Drinking Fountain Troubleshooting

Drinking fountains are a big part of life around schools, offices and community buildings. If the drinking fountain isn't working correctly, there are a number of things you can try before calling in someone to repair it. Drinking fountain troubleshooting can be done by anyone.


Clogs are the No. 1 reason drinking fountains don't work right. Look at the fountain's bubbler head, which is where the water you drink comes out. Sometimes gum, dirt or other gunk gets stuck, making drinking from the fountain impossible. Use a sharp stick or pin and see if the mechanism has been clogged by something. If so, you can often get out the clog with a safety pin or a Swiss Army knife.

Low Water Pressure

A drinking fountain with low water pressure can be annoying. Check to see if there is more than one drinking fountain in the general area. If so, chances are that both are hooked up to the same water supply hose or source. If this is the case, the water pressure will be low when the other fountain is in use, and there isn't much you can do about it. If this is the only water fountain, and the pressure is low, check the intact valve and make sure that it is turned up all the way. Then check the water pipe to make sure that it is on and that it isn't clogged or diverted.


If the water fountain gives out warm water instead of cold, take off the front of the fountain and clean out the cooling coils with a damp, clean rag. Take care, as these might be hot. If the water temperature does not improve, call a repair person, as this could be a problem with the drinking fountain motor and, if so, will need to be fixed by a professional.


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