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Billi vs Zip

By Neil Anderson

Zip-Hydrotap-Elite-Tap

Which is better? Billi or Zip? If we had a dollar for every time we’d been asked that!

Billi and Zip are the two most dominant brands in the Australian Filtered Drinking Water Systems market. Both make world-class products in Australia and are increasing their presence on the international market, giving them the economies of scale to continuing developing new innovations.

So are Zip taps best? Or does Billi make superior systems? It’s a close thing, but there are some differences you should know. Our recommendation to you will depend on your needs, not any clear-cut manufacturing quality difference. This blog identifies lots of factors you need to consider when asking the question – which is better - Billi or Zip?

Does Billi or Zip offer more innovative products?

Over the decades, there have been times when either brand could be considered the innovation leader. Zip were the first to manufacture an instant boiling water systems back in the 1960’s. Then in 1990, Billi took the innovation lead, releasing a combination boiling and chilled under bench unit – setting the standard for systems that are so commonly found in corporate kitchenettes nationwide.

Billi and Zip currently offer dozens of different products, but overall their ranges are quite similar, with two exceptions. In recent years, Zip has released these two new under-bench systems:

Zip HydroTap All-in-One: This world-class product offers instant filtered chilled, sparkling, boiling plus hot and cold washing up water, all from the one tap. This creates the ultimate clean-design look that has proved very popular for high-end corporate show-rooms and boardroom kitchenettes. Billi can offer the same water options, but they use two taps to do it.

Zip Touch Free Wave: Rushed to market due to the pandemic, these touch-free units are a great innovation to help reduce transmission of viruses in the workplace. Zip has released 22 Touch Free Wave models across six options:

  1. Boiling
  2. Chilled
  3. Boiling and Chilled
  4. Chilled and sparkling
  5. Boiling and ambient
  6. Boiling, chilled and sparkling. 

Billi vs Zip: The biggest product difference is how they’re cooled.

The biggest market segment where the Billi versus Zip battle is fought is the under bench boiling and chilled water tap market. Not surprisingly, the key differences are under the bench. Zip units have air-cooled condensers, whereas Billi units mostly use a water-cooled condenser. Both these systems work well in every environment, although water does transfer heat more efficiently than air.

Some may claim the air-cooled design doesn’t use water, hence it is more environmentally friendly. However, as Zip units are air-cooled, they heat up your cupboard. That heat must be vented into your office, so your air-conditioner needs to cope with the extra heat. So - what’s worse for the environment, using a little mains water, or your air-conditioning working a little harder?

This is where we come back to our original comment - it’s horses for courses.

More Tripple bottom line considerations.

Another factor that our customers are increasingly considering is manufacturing location. The Zip versus Billi battle here is very close as Zip manufactures in Sydney, and Billi in Melbourne. They both beat all the imported brands from the perspective of supporting local jobs, minimising the environmental impact and delays of international shipping.

Other factors in the Zip vs Billi battle:

Who’s winning the Billi vs Zip Sales battle?

Zip certainly is a bigger company with more global sales than Billi, but we would not advise using that as a default indicator of superior quality or customer satisfaction. Both make world-class products that we are proud to sell, install and service.

Price

These companies have different wholesale deals from time to time that we can take advantage of. Their ranges vary so much it is hard to make a price / value assessment across the board. Better to make an assessment what we know what you need for your workplace.

Space in your kitchen cabinet

For years Billi won the day in tight spaces as it offered the smallest under-bench system. Now Zip has the Micro model, so the battle for ‘smallest’ is pretty much an even race. But both brands offer literally dozens of different models. So depending on what capacity and the combination of chilled, sparkling, boiling and ambient water you want, the under-bench unit dimensions and tap positions vary. Minimising or avoiding cabinet modifications is always a smart consideration. We’ll consider all these factors when we measure up your cabinet and make our recommendations.

System capacity

How many people are using each tap during peak periods? The Billi versus Zip battle is definitely fought on capacities in each sub-category of the market. There are so many options it is impossible to declare a winner across the board on this factor. Let’s discuss this once we know what capacity you need.

Water combination choice

Hard to split the difference here. Both brands offer chilled, sparkling, boiling and ambient water options, or any combination of those. 

Style preferences

For those that want the ultimate in minimalist style whilst ensuring your team has boiling, chilled, sparkling – plus hot and cold washing up water, all from the same tap – then Zip is our recommendation. However, if colour choices are a bigger priority, both brands have lots of options and they’re changing all the time.

Zip certainly is a bigger company with more global sales than Billi, but we would not advise using that as a default indicator of superior quality or customer satisfaction. Both make world-class products that we are proud to sell, install and service.

Bill vs Zip Parts Availability

Parts availability in our experience has been equally good for many years, so don’t let that sway you. We fill our vans with all the common spares, so if you’re using us for servicing, that’s really not a factor.  

Billi vs Zip Filters

Let’s call this one a draw. Both offer a variety of world-class genuine filters. The right one for you will depend on your water use and mains quality. Both Zip and Billi do not offer fluoride or heavy metal reducing filters or a larger filter system that can cope with high usage without needing frequent changes. As an independent specialist we often add a pre-filter to Zip chilled taps and Billi chilled taps.

Billi vs Zip Warranty

This is probably the single most significant difference. Zip offers a three-year warranty cover on the HydroTap range, Billi provide two-year cover on their Quadra range.

So what’s our Billi versus Zip verdict?

We happily recommend products from either brand depending on your unique circumstances. Some of our customers choose certain Zip models for the touch free features or the extra warranty, other customers choose certain Billi models on their own merits. Both these brands are world-class, highly engineered, top-of-the-range quality products proudly made in Australia.

Deciding between the hundreds of Billi tap and Zip tap variants can be tough. We specialise in helping you choose what’s right for you. We’re available 7am-5pm AEST on 1300 070 007.  

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