Rent or lease? Buy or hire? There are all kinds of words and phrases that are used interchangeably. In some ways, this is fine as most people know what they mean but there are some finite differences when it comes to the small print. Like all contracts, always look at the fine print before you sign. In the case of a water dispenser, there are, like most things, two options – do you buy one or hire one? As you would expect there are pros and cons to both. The provision of clean drinking water – employer responsibility There are many legal responsibilities that you, as an employer, must meet if you employ staff. This can be anything from providing handwashing facilities, to a kitchen area to the provision of safe, clean drinking water. In most cases, this is a simple case of turning on a tap, an invention we can thank the Victorians for, although cultures and peoples before them had also learnt to pipe water around buildings, like the Romans. Many employers choose to take this a step further and provide their staff with clean, filtered and chilled drinking water that tastes much better because it is tasteless – no hint of chlorine or other chemicals in water dispensed from a cooler. But this still brings you back to which option is best – to hire or lease a water cooler or to buy one. The pros and cons The advantages and disadvantages are many and varied but, whether they are a pro or con for your business will vary from one company to another. Sanitisation According to the British Water Cooler Association (BWCA) water dispensers, whether they are bottle-fed or plumbed-in version, must be sanitised every 13 weeks. This means that every three months, or thereabouts, you need to arrange for someone to come along and sanitise your machine. This means creating a mixture of bleach and water, and then flushing through pipes and taps, as well as ensuring that the water dispenser drip tray is also hygienically clean. Too strong a bleach solution and it will leave a residue; not strong enough a solution and it won’t be worth the time or effort as potentially harmful bacteria will be left behind. The point is this, when you buy a water dispenser you either have to do this yourself or, you have to buy someone in to do it every three months. With a rental package from Angel Springs, this happens as part of our service to you. Cost This can be a difficult one but essentially, it means outlaying in one lump sum or facing a monthly cost for hiring a water dispenser. One lump sum sounds the best option; pay for a water dispenser on one go and have done with it. But, as you will come to realise, this means that in some ways, you miss out on important servicing of the water dispenser. Keeping up with the Jones’s There is a saying that neighbours tend to outdo each other; when one gets a new car, the other neighbour gets a new car. When you lease or hire a water dispenser, when new products by leading manufacturers bring new dispensers to the market, you could take advantage and find that your water dispenser is constantly updated to a newer, more modern version. If you buy a water dispenser it stays new for only so long. Then it becomes old-fashioned. Supplies and servicing Water dispensers don’t just need sanitising – they need to be serviced too so that they offer perfect water dispensing every time. There is very little that can go wrong with water dispensers; the chiller and heating component rarely malfunctions but when it does, it is a nuisance when water cannot be dispensed. If you hire the water cooler, and it malfunctions, we come and fix it. If you own it, you have to go to the bother of finding a local engineer to repair it for you. And then you have a bill to pay. There is also the question of making sure that you always have plenty of supplies on hand too, for when people use the water dispenser. Making sure there are spare filled water bottles for a bottle-fed dispenser is important, as is the provision of paper cups. You may think that the provision of paper cups is not important – after all, people can refill their own cups or bottled – but, research has shown that when this happens, ‘matter’ is left on the dispensing tap. And it needs to be cleaned. In essence, the difference between whether to buy or hire a water dispenser lays with who do you want to be responsible for its upkeep – yourself or a professional water cooler company like Angel Springs?