Refilling Process

How to Refill a 5 Gallon Water Dispenser

Refilling process >> In Mexico and some other countries, 5-gallon water bottles are the norm, and hefting 18kg (40 pounds) of an open water bottle onto the narrow neck of a dispenser without spilling it can be a challenge. Here is a way to make it much more manageable.

Steps in Refilling a 5 Gallon Water Dispencer


Fistly, Remove the foam seal from the cap if there is one. Note that Ciel bottle caps have a left-hand thread, so turn right (clockwise) to loosen.

Secondly, Cut a hole in the cap about half the diameter. You can use a drill or a knife.

Thirdly, Replace the foam, and screw on the modified lid.

Fourth, Invert the bottle onto the dispenser. The water pressure against the foam cap will keep all but maybe a slight dribble from leaking.

Lastly, The center protrusion will force the seal out, releasing the water. The foam seal will then float to the top.

refilling process


If your cap lid did not come with a seal, you can make one out of gasket material. Here is shown a two-piece seal, one with a crosscut, and one with a flap, for a Santorini bottle. The flap goes on the water side.


  • Some gasket materials may leach toxic substances into your drinking water.
  • This will only work if your dispenser has a piece protruding into the neck as shown.
  • Ciel bottles have reusable caps, so your water distributor may charge you a few pesos for the cap you have rendered unusable (by them). Keep your modified cap and it will be a one-time expense.