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Discovering a mess on the vanity top, inside a behind mirror system, or within an access panel housing the soap reservoir due to a leaking soap dispenser in a commercial washroom is unpleasant and can potentially incur significant costs for repairs or replacement.

Some commercial soap dispensers can be quite temperamental, and their tendency to leak even when not in use can be attributed to several factors. Understanding these reasons can help in identifying solutions to prevent a soap dispenser from leaking.

Here are some common culprits that could be behind your soap leaking issue:

Wall-mounted automatic soap dispenser

1. Soap contamination

In the case of a liquid refill soap dispenser, problems may stem from soap congealing due to bacterial contamination. When the liquid soap becomes thicker due to this contamination, it can block the soap dispenser’s gauze, leading to increased pressure. This pressure buildup can potentially cause the soap pipe to rupture, resulting in soap bursting out and causing a messy leak. This may also explain why the dispenser is leaking from the bottom.

Installed behind mirror soap dispenser

2. Improper soap dispenser installation

A soap dispenser can experience leakage issues if it is improperly installed or if the connection between the soap dispenser and the soap feed system is not assembled accurately.

Any misalignment, loose connections, deviations, or inadequacies in the installation process can result in a leaking soap dispenser, even if the dispenser itself is not actually faulty.

Knowing how to install a hand soap dispenser is particularly important in touch free soap dispensers where a pressurised system is used, as improper installation can lead to functionality issues and potential leaks.

Purple finish counter-mounted touch free soap dispenser next to a commercial baby change table

3. Poor quality soap dispenser and design flaws

The overall quality of the product can play a role in a leaking soap dispenser. Cheap or low quality dispensers are more likely to have design flaws such as inadequate seals and inferior internal mechanisms that lead to a soap dispenser not working and leaking soap.

When the internal components of the dispenser do not operate efficiently, it can result in the lingering flow of residual soap, persisting even after a user has removed their hand or when the dispenser is not in active use.

Wall mounted thru panel automatic soap dispenser in black special finish

4. Reset and startup function

It is quite common for automatic soap dispensers to dispense a small amount of soap when they go through a reset or are switched on again after being turned off. This is usually a normal part of the dispenser’s functionality.

The reason for this is that during the reset or power on sequence, the dispenser’s internal mechanisms may need to recalibrate or go through a priming process to ensure that the soap is ready to be dispensed efficiently.

Hence, after a reset or power supply interruption, it might seem like the soap dispenser is leaking when, in reality, it is simply going through a standard reset process commonly integrated into a commercial automatic hand soap dispenser.

Sensor soap dispenser next to a commercial touch free tap

5. Inadequate maintenance and cleaning practices

Inadequate maintenance and cleaning of soap dispensers can result in soap residue buildup, blockages, seal deterioration, corrosion, bacterial growth, and damage to internal components. These issues can collectively lead to a leaking soap dispenser.

Regular and effective cleaning and maintenance are crucial to prevent these problems and ensure the dispenser’s proper functioning.

A commercial washroom user's hand hovering under an automatic soap dispenser

6. User behaviour

Some users might retract their hands too soon whilst using the dispenser, leaving the remainder of the soap tail to flow out before the dispensing mechanism closes.

What may appear to be a leaking soap dispenser, with droplets found on the vanity top, may actually just be the result of the unfortunate timing of removing their hands too soon during use

Ever wondered why your commercial hand soap dispenser sometimes leaks? Watch this video:

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Causes of soap dispenser leaks and proactive prevention measures

The cause of a leaking soap dispenser can be influenced by numerous factors, some of which may not be immediately apparent, such as soap contamination in refillable dispensers, user behaviour, and insufficient maintenance and cleaning practices.

The best approach is to follow the principle that prevention is better than cure.
As the manufacturer of Dolphin soap dispensers, we have a deep understanding of the intricate details and reasons behind potential soap dispenser leaks. By contacting one of our washroom consultants, we can help you implement the most effective practices and preventive measures to avoid such issues.