I'm designing a product to accept a 5-gallon water jug. This is the light blue, transparent plastic kind for potable water that you can buy, swap, or fill at grocery stores. I can take measurements of jugs I own, but I'd like to ensure the product will accept any jug conforming to the standard. Does such a standard exist, particularly for the mating surface of the cooler?


I did some searching and did not find a standard. Majority of these bottles are used inverted on a water cooler and seal via the container holding vacuum (like an inverted dog watering dish) so the dimensions are not critical (and likely not held to a tight standard).

I own two different standards of thread on type 5 gallon jugs that I use in a bottom loaded pump style water cooler. Since a hose pumps the water out, the interface is again not critical.

What I would recommend is contacting some large manufacturers and ask them for drawings or critical dimensions. You wont get a response for all of them, but some will be interested in a product being compatible with their bottles. They may also have information on any standard if it exists. If push comes to shove, you may have to ask for a quote on 50,000 bottles annually and require a detailed schematic with the quote. Tricks you learn ;-)


  • $\begingroup$ There's a little part where the dimensions are somewhat important: the central bolt that goes inside the plastic stopper. The stopper is keeping the water in when you place the jug upside down over the cooler, then the bolt sticks inside the stopper, opening the jug as you place it on the water cooler (pushing the stopper inside and holding it stuck on its tip) then as you remove the empty (or almost empty) jug, the stopper sticks back into place sealing the jug, so that no leftover water spills out. Getting the tip dimensions right for that would be valuable. $\endgroup$ – SF. Aug 24 '17 at 12:45

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