Last updated: August 7, 2021

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Water columns allow additional water to be drawn from the outside of your house. The column is not only a useful extension for your garden, but can also serve as a visual eye-catcher.

Long walks with watering cans in your garden are a thing of the past thanks to a supplementary water source, as are kinked or twisted water hoses.

Regardless of the model, the construction of all water columns is similar. The water tap is usually located on the front, which is usually also suitable as a connection for irrigation systems.

Depending on the water supply line, rainwater or drinking water can be taken from the column. With our water dispenser test 2021, we want to help you find the right water dispenser for you.




The most important facts

  • The water column is a water extraction point in the outdoor area of your house. They are made of different materials and come in different shapes, depending on personal preferences.
  • Depending on the connection, you can tap rainwater or drinking water.
  • The water tap provides water for easy watering and irrigation. In addition, the water from the column can be used for cleaning.

The best water column: Our picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for water columns

In the following, we will show you some features that you should look for when buying a water dispenser and use these features to select the right water dispenser for you.

The criteria you can use to compare the water dispenser are as follows:

Material

As already mentioned, there are many different types of water taps. But which material should you choose?

Depending on the material, a water column has a higher weather resistance and varies in price. The majority of columns are made of stainless steel, this option not only offers a higher quality appearance but also protection against rust. This is very useful as the column has to withstand all kinds of weather.

The variants made of plastic and stone also offer better protection against frost and are therefore more weather-resistant than models made of natural materials such as wood. Nevertheless, a column made of wood can visually fit into your garden much better than other materials.

There are petrol pumps that are made of plastic but mimic the look of another material. This allows you to get the look you want at an affordable price.

Stone pillars are the most expensive options. You should also make sure at the time of purchase that the place where the tap is to be installed is suitable for the solid and heavy stone construction.

Connections

Basically, all water columns work in the same way. What should you look for before buying?

  1. Connection: To fill your column with water, it is connected to a garden hose or pump. Before buying, you should make sure that these connections are available at the place where you want to place the column.
  2. Water tap: You have to make a decision depending on the type of use and your taste. If you want to connect your garden hose to the column, make sure that the tap is compatible with it. If you need more than one tap, there are also models with a second tap. There are also adapters that you can buy later.
  3. Position: Another thing you should pay attention to is the place where the respective connection is located. Depending on where you want to install the tap, the connections should also be in the right place.

There are also model variations that have a built-in socket. Therefore, you should make sure that the connection to the mains is available.

Dimensions

The size of the water dispenser depends entirely on your individual circumstances and preferences. How much space do you have available for the column? How high should it be for you?

It can happen that you want to put something under the tap and there is not enough space because the tap is not long enough.

Make sure that you can use the water column without restrictions.

Most columns are already dimensioned so that they can be used easily and without difficulty. However, it may be that a model is too small for you and you have to bend down unnecessarily to drain the water.

There is also the option of buying a model that is adjustable in height. This way, you can counteract mistakes made by a tap that is too small or too large. It also allows children to get actively involved in the work in the garden and to try out operating the tap themselves.

Foot plate

The base plate anchors the tap to the ground. Some designs also offer a drainage system that is built into the base plate. In this case, however, you must make sure that the water also drains away or seeps away. Therefore, you may also need a drainage pipe in the ground in the immediate vicinity of the house.

If you place your water tap directly in the garden, you do not need to plan a drain. Here the water can seep into the ground, depending on the subsoil. Another possibility is to build a connection to the sewage system through a gully, but this step is also associated with more effort.

The base plate provides support for your column.

Before buying, I recommend that you consider how you will connect the base to the ground. Do you want to place the water distributor directly in the meadow? A ground spike that you can push directly into the lawn is suitable for this.

For even more stability, you can simply attach the water column to a paving slab from the DIY store. Bear in mind, however, that you will have to drill holes for this. Depending on the type of connection for your water column, you may also need to drill a hole for the connections.

Weight

As you already know, there are many different models in almost every conceivable material. The weight of the respective dispenser therefore varies greatly.

You should only make sure that the ground where the water dispenser is to be installed is as level as possible and can bear the weight.

Please also pay attention to the construction.

The dispenser must be transported to the place where it is to be installed.

You may need help with delivery or additional equipment.

These factors could put an additional strain on your budget. So it's better to be safe than sorry and save yourself the money.

Accessories

The various models also offer a wide range of add-ons. Some of these are not only practical, but also turn the tap into a special eye-catcher. We have listed practical components that you can find in many different models here.

  1. Hose holder: A feature that can be found on many water dispensers. The holder ensures that your hose is always handy and not knotted. Just make sure you have the right tap on the pillar so that you can connect your garden hose directly.
  2. Socket: For many, an integrated power source on the water distributor is another convenience. You can use this for the lawn mower or to plug in the annual Christmas lights. Basically, another power connection is never a bad idea outdoors.
  3. Light: To make the garden shine in a beautiful light, there are water columns that have built-in lighting. Dark walkways in the garden are now a thing of the past. So you can still fill up your watering can at dusk.

No matter which water dispenser you choose, additional components can increase the usefulness of your water source.

Decision: What types of water columns are there and which is the right one for me?

If you want to get a water column, there are several alternatives to choose from:

Type Features
Stainless steel water column This material is rust-proof and weather-resistant. A stainless steel column is timeless. However, this type is expensive.
Water column made of stone Stone is very solid and has a long service life. Stone integrates well into the existing garden design. The material is very heavy and also more cost-intensive than other materials.
Water column made of wood wood is well suited for do-it-yourself construction. You have to take good care of the natural material because it is susceptible to weathering.
Water column made of plastic With the plastic model you can buy an inexpensive column. These are usually easy to handle, but not always UV-resistant

If you would like to learn more about the individual types of water column, you can find more information in the following articles.

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Stainless steel water column

Modern stainless steel columns offer the advantage that they do not rust. So you don’t have to worry about this and can leave the column outside 365 days a year. Only the pipes have to be drained in winter, otherwise they could burst.

The stainless steel version is available in matt and also polished to a high gloss. The natural grey fits elegantly into every garden and gives the water an additional value. So there is always a good feeling when you turn on the tap.

If you are looking for a modern, timeless design, you can hardly go wrong with the stainless steel column. However, they are relatively expensive compared to other columns. That’s why you have to dig deeper into your pocket.

Advantages
  • Rustproof
  • Weatherproof
  • Timeless design
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Cool
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Stone water column

Often a stone water column is built by oneself or commissioned from an artist. Such a unique piece is well suited to enhance the garden.

Stone is a natural material that fits harmoniously into an artistic garden design. You can also place the column itself in the garden as an artistic object.

The classic type of stone for water tap columns is granite. It hardly weathers, is durable and very heavy. It is suitable for representative and sophisticated buildings. However, it is correspondingly expensive to purchase.

A special form of stone pillar is a pillar made of concrete. You can buy this material yourself or cast it yourself. Concrete can be easily customised after it has hardened. Advantage: Concrete is much cheaper to buy than natural stone.

Advantages
  • Solid
  • Long life
  • Easy to integrate into existing garden design
Disadvantages
  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for every garden
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Wooden water column

If you like natural materials, I would recommend a wooden column. However, be aware that wood changes due to the weather and you need to take care of the material. Wood is not protected against frost, so you should provide sufficient protection in winter.

There are also plastic columns available as an alternative that imitate the look of wood. This way you don’t have to sacrifice the look, but you have a material that is easier to maintain.

Advantages
  • Natural material
  • good for do-it-yourself construction
Disadvantages
  • High-maintenance
  • susceptible to weathering
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Plastic water column

If you don’t want to spend too much money, you can opt for a water dispenser made of plastic. Due to the good processing and machining possibilities of the material, the spectrum of possible uses is particularly diverse.

Plastic is ideal for imitating more expensive or higher-quality materials, such as stone-look, wood-look, etc.

Plastic is largely resistant to the effects of weather. However, you must bear in mind that not all products are UV-resistant. Material that is too cheap can become porous and fade.

Another plus point is the easy handling with regard to hygiene and cleanliness. It is usually sufficient to wipe the column with a damp cloth. To prevent germs, the material can be easily disinfected if necessary.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
Disadvantages
  • Not UV-resistant

Guide: Frequently asked questions about water columns answered in detail

In the following guide, we want to answer the most important questions about water columns. We have selected questions for you and answered them below. After reading the guide, you will know all the essential basics about water columns.

Who is a water column suitable for?

A water dispenser is suitable for anyone who has an outdoor area where they can get water in a short distance. With most models, almost all common irrigation systems can be connected to the water tap.

If you collect your rainwater, you can use the water column as an additional tapping point. The purchase is also an investment that enhances your garden.

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With a water column, you can connect your garden hose right next to your flower bed.
(Image source: Tony Pham / Unsplash)

Shower attachments and water features can be connected to the column. This gives you the opportunity to refresh and clean yourself on the spot after gardening or barbecues.

Which tap is suitable on a water column?

Since most water tapping points are located outdoors, the materials used should be corrosion-resistant. Commercially available devices made of brass and stainless steel largely meet this criterion. A tap with an aluminium alloy is also suitable for outdoor use.

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A tap that is equipped with the appropriate connection for plugging in all kinds of irrigation systems.
(Image source: Harry Grout / Unsplash)

Make sure that sealing rings and threads are screwed on tightly. Additional hose connections or connecting elements should be fitted appropriately. To protect the outdoor area from flooding, it is advisable to install a child safety lock.

What are the differences between water columns?

Water columns come in a wide variety of shapes and materials. The most common models are made of:

  • Stainless steel
  • Stone
  • Concrete
  • Granite
  • Plastic
  • Wood

Stylistically, they differ in shape and finish. You have to invest more for objects made of brushed stainless steel or granite than for models made of plastic.

There are differences in the position of the connections. The anchoring to the floor should be chosen to match the subsoil. There are simple plug-in mechanisms as well as solutions that are set in concrete.

What alternatives are there to a water column?

In order to have direct access to water in the outdoor area, water tap columns are also suitable:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Rain barrels Low cost No installation
Cisterns Large storage capacity High effort to build
Underground tanks Prefabricated tank Susceptible to pressure and microorganisms

What does a water column cost?

The price differences vary greatly depending on the design. The material is very decisive. The price range goes from about 40 to 400 euros. However, you can also have a water column built, in which case you have to expect higher costs.

Columns made of plastic start at a price of 40 euros, although you may have to dig deeper into your pocket for models with a different look.

Type Price
Water column made of stainless steel approx. 60-150€
Water column made of stone approx. 120-400€
Water column made of wood approx. 50-150€
Water column made of plastic approx. 40-130€

Water columns made of stone or stainless steel are usually more robust than lighter versions made of plastic. You will therefore have to spend more money on these variants.

How much bar pressure should the water column have?

Depending on the model, the maximum pressure that the column can withstand is specified.
The average water pressure is between three and four bar. This varies from region to region. It is best to check with your water supplier.

If the pressure on the water pipe is not sufficient, you can increase it with a pump. Also note the information in the product description. You should not exceed the respective maximum value.

How do I set up a water column?

Most water pumps are offered already assembled. Only with some models do you have to assemble the individual parts yourself. The attachment to the ground varies depending on the product. Some simply have to be inserted into the ground. Others are screwed in place, while others are set in concrete. If you build the water dispenser yourself, you should follow certain steps.

  1. Preparation: The installation process itself begins with the right choice of location. Where do you want the water stand? Be aware of the benefits. Do you want a shorter path to your bed, or as close as possible to your garage?
  2. Make the connection: Now you need to plan the pipes from this marked location. To do this, lay out the supply line from your water connection to the column. The supply line is then buried under the turf at a depth of approx. 30 centimetres. To prevent damage, the lines should be enclosed with sand.
  3. Check: Before you backfill the trench, check the water pressure. If the water does not arrive at the end of the hose, you may have to get back to the pipe.
  4. Set up: Now you can set up your column and connect it to the water pipe. Depending on the model, you will then have to screw the base plate or drive the ground spike into the ground.

To give you a better idea of the whole process, we have selected a suitable video for you.

Visibility and unrestricted access to the watering hole are important.

How big is a water column?

There is no standard size for tap poles.

If it is too small, you may have to bend over unnecessarily.

You should make sure that the height is adapted to your needs.

If the distance from the floor to the tap is too great, you will have too much splashing water.

Our research showed an average height of 50 to 110 centimetres.

What kind of water can be used in the water column?

Basically, you can run any kind of water through the pipes. The most common use of the water column is for drinking water.

Rainwater is more advantageous for watering plants. This requires a connection to a cistern or rainwater tank.

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Rainwater is what your plants like best. It is best to connect your water column to a rainwater tank for easy access to the water.
(Image source: Mike Kotsch / Unsplash)

There is also the possibility of using service water. However, this requires a more complex water circulation system in the background.

Where can I install a water column?

You can install a water tap in many places around your house. Both in the garden and on the terrace.

It is important to consider the appropriate environment. When buying, make sure that the model can be installed in the appropriate location.

The water column is mainly intended for outdoor use. For this reason, you must also maintain your water column accordingly, depending on the material. Make sure to remove water from the pipes at low temperatures, cover the column and insulate it if necessary.

Image source: chanidap11/ 123rf.com

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