Troubleshooting your water cooler

Here at The Water Delivery Company HQ we often get calls from customers seeking water cooler troubleshooting advice. So we thought it was about time we published a list of common water cooler issues to save you, our valued customers, time.

The first step in troubleshooting your water cooler is identifying the problem and figuring out the cause.  Use the headings below to locate your problem or leave a comment if you’re unable to find it.

Water Cooler not dispensing hot/cold water (It’s room temperature)

Option 1 – Check that your water cooler is plugged in at the wall socket and that the mains power is turned on (a surprisingly common cause). Also, check that the power cable at the back of the unit is firmly pushed into its socket.

Option 2 – Check that the switches on the back of the cooler are turned on and illuminated.

Option 3 – Try “resetting” your cooler by removing several cups of water from both the hot and cold taps and switch off the machine.  Unplug it from the wall and leave for 24 hours before switching it on again.  Give the water temperature about 5 to 6 hours to adjust before dispensing to see if it worked.  If the problem persists, contact a technician for assistance.

Option 4 – If all switches are on but hot water isn’t being heated sufficiently, your dispenser may have faulty wiring.  Call a technician for assessment.

Option 5 – If room temperature water is coming out of the hot tap, it’s possible that your hot tank has scaled up and stopped working.  But if cold water comes out, it’s more likely that the hot tank has blown.  If this happens, it’s better to call a technician or to take the unit to your water cooler company for assessment.

Weak water flow from bottled water cooler

Option 1 – Keep the tap open while squeezing the bottle to force the water through.  This has solved the problem on many occasions.

Option 2 – If the above doesn’t work, check the water cooler’s air filter on the lid, as well as underneath the lid that the bottle sits on. The filter is normally a small circular sponge that stops the air filter function (causing the water to flow freely) when wet. Remove and dry it before testing the water flow again.


Leaking water cooler

99% of the time this is as a result of a leaking bottle, not the cooler itself. Occasionally a hairline crack can develop in transit which alters the pressure within the cooler – there is normally a vacuum within the cooler. This pressure change draws water into the tank causing it to overflow so that the cooler appears to be leaking. Remove the bottle from the cooler and test it with a different bottle. Please ensure there is no water in the top of the cooler where the bottle spike is located, if there is water ‘trapped’ here please just run the taps to release the water.

Leaking tap on water cooler

Option 1 – Check that the tap is tightly screwed on – it may need a slight twist to tighten it in place.

Option 2 – If the above didn’t work, the problem may be the spring or washer in the tap preventing it from closing properly.  You will need to remove the bottle, drain the reservoir into a bucket, and call out an engineer to replace the tap.

Water leaking from drip tray

Your drip tray is most likely overflowing.  It needs to be emptied regularly to prevent spillage.  Simply slide the tray out from the cooler unit and empty in the sink.

Green stuff growing inside a water cooler

Don’t be alarmed, this natural phenomenon is caused by sunlight continually penetrating the bottle which causes algae to grow – it’s completely harmless. Store bottles in a shaded area, away from direct sun or fluorescent light. If there’s no way to position your cooler unit out of direct light, consider purchasing a vinyl bottle cover.

Water cooler not dispensing any water

Option 1 – Make sure the bottle isn’t empty and that there is enough water in the reservoir.

Option 2 – This is most likely caused by an air lock that can occasionally occur as a result of the air pressure that is forced into the water cooler as the bottle is placed on it. The taps may appear to not be dispensing any water, or only dispensing in intermittent drips.

Remove the water bottle from the cooler and place it back on the water cooler whilst at the same time holding both taps open (do not attempt to do this alone! You need one person to hold the taps and another to remove and re-attach the bottle).

Option 3 – An ice ring may have formed that is blocking the flow.


Water tastes funny or “off”

When last did you clean and sanitise your cooler’s taps and reservoir?  Invest in a good quality water cooler sanitation kit and remember to clean it regularly.

Our general guideline is every 13 weeks for bottled coolers and every 26 weeks for plumbed units which is in keeping with The British Water Cooler Association code of practice.

Ice donut forming around the bottle neck in water cooler

This indicates that the cold control mechanism is no longer working and needs replacement. What’s happening at the moment is that the water cooler is continually chilling which causes the “ice donut” at the bottom of the internal reservoir. This will keep on happening until the cold control is replaced.

If you can get spare parts, it can be replaced relatively easily. We stock and supply a full range so just give us a call and we will look to assist.

Can’t find the answers you’re looking for? Give us a call on 0845 006 3309 and one of our staff will be happy to assist you.

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The Water Delivery Company
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