How to Repair a Water Cooler Dispenser

A water cooler with an extra jug beside it.
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-50
What You'll Need
Cleaning solution
Lint-free cloths
Replacement parts

Performing your own repairs on a water cooler dispenser is an economical choice and a fairly easy undertaking. Common signs of a need for repairs are hot or cold water being too tepid and spouts not dispensing quickly enough due to wear or blockage. Most modern water dispensers have replacement parts that are readily available from their manufacturers, and many of these basic parts do not even require tools other than a basic screwdriver to install. This repair guide will help you do much to prolong the life of your machine.

Step 1 - Unplug and Clean

Always unplug your water cooler dispenser before doing any repair or maintenance on it. Then, remove the water jug from the top and locate the coils on the inside. You will find more than one if you have a dispenser with both hot and cold spouts. Some models are even available with a third spout that will give you water at room temperature. Clean the coils thoroughly and make sure that there is no debris on them. It is recommended to use a cleaning solution that does not have harsh chemicals and to rinse all parts of the coils thoroughly when you're finished. Clean any residue from any other internal areas of your cooler.

Step 2 - Reset the Water Cooler

Drain any remaining water and wipe dry. Plug your cooler back into the wall outlet, but do not replace the jug just yet. Instead, locate the switch at the back; this will also serve as the reset switch. Turn it off, unplug your cooler once more, and leave it unplugged overnight. Once you have plugged it back in the next day, wait three to five hours before placing a new jug in the reservoir and using your water cooler dispenser again. Doing this resetting process has been found to solve many temperature problems.

Step 3 - Make Replacements

If any parts such as coils or spouts need to be replaced, try to obtain new ones for your specific brand and model from the manufacturer.

Corrosion is a common problem over time with dispenser coils. When installing the replacement ones, make sure you fit them each securely in the same position and test both dispenser spouts, if applicable. The same process goes for fitting your new water spouts in place. These may take a little effort to lock completely into position, and it is a good idea afterward to check for leaks around the edges, diminished water flow, and the like.

Finally, replace your water jug with a new, unopened one. If you store your spare water jugs for any significant length of time, you would be wise to test the water in both the jugs and your dispenser periodically for impurities. This is particularly important if you store the jugs in a basement or garage and you live in a more humid climate.

Never store water jugs or your dispenser in an area of direct sunlight, as doing so greatly increases the growth of bacteria.