The Problem with Dormant Drinking Fountains
During the Coronavirus lockdown, many facilities were dormant and had little to no water use. This means that water has been sitting stagnant in the water lines for an extended period of time. This can cause hazards like legionella, mold, lead, and copper contamination. Read our previous article, Facility Shutdowns Cause Increased Risk of Legionella, for more information about contracting Legionnaires’ disease from water containing Legionella.
Restoring dormant drinking fountains after extended shutdown is crucial to ensure patrons retrieve safe drinking water. This article will provide you with step-by-step directions on how to flush your drinking fountains. We provide instructions from the top two manufacturers in the industry: Oasis and Elkay. Read on to learn how drinking fountains, water coolers, and bottle filler units should be flushed before use.
Step 1: Flush the Building’s Water System
In order to make water safe for consumption again, the building’s water system must be flushed. Some fixtures, like drinking fountains, will also need to be flushed.
Please refer to the following resources for information about flushing the water system:
Step 2: Flush Individual Drinking Fountains, Water Coolers, and Bottle Fillers
After the building has been flushed, then you can move on to flushing fixtures like drinking fountains, water coolers, and bottle fillers. Different manufacturers have different recommendations regarding how to flush their units. Below are recommendations from Oasis and Elkay, the top two drinking fountain manufacturers we carry here at Equiparts.
Oasis Directions for Flushing Fountains
- Filtered Units: Remove all filters prior to flushing the units. Disconnect the water lines from the filter, and reconnect them using a 1/4" John Guest coupling. Now you're ready for the flushing procedure.
- Drinking Fountains and Water Coolers: Turn on water flow through the bubbler for at least 5 minutes. 10 minute flush time is more than enough.
- Combination Bottle Filler with Drinking Fountain/Water Coolers: First flush bottle filler for at least 5 minutes or longer, if desired. Then flush the drinking fountain or water cooler through the bubbler for at least 5 minutes.
- Once you are finished flushing your units, disconnect the John Guest coupling and install a new filter.
For more information, view this video made by Oasis that shares information: Cleaning and Sanitizing your OASIS Water Cooler
Elkay Directions for Flushing Fountains
- Filtered Units - Inactive: If units have been inactive for 4 weeks or more, then Elkay strongly recommends replacing the filters because of water stagnation. After the filters are replaced, then activate the water stream on each unit for 3 minutes to flush the system.
- Filtered Units - Active: If maintenance staff has regularly activated the water stream during facility closure, then the filters don’t need to be replaced because the water hasn’t been stagnant for a long period of time. Activate the water stream on each product for 3 minutes to flush the system.
- Non-Filtered Units - Active or Inactive: Activate the water stream on each product for 3 minutes to flush the system.
Elkay Bottle Filler Surface Cleaning Directions
Stainless Steel Surfaces
For general cleaning, just wipe the surface using a soft cloth and a mild detergent, then towel dry. Note: Do not use steel soap pads as particles from the pads can adhere to the surface and eventually cause rust. Light scratches can occur on stainless steel surfaces and are normal. With time, they will blend into the uniform finish pattern.
For general cleaning, just wipe the surface using a soft cloth and an ordinary mild detergent, then towel dry. Wipe the surface to clear it of debris or buildup.
For general cleaning, just wipe the surface using a soft cloth and a mild detergent, then towel dry. Wipe the surface to clear it of debris or buildup. Cleaning the surface will not hurt or remove the antimicrobial properties of the material.
For general cleaning, just wipe the surface using a soft cloth and a mild food-safe detergent then towel dry. Wipe the surface to clear it of debris or buildup. Note: Do not use harsh abrasive cleaners.
Electronic Displays and Sensors
Use a soft and dry microfiber cloth to wipe down electronic displays and sensors. If needed, lightly mist with deionized water then gently wipe dry.
Scroll through our blog posts to find other helpful articles about drinking fountains, water coolers, and bottle fillers.
Some articles share unique drinking fountain related products we carry, others features new product announcements and updates from manufacturers, more maintenance resources, and more.