. Access to water 24/7

No electricity? No problem! Water dispensers provide clean drinkable water even in the absence of electricity or any power outages.

  1. Faster tea or coffee

These devices provide instant access to clean and safe warm water for making your tea or coffee, thus eliminating the need to waste any time boiling water to make your beverages.

What is the best way to purify water?

A water purifier is the most effective method of purifying water. This is because compared to other devices, water purifiers are 99.99% effective at purifying water.

Water purifiers will get rid of viruses, biological contaminants, gasses, suspended solids, dissolved solids, and minerals from water. Thus, leaving the water clean, safe, and healthy for drinking or various activities.

How do you clean a dirty water dispenser?

Like any equipment, your water dispenser can get dirty. If you store water for long in it, it attracts the growth of bacteria which is dangerous for your health.

Typically, water dispenser manufacturers recommend cleaning your dispenser to dissolve mineral deposits and discourage bacteria.

Be handy with distilled white vinegar or a tablespoon of bleach, 2-gallon bucket, 5-gallon bottle, and screwdriver.

  • Disconnect the dispenser from its outlet

First, disable the energy-saving switches. Turn off the wall outlet and unplug the power cord. Remove the water bottle and shift the dispenser to a space where you can access the back.

  • Pour out the water

Dispense the hot and cold taps into an empty bucket to pour out the leftover water in the reservoirs.

  • Add cleaning solution

Add your cleaning solution (vinegar or bleach) to your 5-gallon bottle. Add hot water to your 2-gallon empty bottle. Pour both gallon contents into your water dispenser.

  • Replace the power cord

Replace the power cord in the wall outlet and turn on the water dispenser. Ensure that your cleaning solution fills the reservoir before you unplug it again from the outlet. Make sure to turn it back off first.

  • Drain the cleaning solution

Allow up to 10 minutes before you drain water from the reservoirs. After rinsing the bottle, add hot tap water and pour it into the dispenser. Keep a 2-gallon bucket at the back of the appliance and remove the drain plug to flush.

  • Replace your dispenser

First, pit back the silicone plug and drain cap. Replace the unit and install a fresh water bottle.

Plug the power cord in the wall outlet and enable energy-saving.

How often should you clean your water dispenser?

How often you clean your water dispenser depends on your manufacturer’s instructions. For many manufacturers, it is advisable to clean your water dispenser every 3 months.

Cleaning your water dispenser every 3 months is enough to get rid of bacteria buildup, and even biofilm.

You can also always disinfect your water dispenser whenever you change the bottle to kill microbes.

Frequently asked questions

Is a water dispenser a water purifier?

No, water dispensers are not water purifiers. These are entirely different devices and they perform different functions. A water dispenser simply stores and delivers pure, filtered water, while a water purifier decontaminates water by removing every form of impurity present in it.

Do water dispensers grow bacteria?

Water dispensers are very prone to bacteria growth. This is because the more accessible a water source is, the more prone it is to contamination. Water dispensers have multiple points of exposure that easily allow the transfer of bacteria from the air or hands used to touch or operate them. This is why regular maintenance and cleaning are recommended for your water dispenser.

Is it safe to drink water from water dispenser?

It is generally safe to drink water from a dispenser so far the water is pure and safe for consumption, and the water dispenser has been regularly cleaned and maintained. This is because certain bacteria species commonly found in the office or bottled water dispensers can cause Legionnaires’ disease, which comes with flu-like symptoms and eventually results in pneumonia,


Water dispensers do not purify water. Even those with a built-in filtration system can only filter the large impurities present in the water, they cannot purify water.

The best way to purify water is to use a water purifier. The installation of a water purifying system will help to remove all forms of organic and inorganic impurities from your water. Also remember that although water dispensers do not purify water, there are numerous reasons to buy one.