Water Cooler Blowing Fuses or Tripping Breakers? 6 Causes and Fixes

water cooler dispenser

Is your water cooler blowing fuses or tripping breakers? Your power sources might be to blame. Here are 6 causes and fixes.

It’s a normal day like any other. You’re pouring yourself a nice, chilled, refreshing cup of water from your water cooler, and suddenly, you hear a pop. Your breakers tripped again. Why?

From the outside, water coolers might just seem like a couple of spigots attached to a big piece of metal that holds a water jug, but, on the inside, they’re full of little components that are highly interdependent, which means that, if one fails, the others will soon follow.

There could be a lot of explanations as to why your water cooler is blowing fuses or tripping breakers. From a bad power source to a series of malfunctioning internal components. Trying to pinpoint the culprit can be challenging unless you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for.

Don’t you worry, I got your back.

Below, you’ll find a list of the most common causes behind this occurrence and the easiest steps you can take to address them. Rest assured that, if you follow them to a tee, your water cooler will be back to normal in no time.

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Fixing a Failing Water Cooler

The first mistake I want to keep you from making is trying to find the culprit inside your appliance. More often than not, you’ll likely find the solution to the issue in the external factors.

Your water cooler might be blowing fuses or tripping breakers due to:

  • A bad outlet
  • A damaged cord
  • Leaking
  • Faulty switches
  • A blown fuse
  • A faulty heating element

#1 You Have a Bad Outlet

Burned electrical outlet
Never use a severely burnt wall outlet

First, I want us to take a look at your power source. The wall outlet.

This factor can be very easily overlooked, as it’s seemingly unimportant, but you’d be surprised at how many times people spend copious amounts of money trying to fix their water cooler, only to find too late, that the issue was coming from a faulty outlet.

If your water cooler is blowing fuses or tripping breakers, chances are, you might need to look behind your outlet’s panel. Sometimes, something as negligible as a loose wire could be the answer.

Provided that this is the source of the issue, you should stop using your appliance as soon as possible to protect it from further damage.

Solution: Carefully unplug your unit and get someone’s help to take it to a different section of your office, or home. Once you have done that, plug it back into a different outlet and see if that stops the blown fuses and tripped breakers.

If you’re up for a challenge, you can try and test your outlet for continuity with a multimeter.

While this is optional, it’s also strongly encouraged, as a faulty outlet can be the first symptom of a larger issue that could eventually damage your home’s electrical layout.

It’s best to get ahead of things.

#2 Your Power Cord Is Damaged

broken power cord
A damaged power cord can cause a short circuit and your breaker to trip

Having successfully determined that your wall outlet is not to blame. We can safely move on to the next link in the power supply chain. Your power cord.

Considering that household appliances are built to last, you’d think that these cables would be very resilient, but they’re not. Even small bad practices, like storing them away improperly, keeping them tangled or pressed against a wall or object, are more than enough to do them in.

The power cord might look thick on the outside, but remember, there are a lot of tiny cables inside it, which means that, if one breaks, there will be hell to pay.

If the damage is total, your water cooler might not be turning on at all, but if the cord is only partially broken, it could be causing your fuses to blow or your trippers to break.

It goes without saying, that you should not operate your water cooler in this condition.

Solution: Try a different cord.

You probably don’t have a spare one lying around, but in the off chance that you do, you can use it to see if it resolves the issue. Just make sure that it meets the same amperage and voltage requirements as the old one,

Provided that you don’t have another one already at home, you’ll have to spend some money, but don’t worry, it shouldn’t be too much.

Just run a quick Google search on your water cooler’s make and model to find the right placement and purchase it at any online marketplace, or directly from your manufacturer. 

#3 There’s a Leak

Provided that your power sources are okay, you might have to start considering a leak as the possible culprit.

Your water cooler’s reservoir has been built to be resistant. And for good reason. Even the smallest hairline fractures could allow water droplets to seep through, and reach your appliance’s internal components.

If your water cooler is blowing fuses or tripping your breakers, the reservoir might be damaged, and you’ll have to check it as soon as possible.

Solution: Unplug your appliance, grab a bucket or any other big container, and drain your water cooler. Ideally, you want to do this in a clean recipient, so that you can pour the water back in, once you’re done looking for cracks in your reservoir.

You can also use your hands to try and feel some sort of damage or abnormal texture.

If you want to be extremely thorough, you can mark the current water level in the reservoir, and let your water cooler stay unused and without a jug for a couple of days. After that period, you can go back and see if the level decreased.

#4 Your Switches Are Failing

finger pressing power switch
Turn off all switches and unplug your water cooler before opening it

If your power sources are unscathed, and so is your water reservoir, the next thing you want to look at, is your switches. You might think this is too obvious, but if they’re malfunctioning, they could be causing your fuses to blow, or your trippers to break.

Solution: In order to fix this, the first thing you want to do is unplug your appliance. Once you have done that, you should locate the screws in your water cooler. They’re normally located both at the back, and the sides of the unit.

After undoing them, the appliance’s guts should be exposed, and you should have comfortable access to the internal controls behind the external switches.

Use your multimeter to test them for continuity and replace them if there is none.

#5 You Have a Blown Fuse

Provided none of the solutions above worked out for you, there is a chance that you could have a blown fuse.

If you’re unfamiliar with what these components do, it’s quite simple. Essentially, their job is to “blow” in order to cut off any electrical continuity in your appliance when they sense either overheating or a big power surge. This prevents further damage to your unit.

And while these little parts are essential and very useful, you normally only have one, so if yours is already blown, you’ll need to replace it as soon as you can.

Solution: Follow the steps from the previous point to expose your water cooler’s guts, and gain comfortable access to your fuse.

Once you have done that, bring out your trusty multimeter, and test the part for continuity. This last step is optional, as the naked eye can easily identify a blown fuse.

All you need to look out for are signs of a small explosion, like blackening and a broken filament inside the glass body.

#6 Your Heating Element Is Faulty

Blown fuses are usually the sign of a larger problem. If there have been no major blackouts in your area in the last few months, chances are it might have blown due to overheating, which is why we need to look at your heating element next.

A faulty heating element can manifest itself in one of two ways. It can either not generate any heat at all, leaving you stuck with lukewarm water, or generate too much, blowing your fuse, and tripping your breakers.

Provided that this component is the culprit, you should avoid using your water cooler until you either replace it or fix it.

Solution: Follow the steps from point #4, get comfortable access to your heating element, and test it after it has cooled down completely.

Don’t trust the readings alone, though. You will get positive continuity results if your component is overheating. The safest approach is to replace it as soon as you notice blown fuses, and extremely hot water coming from your spigots.


To have your water cooler keep blowing fuses and tripping your breakers is not only dangerous, but also an undeniable sign of failure, either internal or external.

While trying to troubleshoot your appliance, remember to always look at your power sources first, and at your internal components last, to avoid unnecessarily tampering with your unit.

If you ever feel doubtful, please do not hesitate to call a professional for help. You can still learn by watching a technician do the repairs.

Thank you for reading. If you found this article useful, why not keep learning from our other incredible resources below?

Happy projects!

I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more