How Much Does It Cost to Install a Drinking Water Fountain?

Typical Range:

$1,000 - $6,000

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated May 6, 2022

Reviewed by Jeff Botelho, Licensed Journeyman Plumber.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Drinking Fountain Costs

the average cost to install a drinking fountain is $2,300 or 41,000 to $6,000.

Installing a drinking fountain costs an average of $2,300. Most homeowners spend between $1,000 and $6,000. Installation is $500 to $3,000. You can hire a plumber at a rate of $45 to $150 per hour. Most units price between $500 to $3,000 in most cases but can be as high as $5,000. Costs are similar for residential and commercial installation.

Whether you want to install a source of drinking water for your home or public space, the benefits are the same. Through a purification system, each user will drink healthier water. You will also save on plastic bottles, which are both pricey and harmful to the environment. To achieve the full extent of these benefits, hire a professional for installation.

Average Cost to Install a Drinking Fountain

Average Cost$2,300
High Cost$6,000
Low Cost$1,000

Drinking Water Fountain Prices

The fountain costs $300 to $5,000. Where it falls on that range depends on the type you choose.

Drinking Fountain Costs
Type Price Range
Water-Efficient or Green Energy Fountains $400 – $1,500
Double Fountains $700 – $4,000
Side Spout $600 – $1,200
Recessed $1,900 – $3,600
Foot Pedal $900 – $2,000
Touchless $1,500 – $4,000
Refillable Water Bottle Stations $500 – $1,200
Filtered Units $1,200 – $4,000
Refrigerated $1,000 – $1,500
Countertop $400 – $700
Hot Water Dispensers $1,500-$2,500
Frost-Resistant $1,600 – $3,400
Free-Standing Units $1,500 – $5,000
ADA Compliant Units $400 – $1,500

Water Efficient or Green Energy Fountains

An efficient product costs between $400 and $1,500. These options are typically simple, not offering many features. Instead, they save water and energy through features like automatic valve shut offs. Liquid pressure is typically low, making these products a good fit for residential applications.

Double Fountains

A double fountain costs $700 to $4,000. These are most commonly seen with spouts at different heights. They're perfect for public spaces, allowing people of all ages and abilities to drink. For high-usage areas such as locker rooms, units with up to four spouts on the same level are also available.

Side Spout

Fountains with side spouts range between $600 and $1,200. Unlike most alternatives, a side spout does not dispense water diagonally. This alternative is especially beneficial for smaller spaces because the basin can be smaller. However, installation costs can be higher because most products need to fit into a semi-recessed spot into the wall.


Recessed fountains range between $1,900 and $3,600. Because they blend completely into the wall, these options are perfect for narrow hallways. They don't simply attach to a wall or stand on their own, so installation is more complex. It might involve hiring a contractor in addition to working with a plumber.

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Foot Pedal

A foot pedal fountain prices between $900 and $2,000. Most products operate with hand-pushed buttons, but this one requires pressure from your foot. Most uses are based on nostalgia and style. Designs emulate the pedal-operated fountains from the early 20th century. Wiring and plumbing is similar to free-standing units.


Touchless fountains cost $1,500 to $4,000. Unlike more traditional options, this variety includes either an automatic sensor or a large button you can lean against. It's among the more expensive alternatives. Installation makes sense in germ-heavy areas like hospitals, where users’ hands might not be clean.

Refillable Water Bottle Stations

Water Bottle Stations cost between $500 and $1,200. You can add a bottle station to your existing unit or install a new one with both drinking and bottle filling options included. More modern and expensive varieties include a counter of how many plastic bottles the station has saved. This makes them especially valuable for organizations prioritizing green initiatives. A new filter ranges from $60 to $100. Filter replacement can be done without significant expertise but does require access to the water supply.

Filtered Units

Filtered products range between $1,200 and $4,000. Most units automatically filter lead out of any liquid flowing through. Specifically filtered fountains also remove other bacteria, making the water healthier to drink. Costs can range based on quality of the filter, and whether the product includes a filter change indicator.


Refrigerated fountains are $1,000 to $1,500 in most cases. This option internally cools any liquid flowing through. It results in a more pleasant drinking experience for users. However, refrigerated units tend to be more expensive to install. They're also costlier to maintain because of additional electricity. These units also require an electrician to install an outlet to plug them into.


A countertop model ranges $400 to $700. This option is perfect for residential units because it does not require wall space. The water flow is typically low, making it more effective the less traffic and use it gets.

Hot Water Dispensers

Expect to pay between $1,500 and $2,500 for hot water dispensers. With the right product, your fountain can distribute hot water for beverages and other uses. This option is most commonly available for indoor units mounted to the wall. Additional plumbing for the water heater will be necessary, but some products come with their own heating unit.


When you need frost resistance, your budget should be between $1,600 and $3,400. Products designed for outdoor and non-heated spaces need to account for the weather. Adding frost resistance to your project means increasing your unit price. You will also need to ensure that your water lines cannot freeze before the liquid even gets to the tank.

Free-Standing Units

Fountains that don't attach to a wall cost $1,500 to $5,000. Free-standing products are mounted to the floor and best for public exterior spaces. With all the high-end or custom options, this could cost up to $9,000 for a bi-level pedestal with a pet drinking station.

ADA-Compliant Fountains

An ADA-compliant fountain typically ranges between $400 and $1,500. Any ADA-compliant product must be accessible from multiple heights, with controls on the front or side that are easy to push. These are typically wall mounted because of the necessary handicap access clearances below the unit.

“If you’re installing a unit in a public space, you will probably need to make sure it’s ADA-compliant,” says Jeff Botelho, a Massachusetts-licensed journeyman plumber with 18 years of experience. “Always check with state and local plumbing and building codes prior to starting any plumbing project, especially in a public place.”

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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Drinking Fountain?

Most of your budget will go toward a plumber, who costs between $45 and $150 per hour. Other professionals are only necessary for complex installations. Where exactly your project falls depends on the overall $500 to $3,000 scale depends on the type of fountain, where you install it, and more. Indoor units cost less than outdoor alternatives. Commercial projects come with different needs than residential options.

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Installing an indoor fountain typically ranges between $500 and $1,000, while an outdoor project can be as high as $3,000. Indoor typically costs less and can be done more quickly than outdoors. Waterlines are more easily available, and the product will not have to be weatherproof or frost resistant. Costs can rise with more complex units. A hot water dispenser, for example, might need a new power supply in addition to plumbing. Recessed options also increase the installation price because they require contracting work on the wall. Outdoors, laying pipes below the freezing line in the ground can increase plumbing needs and your budget.

Schools & Other Commercial Spaces

Installing a fountain in a public space ranges between $600 and $1,500. Schools, gyms, colleges, restaurants, and pools can all benefit from this addition. Any products installed in schools and other public spaces need to be ADA compliant, which can raise the installation price. Tapping into the water supply for a drinking fountain usually requires a permit. This fee is minimal, $50 to $100 depending on location. However, applying for a permit extends the installation timeline. A certified plumber can walk you through the process or get it for you.

Residential Home Units

Installing a residential product tends to be relatively inexpensive, between $500 and $1,000. That's because plumbing is typically minimal. Small countertop units designed for indoor use are easy to install. Larger options by a pool or pool house can become more expensive.

Plumbing Needed for Special Features

For unusual situations and special features, your plumbing budget might increase to $1,000, or as high as $2,500. Specialty units will need more extensive plumbing work, such as added waterlines for multiple basins. Filtered and bacteria-resistant options may work better with new pipes that keep the water clean before it gets to the spout.

Savings & Incentives

Long-term, the cost of installing a drinking fountain offers a large return on your investment (ROI). Bottled water typically costs more than $1 per gallon. Common 16oz bottles can cost $5 or more. According to the EPA, at a price of $2 per thousand gallons, tap water is between 200 and 1,000 times cheaper than bottled. For a business or homeowner, that difference can result in significant savings. An average consumption of 20 gallons per month for a small business would require a budget of up to $1,200 per year for bottled water. Compared to tap, these products significantly increase the water quality. They also help to reduce the high environmental costs of disposable bottles.

Outdoor Water Fountain or Feature Prices

They might share a name, but decorative units are very different from drinking fountains. Their purpose focuses on visual improvement of a space, not providing water for people. A decorative fountain will cost between $1,000 and $4,400. Installation is similar and requires the same type of professionals (plumbers and electricians). Decorative options are almost always free standing, and simply recycle the liquid that runs through them.

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Where do you buy a water fountain?

You can find water fountains at most home improvement stores and online retailers. Brands like Grainger and Elkay also sell products directly on their website. For professional installation, consider contacting a pro first. An experienced plumber can recommend a unit that will work for you and will include costs in the total project quote.

“Another benefit of having a plumber or contractor procure the unit is that they may provide some sort of warranty for their installation which can be a big help if any problems arise during the installation,” says Jeff Botelho.

What is a bubbler and what does it cost?

A bubbler is a regional term that describes either a drinking fountain or a faucet. In Wisconsin and Rhode Island, it is a common substitute for a drinking fountain. In that case, all the above costs apply. It can also describe the faucet or spout. Faucet installation costs range between $150 and $320.

How do you fix or repair a broken fountain?

When your product starts to leak from the spout, the valve might be the problem. You can get a new valve below $100 but should make sure that it matches your model number. Internal leaks can be due to a broken drain gasket, cooling tank, or push-in fitting. If your cooler does not work anymore, the thermostat or refrigeration system could be the issue. Beyond replacing simple parts, it always makes sense to hire a pro who can reliably evaluate and fix the problem.

How do you build your own drinking fountain?

Installing your own unit is a complex process that starts with finding the right spot. An indoor product should only attach to a wall that can support it, close enough to existing drink water supply. It should secure to the wall, and seal to the right pipes. Taking on this project yourself can save money on installation costs, but also comes with significant drawbacks. This is a complex project that requires extensive plumbing and potential electrical expertise. If you don't have either, it's best to work with plumbing professionals. You have to pay extra initially but can be sure the job gets done right. You also won't be held liable for any damage and have an expert on your side who can recommend ideal units and placement for your needs.

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