Low Pressure in a Drinking Fountain

Due to factors such the increase of bottled water consumption, the prevalence of the drinking fountain may seem to have decreased over the years. However, the drinking fountain is still a part of most public buildings and is quite helpful for the thirsty bystander. There's nothing more frustrating as craving a sip of cool water and discovering that the water pressure in the nearest drinking fountain is so low that your lips have to actually kiss metal to get a drop of water. There are a few reasons for low water pressure in a drinking fountain and a few possible solutions.

Low water pressure in a drinking fountain may have many causes and possible solutions.

Measuring Water Pressure

Water pressure in a drinking fountain should be measured between 20 and 125 psi (per square inch.) Any measurement under 20 psi is considered low water pressure and anything over 125 psi is considered high. Although it's not typically necessary to determine the water pressure's output to know that the pressure is low, it can be beneficial to the plumber or expert who may be repairing the fountain. When water pressure drops below 20 psi, the pressure must be restored to maintain a working water fountain.

Multiple Fountains

If there's more than one drinking fountain in the same general area and each fountain has low pressure, then the problem is most likely caused by both fountains being hooked up to the same water source. Having more than one fountain hooked into the same water supply can cause low pressure, especially when both fountains are used simultaneously. If it's impossible to connect separate fountains to separate water sources, there isn't a whole lot which may be done to solve the problem.

Frozen Cooling Tank

Another possibility for a low water pressure is a frozen cooling tank. A strong indicator of a frozen cooling tank (aside from low water pressure) is a compressor that runs nonstop. By repairing the cooling tank, pressure may be increased, but the two aren't directly correlated. As with certain clogs, a frozen cooling tank is best handled by professionals. Usually repair includes replacing the control system and ensuring that the control bulb is correctly attached to the thermowell.


One potential cause of low pressure in a drinking fountain is a clog. To determine whether or not the drinking fountain is clogged, the bubbler valve must be disassembled and inspected. Clogs will generally be fairly obvious and visible. In some cases, the bubbler valve may need repairing or replacing. This action should generally be performed by a professional or someone who's familiar with the operation of drinking fountains.