Is It Worth Installing A Water Dispenser On Your Refrigerator?

Purchasing large appliances like a stove or refrigerator can often have homeowners questioning their needs, wants, personal style, and budgets. The fridge is often one of the largest and most noticeable elements in your kitchen's design, as well as one of its most functional. With manufacturers offering a wealth of convenient and modern options, like side-by-side or bottom freezer layouts, and in-door amenities like water dispensers and tablet functionality, choosing an appliance can be a careful science of determining what will work best in your kitchen.

You might be wondering whether or not to invest in slick features, like an in-door water dispenser, or stick with the basics. The answer depends greatly on the needs of your home, the layout of your kitchen, the price, and other factors that can determine if having a water dispenser as part of your fridge is an unnecessary (and possibly costly) luxury or a must-have addition. 

Pros of water dispensing fridges

Most homeowners who decide to invest in a fridge with a water dispenser love the convenience factor, which means cold water and ice any time of day at their fingertips. Modern fridges can do even more, including dispensing hot water and adding carbonation if desired, usually by just pushing a button. The most costly, state-of-the-art machines allow temperature control via an electronic panel or smart fridge app. Water and automatic ice dispensers work by connecting directly to your home's water line via copper or plastic tubing, both filtering and dispensing the water. In the 1980s, what were initially interior ice makers were found more frequently on the exterior. This not only made these fridges more practical and luxe but also potentially saved energy by avoiding additional opening and closing of the freezer to get ice and fill trays.

With their filter, many find that a water dispenser can produce both better tasting and smelling water than their taps, which often do not filter out all chemicals, parasites, and elements like lead and mercury found in some pipes and groundwater. This factor not only made drinking it more pleasant but encouraged families to drink more water and less sugary sodas and other beverages. A fridge with a water dispenser and ice maker combo can often be one of the more attractive factors to buyers, both in the showroom and in real estate when selling a home.

Cons of water dispensing fridges

While they are attractive and convenient, many feel that refrigerator water dispensers may not be all they are stacked up to be. The price for water dispensing fridges can be high, averaging about $200 more per appliance than other models. In addition, the upkeep can run you more, from requiring a plumber to run the water line to routine repairs that outpace other fridges without the amenity. There is also the cost of additional water and electricity to run them. These refrigerators also need more routine maintenance, such as removing build-up and preventing the lines from freezing, as well as changing the filters regularly to ensure fresh water. Many homeowners who are battling the unpleasant flavor of their tap water find that the filters are not necessarily as hearty as more complex filtration devices in removing impurities and improving taste.

The layout of your kitchen may also be a deciding factor in whether an in-door dispenser is right for you, including the closeness of available water lines. With a trend toward invisible kitchens and cabinetry-fronted appliances, a dispenser can be an unattractive bit of visual clutter that may be more hassle than it's worth. The mechanisms often take up valuable freezer and door space, which may be a consideration if you need more storage in your appliance.