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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Soda Making > Dedicated Sping Water Soda Water Machine Build
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:00 PM   #61
roger55
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Beautiful build. I've been contemplating building a continuous system with the carbonator tank in the fridge to avoid all the cold plate/flash chiller hassles. I want to add mine to an existing bar and was wondering if you could simply connect the input to the carbonator from the house water supply. Obviously it wouldn't come in cold, but I don't anticipate using it to continuously produce seltzer, just a few glasses a night.
Thoughts?
Thanks.
Personally, I wouldn't do it that way as it would affect the performance of the system. It would probably work for a glass or 2 like you say but what if you had company or a party?
Why not do it exactly the way I did but refill the 2 1/2 gallon jugs with your tapwater?


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Old 07-30-2014, 10:16 PM   #62
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Thanks for the response. I really appreciate you sharing your experience. It really just comes down to space. I'd like to fit it in 'wet bar' (really just a 6' counter with 2 zone beverage fridge and sink). 99% of the time it will be a glass or two at night. I guess we could break out the old soda stream for guests.

I wonder if you could extend the capacity by running the tap water through a heat exchanger in the fridge (possibly water filled) to pre-cool the water before it goes through the carbonator...or maybe just a 1 gallon holding tank?


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Old 07-31-2014, 04:10 AM   #63
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Thanks for the response. I really appreciate you sharing your experience. It really just comes down to space. I'd like to fit it in 'wet bar' (really just a 6' counter with 2 zone beverage fridge and sink). 99% of the time it will be a glass or two at night. I guess we could break out the old soda stream for guests.

I wonder if you could extend the capacity by running the tap water through a heat exchanger in the fridge (possibly water filled) to pre-cool the water before it goes through the carbonator...or maybe just a 1 gallon holding tank?
I wouldn't do that either. I don't know exactly what kind of results you would get but you sure would be taking a chance that you wouldn't be happy with it.
The other thing is that both the motor for the pressure pump (if you used that) and the motor for the carbonator make too much noise for putting in a living area.
I understand what your goal is but I just don't see putting the money into something that would be so less than ideal.
For what you want I'd go the Sodastream route and convert the CO2 supply to a larger cannister that is not proprietary. They make adapters where you can use paintball cannisters with them.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:11 PM   #64
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Thanks for the response. I'm not ready to give up yet. :-)

What to do you think about using a refrigerator reservoir to pre-chill the tap water before it goes to the carbonator, such as this

http://www.appliancepartspros.com/ge...ap3188462.html

it would serve the same purpose as your tank/pump setup, but with less available water volume. My crude math says this would hold about 3/4 gallon. Obviously this would heat up a bit as new water replaced the cold water, but with the carbonator tank in the fridge and this feeding it, wouldn't this perform like your system but with just less capacity?

Thanks again,

Bryan
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:50 PM   #65
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Thanks for the response. I'm not ready to give up yet. :-)
What to do you think about using a refrigerator reservoir to pre-chill the tap water before it goes to the carbonator, such as this
http://www.appliancepartspros.com/ge...ap3188462.html
it would serve the same purpose as your tank/pump setup, but with less available water volume. My crude math says this would hold about 3/4 gallon. Obviously this would heat up a bit as new water replaced the cold water, but with the carbonator tank in the fridge and this feeding it, wouldn't this perform like your system but with just less capacity?
Thanks again,
Bryan
That would have to be better but I think it is still less than ideal and it wouldn't be what I would want. It may work for you OK but I just can't know.
My wife and I hit ours pretty often in the summer when we are working around the house. It's hot down here in Texas and we drink a lot of water. Right now we've got a a contractor building an addition on our house and we are letting him and his helper use the system too. My system will handle anything I will ever put to it plus more.
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Old 08-01-2014, 01:30 PM   #66
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This is a project I've been working on to incorporate this into my bar (it's still pretty rough around the edges). Because I use so little seltzer, the pump does not run very often. Admittedly it's pretty noisy when it does, but it only lasts a few minutes. I don't have a huge issue with it being in my "living area".

I incorporated a Brita, so that I don't need to use spring water. Although, I've found that the taste is dramatically altered with tap water or even Brita. I actually drained the entire system one day and purchased a bunch of spring water at Sam's Club instead - but maybe it doesn't bother you.

I also fit the entire thing into a mini fridge. It doesn't take up too much space, as you can see.

I thought the same thing as you, that since I don't use it a lot that it was overkill. But if you want it as part of a bar, and you host a little dinner party or something, people are going to want to use it. You could go smaller, but you'll probably regret it whenever you have people over.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:04 PM   #67
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Excellent!!!

Are you happy with how it is working for you? I expect that the performance of your system would be just like mine. If you have another fridge in the house where you can pre-cool your 2 1/2 gallon jugs of spring water, you're capacity on the machine would basically be unlimited.

I think what you did may help Bryan in his plans for a system that takes up less space than mine does.

Have you thought about making a box cover for your motors? You could put some foam insulation inside the cover and I bet it would reduce the noise a bunch. I don't think heat build up would be a problem because the motors don't run often enough.

Btw, I'd like to see close-ups of you're dispenser and the brand/part number for that. Is the dispenser working just like you hoped it would?
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:45 PM   #68
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Wow, Sarink! That is very close to what I was thinking, although I still would like to use the tap water with an in-line charcoal filter for purification (we are on the Hetch Hetchy water system here norcal--basically snow melt water from the sierras--so our water has excellent taste). The mini-fridge pictures really help me visualize the whole thing.

So, I'm thinking that the system would look like (brackets mean in-fridge):

tap->backflow preventer->[charcoal filter->fridge water reservoir->}carbonator->{carbonator tank}->seltzer faucet.

I'm tempted to try it out this way and convert to sarink's setup if I can't get the performance.

I know a little be about sound isolation--For really good sound isolation I would build a 1/2" MDF box to fit over the pumps and line it with foam backed MLV (mass loaded vinyl). Make sure the vinyl is pointed towards the sound source (not the foam) and try to minimize any gaps. Mount the pumps on another piece of MLV. I am a little concerned about over-heating, but as long as the pumps run for a short period it shouldn't be a problem. If it is, then add some PVC pipe vents. Complicated, I know, but it should really cut down on the noise.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:49 PM   #69
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It's working great! There were a lot, lot, of struggles along the way, and I certainly learned a bunch. Probably would still be working on it had I not found this thread/your build! So thank you

The dispenser is a Cornelius UF-1 (the electronic push-button version). I had to find my own power supply for it, and rewire it, but it was pretty straight forward (so long as you can use a multimeter and solder). If anyone's interested in this, I can take some pictures and describe it in more detail.

I do plan on building a box (I think you and I may have discussed this briefly a few pages back, actually). I also need to build a nicer "bar", get some loom around/zip tie the wires...lots of polishing to be done yet. What you see is very much just a functioning prototype. I've got big plans for this xD
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Old 08-02-2014, 02:47 AM   #70
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... I am a little concerned about over-heating, but as long as the pumps run for a short period it shouldn't be a problem. If it is, then add some PVC pipe vents. Complicated, I know, but it should really cut down on the noise.
I don't think you need to worry about heat at all.
Mine pumps are in the garage and when hot cars are pulled in in the summertime, I'm sure it gets over 100 in there. I doubt yours would get that warm.
Remember though that I had to change out my hose for higher pressure stuff. The heat made the cheaper hose swell up.


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