water cooler problems - no-spill design causing spills
January 25, 2012 4:35 PM   Subscribe

I cut ties with water delivery and bought a water cooler. Now how do I refill the jugs without spilling water everywhere?

I bought one of these water coolers with a no spill feature, where the 5 gallon bottle has a cap with a valve and placing it in the water cooler pierces the valve.

However, I failed to realize that if you try to put an uncapped water bottle in the no-spill designed receptacle, it will spill water everywhere. The only place I can get sealed no-spill style 5 gallon jugs is the grocery store or water delivery. But they charge $7 for a 5 gallon jug. I'd like to just put my own filtered water in there.

So, I need to convert my current water cooler from a no-spill design to one that will accept conventional water jugs. Or, I need to find a way to cap these 5 gallon jugs with my own no-spill caps. I've seen some online but I'm not sure I can get the seal tight enough. I once bought a no-spill cap from a store, but it was too loose and got stuck in the water cooler when I tried to remove an empty jug.

Picture of the no-spill style water cooler receptacle.
posted by abdulf to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Would something like this work?
posted by buggzzee23 at 4:39 PM on January 25, 2012

I'm sorry, I didn't notice you've tried those before.
posted by buggzzee23 at 4:41 PM on January 25, 2012

Is the valve just the style where the plastic center pops out when pierced? My jugs came with this style cap and I would simply pop them off the empty jug, cut just below the ring on the outside, and snap the center piece back in place. After that it was easy to re-cap the jugs after filling with water and I never had any issues with them coming loose.
posted by Max Camber at 5:10 PM on January 25, 2012

I used to do it with 2-3 layers of saran wrap and a heavy elastic band -- you still have to be quick about it, it's not like you can swing the water bottle around willy-nilly and not expect it to spill. But it prevented the kind of insta-spills that I had trouble with when I was actually hoisting the bottle up.

I now have a filter-top bottle for my water cooler, though, so I just bring the water in a big jug and pour it in and it filters in place.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:10 PM on January 25, 2012

Do you have a picture that explains the current set-up?

Couldn't you just buy a new cap that fits the bottles you have? It should only be a one-time expense if you can re-use them, no?

If the gap isn't huge, you could try some silicone tape, but then it might be a pain to get the cap back off.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 5:13 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

I take it you've already looked for a supplier of non-sealed five-gallon jugs that come with their own (presumably well-fitting) no-spill lids, right?
posted by SMPA at 7:40 PM on January 25, 2012

(If you haven't, try looking for a store that sells lots of different kinds of office supplies to medium-size businesses - Staples and Office Max have a lot of break room supplies, but you need someone who isn't trying to be a national generic retailer to everyone from stay-at-home moms to entire state governments.)
posted by SMPA at 7:42 PM on January 25, 2012

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