Water dispensers are one of the best methods of making cool water accessible.
This way you can stay hydrated all day long at the touch of a button.
Water dispensers are like every other appliance in that they require cleaning and maintenance. If the water dispenser is well taken care of then it should not cause any problems throughout its useful life, and vice versa.
With improper maintenance, not only is there a risk of damaging the dispenser, but one could also sustain injuries. The good news is that minimizing the risk of water dispenser related injuries is quite simple. All you need to do on your part is be vigilant and keep the following tips in mind.
Risks Involved In Using Water Dispenser
Risks involved in using a water dispenser can be avoided if you exercise certain precautions. To make your job easier, there are quite a few safety features installed on water dispensers as well.
- The hot water spigot in most water dispensers has a safety switch to prevent burn injuries.
- Even then there are quite a few burn injuries caused by hot water dispensers, mostly due to careless use of the hot water.
One of the worst things you can do is try to fill hot water in a bottle with a small opening. This includes baby bottles. They have a small opening and it is very easy to miss the bottle and spill the hot water on your hands.
However, if you only have a bottle with a small opening, place the cup or mug on the dip tray and then pour the water. This will keep you safe from burns.
Improper Bottle Lifting Technique
Risk of Germs
It may come as surprise but you can quite possibly injure your back while using a water dispenser. This can happen if you lift the large bottle with an improper technique. This is why you have to adhere to the proper bottle lifting technique:
- Most people bend at their waist and pickup the bottle. The bottle is about 40lbs in weight and can put a lot of stress on the back. Of course, you may not have an injury immediately, but overtime your back will give away.
The best way to lift the refill bottle is to keep your back straight and go down in a squatting position:
- Tilt the bottle to one side and get a hand underneath it and hold it from the brim with the other hand.
- While keeping your back straight, stand up using your legs.
- Once done, tilt the bottle onto the dispenser. Not only will you find lifting the bottle a lot easier, it will also prove to be a safer option for your back.
You can also lift the bottle by getting down on one knee:
- To use this technique you will get down on one knee and rest the bottle on your leg.
- Keeping your back straight you will get up with the bottle on your leg.
- Once the bottle is lifted, you can load it onto the dispenser. This technique is as easy as getting down in the squat position.
The water spigots of a dispenser are normally wet. In addition to this many people touch the dispenser on a daily basis.
This can lead to germ buildup on the spigots, and the germs and bacteria can make their way into your body through the water.
The only way to avoid this is to make sure the dispenser is clean. Depending upon where the dispenser is located, you should clean it weekly or daily.
If the dispenser is kept in an office setting then it has to be cleaned on a daily basis as the risk of germs is greater if the dispenser is being used by many people. On the other hand if the dispenser is located in your home then you can get away with cleaning it once a week. Make sure you clean the spigots efficiently.
Slipping Related Injuries
Some of the most serious injuries that can be caused due to a dispenser is slips and falls.
- • This usually results due to water that accumulates along the dispenser’s foot.
- • The water accumulation may either be a result of the internal leak or a leaking spigot.
- • In any case the issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible, and also the floor needs to be cleaned as soon as a puddle is seen.
Another reason for water accumulation is an overflowing dip tray.
- • The dip tray is easily detachable so that it can be emptied. However, most users fail to empty it, especially in an office setting. This leaves a huge puddle at the bottom which can result in slip related injuries.
Injuries to Children
Out of all the injury related incidents the most common are the ones that occur with children.
You need to be really careful with the dispenser if there are children at home. Children often manage to turn on the hot water, and they can get serious burn injuries to their delicate skin.
This is why the hot water has a specific safety switch which you should keep off. When you need hot water you can turn it on.
Leaking hot water can also cause injuries to children. This is why you have to maintain your dispenser properly. This will make sure that your children are safe and your dispenser is in proper working order.
Top Loading Dispensers vs. Bottom Loading Dispensers
There are mainly two types of bottled water dispensers available. Both have certain advantage
s and you should be vigilant in selecting the one that suits your needs best. The first is a top loading dispenser and the second one is a bottom loading dispenser.
Top Loading Dispensers
Top loading dispensers are quite convenient when it comes to office settings. One can easily spot if the dispenser is about to run out of water and the bottle can be replaced.
However, it is difficult to lift the refill bottle. The bottle can strain your back and cause spills while changing.
Bottom Loading Dispensers
Bottom loading dispensers take convenience to a whole new level.
They combine all the advantages of standard dispensers and eliminate the loading nuisance. These dispensers have a space at the bottom where you can load the bottle. You will not have to lift the bottle, but simply slide it underneath.
In addition to being easy to refill the changing is relatively tidy. There will be no spills at all. The main benefit of a bottom loading dispenser is the appearance. Since the refill bottle is not at display the dispenser provides a neat look to the area it is placed in.
Electrical Safety Precautions
When installing a dispenser there are many things one needs to consider.
- • If the dispenser is a point of use dispenser, then the water supply should be far from the electrical socket.
- • Even in the case of a bottled dispenser the power supply socket should be towards the top.
- • Many people install the socket towards the bottom. This can turn out to be a potential hazard. If the dispenser is leaking, the water could make its way into the socket and cause electrocution.
- • In the case of point of use dispensers the water supply area could leak and cause an electrical hazard. This is why the power socket should be kept as far away from the dispenser as possible.
- • This is a rule for both offices and homes.
Getting Rid Of Mold on Water Dispensers
Mold is a health hazard and can easily accumulate on water dispensers.
- • Mold not only gives off a foul odor, but it can also spread bacteria and germs.
- • The worst part about mold is the fact that it develops on hard to reach areas in the dispenser.
- • You should keep a look out for mold on your dispenser to make sure it is safe to use. If you spot mold or smell a foul odor, you need to clean it.
In most cases the mold is on the outer side of the dispenser. You can use a small brush to get into the hard to reach areas or use a pipe cleaner.
Use dishwashing detergent and hot water to clean the areas where the mold is. Before you begin scrubbing you should let it soak with a mixture of hot water and dishwashing detergent.
Using Hot Water Dispensers for Baby Bottles
Finally, there is an ongoing speculation about water from hot water dispensers not being safe for baby bottles. The truth is that the water from hot water dispensers is exactly the same as any other.
In addition to this the water is heated at more than 95 degrees, and the refill bottles already contain purified water which makes dispensers safe to prepare baby food.
Not only does using a hot water dispenser for baby food saves time, but the water is of the best quality possible. The only thing you have to worry about is the mold and germ buildup on the spigots. As long as you keep the dispenser clean and germ free you should not have any health issues with the baby, or for any other user in the place.