Primo Water Cooler: Should You Or Should You Not Buy It?

Primo Water Cooler

In our review of a Primo water cooler, we compare Primo’s cold-water model with other products to see how it stacks up against the average water dispenser.

The water cooler has been a widely accepted staple of pop culture, with its role as the office gossip center. With a paper cup and the push of a spigot, you have a cold drink of water to keep you hydrated throughout the day.

Over the last several decades, the design of the water cooler hasn’t changed drastically, but like anything else, it’s seen some upgrades. In our review of the Primo water cooler, we’ll see how new features have kept the water cooler relevant in today’s workplaces and homes everywhere.

Water filtration has become an important issue for people who drink a lot of water. Advances in technology have also resulted in energy-efficient models, indicator lights and temperature regulators. Design improvements include leak protection and push-button dispensers in place of spigots.

One significant difference you see in a lot of water dispensers these days is their ability to provide both cold and hot water, to enable users to enjoy tea, hot chocolate or instant coffee.

However, not everyone needs hot water for his or her daily use, making the additional function unnecessary and in-the-way. In our review, we focus on the Primo Pro Series Cold Water Dispenser.

This dispenser’s primary purpose is to provide its users with ice-cold water, rather than cold, hot and room temperature water.

What’s Different About the Primo Water Cooler?

There was a time when most people associated water coolers with workplaces, but water coolers have become popular in homes as well. As families become more concerned with staying hydrated and drinking the purest water possible, it’s become a convenience to have a source of water within a button’s reach.

When most people think of water coolers, they imagine a small box with a giant bottle on top. For the most part, this design hasn’t changed. You break the seal, position the container in place, and water flows into a special reservoir where a compressor cools it down.

As people get drinks and the tank empties, more water flows into the cooling area so it can chill to the perfect drinking temperature.

The Primo Pro Series Cold Water Dispenser looks a little different than your typical water cooler. The iconic feature of the average water cooler – the bottle on top – has been moved to the bottom of the dispenser, where it’s hidden behind a door.

This offers up a sleek look that blends in better with adjacent countertops or appliances. Because the bottle goes unseen, Primo supplies an indicator light to let you know when it’s running low, so that you don’t have to open the door to check constantly.

Its electronic features include a digital thermostat and touch controls. To save on energy, it also has an on and off switch, so you can shut it down when it won’t be in use for a while. An LED nightlight makes it easier to stumble downstairs in the middle of the night for a drink of water.

While this particular dispenser does not provide hot water, it recognizes that users who drink warm beverages may have other needs. The top of the water cooler is flat with a non-slip pad, ideally suited for adding small single-brew coffee machines, like the popular Keurig brewer.

Product Specifications: Primo Water Cooler

  • Bottom-loading water bottle feature
  • 5 compressor cooling method
  • Accommodates 3- and 5-gallon water bottles
  • Stainless steel tank
  • Indicator lights for cooling and bottle replacement
  • Silver-plated spout (to stop bacteria from growing)
  • LED nightlight
  • One spout
  • Drip tray included
  • On/off switch
  • ENERGY STAR-rated
  • UL-certified
  • However, some users who like it do so because it lacks hot water. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t need hot water, then it’s almost impossible to find options that work for those needs.

    The non-slip top is also a great add-on to justify the price because it allows you to turn your water cooler into a beverage center. This is a nice bonus if you don’t have a lot of countertop space and need an extra surface.

    How It Compares: Primo Water Cooler

    To see how the Primo stacked up against other water coolers in its class, we found other models that also lacked the hot water feature.

    This allows us to see what is considered average for a dispenser like this, and focus on its pros and cons. We compared across several criteria, including price, build quality and assembly time. We also considered how easy the product was to use, and how supportive the warranty coverage would be in the event it’s needed.

    Product

    Image

    Price

    Primo Pro Series Cold Water Dispenser With Brewer Mount

    Primo Water Cooler

    Vitapur Top Load Water Cooler

    Vitapur Primo Water Cooler

    OASIS Artesian Cool N’ Cold Bottle

    Oasis Vitapur Primo Water Cooler

    Avanti Water Dispenser Cold/Room Temperature

    Avanti primo water cooler

    Primo Pro Series Cold Water Dispenser With Brewer Mount

    Specs

    Details

    Ease of Use

    It includes a single spout, making it super simple to use. An LED nightlight allows for easy access when the home is dark. However, the brewer mount feature is almost impractical without an extension cord.

    Build Quality

    With ENERGY STAR certification, it is an EPA-compliant unit. Reviews are generally positive, and when there are malfunctions, Primo seems eager to resolve the problem for their customers.

    Assembly Time

    Because it’s a bottom-loading unit, you don’t have to lift the water bottle up very high to replace it. There are also indicator lights letting you know when the water has cooled to the ideal temperature, and when it’s time to change the bottle.

    Warranty

    Per the product’s manual, you’ll receive a 2-year limited warranty. This covers any malfunction that occurs within the proper use of the unit.

    Pros

    Cons

    • Great deal for a water cooler
    • Some reviews say that it was not very reliable

    Vitapur Top Load Water Cooler

    Specs

    Details

    Ease of Use

    The unit features two spigots, one for room temperature water and one for cold water. If you choose to add the optional water filtration system (not included), it can be cumbersome to install. 

    Build Quality

    Like the Primo, it’s ENERGY STAR-certified. It contains an anti-leak collar around the dispensing area to prevent spills. 

    Assembly Time

    The top-loader makes it a little more challenging to assemble, but because it accommodates 3 to 5-gallon water bottles, you may opt to use smaller containers for easier, though more frequent, replacement. 

    Warranty

    A 1-year warranty comes with your purchase, which covers any manufacturer defect within the unit itself. It does not include any damage that results from improper use. 

    Pros

    Cons

    • Dual taps for cold and room temperature dispensing
    • Smaller than anticipated

    OASIS Artesian Cool N’ Cold Bottle

    Specs

    Details

    Ease of Use

    The design of this unit is quite similar to the Vitapur, with its top-load design and two-spigot function. A unique feature is a handle on the back of the unit to help when moving it.

    Build Quality

    ENERGY STAR and UL compliance make it an energy-efficient choice. It also has certification for guaranteed low lead content.

    Assembly Time

    Although it loads on top, OASIS includes a patented WaterGuard system to keep water from leaking while you’re changing the bottle. That decreases the amount of time you might spend wiping up the floor afterward.

    Warranty

    OASIS includes a remarkable 3-year limited warranty. This warranty outlines separate stipulations for the first year, and the second and third years combined.

    Pros

    Cons

    • Artesian bottle cooler serves cool and room temperature water
    •  Slight noise when the compressor is operating

    Avanti Water Dispenser Cold/Room Temperature

    Avanti primo water cooler

    Specs

    Details

    Ease of Use

    Two taps make it easy to dispense either cold water or room temperature water. An indicator light turns from yellow to green when the water is cool and then cold, respectively.

    Build Quality

    While reviews are relatively favorable for this water cooler, we docked points because it seems to lack the ENERGY STAR compliance that all the other models in our comparison have. Its capacity is 5 gallons, while other models have the option of going smaller at 3 gallons.

    Assembly Time

    Another top-loader, this water cooler doesn’t seem to have any feature to prevent leaking when installing a new water bottle. It includes a detachable leg to help you level the cooler on uneven floors.

    Warranty

     Like the Vitapur water cooler, this model comes with a limited 1-year warranty. However, this product has an extended 5-year warranty for the compressor alone, which gives it a boost in ratings.

    Pros

    Cons

    • Large stainless steel reservoir for water purity
    • A little short but other than that works great

    Pros and Cons - Primo Water Cooler

    Pros

    • The brewer station is a nice added feature that you really don’t see much of with water coolers. Most of them house the bottle up top, so there’s no space for this type of thing.
    • Despite needing an extension cord to make this work, it’s still a pro because it saves room on your countertops by taking advantage of what would be considered wasted space. 
    • The bottle being on the bottom is another plus because you don’t have to lift it up to load it. For those who may struggle with the weight of water bottle replacements, this means you may not need to wait for someone stronger to come and replace your bottle.
    • The door that hides it away makes the cooler less of an eyesore, and the indicator light keeps this feature from becoming inconvenient. The drip tray is also dishwasher-safe, and the LED nightlight is a nice thing to have.

    Cons

    • Although it’s not the most expensive option in our comparison, the price has to be a definite con. You can find water dispensers at a similar price that offer you a hot water feature plus the potential for filtration. 
    • While some buyers may be insistent that they don’t need hot water, it’s a nice thing to have just in case your needs change. Visitors also may enjoy having hot water at the press of a button. 
    • While you can dispense water from the Primo cooler before it’s cooled to the ice-cold temperature, you cannot get anything but ice-cold water once the compressor has chilled it. 
    • The door that hides it away makes the cooler less of an eyesore, and the indicator light keeps this feature from becoming inconvenient. The drip tray is also dishwasher-safe, and the LED nightlight is a nice thing to have.
    • The unit comes in a black finish with stainless steel accents. While this once was considered modern, it may appear dated in some kitchens and offices.

    Conclusion

    Ultimately, if you’re in the market for a water cooler that focuses solely on ice-cold water, the Primo Pro Series Cold Water Dispenser is a fair option. It’s a bit pricey, but the design is quite unique with its bottle placement on the bottle and brewer storage on top. If this design is something that appeals to you, it may be worth the added cost to get these two things. 

    It excels at many things, but it also faces some challenges. We like the Vitapur for its optional water filtration system, along with the price and its leak-guard protection. 

    Even if you think you only need cold water, it’s never a bad idea to get one that dispenses both. Water dispensers that have both cold and hot water are the standard these days, so it’s very easy to find a model that has both at an affordable price. If, after considering this, the Primo water cooler seems like the best option, then you likely won’t be disappointed with it.

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