Problems With Water Coolers

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Water coolers are a popular place to catch up with work colleagues.
Water coolers are a popular place to catch up with work colleagues. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Water coolers are often used in public buildings, such as offices, universities and museums, to dispense water to the public. Water coolers are usually floor-standing mechanisms with an opening to position cups under the water tap and a large bottle fitted on top of the base unit. Water coolers are reliable but can encounter problems, many of which can be repaired without professional help.

Warm Water

Many water coolers have cold and hot settings so users can make coffee and tea in addition to cold water. If your water cooler is producing water at room temperature, check to see it’s securely connected to the wall outlet. Also examine the cable that links to the back of the water cooler to ensure it's attached. Finally, check that the switch at the rear of the water cooler is set to the "On" position. Most water cooler switches light up when switched on for easy recognition.

Green Water

Water coolers can sometimes produce water with a greenish tinge. This is nothing to be alarmed about and is usually due to sun rays penetrating the water cooler bottle and deteriorating the water quality. Throw away the existing bottle and the water inside it. Once you have installed a new bottle, ensure you locate the water cooler in a shaded area away from direct sunlight. Alternatively, buy a vinyl bottle cover that will prevent the sun’s rays from damaging the water.

No Water

A water cooler that doesn’t release any water or can only manage small trickles may have a defective air lock. This is usually caused by changes in air pressure when a new bottle is placed on the cooler. Take off the existing water bottle and replace it on the cooler, making sure you hold both taps open as you do so. This task requires two people to perform.

Water Leak

A leak coming from the cup-dispensing area usually indicates a full drip tray. Remove the drip tray, empty it and fit it back into position. A leaking tap may be due to the tap not being screwed in tightly enough. Tighten it manually and use a spanner wrench if necessary for extra leverage. Take off the bottle and drain the cooler into a container if the problem persists, as there may be an issue with the washer or spring mechanisms in the tap. Call an engineer to replace the tap or mend the spring mechanism.

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