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Should I buy a water cooler or drinking fountain?

Should I buy a water cooler or drinking fountain?

Should I buy a water cooler or drinking fountain?

Christine Kleyn12/19/2014


 Having a fresh, filtered water source in both a business and home setting is great – but which route should you take? There is a range of options out there from plumbed or freestanding water coolers to more traditional drinking fountains.

Here are some important elements to consider before settling on the option you want:

Water source

If you choose to go for a water fountain, you will need to link it up to a water source. This means that you’re reasonably limited to where you can situate the fountain. The same applies to a plumbed-in water cooler machine.

You could always fit new water pipes in your walls in order to place the fountain where you want it. However, the further the pipes have to go, the less control you have over the temperature of the water.

Power source

Water coolers generally need a power source in order to operate. This applies to both plumbed and bottled water options. If you want to be able to chill or heat the water, then you need to set up by a plug point.

Wall and floor space

A water fountain is generally mounted on the wall, however, you can get floor standing options. On the other hand, a water cooler machine usually stands on the floor or on a counter – whether it’s plumbed in or freestanding. With a fountain, you can also go for a recessed fitting. Therefore, it’s important to analyse the space you have available and see what will work best.

Another consideration is how people will access the fountain or cooler to drink from it. You need to provide more space around a fountain as people will be leaning over the tap to drink. With a water cooler, you only need to think about storage for cups. If you’re providing disposable cups, then you might want to consider putting a bin next to the cooler as well.


Before you make your choice, be sure to look into the maintenance and cleaning of the option you like best. Filters will need to be cleaned and replaced from time to time, and the taps and basins will also need regular cleaning to stop bacteria and harmful germs from building up.

For plumbed in options, be sure to check whether or not there is any maintenance required on the pipes and if so, how often it needs to be done.

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