Six Steps to Repair a Water Cooler Leak and Deal with the Water Damage in the Office Environment
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian highlights ways to diagnose and repair a water cooler leak at the office.
SERVPRO® of Waxahachie/Midlothian can handle any size commercial water damage disaster, whether the water damage is a 5-gallon water leak at the water cooler or a 5,000-gallon water leak from a water fountain over a long holiday weekend.
The company water cooler serves many positive purposes. The filtered water it provides makes for a great pot of coffee for the management team after several hours of strategizing. Discussions around the water cooler foster comradery and build company morale. The unit is also good at what it was designed to do: dispense cool, refreshing water to thirsty employees and visitors.
If the water cooler is out of commission or springs a leak, the results are not only inconvenient but can also be disastrous. A water cooler can accommodate a five- or ten-gallon water bottle. Should the unit spring a leak, water damage is limited to whatever amount of water remains in the bottle and spills onto the floor.
Reducing the risk of a water fountain water damage disaster
On the other hand, a water fountain connected to a water line has the potential to continuously release one-half gallon of water per minute as long as the water is on. Over a typical weekend, as much as 2,000 gallons can spill onto the floor. If the facility is multi-story and the leaking water fountain is on an upper floor, the water damage could be catastrophic.
Two thousand gallons is much more than the four gallons from the water bottle on the water cooler. The water leak from the water cooler may not need anything more than a mop and bucket to remediate. The water fountain spill may require heavy-duty pumps, wet-dry vacuums, rapid-spin fans, and commercial dehumidifiers to remediate. Installing a water leak detection device on a water fountain provides an effective way to prevent a severe water damage disaster in a commercial setting.
Diagnosing a water cooler leak
Usually, a water cooler is leaking due to a crack or hole in the bottle. Also, pressure changes may be the reason for the water release. Here are some simple steps to identify the source of the leak and repair the device.
Common causes of a leaking water cooler
Some of the common causes of a leaking water cooler may include:
- A pinhole leak or hairline crack in the water jug due to age, abuse, or a manufacturing defect
Typically, the cooler unit is not the problem.
- A spout malfunction
The spout mechanism may be damaged from stress or from an impact. A valve in the spout mechanism may be failing due to age or wear.
Steps to repair the leak
Once the leak is diagnosed, here are some steps to take to repair the device.
- Locate the physical owner’s manual or download a version from the web. This manual may contain a parts list. If not, a parts list can be obtained from the manufacturer, probably from the same website from which the owner’s manual was obtained.
- Tools needed for the repairs include a screwdriver, pliers, wrenches, and a flashlight.
- Have a towel or two available if the water inside the unit spills out.
How to repair a leaking water cooler in six steps
Step #1: Shut off the water supply.
This step may involve making sure the faucet or spigot is snugly turned off or shutting off the water if the cooler is connected to a permanent supply line. The unit may have an inline shutoff valve which makes this step very simple.
Step #2: Mark the water level.
Mark the water level on the bottle with a piece of tape or a non-permanent marker. The speed of the water loss may help reveal the cause of the leak. A very slow leak may involve a defective or damaged seal, and a fast leak will leave a trail to its origin. In any case, put down towels to absorb any water and thus, prevent unnecessary water damage.
Step #3: Carefully remove the bottle and monitor its contents.
Remove the bottle from the cooler. Place it in a large sink or take it outside. The goal is to prohibit any further water damage. If the water level in the bottle drops, the leak is in the bottle. If the water cooler unit continues to release water with the bottle having been removed, the leak is in the internal components of the device. Place a cup or pan under the spigot to catch any dripping water. The goal is to prevent water damage and avoid any slip-and-fall hazards.
Step #4: Check the reservoir for a clog.
If the reservoir is clogged, water can back up and spill onto the floor, causing water damage and a slip-and-fall hazard.
Step #5: Check the spout and spigot for leaks.
If a crack or leak is discovered, then replace or repair the part.
Step #6: Replace the unit if it is beyond repair.
Sometimes the damage may be so severe that the best recourse is to simply replace the entire unit rather than risk a water damage disaster.
SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian can handle any size disaster, from a leaky water cooler and ten gallons of water on the office floor to several thousand gallons from a leaking water fountain over several floors. Crews are available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays.
For more information about Midlothian, TX, commercial water damage restoration and mold mitigation, contact SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian by phone at (972) 935-0827 or by email at acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.