Carbonator set up in home wetbar/drink fridge

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bryanf650

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(this was posted at the bottom of another thread, so I thought I would post here to give it a bit more visibility)

Yay! I finally got my system up and running and it turned out much better than anticipated. My goal was to put a soda dispenser into a wet bar to provide filtered soda water to a fountain head on the counter. I already had a 2-Zone wine/beverage fridge in the wet bar, but I was hoping to build a compact system so I could still use most of the fridge. The water path is

house water->charcoal filter->reservoir->carbonator->fountain head

The reservoir and carbonator tank are in the refrigerator and the pump and filter are under the sink.

I got lucky in a couple places. Using the mini Mcann 43-5000 carbonator and setting the next to the fridge wall allowed me to keep everything very close--in fact, I didn't even have to extend the electrical cable that runs between the tank and pump! To make the reservoir I bought 3 32oz fridge reservoirs, zip tied them together and connected them in series. The idea being that I would have approx 1 gal of chilled fizzy water available at any time (the tank also holds 32oz). By having the fridge reservoirs in series the warm incoming water won't warm up the water going into the carbonator until all the reservoirs are flushed. Just by chance the reservoirs fit perfectly above the compressor hump in the fridge, so I hardly lost any space in the fridge!

I just got it working last night, but it seems to be pretty solid. It is a bit loud when the pump runs (a loud hum--much quieter than a garbage disposal, but no exactly whisper quiet), but that is pretty infrequent (every other 12 oz glass or so).

Here are some pics (sorry for the mess, the house is in the final stages of construction):

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Beerlover88

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What size tubing are you using from the carbonator to the tap, and how long is the run? What pressure are you running? I really like your idea of prechilling the water before it hits the carbonator.

Thanks!
 

Reggie88

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Nice. Where did you get those 32oz fridge reservoirs? Looks like their made for this. Please give us more info! :)
 
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bryanf650

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More than happy to share. I kept a spreadsheet of all the parts if anyone is interested.

The tubing size for the carbonator to tap is 1/4" (high pressure, reinforced) and I'm running about 80-85 psi for a good level of carbonation--similar to bottled soda water. The fridge is set to 41deg.

The reservoir part number is WR17X11440 and I ordered them on Amazon. Unfortunately I had two of them leak within the first couple weeks of use. I think that the pressure swings when the carbonator pump turned on was too much and they fatigued. They had 5/16" lines which I think is a bit too restrictive so they were under negative pressure. It could also be that I just got a couple defective units. I ended up building my own reservoir out of PVC piping and fittings that has been working very well for a month or so of heavy use.
 

phug

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From doing tater cannons, people have checked the capacity of PVC to withstand pressure and yeah they can do 100psi though they recommend sched 40 PVC and abs has a much nicer failure pattern.

PVC shatters, ABS splits
 
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bryanf650

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The PVC reservoir is on the tap water side of the carbonator, so it only has to hold ~50psi. The output of the carbonator tank runs directly to the faucet and is 1/4 reinforced beverage tubing rated at something like 225 or 250 psi. I don't recall the which schedule PVC I used, but I did check to see that it was rated for potable water at tap water pressures. After I built the reservoirs I soaked them in hot water overnight and rinsed them in ethanol to get rid of any plastic taste or smell. Might of been overkill, but I didn't detect any odor in the seltzer.
 
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