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How to Buy a Drinking Fountain

Buyer's Guide: Drinking Fountains

It’s not likely that you have often found yourself thinking – “I should really install a drinking fountain”, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t ever done! Drinking fountains get used every day. Typically they are used in commercial, office and school settings; places where people do not have easy access to home kitchens and sinks for pouring water.

Drinking fountains are similar to water coolers in that they offer the same thing, water. The advantage of a drinking fountain is that it is hooked up directly to a water source so it will not need to be refilled.

Everyone Needs a Sip

There are two types of drinking fountains – ones that are approved by the U.S. Department of Justice for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and those that are not. ADA approved drinking fountains are accessible to everyone, if installed correctly> These fountains are most likely required by law to be present in work and commercial spaces.

Give it Some Space

Determine how many water fountains you want or have space for and where they will be installed. First find a place with access to a water line and then measure the space available for installation. Most water fountains are about the same size and are installed at the same heights, however some fountains feature three drinking stations, backsplashes with a faucet for filling water bottles and more. Measure out the space you have available for a drinking fountain keeping in mind things like how wide doors swing open around the space (no one likes being bumped in the bum when getting some water) and obstructions.

A Bit (or Bulk) of Stainless Steel

The most common material used for drinking fountain production is stainless steel. Stainless steel is a great choice because it is easy to clean, can hold up to lots of use, wear and tear and has a nice modern look. All of these traits help to create the perfect water fountain for any building.

lkay MultiStation Package Drinking Fountain

Just like other stainless steel products, drinking fountains are available in different gauges. Gauge refers to the thickness of the steel. For example:


Thickness in Inches

Weight (lb/ft2)













Other Materials

Stainless steel is without question the most commonly used material to make drinking fountains, but there are a couple more options. China, white granite and other materials are available if you are interested in a different look.

Judge the Figure

Go ahead and judge a drinking fountain by its figure. Drinking fountains come in so many shapes and sizes that you will surely be able to find the best fit for your needs. For example, low profile drinking fountains that are ideal for small, high traffic areas. These fountains only protrude a tiny bit from the wall and will maximize the space available. For an even less obstructive option, look for a drinking fountain which is completely recessed into the wall, this won’t take away any walking space.

For areas with more space it might be nice to get something that sticks out a little farther and has little barrier walls to help eliminate water splashing messes.

Never Lose your Sense of Style

Water fountains aren’t known for their highly aesthetic appeal, but that doesn’t mean that they are doomed to fail as a décor piece. The best way to make a drinking fountain look good is to not draw too much attention to it by buying one in a finish that blends in. Drinking fountains are available in finishes such as steel, white, black, chrome and more.

It Does No Good in the Box

Once you’ve found the perfect drinking fountain, the fun is not over. Installation is a pretty straight forward process and most people who have experience completing DIY projects will be able to do it themselves. However if you aren’t comfortable with the idea of installation, professionals are available.

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