60% of Americans drink bottled water! In reality, that isn’t even shocking, I guess. Our family has had a water cooler and bottled water in our home for almost 20 years. Small town, water treatment issues and contamination started us on the path. Years later, when the treatment plant is new and we have an RO system in our house, we are still using the water cooler, for quick access to a cold drink, in our downstairs family room. While there are times that flipping that huge three-gallon jug onto the top of the cooler can be a pain, the payoff in great tasting, clean and pure water, that is already chilled, is SOOOO worth it. I used to think we were pretty spoiled to have our cooler, but when you think about it, it makes so much more budget- and environmental-sense than buying individual water bottles that are discarded or have to be recycled. Refilling our one and only water jug, each time, is a huge money savings over cases of bottled water. So, I was re-thinking the whole “I may be spoiled” thing, when Primo approached me about reviewing their new bottom-load water cooler. After several weeks of living with, and using the Primo 900130 bottom load water cooler, I give up. I’m totally willing to concede that I am spoiled. Thankfully, I can live with that. :)
This beauty is more like a piece of furniture - definitely not an eyesore with a giant upside down bottle on top. I like the black and stainless steel. It's very sleek and modern. Ha! NOW I see my reflection in the cooler. That's some sharp picture taking, huh? :)
Never, again, will I summon super-human mom-strength to hoist a giant bottle, filled with sloshing water, over my head; and then, defying gravity and every law of nature known to man, spin it UPSIDE DOWN, aiming for a six-inch opening in the top of a machine that stands four feet off the floor! This is leisure, baby! I’m already used to it. :) Seriously, though — this product is ingenious. What on earth took so long for someone to come up with this? I would think it will revolutionize the entire industry, because why on earth would anyone want to go back to old-style coolers when this technology is available? In case you hadn’t figured it out, yet. I definitely like this cooler!
The bottom load feature is the absolute BEST feature. There are so many other great ones, but they pale in comparison to this wonderful advancement!
Primo wasn’t a familiar brand to me, so I spent a little time digging up information. The company was started in 2004, by Billy Prim, the successful entrepreneur behind the Blue Rhino company. (You may very well have a Blue Rhino propane tank in your gas grill.) He built on the no-waste, exchange system he devised with Blue Rhino and launched Primo to provide clean, pure water and dispensers to eliminate the waste of single-use bottles. Primo uses a 9-stage purification process to prepare it’s water and you will find it in locations all over the continental US. As a matter of fact, you probably have a Primo water filling station in a supermarket or store near your home. Just put your zip code into the Store Finder, on their homepage, to see all the nearby locations.
Our area still has all the Culligan branded parts, so my bottle says Culligan, but works perfectly in my Primo Cooler.
I was a little confused, when I went to purchase a bottle and fill it for the first time, because I didn’t realize that Primo had recently acquired the Culligan bottled water business. Every time I walked into a market that was supposed to carry Primo water, I found a Culligan water filling station. I was beginning to think Culligan had staged some sort of water bottle hostile takeover, but after a little investigation, I discovered the truth; and was told that it is indeed Primo water, in those filling stations, though all the branding on the in-store dispenser units has not been changed, yet. The other great thing is that if your local store doesn’t carry the Primo-branded water bottles, the Culligan bottles work in the Primo cooler. That was a relief for me, since that branding switch is definitely not complete, here in the Midwest. The only difference is that they have slightly different shaped necks on the bottles, so the Primo bottle will *snap* into place when you insert the probe into the bottle, while the probe head will just sit down over the neck of the Culligan bottles, without snapping.
Setting up the water dispenser was as easy as inserting the probe into the water jug, closing the door and flipping all the switches to ON. It's a beautiful thing!
The noise-level with the Primo cooler is very similar to our original cooler. If you have a fridge, you recognize that the compressor will kick in occasionally, to keep your appliance at a consistent temperature. So, it’s exactly the same with the water cooler. There is the background hum for a few minutes while the water is being cooled and then it’s quiet, again. I guess I don’t really notice it that much, since I’ve owned a cooler for such a long time. All Primo Water Dispensers are Energy Rated.
The probe head seated on the neck of the bottle.
The Primo cooler also supplies us with room temperature and hot water. My husband loves having instantly hot water available to steep a cup of tea or make some instant coffee drinks. My kids love it for hot chocolate mix. I know what you’re thinking and I was concerned about the same thing. We have toddlers running around our house and I definitely don’t want them messing around with scalding water. The dispenser buttons are across the top of the unit, not on the front, so they are very difficult for small children to reach at all AND the hot water button has a built-in safety feature, that prevents the button from being able to be depressed, without sliding the safety latch backwards and holding it, while you push down on the button.
The versatility of the Primo cooler and the savings over individual bottles, makes good sense for our family. The-bottom loading feature puts it over the top! Primo has even upgraded the model I reviewed (900130) to be 601090 and included a stronger compressor, a single dispenser nozzle, instead of one for each water temperature and included a full-indicator on the stainless steel drip tray. They just keep getting better.
One of you will win a water cooler just like mine! And ALL of you can save 15% off your total purchase in Primo's online store!
Busy-at-Home readers will enjoy 15% off their total purchase from the Primo online store, by using the promotional code BLOG2012. And one lucky Busy-at-Home reader will win the same model #900130 Primo Water Dsipenser, that I reviewed, for their own kitchen!!!!
Giveaway Rules: You must be 18 or older and reside in the continental US. (Not Hawaii, Alaska, or PO Boxes). The Mandatory Entry must be completed before any optional entries will be counted. Deadline to enter is midnight (CST), July 9, 2012.
Mandatory Entry: If you’re the giveaway winner, in what room in your house would you place your Primo Water Dispenser? Leave your answer in a comment on this post. Then click DO IT! and then ENTER in the Rafflecopter form, below. That’s it! You’re entered. You may take advantage of as many of the optional entries as you prefer.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received a Primo model #900130 Water Dispenser to test it in my own home and collect information for this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own, and based on my personal experience with the product. Busy-at-Home is administering the giveaway and selecting the winner via random.org. Primo will ship the prize directly to the giveaway winner.