July 21, 2013 2:26 pm at 2:26 pm #610127
I have heard from some people that a water fountain is Muktza and from others that it’s not. What is the halacha and why?July 21, 2013 2:54 pm at 2:54 pm #1030559
If the water fountain is plugged in and it is a P’sik Reisha that drinking will turn on a motor, then it is Assur. Otherwise it’s okay. It depends on the water fountain.
In New York and other areas that have copepod issues, if the fountain is filtered, there may also be an issue of Borer. However, I have heard that R’ Schachter said there are 6 Tznifim L’hakel and not to worry about Borer in the water fountain.July 21, 2013 2:58 pm at 2:58 pm #1030560
When you use a water fountain for a little while, the motor starts to run to keep the water cool. So when you press the button, the motor starts to run. I heard that it’s like a refrigerator door. When you open it, the warm air comes in and thermostastat causes the motor to start running. Most Poskim are maikel in the case of a refrigerator. However in a water fountain sometimes there’s another factor. The button to press for the water is an electronic button. In that case it would be assur to use the water fountain.July 21, 2013 3:40 pm at 3:40 pm #1030561
yeshivaguy: I have never heard of a water fountain where the button is electric. They’re all mechanical, as far as I’ve ever seen.July 21, 2013 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #1030562
Sam2 I have seen a water fountain where the button is electric. I know it exists. It looks mechanical but sometimes it’s electric.July 21, 2013 6:27 pm at 6:27 pm #1030564
So it wouldn’t work if you unplug it? That’s so… inefficient. Why would someone do that?July 21, 2013 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #1030565
The motor for every water fountain goes on. I don’t know if it only goes on after someone uses it, though.
If a water fountain is ok to use in some circumstances, then what are they, and how would we know if it’s ok. Maybe one shul has one that is ok to use and another has one that’s not ok to use. How would I know if it’s ok to use? Also, there are some that have buttons. So how would I know?
Sam2: How would I know if it’s plugged in? It’s not like there’s a wire coming out of it.July 21, 2013 7:46 pm at 7:46 pm #1030566
If you see one with a wire that’s unplugged (like my shul has) then you know you’re okay. Or ask someone who knows how the fountain is set up and if it’s a P’sik Reisha or not.July 21, 2013 8:12 pm at 8:12 pm #1030567
The reason why there would be an electrical button is to make the water go smoother when it comes out. The water comes out in a perfect stream as opposed to the water going all over the place.July 21, 2013 9:02 pm at 9:02 pm #1030568
yeshivaguy: You don’t need electricity to make the water come out in a perfect stream like that.July 21, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm #1030569
Sometimes there is no one to ask if the water fountain is ok, so how would I know if it’s ok on my own? Most water fountains don’t have a visible plug, so you can’t tell if it’s unplugged. Would there be something about the water fountain, aside for the plug, which would help me identify if it’s a mechanical one? Sam2 said about the “perfect stream”-but is that true?July 22, 2013 3:00 am at 3:00 am #1030570CRuzerParticipant
Sam2, yes there are water fountains which have electric buttons. When they are unplugged no water will come out. They’re not so common as of the time of this writing, but they do exist and can be a problem!
Why make them electric? I don’t know.July 22, 2013 8:53 am at 8:53 am #1030571Ðash®Participant
Would there be something about the water fountain, aside for the plug, which would help me identify if it’s a mechanical one? Sam2 said about the “perfect stream”-but is that true?
The electric ones usually provide a consistant supply of water regardless of how hard you push the button.
Why make them electric? I don’t know.
The main reason to make electric valves is so the designers can put the buttons wherever they want without mechanical constraints. It also gives them the ability to get creative with sensors other than push buttons.July 22, 2013 3:32 pm at 3:32 pm #1030572cherrybimParticipantJuly 22, 2013 3:55 pm at 3:55 pm #1030573🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
Some water fountains filter and cool the water, using electricity. Those should be plugged out before Shabbos.July 22, 2013 3:58 pm at 3:58 pm #1030574Shopping613 🌠Participant
I know they make shabbos water fountains, but they are pretty pointless cuz the only time i want to drink is before kiddush, so i cant anyways!July 22, 2013 5:45 pm at 5:45 pm #1030575ToiParticipant
” Those should be plugged out before Shabbos. “
Are you from lakewood? Cuz im being there for shabbos.July 22, 2013 7:22 pm at 7:22 pm #1030576jewishfeminist02Member
Why can’t you drink water before Kiddush?July 23, 2013 2:49 am at 2:49 am #1030577EnderParticipant
Jfem: Drinking water before Kiddush depends on which rav you ask. I know some that say its okay, and some who are more machmir. But everyone agrees that if if you are feeling like you might get dehydrated, you may drink water before kiddush.July 23, 2013 4:42 am at 4:42 am #1030578
The Mechaber says you can’t have water before Kiddush. I don’t know why a Rav would say it’s okay. Unless, of course, you’re getting dehydrated.July 24, 2013 3:46 pm at 3:46 pm #1030579
I think some clarification is needed here. It is muttar to drink water before HAVDALAH. It is assur to drink water before Kiddush. Before davening Shabbos morning, there is no chiyuv kiddush. The chiyuv kiddush onlky starts when you start davening. However it is assur to eat before davening. (If you need to eat and can’t hold out, then ask your LOCR.) But it’s muttar to drink water before davening without Kiddush.July 24, 2013 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm #1030580twistedParticipant
The MB takes a strong stand against sugar in coffee before davening. In this very MB oriented world, and in a really frum, MB oriented oilam, I saw them do coffee, milk, sugar, the whole mashke, before davening, and in this place, the coffee was of the quality that MB would have assered for surpassing sugar in luxury.July 24, 2013 4:40 pm at 4:40 pm #1030581jewishfeminist02Member
Ah! Makes more sense now. Thanks 🙂July 24, 2013 4:41 pm at 4:41 pm #1030582twistedParticipant
in water coolers, such as wall mounted, if there are electronics, you may hear the clicking of relays or solenoids, and flow switches, apart from the hum or grind sound of the compressor.August 3, 2014 5:44 pm at 5:44 pm #1030583
I get a Halacha by email each day, and last Friday the a
Halacha was that water fountains are ok on shabbos. I always thought they were assur, and this thread confused me more. I asked them for sources, here they are:
Following is the resources about the halacha of water fountain which we based the halacha, Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, see Be’er Moshe 6:58, Rivevos Ephraim 3:248:page 145, 5:534:1, Nishmas Shabbos Electric page 85. (73) Those who permit the opening of a refrigerator even if the motor is off are the Minchas Shlomo 1:10, Shulchan Shlomo 1:277:1, Tzitz Eliezer 8:12, 12:92, Yalkut Yosef Shabbos 5:pages 201-202, Nishmas Shabbos Electric 36 in depth. Rivevos Ephraim 3:590:24, this is the opinion of Horav Moshe Feinstein zt”l quoted in The Shabbos Home 2:page 482 (although in the teshuva he says the opposite). The following poskim maintain opening a refrigerator is not allowed if the motor is off, Edos L’Yisroel pages 122, 151-153, Igros Moshe O.C. 2:68, Mishnas Rav Aron 4, Har Tzvi 1:151, Chelkes Yaakov 1:54, 2:47, 3:179, Shemiras Shabbos K’hilchoso 10:12, Minchas Yitzchok 2:16, 4:64:2, Bris Olom page 78, Oz Nedberu 1:59, 2:36:3, Be’er Moshe kuntres electric 6:4-6, Yaskil Avdi O.C. 5:36, Yabea Omer O.C. 1:21, Shalmei Yehuda page 55:footnote 66 quoting the opinion of Horav Elyashiv Shlita, Kovetz Bais Aron V’Yisroel 87:pages 102-107, see Rivevos Ephraim 3:248 in depth. The Chazzon Ish holds a refrigerator may not be opened on Shabbos if it runs on a thermostat (Chut Shuni Shabbos 1:pages 199-201). Some say one should open a refrigerator with a shinu (Teshuvos V’hanhugos 1:222, see Teshuvos Horav Shteiff 66:page 66). Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, see Nishmas Shabbos Electric pages 85-87.
And this was the original email:
Using a Water Cooler/Water Fountain on Shabbos
One may use a water cooler or water fountain (even when it is plugged in) on Shabbos if he is lenient in regard to opening a refrigerator on Shabbos (even if the motor is off). The same would apply to changing the water bottle on top of a water cooler on ShabbosAugust 3, 2014 7:17 pm at 7:17 pm #1030584
Ivdu: I respectfully strongly disagree. The difference is that a refrigerator motor is never a Psik Reisha to turn on immediately. Some water fountains are.August 3, 2014 8:31 pm at 8:31 pm #1030585
Sam2: As with countless other subjects, I am completely ignorant about this (and that’s not humbleness!) so I wasn’t saying my opinion, just quoting.
Can you explain why you don’t agree? Because refrigerators’ motors don’t always turn on, while water fountains’ do?August 3, 2014 9:54 pm at 9:54 pm #1030586
Ivdu: It all depends on if it’s a Psik Reisha or not. Many water fountains are. Some are not. I have yet to see a refrigerator where the motor turns on within seconds of the door being opened, every time. It might exist, but I don’t think it’s common.
Twisted: In the M”B with R’ Nebenzahl’s footnotes, he quotes R’ Shlomo Zalman that that was Shayach in the M”B’s day when everyone could handle black coffee and was used to it, thus adding sugar or milk was an unnecessary luxury that was Assur before Davening. Nowadays when people are so used to sugar and cream etc. and can’t handle black coffee, it’s okay to add what you usually add because that’s now an integral part of the coffee, not an unnecessary addition.August 4, 2014 8:35 am at 8:35 am #1030587
Sam2: So because there’s a chance that the fridge might not turn on, it’s ok?
And what’s a psik reisha?August 4, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm #1030588
Psik Reisha means something will definitely happen (in the relatively immediate aftermath; but that’s a separate discussion). I am allowed to do something on Shabbos if I have no intention of it causing a Melacha (e.g. walking on grass even though some blades might get ripped out of the ground). But if what I am doing will definitely cause a Melachah to occur (e.g. I’m wearing long sports cleats and walk on grass) then it’s Assur. That’s the basic concept, least. There are plenty more details involved, but that’s the start.August 4, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm #1030589
Ok. You said that it must be that the melacha is not intended, but by water fountains and refrigerators, it is intended. So why are they allowed? (I know you think water fountains aren’t allowed)August 4, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm #1030590
Ivdu: It’s not intended or immediate by the refrigerator. You don’t care if the motor goes on now as long as the food stays cold (which it will for a day or two without the motor running). Immediacy is also important because otherwise who says that my action of opening the door is what caused it? It goes on every few hours on its own anyway. So by the water fountain, it’s Assur if it’s immediate. The same would be true by the fridge; it just doesn’t really exist that a fridge would turn on immediately.August 4, 2014 1:42 pm at 1:42 pm #1030591
Sam, new refridgerators have the compressor go off every time you open the door and a fan go on every time you close the door, for like 20 – 30 seconds.August 4, 2014 4:28 pm at 4:28 pm #1030592Rebbe YidParticipant
HaLeiVi: Presumably that would be prevented by taping down the switches or putting it in shabbos mode or whatever you’re doing to prevent other problems, like light and display turning on.August 4, 2014 6:08 pm at 6:08 pm #1030593
This was looked through. The Shabbo mode addresses the light but not the fan and compressor. The fridge I dealt with does not have a switch, either. It has a magnetic sensor. We had to tape on thin magnets to get it to stop. If they start using infrared sensors we are stuck.August 4, 2014 7:00 pm at 7:00 pm #1030594🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
I guess in that case we’ll all need a “Shabbos Fridge”.August 4, 2014 7:34 pm at 7:34 pm #1030595yehudayonaParticipant
That’s what you get for having a fancy dancy refrigerator. Regular refrigerators don’t have all that stuff and you can just tape the switch.August 4, 2014 8:12 pm at 8:12 pm #1030596
When a ‘regular’ refrigerator dies, it gets replaced with a new (i.e. fancy dancy) one.August 7, 2014 9:03 pm at 9:03 pm #1030597yitzykParticipant
Wow, so much detailed information and meaningful responses. I am humbled, and almost not worthy of sticking in my 2 cents. But I can’t resist. I am not trying to argue with any previous psak, I really just intend to provide technical information:
1. The term ‘Water Fountain’ is generic, and could mean many things. Most of the responses here seem to be referring to what is actually a ‘Water Cooler’. In other words, just a ‘fountain’ could mean a dispenser with a faucet, like you find in NYC parks. No electric whatsoever. If so, in New York City, where we have good water pressure and there are no pumps involved, a simple fountain with non-electric valve (whether it be a faucet, button, bar, or lever) should pose no Shabbos issue, other that the filtering question that exists in many homes. And if unfiltered, another set of shailos, albeit not having to do with Shabbos.
Although it is not found in NYC, I imagine that there might be places that need a pump to provide even plain water at any pressure, whether it be from a holding tank, or even a well. (Maybe in a bungalow colony?) That could be a shaila too, but really has nothing per se to do with a water fountain, as it would apply even more commonly to a household sink.
2. Once you transition into the realm of Water Coolers, there are many different types. Some modern ones are completely electronic, including a dispenser button. Clearly a problem.
3. On the simpler water coolers that are either fed by municipal water pressure, or a gravity fed spring water bottle, there is usually a holding tank that is kept cold. The process of dispensing water is typically completely non-electric, and does not directly activate anything. When the warm new water enters the tank, it could trigger the thermostat to turn on the compressor. That is an indirect action, but is certainly agreeable to the consumer. So the question would be if it is considered a Psik Reisha or not. One thing I think not mentioned by previous posters, is that it really ought to depend on the size of the holding tank, the quantity of water that you are removing (and thus replacing with new uncooled water) and the temperature of the newly entering water. Some coolers do not turn on until many cups have been removed. Furthermore, there might even be a purposeful delay built into the thermostat to extend the life of the compressor (preventing it from turning off and then on again too soon.) This could all change whether it is a Psik Reisha or not.September 3, 2014 8:55 pm at 8:55 pm #1030598Patur Aval AssurParticipant
“The Mechaber says you can’t have water before Kiddush. I don’t know why a Rav would say it’s okay.”
Maybe he was relying on the Mechaber in the Bet Yosef in siman 89 where he utilizes the shita that water is ok before kiddush, to strengthen the case for drinking water before shacharis on shabbbos.
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