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Frigidaire Stainless Steel Water Cooler Dispenser In-depth Review

Frigidaire EFWC519 water cooler dispenser test results and review. Read why Frigidaire is a top performer. Best water cooler for an office.

By , , and ·Updated
Tested Using Methodology v1.0
Full front view of the Frigidaire EFWC519 water cooler dispenser with a water bottle mounted on top and a plant to the left.

Overall Verdict

The Frigidaire Stainless Steel EFWC519 is one of our top-performing water machines. It’s one of the best water coolers for an office since it performs particularly well with cold water and the temperature can be adjusted within 3℃. However, it’s not the best capacity machine for hot water during peak hours like mornings or lunchtimes. Although the design is a little dated, the build quality is good and the stainless steel body looks elegant. The machine body stays relatively cool even when pushed to perform, and it’s comparatively lightweight.

Things We Like

  • Cold water efficiency
  • Stainless steel body
  • Light weight
  • Cool to run
  • Easy to clean

Things We Don’t Like

  • Cramped dispensing space
  • Awkward hot water lever
  • Old design

Frigidaire makes a number of water cooler dispensers and this EFWC519 is one of their older designs. As a well-established manufacturer of large household appliances, Frigidaire has a good track record for design.

Key Specs

Dimensions WDH
12.5 x 12.6 x 41.5 inches
Weight
28.7 lbs (13.0 kg)
Loading Type
Top Loading
Dispensing Mechanisms
Faucet levers
Cold Water Temperature
50‒54 ℉
Cold Water Capacity
202 fl.oz. / Hr

Where to Buy Price at publication $152.32

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Compared to Other Water Cooler Dispensers

Ranking by
Showing: 8/9 Items

Analysis and Test Results

9.3 Performance

The Frigidaire EFWC519 is a particularly well-performing water cooler dispenser. It’s one of the best machines for cold water capacity, but the hot water performance and capacity is comparatively not as good. The flow rate is a little slower than other top-ranking machines —especially those with buttons—but it still pours comfortably enough.

8.2 Hot Water Test

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

For its smaller tank size, this Frigidaire took slightly longer to heat compared to other similar machines. The single draw or back-to-back capacity was likewise not that much, but the recorded temperature was consistently good.

Heating Time Longer Than Average (6 / 35%)

Our tests revealed that the Frigidaire EFWC519 takes on average 5 min 37 sec to reheat between cycles. This works out to 3.22 min for a standard 8.5 fl.oz. (250ml) cup. We found this to be significantly longer than other competitive machines. Essentially, you wait a little longer to get comparatively less hot water than most other machines.

Temperature Competitively High (10 / 45%)

We tested the hot water temperature after each recalibration in a series of five tests. This Frigidaire maintained a constant average temperature of a standard 198℉ (92.2℃) within a 3℃ variation. A similar and competitive top loading machine, the Avalon A1, is calibrated to a lower temperature of 192℉ (88.8 ℃), which may be preferred as a safer hot water temperature.

Reasonable serving capacities

The output within the maximum temperature range is around 14.5 fl.oz. (430 ml). The single draw serving capacity until the reheating indicator switches on is around 17 fl.oz. (500 ml). That’s not a huge amount—only about two small disposable cups (220 ml). On average, the machine can output around 5 L of hot water per hour based on back-to-back usage.

Flow Rate Good Enough For The Design (8 / 20%)

We scored and measured flow rates against a benchmark of 1.15 fl.oz. / sec (34 ml). This rate is a good compromise—not enough to cause mishaps but not so slow as to become frustrating. Generally, machines with buttons like the Avalon A4 are better at maintaining this standard.

The hot water flow rate from this Frigidaire is around 1.01 fl.oz. / sec (30 ml). This is still quite acceptable and also understandable considering the older type of faucet lever design. The modern paddle lever design of the Avalon A1 is 1.08 fl.oz. (32 ml) while the similar Avalon A8 is a second slower.

10 Cold Water Test

Two small paper cups barely fitting completely on the drip tray of a water cooler dispenser with a faucet design.
Serving Capacity
202 fl.oz./6L per hour
Temperature
50-54 ℉

If you’re looking for a cold water workhorse, Frigidaire is a good choice, if not one of the best. You can also adjust the cold water temperature by 3℃ at the back of the machine. 

We were impressed with the Frigidaire’s consistent low temperature of 54℉ (12℃) even when pressed to provide 300 ml of perfectly chilled water every 3 minutes. Not many machines we tested can maintain this level of output. 

This means that the Frigidaire can consistently produce 202 fl. oz. ( 6 L) of perfectly chilled water every hour. Only the Avalon A4 and the Avalon A5 have met this high standard in our testing program.

Another noticeable feature was the fact that, unlike other machines, the Frigidaire remains relatively cool to the touch even with a lot of throughput.

8.4 Design

The Frigidaire EFWC519 is a well-designed machine, its materials are high-quality, and the performance meets high standards. The overall look is somewhat dated, but if the price suits you, that’s a minor consideration.

In the Box

An unboxed Frigidaire EFWC519 water cooler dispenser pictured next to the box, a detached drip tray, and bundled literature.
  • Water cooler dispenser
  • Detachable drip tray
  • User manual

Dimensions

Illustrated dimensions of the Frigidaire EFWC519 water cooler dispenser showing the height, depth, and width across in inches.
Depth
12.6" (32.0 cm)
Width
12.5" (31.8 cm)
Height
41.5" (105.4 cm)
Weight
28.7 lbs (13.0 kg)

9.0 Build Quality

Side view of the stainless steel body of the Frigidaire EFWC519 water cooler dispenser.
Side view of the stainless steel body of the Frigidaire EFWC519 water cooler dispenser.
Close up view of the water dispensing faucets and control panel of the Frigidaire EFWC519 water cooler dispenser.
A plastic cover over top top of a rear metal grate of a water cooler dispenser.
Side Body
stainless steel
Front Panel
stainless steel and plastic
Cabinet Door
None
Base
plastic
Extra Features
None

The most stand-out feature of this Frigedaire is its more rounded design rather than the standard square shape. The sides are bare stainless steel, which is uncommon. Considering how little plastic is involved, the machine is surprisingly lightweight. 

The hard plastic front panel and dispensing booth do not gather fingerprints at all. One oversight is the sharp edges of the rear metal grate, but an ad hoc plastic cover helps protect careless fingers.

8.5 Panel & Indicators

Close up view of the control panel of the Frigidaire EFWC519 water cooler dispenser showing Cooling, Heating, and Power indicators.
Power Status
bottom
Hot Water
middle
Cold Water
top
Bottle Or Filter
None
Others
None

The working panel of the Frigedaire has a refreshing design. The indicators are placed one above the other in the center of the panel. The color-coded faucets are easy to understand, so there are no additional icons. During our testing, the indicators worked perfectly—to one degree of a temperature change.

8.0 Water Inlet Controls

A finger pointing where to open the water guard of a top loading water cooler dispenser.
A finger pointing where to open the water guard of a top loading water cooler dispenser.
The water guard of a top loading water cooler dispenser being removed.
A top down view into the tank of a top loading water cooler dispenser showing the water baffle of the tank.
Mechanism
water guard and baffle
Materials
plastic
Extra Features
slender bottle needle

One noticeable feature is how easy it is to remove the water guard and the water needle. However, you only ever need to remove the water guard when you clean and descale the machine.

When doing so, note that the water separator or baffle fits tightly and securely. It can take some effort to remove at first, but replacing it is relatively easy. With lower-quality machines this can be cumbersome.

Water Dispensers

Close up of hot and cold water cooler dispenser taps with faucet-type levers. The left tap is red and the right is blue.
Mechanism
Hot and Cold water lever taps
Outflow Points
2 faucet nozzles
Material
plastic
Extra Features
Hot Water safety mechanism

This older design has two spigot-style taps, each of which operates with a lever. They are color-coded blue and red for cold and hot water respectively. Although the design is a bit old, we like how they can detach for better sanitation during descaling. We detail more about their functionality and use in our ease-of-use evaluation.

6.5 Drip Tray

Close up front view of a drip tray positioned in a water cooler dispenser.
Close up front view of a drip tray positioned in a water cooler dispenser.
The cover to the drip tray of a water cooler dispenser being removed.
A bottom up view of two paper cups resting on the narrow drip tray of a water cooler dispenser.
Material
plastic
Color
black
Length
10.5" (26.7 cm)
Width
2.5" (6.4 cm)
Depth
1.6" (4.1 cm)
Level Float
No

Perhaps one disappointment is the drip tray and dispensing booth area. It’s really only made for in-hand dispensing, so the tray is quite narrow. Plus, the dispensing area is a little cramped overall and more suited for small cups. 

The drip tray is secure and would be difficult for a child to pull out. It doesn’t lift up to remove. You need to apply pressure at the base while pulling; otherwise it will jerk out and spill the water.

Rear Switches

Close up of two color-coded buttons at the rear of a water cooler dispenser with clear labeling for operation.
Close up of two color-coded buttons at the rear of a water cooler dispenser with clear labeling for operation.
Close up of the rear of the Frigidaire  EFWC519 water cooler showing a temperature adjustment button on the bottom right.
Hot Water
Yes
Cold Water
Yes
Others
None

The switches are color coded with clear written instructions. There is also a dial that lets you adjust the cold thermostat by up to 3℃. In our tests we kept this on the lowest setting, but we can also confirm the adjustment function worked fine.

Door and Cabinet

Has Door
No
InternalWDH
N/A
Material
N/A
Extra Features
N/A

Cord and Plug

A three pronged plug of a water cooler dispenser held in front of the machine's display panel.
A three pronged plug of a water cooler dispenser held in front of the machine's display panel.
Man holding an electric cord double-folded across the horizontal rear view of the Frigidaire EFWC519 water cooler dispenser.
Length
70.0" (177.8 cm)
Position
Rear right, 4 in from ground
Plug Type
Type B - two flat pins, one grounding pin

In a departure from most, the Frigidaire’s power cord is at the bottom, 4 inches from the ground, and a little shorter than most other machines. The drainage plug is 18 inches directly above, but not a hindrance during descaling.

7.5 Ease of Use

We found dispensing cold water to be easy enough for the spigot design. The hot water safety mechanism, however, was less than ideal. On the other hand, changing the bottle was standard for a top loading dispenser, while cleaning and descaling is relatively straightforward.

8.0 Dispensing Water

Close up view of the two faucets on a water cooler dispenser, the left is red and the right is blue.
Mechanism
Hand operated lever
Water Type
Hot and cold water
Spout Type
Tap type
Dispensing Height
8.0" (20.3 cm)

With its narrow drip tray, the Frigidaire EFWC519 is designed for cup-in-hand dispensing. The cold water lever is quite flexible and it operates just as easily by pushing up as pushing down. It is possible, however, to accidentally dispense water if the lever is brushed or knocked. The flow rate is comfortable, but not as fast as many button-type machines.

6.0 Hot Water Safety

Close up of a hot water dispensing lever and safety mechanism on a water cooler dispenser.
Close up of a hot water dispensing lever and safety mechanism on a water cooler dispenser.
Close up on the hot water faucet removed from a water cooler dispenser.
Mechanism
Double push back lever

The hot water safety mechanism is less than ideal. You have to push back and then down. There’s no option to dispense by lifting the lever up. It tends to flip closed easily if you change the pressure on the lever. The dispensing height is fine since the drip tray is not really designed to hold a cup.

7.0 Bottle / Filter Changing

A demonstration on how to set up a bottle onto a top loading water cooler dispenser.
A demonstration on how to set up a bottle onto a top loading water cooler dispenser.
A water bottle set in place on a top loading water cooler dispenser.
Design
Top loading
Feature
Water guard and water needle

Changing the water bottle on the Frigidaire EFWC519 is much the same as any top-loading water cooler dispenser. The machine height is 41.5 inches to the top of the water guard. The water needle is firm yet slender enough to fit most bottle types.

 Although the machine is at least a kilogram lighter than most others, it’s steady while loading and operating. The heating and cooling mechanisms will automatically stop operating if water levels drop too low.

7.9 Cleaning

Cleaning the stainless steel front of a water cooler dispenser.
Cleaning the stainless steel front of a water cooler dispenser.
Cleaning the inside of a water faucet of a water cooler dispenser with a cotton Q-tip.
Plug at the rear of a water cooler dispenser for draining water out the hot and cold water tanks.
The water guard of a top loading water cooler dispenser being removed showing the tank with a baffle below.
Top down view of the inside of a cold water tank of a top loading water cooler dispenser.
A close up view of two detached water faucets on a water cooler dispenser.
Self Cleaning
No
Drainage Plug
Rear rt, 21 in from ground

Keeping the dispensing booth clean is fairly easy since the plastic is not prone to gathering fingerprints. The stainless steel sides can get smudgy, but are easy enough to clean.

In a public or office area with high-volume traffic, it’s best to wipe around the taps with a disinfectant wet wipe at least a couple of times a day. Complete disinfecting of the levers can only be done during descaling. 

When the tanks are drained for a full descaling or cleaning, both tap levers can detach and you can disinfect them in a bleach solution.

 Removing the top water guard is effortless, and we also found that the baffle or water separator is particularly easy to work with. All you do is align the eye on the separator with the outlet hole for cold water.

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.