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Virgin Pure Water Bar

November 7, 2019
By

Virgin Pure Water BarAnother day, another gadget. While I have been happy with my Brita HotCup as a one-cup dispensing kettle, it has a reasonably small volume – plenty enough for me, but when I have a dozen guests for board games, it needs refilling frequently. And because of the filter, it is relatively slow to fill.

So I have been looking at plumbed in water systems for a while. After deliberation, I decided the Virgin Pure Water Bar is a neat solution and while it is bigger than the Brita it replaces, it is almost the same size as my coffee machine, so doesn’t look out of place next to it.

Installation is included in the price, and was straightforward. It uses a thin flexible hose that needs to connect to the cold water supply. My engineer completed the job in less than an hour. I thought the hose would need to run through my cupboard, but on removing my plinths, he said he could run it underneath, and come up the back. It did mean drilling through my kitchen top; this we discussed, and he made the hole in the corner, behind where my coffee maker sits, with a good length of hose to let me move the machine for cleaning. Furthermore, he installed closable inline taps at either end – behind the machine, and at the water pipe. All in all, a very neat job.

So what does this do? It provides Hot water, virtually on demand (see below) @ 92-96°C; there is also an “Extra Hot” button which has to be pressed to prime the machine for boiling water. It also provides chilled water (user configurable from 5-20°C), and a Mix option (user configurable 10-50°) option, which I have yet to use.

The engineer set the machine to Hot water on demand, which means the temperature is maintained throughout the day. I don’t really approve of this, so I immediately set it to “Energy Saving” mode, which is why I say water is “virtually” on demand. So to pour hot water, you have to hit either the Hot or Extra Hot (boiling) button, at which point it starts heating the water, like a kettle, but it takes less than a minute. Once it tells you it is ready to dispense, you then either press the Hot button once more, for a measured cup of water, or press and hold for continuous flow, e.g. to fill a teapot.

Energy Saving mode is then suspended – the machine will keep the water heated ready to serve – until it times out and reverts to Energy Saving (I have this set to 30 minutes).

The cold water is kept chilled, whatever the Energy Saving mode. You either press and hold the Cold button for continuous pour, press Cup (which is on the Cold side of the controls) for a measured cup of water, or press Cold and Cup for a measured jug of water. As with the hot water, the Cup size is configurable, but the Jug is fixed at what it displays as “33 oz”, despite the machine being set to metric. Of course 33 US fluid ounces is 1 litre.

As well as heating and chilling the water, it filters out grit and micro-plastic, impurities and chlorine, using charcoal. It also has a UV light to kill bacteria.

My only grumble with it is with its Automatic Power Down mode. I would have liked a setting that would power it down at a set time each night, but the Power Down mode only turns it off after no use for 24-72 hours. So useful for making sure you don’t leave it on when on holiday, but not for turning the whole thing off at night. There is a manual Power Down option, but only available from the menu, there is not a simple button. However, this is not so much an issue now I have it set to Energy Saving mode.

There is a Child Safety feature which requires both Cold and Hot buttons to be pressed to dispense hot water. Apparently this is fixed for US machines, but optional for non-US machines, and I have it switched off.

There are other controls for lights and clock displays, and one that gives you a beep when you press each button. Which might be useful, if it wasn’t such a horrible beep!

The item I have is the T6, a newer model is the T7. I went for the T6, as all the controls are on the front, where the T7 has them on the top. As it was going to be under my wall cupboard, I thought the T6 would be better. A minor design snag I’ve found is that the display screen mists up every time you dispense Extra Hot water!

Under the spout there is a fold out cup tray, which accommodates all of my cups and mugs. This folds neatly away for use with a teapot or jug. Note that your teapot needs to have a wide opening to it – traditional shaped teapots are no good, as they cannot get close enough – this was the same for my Brita.

All in all, I am very pleased with it, particularly the chilled water aspect. Using the chilled water in my Sodastream means I have instant carbonated water, rather than having to wait for it to chill in the fridge after carbonation.

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