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Avalon A4 Bottom Loading Water Cooler Dispenser In-depth Review

Avalon A4 bottom Loading water cooler dispenser hands-on testing and review. Best bottom loading water cooler dispenser. See top score rankings and more.

By , , and ·Updated
Tested Using Methodology v1.0
Full front view of the Avalon A4 water cooler dispenser standing between a plant to the left and a cupboard to the right.

Overall Verdict

The Avalon A4 is a quality and reliable water cooler dispenser. In our tests, it ranked top in two categories and reasonably well in others. It had a perfect flow rate score and also one of the highest hot water temperatures.

For hot water, heating times are slightly longer than other machines but the single draw capacity (dispensing of all hot water) was good. On the other hand, the cold water capacity was slightly less than best. Whereas top performing machines like the Frigidaire EFWC519 can produce 200 fl. oz. (6 L) per hour or enough for 20 people, the Avalon A4 puts out around 183 fl. oz. (5.4 L) or enough for 18 people.

Design wise, we thought the drip tray attached to the cabinet door was not so good. However, the red water float is a useful feature. The button traction is similarly good to other Avalon models and the water spouts are easy to clean.

Things We Like

  • Hot water temperature
  • Perfect flow rate score
  • Night light
  • Sanitary nozzle design
  • Drip tray level float

Things We Don’t Like

  • Drip tray attached to door
  • Cold water tank cleaning

The Avalon A4 is a bottom loading water cooler dispenser. It has similar features to the Avalon A5 such as the button and spout design and its proprietary bacteria resistant plastic film.  This basic bottom loader doesn’t come with premium sanitary features such as ozone or UV, but it does have a night light.

Key Specs

Dimensions WDH
W12 x D14.7 x H41.3 inches
Weight
36.2 lbs (16.4 kg)
Loading Type
Bottom Loading
Dispensing Mechanisms
Buttons
Cold Temperature
50-54 ℉ (10‒12 ℃)
Cold Water Capacity
183 fl.oz. (5.4 L) / Hr

Where to Buy Price at publication $199.00

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Compared to Other Water Cooler Dispensers

Ranking by
Showing: 8/9 Items

Analysis and Test Results

8.9 Performance

The Avalon A4 bottom loading water dispenser hit the top of the charts in a number of tests we ran. For hot water, it measured one of the highest constant flow temperatures, and also had a perfect flow rate score. On the downside, the hot water heating took longer than average, but the single draw capacity was enough for three cups.

In comparison, the cold water performance was good, but fell a little short scoring 9/10. It produced 183 fl. oz. (5.4 L) per hour of chilled water taken at regular intervals which is good enough for a work group of 18 people.

Whether the Avalon A4 is the best water cooler dispenser for an office depends on the cold water capacity. That, and whether you feel a machine with a self cleaning ozone feature would be better.

8.7 Hot Water Test

Water temperature being measured as hot water flows out the nozzle of a water cooler dispenser. submit

For the Avalon A4 bottom loading water dispenser, the hot water test scores were a mixed bag. We were very happy with the overall results, but you will need to decide if it’s the right machine for you. 

Heating Time Longer Than Average (6.5 / 35%)

The Avalon A4 took 3 min 06 sec to heat 8.5 fl.oz. or 250 ml of water. This was 10 seconds longer than the similar Avalon A5 with a POU filter. The difference is not that much, but at the same time it’s still 30 to 40 seconds slower than other brands we tested. However, the temperature was slightly above the top benchmark for which it was also penalized. 

Ample Capacity for Back-to-Back Drinks

The Avalon A4 dispenses 27.3 fl.oz. (807 ml) in a single draw before the tank refills and reheats. That’s enough water for three decent-sized hot drinks. The machine took 9 min 19 sec on average to refill and reheat between back-to-back draws. 

In one hour, it can produce up to 162 fl. oz. (4.8 L) of hot water taken back-to-back or in a single draw. Considering the longer than average heating time, this is not as good as other Avalon machines.

Temperature Higher Than Most (9.75 / 45%)

For our temperature test, we record the highest constant flow temperature until a drop of 3℃ in temperature. With almost no fluctuation, the Avalon produced a steady stream measuring 199 ℉ (92.8℃).

This temperature pushed the limit of 200 ℉, above which is not the safest for the enclosed tank design. Our benchmark is 198 ℉ (92.2℃)—which is the best standard— so we penalized this Avalon slightly on the higher (by 1℉) temperature.

Flow Rate a Perfect Hit (10 / 20%)

The Avalon A4 also clocked a perfect flow rate of 1.15 fl. oz. (34 ml) / sec in our flow rate test. Water dispenses speedily and efficiently which makes it a really nice machine for heavy use. If you’re upgrading from an older or lower performing machine, it’s best to take care with the hot water until you get accustomed to the flow rate.

9.0 Cold Water Test

A paper cup filled with water resting on a drip tray below the cold water outlet on a water cooler dispenser.
Serving Capacity
183 fl.oz. (5.4 L) / Hr
Temperature
50‒54 ℉ (10‒12℃)

While the hot water test results had some pros and cons, the cold water scored slightly below our top ranking machines. The Avalon A4 scored 9/10 meaning its serving capacity is below the optimal of 200 fl. oz. (6 L) per hour serving only 183 fl.oz. (5.4 L). This is good enough though for a working group of around 18 people. 

During our tests, the Avalon never dropped below the benchmark temperature of 50‒54 ℉ (10‒12℃) maintaining performance levels under pressure. This matched to a perfect flow rate score, comfortable traction of the dispensing buttons, and ample room on the drip tray.

8.5 Design

If you like the all-black look, the additional design features of the Avalon A4 will also hit the spot. The build quality and materials used are a high standard throughout. The dispensing positions are clearly labeled with white cup icons and the buttons are color-coded.

For those below the height of the machine, such as in a wheelchair, you have to go by the positioning of the working indicators to know that hot water is on the left. This is a minor issue since all water cooler dispensers will have hot water to the left and cold to the right. 

The only design feature we did not like, is how the drip tray is attached to the door and not the body, and there is no pocket handle on the side.

In the Box

The unboxed Avalon A4 bottom loading water cooler dispenser showing the included drip tray and bundled literature.
  • Attached bottle probe
  • User manual & pamphlets

The machine came boxed with the drip tray unattached and wrapped in plastic. The bottle cap with a water straw was attached to the pump and wrapped in protective plastic. There is no water bottle included. 

The manual is in English, Spanish, and French . There are clear and detailed instructions. Included are toll-free support (1-800), email support, livechat, and homepage address. Troubleshooting and safety instructions are included.

There are various information cards such as warranty, product registration, and a large ‘Quick Start Guide’ sticker. Accessories you can purchase include a 10-inch base extender to raise the height, and an all inclusive cleaning kit with 220 g citric acid, mini screwdriver, disinfectant wipes, stirrer, gloves, and scrubbing sponge.

Dimensions

Illustrated dimensions of the Avalon A4 water cooler dispenser showing the height, depth, and width across in inches.
Depth
14.7" (37.3 cm)
Width
12.0" (30.5 cm)
Height
41.3" (104.9 cm)
Weight
36.2 lbs (16.4 kg)

8.5 Build Quality

Font and side view of the Avalon A4 bottom loading water cooler dispenser.
Font and side view of the Avalon A4 bottom loading water cooler dispenser.
Top view of a water cooler dispenser showing three dispensing buttons.
Rear view of a bottom loading water cooler dispenser with a full bottle of water seen inside.
Close up of the plastic base and a stub leg on the bottom of a water cooler dispenser.
In side the cold water tank of a top loading water cooler dispenser.
Side Body
Black metal sheeting
Front Panel
Bioguard™ plastic
Cabinet Door
Silver plastic, white inside
Base
PVC plastic
Extra Features
Rear carry handle

The sides of the machine are black colored metal sheeting with ventilation slits on the side. Other surfaces are all a type of plastic or PVC including the front panel, the door, and the base. The back of the machine has a metal grate with smooth and rounded edges.

We did, however, feel the shiny black color of the plastic gives the machine a more ‘budget look’. The plastic tends to scratch easily and fingerprints are prone to stick. The cabinet door plastic lacks a quality feel despite the silver coloring.

9.0 Panel & Indicators

Close up of the control panel and spouts on a water cooler dispenser with dispensing buttons seen on the top of the machine.
Power Status
Far left
Hot Water
Second left
Cold Water
Second right
Bottle Or Filter
Far right
Others
None

The white icons indicating dispensing points are easy to see set against the dark black panel. This is a nice feature for younger children or the visually impaired.

The power indicator displays amber color when the machine is on, and the hot and cold water indicators only light up when the heating or cooling are taking place. When the bottle light is red, it indicates the pump is working or the water bottle needs replacing.

During our tests, the indicators all worked perfectly. You should, however, wait for the red bottle light to go off before you switch on either the hot or cold water tanks.

8.0 Water Inlet Controls

Picture of a bended water probe or needle inside the cabinet of a bottom loading water cooler dispenser.
Picture of a bended water probe or needle inside the cabinet of a bottom loading water cooler dispenser.
Close up of the water pump of a bottom loading water cooler dispenser attached to a rubber bracket.
Close up of the pressure switch and piping seen in the cabinet of a bottom loading water cooler dispenser.
The water baffle and connecting parts seen in a bottom loading water cooler dispenser.
Close up of a water baffle removed from the cold water tank of a bottom loading water cooler dispenser.
Mechanism
Pump and water probe
Materials
Plastic, silicone, stainless steel
Extra Features
Rubber pump bracket

Since the Avalon A4 is a bottom loading water cooler dispenser, it comes with a bottle cap and water straw or bottle probe. The cap is an expandable plastic clip design with a silicone elastic band so it fits a variety of bottle neck designs. 

The cap diameter is 2.6 in. (6.5 cm) and the water probe is triple bent stainless steel some 17.3 in. (44 cm) in length. The probe can be adjusted to small 3-gallon bottles and is designed to reach the edges of the bottle.

The water tubing and joinings are well-made and secure. It’s fairly generic and similar to other machines, except that the water pump is attached to a rubber bracket (not plastic) for reduced wear and tear from vibrations.

Water Dispensers

White cup logos on black panel of a water cooler dispenser clearly showing where to position the cup.
White cup logos on black panel of a water cooler dispenser clearly showing where to position the cup.
Close up under view of three water spouts and the panel icons and operational displays in the background.
A close up of three dispensing buttons found on the top of a water cooler dispenser.
Mechanism
3 buttons
Outflow Points
3 panel nozzles
Material
Plastic
Extra Features
Hot water safety

The Avalon A4 dispenses room temperature water in addition to hot and cold. There are three buttons mounted on the top of the machine. The hot button has a clearly visible red safety mechanism.

The three nozzles are molded in the ceiling of the dispensing panel. They are difficult to see, but clearly marked with the white cup icons.

They are black with color-coded lines — red for hot, aqua-blue for room temperature water, and dark-blue for cold with additional print labeling behind each.

8.3 Drip Tray

A hand holding a drip tray tray removed from its position in a water cooler dispenser.
A hand holding a drip tray tray removed from its position in a water cooler dispenser.
Close up of a red water float in the drip tray of a water cooler dispenser.
Hand holding up the cover to a water cooler dispenser drip tray with the tray positioned in its slot.
Material
plastic
Color
black
Length
10.5" (26.7 cm)
Width
3.8" (9.7 cm)
Depth
2.1" (5.3 cm)
Level Float
Yes

The drip tray is made from a thick plastic and the cover is likewise unbendable. The most appreciated feature is the red level float that alerts you to empty the tray. The red contrasts to the dark black color which makes unsightly water difficult to see. 

To remove the tray you tug it forward since there’s a clip design on the sides. Although it fits securely and is unlikely to fall out, it can be tugged loose by a young child or if you open the cabinet door by pulling on the trip tray. 

The size of the drip tray is quite accommodating to larger mugs and flasks.

Rear Switches

Three switches found on the back of the Avalon A4 water cooler dispenser. The night lights switch is on the left side.
Three switches found on the back of the Avalon A4 water cooler dispenser. The night lights switch is on the left side.
Color coded hot and cold water switches with relief script on the rear of the Avalon A4 water cooler dispenser.
Hot Water
Yes
Cold Water
Yes
Others
Night Light

There are three switches at the back of the machine. They are color-coded with white rims, and On / Off markers making them easy to read. There’s an additional sticker with print labeling for each switch. The switches don’t have any back light when on.

Door and Cabinet

A bottle cap of a bottom loading water cooler dispenser changing on the cabinet door hook during a bottle change.
A bottle cap of a bottom loading water cooler dispenser changing on the cabinet door hook during a bottle change.
Door operated pressure switch inside a bottom loading water cooler dispenser. The switch operates the pump.
The door cabinet of a water cooler dispenser being opened from the bottom and not the side.
Has Door
Yes
InternalWDH
10.5 x 18.5 x 12 inches
Material
Silver plastic, white interior
Extra Features
Hook, pump switch

As mentioned, one should avoid opening the cabinet door by pulling on the attached drip tray. There is no side pocket handle to open the door, but we found the best way is to open it from the bottom, hooking your fingers into the space below.

The press switch worked fine and the pump switched off everytime the door was opened. The hook on the cabinet door is also very handy for hanging the bottle cap and water probe while you switch bottles.

Cord and Plug

Close up of the three-pronged plug found on the Avalon A4 bottom loading water cooler dispenser.
Close up of the three-pronged plug found on the Avalon A4 bottom loading water cooler dispenser.
Man holding the electric cord across the body of a water cooler dispenser mounted sideways on a table.
Length
72.0" (182.9 cm)
Position
Rear right, 25.1 in from ground
Plug Type
Type B - two flat pins, one grounding pin

Like quite a number of water cooler dispensers, the cord protrudes on the right about two thirds of the length up. It’s a suitable height for both a wall power point and a ground powerpoint near the ground if not too far away.

8.0 Ease of Use

The Avalon A4 is smooth to operate from the ease of dispensing water, to the design of the dispensing buttons, the hot water safety mechanism, and fast bottle changing.

Daily sanitation is quite simple whereas periodic descaling, like any water cooler dispenser, takes a little effort. In particular, we liked how easy it was to clean between the buttons and the hygienic design of the water spouts.

This machine doesn’t run UV or Ozone, but we provide some tips on how to keep the spouts clean in between periodic descalings.

8.8 Dispensing Water

Display panel, spouts, and buttons clearly shown in a close up of an Avalon water cooler dispenser.
Mechanism
Push button
Water Type
Hot, Cold, Normal
Spout Type
Molded into panel
Dispensing Height
8.0" (20.3 cm)

In our tests, the Avalon A4 had a perfect score for hot water flow rate. We did find, however, the flow rate for normal or room temperature water is considerably slower than both hot and cold. 

Regardless, the buttons have good traction and are well-sized. They do make a bit of a sound when pushed and released, but it’s not at all clunky.

We liked how a standard cup or larger flask can easily fit on the drip tray, and the water does not splash.

8.0 Hot Water Safety

Hand showing how to operate a hot water safety mechanism on a water cooler dispenser.
Mechanism
Button-mounted lever

The hot water safety mechanism works by sliding a lever mounted on the hot water button and then pushing down. It was easy to operate with one finger and the touch to the skin was not uncomfortable.

If you were accustomed to a different water cooler dispenser before purchasing this Avalon A4, we would urge caution with the hot water. The flow rate is not an issue, nor does the water splash, but your cup may fill comparatively faster.

7.0 Bottle / Filter Changing

A water probe or water needle being inserted into a bottle standing in front of a water cooler dispenser.
A water probe or water needle being inserted into a bottle standing in front of a water cooler dispenser.
A cap being placed onto the top of a bottle standing in front of a water cooler dispenser.
An open cabinet door of a water cooler dispenser with a bottle positioned inside.
Design
Bottom loading
Feature
Pump, cabinet switch

Most bottom loading water cooler dispensers will have an empty bottle alert to let you know the water has run out. For this, the indicator on the Avalon A4 worked fine. 

Changing the bottle on a bottom loader simply entails removing the bottle probe, shifting the new bottle into place, reinserting the probe, and closing the door. There’s a press switch that automatically switches off the pump when the door opens.

This worked flawlessly with the Avalon A4, but there were a couple of things to note. The drip tray is part of the door and not attached to the main body and you should not open the door by pulling on the drip tray. You have to grip the lower part of the door and open it that way.

We appreciated the three-bended and more efficient design of the water probe. The bottle cap is a somewhat flexible plastic seen with most dispensers, however, silicone is a better material for fitting all bottle sizes.

7.3 Cleaning

A Q-tip cotton swab being used to clean inside the water spout of a water cooler dispenser.
A Q-tip cotton swab being used to clean inside the water spout of a water cooler dispenser.
The water drainage plug with a protective plastic screw cap at the back of a water cooler dispenser.
A flat screwdriver being used to loosen the clip on the lid of a cold water tank inside a water cooler dispenser.
Inside the cold water tank of the Avalon A4 water cooler dispenser with the connecting funnel to the baffle clearly seen.
Self Cleaning
No
Drainage Plug
rear right, 21 in from ground

This Avalon A4, like similar Avalon machines, utilizes a ‘bacteria resistant’ plastic coating (Bioguard ™) for the front panel and the dispensing booth. The front panel is prone to catching fingerprints but the sides and door not so much. 

It’s enough to wipe the panel once a day to maintain a clean look. Additionally, the drip tray has a red level float that alerts you to clean out the water if you happen to forget. 

The best sanitary design feature is the water spouts. Each spout is molded firmly into the panel ceiling and it’s extremely easy to wipe around. 

Unlike the Avalon A5 and also the Avalon A8, this machine does not have an ozone cleansing feature. The water spouts and lines should therefore be sanitized every four to six months during periodic descaling. One trick is to use a cotton Q-tip to clean around and a little inside the spouts.

When opening up to the top of the machine to access the cold water tank, you should take careful note of the assembled tank parts. There’s a kind of adapter to channel water into the baffle separator, and you should align this correctly after cleaning the tank. The manual provides clear and detailed instructions for cleaning.

Behind the review

Headshot of Roger Shitaki
Roger ShitakiReviewer

Roger Shitaki is a writer, author, and editor. His niches are household appliances, health & wellness, and travel. He’s a freelance contributor to a Tokyo lifestyle website and a leading ophthalmology magazine in Asia.

Headshot of Lap Vo
Lap VoTest Lead

Lap is Head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (RTR Team) at HealthyKitchen101.com, where he directs and supervises the testing of kitchen gadgets and appliances.

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Nguyen NtkVisual Specialist

Nguyen Ntk is a graphic designer, photographer, and videographer whose philosophy centers around respecting and celebrating the beauty of reality. Through his lenses, Nguyen strives to capture the true essence of objects and events, showcasing and highlighting authentic features without distortion or exaggeration.