The soap dispenser accompanying your kitchen faucet is handy. The container is tucked underneath the sink and countertop, with the pump next to the faucet for quick and easy hand washing.
You don’t need to worry about accidentally knocking over the soap bottle or constantly buying new plastic containers to replace the empty ones. Instead, you can simply refill the bottle under the sink, and you’re good to go! But what happens when the dispenser stops working?
While this is an aggravating issue, it’s usually easy enough to fix. So, before you buy a new soap dispenser, here are a few troubleshooting tips to get your stubborn dispenser working again.
Why Is My Soap Dispenser Not Working?
Your soap dispenser might be on strike for a few reasons. Sometimes, the problem is painfully simple, leaving you shaking your head at yourself once you realize the problem. However, it isn’t always as straightforward as we’d like (but it is usually an easy fix).
The most common reasons why your soap dispenser isn’t working include the following:
- No soap in the bottle
- Recently refilled, soap isn’t in the tube yet
- Sticky or viscous soap
- Overfilled dispenser
- Broken pump
- Broken bottle
Pfister offers a few different soap dispenser models, so you’ll need to know the correct model if you need replacement parts.
Soap Dispenser Not Working? 7 Troubleshooting Tips
If your dispenser isn’t working, there are a few ways to fix it. Here are a few of the most straightforward fixes for the most common soap dispenser problems:
1) Double-Check For Soap
While this one might seem like a no-brainer, it’s easier to forget than you think. Sometimes, we forget that we haven’t refilled the soap dispenser (or someone that was supposed to refill it didn’t do it), so when there’s no soap coming up the straw, we immediately begin looking for issues.
So, before you start working through the following fixes, ensure there’s plenty of soap in the dispenser’s bottle. If there’s too little soap, the straw might not be able to pull it up to the pump, so you might just hear crackly noises when you try to get the soap out of the dispenser.
Simply remove the pump mechanism by pulling it up and away from the sink deck to check for soap. Or, open the base cabinet and check the bottle underneath for its soap level. If there’s no soap in the dispenser, refill it and check for proper function.
2) Work The Soap Pump
In some cases, the dispenser bottle might be full, but the soap isn’t pumping through the dispenser. It could be due to sticky or thick soap that takes a few extra pumps to move through the straw. So, if you just refilled the pump and it isn’t working, try pumping the mechanism 10-15 times to pull the soap up the tube.
This can even happen when you haven’t recently refilled the soap dispenser, as gravity pushes the soap back down the tube. So, give it a few extra pumps to bring soap back into the tube, and you should be good to go!
3) Check For Dried Soap
If the dispenser is full and you can see soap in the tube, dried soap might be the problem. Sometimes, we might accidentally overfill the dispenser, which allows the soap to clog the pump mechanism. As the soap dries, it can obstruct the pump completely, making it tricky to work with. If you find dried soap, simply rinse the pump in warm water.
4) Soak The Pump
Sometimes, rinsing the pump won’t do the trick. If your soap dispenser still doesn’t work, try soaking it in a pan of hot water. Remove the pump by pulling it straight from the sink deck, then place it in a pan of hot water.
Let it soak for about 15 minutes, ensuring the entire assembly is submerged. Then, before you remove it from the water, pump the mechanism a few times to get water flowing through it. This should clear any blockages in the line.
Remove the pump from the water, work the mechanism to remove any excess liquid, and replace it in the soap dispenser.
5) Flush The Pump
If you don’t have time to soak the pump, you can always try flushing it with hot water to remove debris in the mechanism or tube. Fill a cup with hot water (not boiling), then work the mechanism to pull water through the line. Continue the process until water moves easily through the straw, then replace the pump in the dispenser.
6) Replace The Pump
In some cases, the pump might be the problem. Check the pump for visible damage on the mechanisms, straw, pump head, and spout. Generally, it’s best to replace the pump altogether, as you usually can’t buy individual parts for a broken tip or something similar. Check Pfister’s online product catalog to determine your model, then look up the part online.
If you can’t find the part you need, contact Pfister’s support team. They can help you with warranty questions, identification issues, or product problems. The price for the replacement pump varies based on the model, but they’re usually relatively inexpensive.
Be sure to find a model that matches your faucet. So, if you have a stainless steel faucet, consider looking for a stainless steel replacement head.
7) Broken Bottle
If everything else checks out, the dispenser bottle could be broken. When this happens, the pump might not work efficiently, and the soap may seem to run out quickly. This issue can create quite a mess in your base cabinet as the soap leaks, so check for this.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do for a broken bottle (unless you want to duct tape it – that might work), so you’ll need to order a replacement. Contact Pfister’s customer support team for assistance ordering a replacement bottle for your model.
Once you receive the replacement, simply remove the old bottle by unthreading it (turn it counterclockwise), then replace it with the new, freshly filled bottle (thread it clockwise). Avoid overtightening the bottle, as this can lead to issues with the bottle staying in place (if it strips the threads).