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sarink

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Basically exactly like yours. Except instead of pulling the tap, I push a button on a website. This button will keep my "tap" (high pressure solenoid valve) open until it detects X amount of liquid has passed through, then it will close again.

However... I need the pressure be controlled, because when I send the signal to open the valve I don't want soda spraying out at 100psi. If only I had a way to reduce the output pressure between the McCann tank and my solenoid valve, everything would work great.
 
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roger55

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...I need the pressure be controlled, because when I send the signal to open the valve I don't want soda spraying out at 100psi. If only I had a way to reduce the output pressure between the McCann tank and my solenoid valve, everything would work great.
If you have a correct type nozzle, you wont need to reduce the pressure as the nozzle design handles it.
 

Taz420NJ

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I came across this forum doing some research for my own postmix soda system (using Wunderbar guns), and I just had to join into this thread.. :)

First of all, Roger, thank you for the inspiration to simply stick the carbonator tank into the fridge. I was looking for a shortcut that would save me having to spend an extra hundred plus bucks on a cold plate or jockey box coils.. I have also just purchased a McCann's BigMac ($112 shipped, used but good condition), and I can't wait to get started on it. :)

I didn't see if anyone asked yet, but how long is your CO2 tank lasting just making seltzer? I will be using Flojet CO2 powered syrup pumps in mine, so I know it will go faster, but since there's not much difference in price here for filling a 20# vs a 50# tank (beyond the difference in the initial tank purchase), I'm wondering which I should go with.. It will be mostly soda water use.


Also, I understand what sarink is trying to do.. Have you ever seen the fountains that McDonalds has where they have one head with a bunch of buttons? Or the new Coke "Freestyle" machines they are putting into Wendy's (and probably others, but Wendy's is the only place I've seen them yet) with the touchscreens? He's going in that direction, where the brixing is done by the computer - measuring the syrup dose and water dose, rather than having to constantly balance the soda to water ratio. It also seems like he is going for more of the "old fashioned" soda method, where the pressure of the water mixes the drink in the cup, rather than dispensing them together. Since the water is controlled by solenoid, he can't use the traditional push-pull head.. I would say simply restricting the flow should slow it down.. Maybe a half-closed ball valve, or a pair of reducers inline (drop it to 1/8" then back to 1/4"?)

Anyways, glad to be here, looking forward to trying some of the soda recipes.. And maybe eventually trying my hand at brewing! :)
 
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roger55

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I didn't see if anyone asked yet, but how long is your CO2 tank lasting just making seltzer? I will be using Flojet CO2 powered syrup pumps in mine, so I know it will go faster, but since there's not much difference in price here for filling a 20# vs a 50# tank (beyond the difference in the initial tank purchase), I'm wondering which I should go with.. It will be mostly soda water use.
Welcome and thank you! Glad you are joining the discussion.

I've got the 20 lb tank and I'm still on the first fill. So, I don't know the answer yet but it is going to last a long time.

I worked in a cafe back in my high school days and remember that their soda machine used a 20 lb tank. Seems to me that for home use anything larger would be overkill.
 

Taz420NJ

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Hey Roger, I got my carbonator, and when I took the terminal cover off the motor, it has the probe wired inline with the white (neutral).. Now where I went to school, it is a HUGE no-no to switch the neutral in any device..






Can you tell me if yours was wired the same way or maybe mine had just been monkeyed with or it was a factory error (it has a crimp cap on the joint, and while most people wouldn't use those to do a hack job, you never know).. I just want to be sure before I hook it up.

Thanks!
 
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roger55

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The picture of mine is in photo #26. It's the same as yours.

It is the hot (black) that is switched. The neutral goes to straight to the motor. Both the white and black wires in the wire to the sensor switch carry the hot.
Those type of crimp caps are also standard for electrical devices like this.
 

Taz420NJ

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That pic must not have loaded when I was originally reading the thread because I don't remember seeing that.. But as a matter of fact, on yours as well it is not the hot, it IS the neutral that is switched. Look again - the black (hot) from the power inlet cord connects directly to the motor terminal. The white (neutral) from the power inlet cord connects to the black of the probe pigtail, and then the white from the pigtail comes back and connects to the other motor terminal.... So it is definitely switching the neutral..

I just can't fathom why they would wire the motors like this because it violates electric code...
 
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roger55

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Looked again and you are right, the lower wire in my photo is the one that goes to the switch. I don't know why they do it this way but with 120V, it's not going to make any difference to switch the white wire. You aren't supposed to use GFCI's with electric motors so does it make it against code? I don't know. It might be interesting to call McCann and ask if they have a reason or not.
 

mentor1

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Roger55 - thanks for accomplishing what many of us were hoping to cobble together, but never seem to get around to it. I'm one of those bottle shakers who is looking for a better solution, and I think you have hit on a workable design using common parts.

Did you look at Lancer for carbonators? They have compact units. Or, is McCann so common the price can't be beat for availability?

Did you consider one of the smaller undercounter fridges instead of a full size unit? Is there something I'm missing if I go smaller?

Thanks for all details

Mentor1
 
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roger55

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Did you look at Lancer for carbonators? They have compact units. Or, is McCann so common the price can't be beat for availability?
I really wasn't looking at a particular brand.
I just looked for good deals on ebay and found a unused one that happened to be a McCann. McCann makes smaller units than the one I have too.

Did you consider one of the smaller undercounter fridges instead of a full size unit? Is there something I'm missing if I go smaller?
Mine isn't really a full-sized fridge. I'd say it's an apartment sized unit. A smaller fridge would work but I like the fact I can store the extra water jugs in the larger one. My wife likes having the freezer for storing pecans too. Since mine is in the garage, it wasn't necessary to go with small fridge either.

Thanks for all details
Mentor1
You are welcome. Keep us informed if you build a system.
 

sarink

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You know the small round/hollow metal piece that sits inside a check valve (it holds an o ring, and the ball/spring sit inside of it)? What do you call those? One of mine is broken, and I'm having a really hard time locating a new one. Any ideas?

Also, I've noticed some what looks like rusty water very slowly dripping off of the pressure tank (same tank as you, though I must have something just a little bit loose). Has this happened to you? Should that tank be aluminum instead of steel?
 
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roger55

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You know the small round/hollow metal piece that sits inside a check valve (it holds an o ring, and the ball/spring sit inside of it)? What do you call those? One of mine is broken, and I'm having a really hard time locating a new one. Any ideas?

Also, I've noticed some what looks like rusty water very slowly dripping off of the pressure tank (same tank as you, though I must have something just a little bit loose). Has this happened to you? Should that tank be aluminum instead of steel?
Can't help you on the check valve.

Noticed no rust with mine. Never seen an aluminum pressure tank.
 
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roger55

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I didn't see if anyone asked yet, but how long is your CO2 tank lasting just making seltzer? I will be using Flojet CO2 powered syrup pumps in mine, so I know it will go faster, but since there's not much difference in price here for filling a 20# vs a 50# tank (beyond the difference in the initial tank purchase), I'm wondering which I should go with.. It will be mostly soda water use.
I just finally had to refill my #20 cylinder. It lasted from 3/8/13 to 3/25/14 (today). So it lasted me a whole year + a couple of weeks. I'd estimate my wife and I drink about 3 gallons a week so if that is accurate, then a 20# cylinder is good for about 160 gallons of soda water.
 
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roger55

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Those of you that had been following this thread may remember that I reported that some of my tubing was balooning from too much pressure and heat in the garage. I had purchased higher pressure rated tubing a while back but just got to installing it yesterday. I was afraid if I put it off much longer especially with another summer coming up and the garage getting hot again that it would burst on me.

I also made a little change in how I ran the tubing. I changed it so the tee is no longer underneath the pressure tank. I put a new tee close to the pressure pump. There is one less hose to run through the wall this way. I also took this opportunity to elimate all my PVC fittings as I did have a litte trouble before with a couple of them cracking.

I'm pretty confident that I've got all the bugs in my system worked out now and it's going to be reliable for a long time to come.



 

sarink

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Can you tell us specifically what sort of tubing/where you got it from?

What fittings did you use on your waterworks tank? I've seen some rust dripping from the bottom of mine and I'm not sure why/what to do about it?

What did you use to fill the hole in the fridge? I haven't filled mine and I think the outside air is causing condensation and is the reason the inside of my fridge is so damp (also, perhaps responsible/related to the rusty drip from the waterworks tank?) I want to fill the hole with something that isn't totally permanent, so that I can easily swap hoses in the future if I need to, or take it apart for maintenance or something.

Thanks!
 
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roger55

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Can you tell us specifically what sort of tubing/where you got it from?
What fittings did you use on your waterworks tank? I've seen some rust dripping from the bottom of mine and I'm not sure why/what to do about it?
What did you use to fill the hole in the fridge? I haven't filled mine and I think the outside air is causing condensation and is the reason the inside of my fridge is so damp (also, perhaps responsible/related to the rusty drip from the waterworks tank?) I want to fill the hole with something that isn't totally permanent, so that I can easily swap hoses in the future if I need to, or take it apart for maintenance or something.
Thanks!
I got THIS 3/8" tubing I got and I got it from Apex Beverage along with 15.7 mm ear clamps.
Thats just an ordinary galvanized 3/4" elbow on the bottom of the tank and then a nipple and a reducing bell for the brass barb fitting.

I'm not getting any condensation or drips in my fridge at all. I used that spray foam stuff from Home Depot to seal up the hole. Worked really well.
 

carrera32

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Thats just an ordinary galvanized 3/4" elbow on the bottom of the tank and then a nipple and a reducing bell for the brass barb fitting.
I also built a home system, but you may want to consider replacing the galvanized elbow. I believe that metal is not safe for drinking water:

http://www.superpages.com/supertips/galvanized-pipe.html

"Although galvanized pipe has been previously used to transport drinking water, now is is more often used for sewage and irrigation plumbing. Most of these pipes contain lead, which make them unsuitable for drinking water. However, galvanized pipes can be replaced with newer lead-free models, and may still be used for non-drinking water plumbing."
 
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roger55

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I also built a home system, but you may want to consider replacing the galvanized elbow. I believe that metal is not safe for drinking water:

http://www.superpages.com/supertips/galvanized-pipe.html

"Although galvanized pipe has been previously used to transport drinking water, now is is more often used for sewage and irrigation plumbing. Most of these pipes contain lead, which make them unsuitable for drinking water. However, galvanized pipes can be replaced with newer lead-free models, and may still be used for non-drinking water plumbing."
Actually, that's is misleading.
Unused galvanized pipe does not contain lead. However, used galvanized pipe can have accumulated and release lead if they've ever been used with lead service pipes. Galvanized pipe is still considered safe and still sometimes used for potable water.

Galvanized pipe can and does corrode, especially when the pH of the water is less than 7. It's one reason why it's not used very much anymore. The pH of the water I'm using is above 7.

I used that fitting because I had it on hand. It does have a limited life but on the order of 40 years. Not worth changing out. I won't be alive that long.
 

carrera32

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Actually, that's is misleading.
Unused galvanized pipe does not contain lead. However, used galvanized pipe can have accumulated and release lead if they've ever been used with lead service pipes. Galvanized pipe is still considered safe and still sometimes used for potable water.

Galvanized pipe can and does corrode, especially when the pH of the water is less than 7. It's one reason why it's not used very much anymore. The pH of the water I'm using is above 7.

I used that fitting because I had it on hand. It does have a limited life but on the order of 40 years. Not worth changing out. I won't be alive that long.
Good to know. I played it safe and used lead free brass. Nice work on your project!
 

bryanf650

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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?
 
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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?
 

bryanf650

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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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roger55

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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.
 

bryanf650

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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-water-tank-tube-wr17x10734-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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roger55

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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-water-tank-tube-wr17x10734-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.
 

sarink

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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.

DSC_5531.jpg


DSC_5536.jpg


IMG_6878.jpg


IMG_6882 (1).jpg


IMG_6884.jpg
 
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roger55

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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?
 

bryanf650

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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.
 

sarink

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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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roger55

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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.
 

Seannoo

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I have a question for you about the set up, but it would be under the assumption that your city water was of good quality.
My wife is psycho for her sparkling water, and we have a sodastream, but she goes through about 3 liters a day. For her birthday I am going to set her up with an automatic system using a carbonator, hooked through the (pressurized) city supply as a source, a good filtration system and then to an output device. I was throwing around the idea of a bar gun, a single valve soda dispenser or a beer tap type dispenser. I have found a couple if sources for a water chiller system meant for a soda fountain, and thought to use that.
As I have continued to think about it, I've wondered if have just been over thinking this whole process about the water delivery.
So....onto my actual question: do you think the system would work to have the water sourced from the city water, through the filter, through the carbonator and then hooked up to my refrigerator's water inlet and dispensed out if the door. It would be in my garage fridge and the ice maker is not connected. To my knowledge, the water just runs through a coil of hose in the refer compartment and then to an electric dispensing valve in the door.
The only reaso I would think that it wouldn't work would be if the co2 caused too much pressure in the line and were to blow something.

What are your thoughts on this type of a setup?

Thanks in advance!

Sean
 

bryanf650

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I haven't actually built anything yet (parts are on order and I'll be trying a modified version of Roger55's setup), but I've done a bit of research and will offer my opinion. I'm sure others with more experience will chime in.

I don't think that would work. The output from the carbonator is around 100psi and typically you need a special faucet to deal with that pressure to avoid it becoming a fire hose. I have read a couple threads where people have used beer taps to dispense, but typically they need some sort of restrictor to control the flow (such as ~25 ft of 1/8" ID tubing). Sounds like that works pretty well, but I would worry about putting 100psi into a beer tap (the restrictor reduces flow, not static pressure).
 

sarink

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That's exactly how restaurants do it. The McCann carbonator was made to work that way.

Your water line is what that Shurflo pump simulates, because roger55 did not want to tap into his home's water line.

You should be able to copy this setup, eliminating the Shurflo pump and WaterWorker tank, and just hook up the carbonator to your water line directly.

There are many high-pressure in-line filters you can also purchase.
 
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roger55

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Sean,
Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. I'm out of town right now and this has been my first opportunity to get online.

Bryan is totally correct. The output system to the front of your fridge would not work for the carbonated water. You would need to redesign that part completely.

As far as the input to the carbonator motor, I'm not sure how well that would work because the water lines into the rear of the refrigerator are typically just 1/4" tubing and create a lot of restriction to the flow volume. The filter adds restriction too and can just about stop the flow altogether when it gets old.
And, you would not want the electric motor part of the carbonator inside the refrigerator, only the carbonator tank. You would have to run the water into the fridge so it would cool through it's tubes and then run a line out of the fridge and into the carb motor. Might be a challenge.

So, I have several concerns about what you are wanting to accomplish.
 

Taz420NJ

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Roger I don't think you're properly seeing what he wants to do. He wants to have the carbonator outside the refrigerator. He wants to plumb the input of the carbonator pump to his city water (he would use 3/8" hose for that, going through his filters first), then plumb the output of the carbonator tank to the 1/4" water inlet of the refrigerator - which essentially runs through a jockey box coil inside the refrigerator to the valve. This is virtually identical to how commercial soda fountains are plumbed. My Wunderbar gun has all 1/4" inputs.

In a commercial setup, the carbonator tank is rarely refrigerated, and rarely has a pre-chilled water supply. It carbonates at high pressure/room temperature, then the soda water goes either through a cold plate in the ice bin of the fountain, or an ice-block refrigeration system, which is enough to continuously chill the soda water to prevent offgassing.

Now my only concerns with what he wants to do is that he needs to find out the maximum pressure that the refrigerator's water system is designed for (80-100PSI would not be unheard of), and he needs to open the fridge up and make absolutely certain that there are no brass or copper components in the water system, otherwise the system would be toxic with carbonated water running through it.
 

Taz420NJ

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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
Well you got my attention with that.. :D I have wanted to put a couple fountain heads in my kitchen for a while now. What is that thing next to the soda head? I don't see it in any of the literature for the UF-1. And how are you connecting the soda and syrup lines to the head? None of the ones I have seen for sale have any kind of a hose barb, they look like they are supposed to mount directly to some standard manifold in a fountain.
 

Taz420NJ

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After much procrastination and lallygagging on ordering parts (I finally gave in after trying to find alternatives to paying almost $60 just for the stupid clamps :mad:) I finally have my system producing soda water!!

Basically I installed the carbonator tank and a 10 button Wunderbar gun inside my regular kitchen fridge. I also constructed a plain water chiller reservoir out of 10 feet (folded) of 1" PVC pipe, which fits perfectly behind the shelves - so I don't actually lose any extra space. It holds about a half gallon, which is fine. It's actually more than the chiller in a built-in water dispenser holds. The two gallon soda tank is what I'll be using most of the time.. :D

I ran the hoses (currently have two extras for post-mix soda in the future, I'll probably add a third before I seal everything up since I have three BIB pumps) through a 2 1/2" hole in the bottom of the fridge, then through the wall and down into the basement where I have the carbonator pump, CO2 tank, and water filters.

I'm using a three stage 10" filter bank, with a sediment filter and two carbon block filters. It does a respectable job on our nasty water.

I'll have some pics up later.. :ban::ban:
 

bryanf650

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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):

IMG_2561.jpg


IMG_2562.jpg


IMG_2565.jpg


IMG_2566.jpg


IMG_2567.jpg
 

sarink

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After one of my lines blew and leaked an entire tank of co2 in addition to spewing soda everywhere...I had put this project on the shelf for a few months, but it's got my attention again. I'm actually going back on what I said in an earlier post, as I am rebuilding my soda machine with a McCann Small Carbonator and Jabsco 1 liter Accumulator tank instead of the WaterWorker. It's about halfway done now, I'll post some more pictures when it's finished!

bryan, nice setup! I have to say though, I'm a bit confused... why use those fridge reservoirs? Why not just purchase the larger carbonator with the bigger seltzer tank? FYI, you might like this link to the McCann Horizontal Carbonator Tank, I'm not sure about the dimensions, but it appears as if it may fit on that little shelf in the back of your fridge, saving you even more space. And are you sure that the tubing you've used/those (are they the "quick connect"?) couplers are sufficient to hold the pressure of this system? Roger and I have probably had this setup working for the longest (of anyone in this thread) and over time both of us have blown lines. It is seriously not fun. I would highly recommend you consider replacing the tubing. Look back a few pages for the Apex Bevlex stuff that roger posted. Also, what happened to your other co2 tank? Looks like you switched.

Taz, super sorry I didn't get back to you. In case you were still wondering... The "thing" next to the Cornelius UF-1 dispenser is completely unrelated (it's a pump that I am using to dispense different syrups into the glass via an Arduino). As for setting up the UF-1, by itself, it does not come with all the necessary parts you need, and it was somewhat time consuming for me to figure this out. I'm sure it is far too late now, but I'll post the information here anyway. In addition to the UF-1, you need the following parts:
1919 - Mounting block
77050100 - Inlet fitting
1081 - Retainer screw
318762000 - Retainer
Search the part numbers on 3wire.com
Also, you owe us pictures! ;)
 

bryanf650

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Sarink,

Funny you should mention leaks. I just finished upgrading those tanks last night to a custom PVC tubing based reservoir that I built. Two of the refrigerator tanks units started to leak after a few weeks of use. My logic in using them was that they would only be holding the same pressure that they hold when in a refrigerator (house pressure) and that they were clean, non-outgassing and had good volume were cheap and readily available. I think they started to fail because they couldn't handle the pressure fluctuations when the carbonator pump switched on and off. It was a pain to try and interface the 5/16 line--but actually all the JG fittings worked fine and didn't leak. All the high pressure stuff was always high-pressure reinforced tubing with either flare with barb and SS Oettiker clamps and should be good for the 80-100 psi room temp environment with plenty of safety factor. With the new reservoir, everything is high pressure capable.

Regarding the tank, I originally bought that little 4lb tank because I thought it would fit better under the sink and still allow for a lot of storage. Unfortunately it is a pain to get it filled and the standard 5lb tank fits fine and is a simple swap out for filling. I have the 4lb tank for backup now.

Thanks for the suggestion of for the carbonator tank. I looked into that tank, but wasn't sure how the float/switch worked so I went with the smaller Mcann as a complete working system (used). I decided not to use a big tank under the theory that with my multiple reservoir tanks in series the temperature of the carbonator water won't change until warmer house water flushes all the reservoirs. This should give me ~2.5l of cold, fizzy goodness on tap before the temperature starts to affect the carbonation. It seems to work pretty well--I filled 2l of soda to take to a party and didn't detect a temperature change from beginning to end.

Other than the reservoir leaks, everything works great and my wife and I have really enjoyed having the seltzer on tap.

Here is a pic of the new reservoir.

IMG_2603.jpg
 
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