Drinking Fountains

Drinking Fountains

Gentworks has supplied many thousands of durable drinking fountains and water coolers since 2008.  The increased awareness of the importance of access to drinking water, especially in schools, combined with government regulations and guidance has seen dramatic growth in the purchase of drinking fountains over that period. We recognise that budgets are tight and have been doing our best to bring prices down over the years, making use of our purchasing power with manufacturers to gain the best deals for customers without compromising quality. Many new products are being added to the range of drinking fountains we offer, including those designed by Gentworks and manufactured exclusively on our behalf. We believe there is always room for improvement, even in relatively simple products like drinking fountains.  In 2016, we introduced glass-reinforced-plastic (GRP) drinking fountain models which are both attractive, incredibly resistant to wear and damage, even in challenging marine and swimming pool environments. 


In addition to new drinking fountains, Gentworks also supplies a range of popular spare parts to fit not only the models we sell, but drinking fountains from other manufacturers. Many bubbler taps and some swan-neck dispenser use cartridges that will occasionally need replacing, especially if the drinking fountain has not been drained down before a heavy frost.  Sometimes the whole bubbler tap or swan-neck will need to be changed because of irreperable damage, sadly often caused by misuse, but changing the button assembly can often solve a problem.


Drinking Fountains for Schools

Our most popular drinking fountains for use by schools are the GW-361, and GW-362 due to the high quality and low cost and the fact that it comes with a WRAS approved bubbler tap, as standard. The requirement for a WRAS approved bubbler is becoming the norm for new-build or major refurbishment projects at school sites.  

For those schools who want a reliable drinking fountain with a convenient bottle-filling facility, the GW-951 (adult height) or GW-952 (junior height) have also proved popular, especially since we were able to dramatically reduce the price of these models. We note that there are almost identical drinking fountains on sale by others with a much higher price tag! 


Choose GRP Drinking Fountains for Swimming Pool Areas

Please note that most stainless steel drinking fountains are not suitable for the majority of swimming pool facilities because of chloramines in the air. Repeated cycles of condensation followed by evaporation cause accumulation of these aggressive chloride-bearing compounds on above-water surfaces. There compounds are responsible for the majority of metal corrosion problems found in swimming pool environments. Chlorinated water dripping from the hair of drinking fountain users ads to the corrosive mix. Stainless steel drinking fountains will almost inevitably show signs of damage, often within a few months.  The best choice for swimming pool areas is a GRP drinking fountain such as the GWDF022-GG (with a grey granite finish) or the GWDF022-WH with a white finish.


Choosing a Drinking Fountain Dispenser

With the filling of water-bottles now being a major use of drinking fountains, many buyers choose to have a swan-neck bottle/cup filler fitted.  However, the swan-neck is also one of our most popular spares because they can be easily damaged by a determined vandal.  It is very hard indeed to damage a bubbler tap but a swan-neck can be gripped with both hands and pulled hard. If you are concerned about the possibility of such mistreatment of a drinking fountain, avoid the swan-neck option. For a more reliable bottle filling option, consider a floor standing drinking fountain with a recessed bottle filling station such as the GW-951 (adult height) or GW-952 (junior height).  They are more expensive than a standard wall-hung drinking fountain fitted with a swan-neck but are a more convenient and robust solution.  The cast-iron DFNW-860, designed to be wall-hung, is also a good choice because the stream of water comes from the top of the unit, allowing for easy filling of bottles.

Another disadvantage of swan-neck dispensers is that bacteria from the top of the much used (and infrequently cleaned) water bottle can be easily transferred to the swan-neck, and then to the next users of the drinking fountain.

Some models of drinking fountain are available with both a swan-neck and bubbler tap. Since 2007, Gentworks has refused to supply such models.  Often the 2 dispensers are very close to each other and this can result in injury if the user leans down to drink from the bubbler and then raises their head quickly, and not entirely vertically, into the outlet of the swan-neck dispenser. Gentworks has been told of many occassions when this has occurred, and the fault is not always with the user. A slight "shove" of someone who is drinking from the bubbler tap can cause a nasty incident. 


Drinking Fountains for Outdoor Use

All of our drinking fountains are suitable for outdoor use. However, you have to treat drinking fountains that fitted outside the same as you would sinks or outdoor wall taps.  If there is a danger of freezing, then the water should be drained out of the drinking fountain to avoid expanding ice damaging the hoses and water dispensers. 


Stainless Steel, Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP), and Cast Iron Drinking Fountains

We like to offer a wide choice of drinking fountain designs and materials. Stainless steel drinking fountains are by far the most popular because they tend to be lower cost, not least because of the volumes being manufactured.  Stainless steel drinking fountains are robust if made from 1.2mm Grade304 stainless steel, or even better if constructed from 1.5mm stainless steel.

Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) is an exceptionally tough material, that's why it is used for boat hulls. While nothing is completely "vandal proof", GRP drinking fountains are about as tough as they come. They also have the advantage over stainless steel in that GRP does not react with chlorine or salt, and therefore GRP drinking fountains are particularly suitable for swimming pools, marine use and seaside locations. Gentworks currently stocks 2 standard colours/finishes of GRP drinking fountain but we can manufacture them in almost any colour.  

Cast-iron may now seem like an old fashioned material to build a drinking fountain from but it is incredibly resistant to damage, as you can imagine. For outside use, the DFNW-860 drinking fountain is tough and spare parts are readily available in the unlikely event of  the water dispensing mechanism being damaged.  We would expect the DFNW-860 drinking fountain to last for many years, probably decades. 


Floor Standing versus Wall-Hung Drinking Fountains

Wall-hung drinking fountains are usually less expensive than floor standing one, largely for the obvious reason that they are larger to manufacture and use more material and labour, in construction.  All of Gentworks' floor-standing models are genuinely "floor standing", in that the weight of the drinking fountain is mostly taken by the floor, not the wall. This is not universally the case, however, as some models on sale by others are wall-hung models with a shroud filling the gap between a wall-hung unit and the floor. Where there is an installation requirement for the floor to take the weight of the fountain, this is an important distinction. 

The wall-hung drinking fountain, aside from being less expensive to purchase, also can be installed at a height suitable for the users. Naturally, a junior school would wish to set a "outflow height" (where the water leaves the bubbler) of 785mm or less, but for adults the recommended height is around 935mm. For those that want a floor-standing drinking fountain suitable for younger users, particularly at schools, Gentworks offers the DF-972 and GW-952