Nutrition, Pet Care Basics

Understanding Pet Water Bottles

“Vacuum Valve”

Pet water bottles that feature a metal drinking tube with one or more metal ball bearings inside that tube are able to hold the water contents because a vacuum is formed in the sealed bottle. The metal ball allows a film of water to remain between the ball and the open end of the drinking tube. Since the movement of the exposed ball bearing breaks this seal, and the vacuum within the water bottle is released, the moving ball is in effect an opening and closing valve.

If the pet licks or nudges the ball, he can access water as it flows down through the tube, keeping the ball moving and the valve “open.” When the pet leaves the water bottle and the ball settles into place at the end of the drinking tube, the film of water reforms and the valve “closes.”

Is That Drip Normal?

This little drip is the first release of water and is created as your water bottle forms a new vacuum seal. In order for a vacuum to form within the sealed water bottle, the air space and water volume need to equalize. This little release of water is the after effect of this equalization as the pressure stabilizes, and it is perfectly normal.

A single droplet at the end of the drinking tube is not a sign of a leaking water bottle. To help establish the vacuum seal when the water bottle is first filled and mounted, tap the ball bearing several times with your fingertip. This releases small amounts of water and speeds up the equalization of the vacuum pressure.

Continuous Dripping or Emptying Out

If your water bottle seems to continuously drip or empty out, there are a few steps you can follow to correct the issue.

  1. Check inside the cap of your bottle, and you should see a rubber gasket inside the cap. If the gasket is missing or damaged, your bottle will continuously drip. Depending on the style of bottle, the gasket will be different colors. The wide mouth 32 and 16 oz bottles have a blue gasket; the wide mouth 64 oz bottles have a yellow gasket; and the standard neck water bottles have a black gasket.
  2. Fill the water bottle completely full with room temperature water. A bottle filled halfway or fully with cold water will take longer to create a vacuum and will drip more.
  3. Once you have filled the bottle, tighten the cap securely, tap the ball bearing at the sink a few times, hang it on the cage/crate, and tap the ball bearing a few more times. Your water bottle should stop dripping within a few minutes. The smaller the bottle, the quicker the dripping will stop.
  4. For 32 and 64 oz bottles, hold the bottle so that the tube is facing up, squeeze the bottle until you force a small amount of water out, then turn it over and hang it on the cage/crate. (Think of it like a doctor clearing a syringe of air before giving you a shot.) The 32 oz and 64 oz bottles will take longer to form a vacuum than the 8 oz and 16 oz bottles.

How Do You Use a Lixit Water Bottle for Dogs?

  • If the water bottle is mounted on a crate or carrier and the animal is large, the bottle might shake a few drips out when the animal is moving about. Some people put a small “drip” cup under the tube tip to catch those drips. In addition, most ball bearing bottles will drip if in a moving crate. It is recommended you purchase a valve bottle for carriers in vehicles, airplanes, etc.
  • The bottle will not stop dripping while you hold it because your hand actually puts a slight pressure on the bottle, plus your hand is warm. It doesn’t usually stop dripping until you hang it on a cage or carrier.
  • All water bottles will occasionally drip after a pet drinks, and with temperature changes where the water bottle is located. For best results, keep the water bottle away from windows where sunlight comes in and warms the bottle.

Shop Pet Water Bottles

If you need help with how do you install a Lixit water bottle, call us at 800.786.4751.

If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.