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Dedicated Spring Water Soda Water Machine Build

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roger55

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You made me just go check mine.
Identical on the outside to a pc plug but different on the inside. It has round pins and the PC plugs have flat.
You are correct.
 

WasserMitGas

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Thanks for the info, guys. I'm likely going to do the same as you and just extend the cable off of the carbonator motor - I was hoping it was some sort of standard cable that I could buy additional ends for. I've seen the carbonator/carbonator float shown with a short extension that has a green cable for a plug conversion - but couldn't find one of those for individual sale, either (might be long enough for me since I'm mounting the carbonator in the cabinet right next to the fridge).

Anyway, I have all my fittings ready to go, just looking for a fridge now that will fit in my kitchen where I want it. Fortunately the spot to the right of my sink will fit a smaller 33" high mini fridge nicely, which should hold the carbonator tank plus a few six packs. Maybe I'll put in some plexiglass panes so the beer grabbers don't get too rough with the carbonator setup :)

:mug:
 

WasserMitGas

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So I finally got around to throwing the carbonator tank in my mini fridge for a test run in the basement. It's not pretty, but it's functional (packing tape to seal the fridge door around the hoses...). I'm not happy with the level of carbonation it has. I let it sit all night around 90 psi. The water was very cold when I tried it this morning, but the carbonation seemed to be escaping as it came out (submerged, there are lots of bubbles). I used a temporary stainless steel ball valve at the end of the hose to dispense the water, and I'm thinking that the agitation it causes at the high pressure when it sprays out is at least partly to blame. It's more like a pressure washer than a faucet at that pressure, and even a small stream is a pretty strong spray. I wonder if I'm going to have to spring for a proper dispenser before I'll know if my system works :/

Any thoughts?
 
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roger55

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I wonder if I'm going to have to spring for a proper dispenser before I'll know if my system works :/
Any thoughts?
I think so.
Sitting all night at 90 should be more than enough. If it is cold and it stays cold all the way to the valve, then I don't see anything else it could be except your valve.

If you like it on the bubbly side you could up your pressure to 110. If you can somehow submerge your outlet into the cup once it gets enough water in it, that would help keep the carbonation loss down.

Then when you get your soda dispensing valve and if it's a little too bubbly, you can reduce the pressure little by little until you get your desired level of carbonation.
 

WasserMitGas

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I think so.
Sitting all night at 90 should be more than enough. If it is cold and it stays cold all the way to the valve, then I don't see anything else it could be except your valve.

If you like it on the bubbly side you could up your pressure to 110. If you can somehow submerge your outlet into the cup once it gets enough water in it, that would help keep the carbonation loss down.

Then when you get your soda dispensing valve and if it's a little too bubbly, you can reduce the pressure little by little until you get your desired level of carbonation.
Thanks for the feedback! Submerging in the water only showed me all the bubbles from the lost co2 separating (at least it showed me that the co2 was in the water in the first place).

I did some more searching and ran across this bit of info that seems to support blaming the simple faucet:

http://truetex.com/carbonation.htm


"A soda dispenser head is much more sophisticated than a simple water faucet. It must be constructed to control the relatively high liquid pressure (100 psi) while not subjecting the liquid to physical forces that would tend to nucleate the dissolved CO2 (passing through narrow orifices or rapid change of cross-sectional flow rate). Modern dispenser valves consist of a specially articulated type of O-ring known as a "banjo", spring- or solenoid-actuated levers to actuate the banjo pressure against a stop, and a specially designed set of passages and diffusers to reduce the energy of the high-pressure flowing soda to a gravity fall. The design also attempts to minimize the thermal mass and conductivity of the containment path, so as to avoid rewarming the chilled product. To all this sophistication is added a second circuit for syrup metering and dispensing, which is not a concern for simple seltzer delivery."​
 

Taz420NJ

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and a specially designed set of passages and diffusers to reduce the energy of the high-pressure flowing soda to a gravity fall[/b].
Yeah that's true.. In my soda gun, if you look at the passages molded into the clear acrylic, right after the soda button the soda passage splits into a fanout of 10 smaller passages that reduces the velocity without knocking the CO2 out of suspension. That makes it 'flow' out of the nozzle rather than spray. It's really quite simply elegant.

You might try running it through a 25' coil of 1/8" tubing after the carbonator to restrict the flow.
 

WasserMitGas

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Yeah that's true.. In my soda gun, if you look at the passages molded into the clear acrylic, right after the soda button the soda passage splits into a fanout of 10 smaller passages that reduces the velocity without knocking the CO2 out of suspension. That makes it 'flow' out of the nozzle rather than spray. It's really quite simply elegant.

You might try running it through a 25' coil of 1/8" tubing after the carbonator to restrict the flow.
Thanks for the suggestion! That does all make sense. I actually just put a needle valve after the ball valve to create a secondary lower flow stage and that worked! Probably still not perfect, but I'm happy knowing the system works overall and excited to try the flomatic dispenser I just ordered. I imagine the carbonation will be even better with that (but it's drinkable already).

Thanks a million for the help guys!

*EDIT: I know the brass valve isn't good - it was just a temporary test and not a permanent solution

tmp_20292-20150901_2037331126975337.jpg
 

DoctorA

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This is my next project, currently I'm trying to source all the parts. I was wondering were you got the 6 gallon tank for the water reserve.

Thanks
 

Cider123

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Maybe I just didn't go back far enough in this thread. I see folks constructing a specialized system for making carbonated spring water.

I thought that it was basically unflavored wort and could just fill a corny with 5 gallons of water and carb with my CO2 tank as I would with beer. I would force carb and chill in my kegerator. The seltzer would then flow out of one of my beer lines and through a perlick faucet.

What are the issues/pitfalls with this type of set up? Thanks for any help. I was hoping to just dedicate one of my 3 taps to seltzer.
 

Taz420NJ

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Maybe I just didn't go back far enough in this thread. I see folks constructing a specialized system for making carbonated spring water.

I thought that it was basically unflavored wort and could just fill a corny with 5 gallons of water and carb with my CO2 tank as I would with beer. I would force carb and chill in my kegerator. The seltzer would then flow out of one of my beer lines and through a perlick faucet.

What are the issues/pitfalls with this type of set up? Thanks for any help. I was hoping to just dedicate one of my 3 taps to seltzer.
You can absolutely do it by force-carbing. The only difference is that it can go empty. Unless you keep an eye on the level and start one charging when the first one is starting to get low, you'll be without seltzer for however long it takes to force charge.

Pitfalls (applies to all systems in this thread, not just the Corny option):

- One thing to watch out for is what @WasserMitGas ran into where his tap was running the water too fast, which knocked the CO2 out of suspension. So you have to restrict the flow by some means (secondary valve, coil of smaller ID hose, etc) in order to keep it carbonated as it goes to the glass.

- Unless you have a glycol loop in your tap tower, the first couple ounces will be warm/flat when it comes out, so purge it down the drain just like the beer before you start filling the glass.

- Most beer faucets are made of brass, which is a big no-no when dealing with seltzer. If there is any defect in the chrome plating, the carbonic acid will leech copper out of the brass which can cause copper poisoning (this has happened in incorrectly installed commercial systems too). Your seltzer faucet - and all fittings in the seltzer system downstream of the carbonator/Corny tank - MUST be made of stainless steel.

- You have to check the max pressure of your beer line before using it for soda. With a continuous carbonator your seltzer system will be charged with up to 110PSI - over 5 times the pressure of a beer system, so it requires reinforced/braided hoses with at least a 200PSI rating. With a force carbed Corny you're still going to be at 30-40PSI so you still have to have at least Guinness hose with a 70-80PSI rating.



I went with the continuous carbonator system because I wanted to install it in my regular kitchen fridge (and before I started I decided to install a soda gun since the carbonated water would already be there) without having to worry about running out. The 6 liter tank only takes up 1/3 of the middle shelf, and I was able to remote-mount the pump and water filters in the basement.
 

Cider123

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Thanks. I was hoping to get by with only 30 psi carbing. I usually don't like the high level of carb when I open a can of seltzer. I usually shake it up a bit to diffuse out some CO2.

My keg and shanks are all SS. I am seeing that I might need to invest in a soda dispenser valve versus a standard faucet.

I also ordered some flavorings from Lorann.
 

Taz420NJ

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Thanks. I was hoping to get by with only 30 psi carbing. I usually don't like the high level of carb when I open a can of seltzer. I usually shake it up a bit to diffuse out some CO2.
I said "up to 110psi" because thats what the system could potentially see with a continuous carbonator. I went back and reworded it. ;) With force carbing it would be a lot lower (keep in mind lower pressure takes longer to carb), but it all depends on your personal preference, and the temp of the water when you hit it with CO2. Regular thin-wall clear PVC beer line still wouldn't be suitable though, it's only rated for 30-40psi max since it's only seeing 10-15psi in use. Guinness systems run higher pressure and need thick-wall PVC line - that's usually rated for 70-80psi, so you could use that if you're only carbing at 30..

My keg and shanks are all SS. I am seeing that I might need to invest in a soda dispenser valve versus a standard faucet.
Honestly probably not with a force carb system. If anything you'd just need some smaller ID hose in-line with the faucet to slow it down. The dispensing problems with soda from a beer tap are generally only in continuous carbonator systems because the soda has such a high line pressure.
 

Cider123

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Wow. So I left it at 30 psi for a couple days and just took a sample through a standard perlick faucet. It flows fast since it's set so high in pressure, but it pours pretty well and the carb level is just fine. If anything it is a little too bubbly. I might try setting and leaving it at 25 psi. 25 psi might be safer to leave the standard pressure beer line at?

I just ordered a Perlick 650 SS with the flow control for this tap. The flow control is supposed to help regulate the pour of highly pressured beer. I needed it also because I am using a chrome perlick now and I know that is not safe because of exposed brass.

I'm hoping I'll be all set? Thanks for your advice Taz
 

notasausage

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I read through this entire thread after searching the web for info on how to pull off a custom soda water dispenser for my kitchen. Thanks for all the great information everyone!

What I'm hoping to do is install a soda faucet in my sink, alongside the normal faucet, to dispense carbonated water on demand fed directly from my city water. My wife and I drink a decent amount of soda water each day as we both work from home and we're sick of filling several bottles in a SodaStream several times a day.

I've got a good idea of what needs to be done from reading this thread, and other posts on the web, but I'm still unsure of how best to feed the water from the basement up to the kitchen faucet without the water getting too warm. Our kitchen is pretty small, so there's no room for a kegerator or even a mini-fridge.

My plan is to connect to my house water line, run through a filtering system (charcoal or reverse osmosis?), into a reservoir of some sort, then the carbonator and then the soda faucet. I'd keep the carbonator and the reservoir (5 gallon) in a mini fridge in the basement, directly under the kitchen, and then run a hose from there to the soda faucet in the kitchen sink.

Will that extra hose length from the carbonator to the faucet cause any issues with pressure or temperature? Anyone see any other issues with my plan?

I've still got a lot of legwork to do since this is a project I don't have much experience with. And I have to buy all the parts. But you have to start somewhere I suppose...
 
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roger55

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You don't want to do what you have planned.
The water in the line from the fridge in the basement to the faucet above in the kitchen will get warm.
When you open the faucet, the water coming out will not only be warm but it will be flat until the cold water reaches the faucet. Every time you use it there will be wasted water and CO2 and the carbonator pump will have to run more.

For any system you want to work, the water has to be chilled all the way to the faucet or at least the tube to the faucet needs to be really short.

Your kitchen may be small but you are going to have to have a fridge with a faucet mounted on it there that holds a carbonator tank like I did or you need a cold-plate type setup like normal soda dispensers use there. With a cold plate, the refrigeration unit (except for the evaporator part of it which would be integrated with the cold-plate) as well as the entire carbonator can be in the basement.

Can you spare the room in you regular kitchen refrigerator for the carbonator tank? Of course you have to be willing to drill a hole in it too so you can mount the dispenser faucet.
 

piyoman

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I think it should be fine. It depends on the length of your hose, your carbonation pressure and how fizzy you want your water. I have mine set up to dispense right outside the fridge through a beer tap (ie, maybe about a foot of marginally warmer tubing) and ~45-50 psi and I find it a bit too fizzy so I fill about a quarter to a third of the cup with flat water then the rest with carbonated water. If you're filling a cup with ice then it should work to your advantage. Otherwise you may want to discard the water in the hose before you fill your cup. Keep in mind that since the hose would be room temperature it could take a cup or two of discard before it gets down to temperature. The pressure in the hose between your fridge and your faucet wouldn't change but the water would lose its carbonation immediately after pouring due to the room temperature.

Technically with a 10' 3/8" hose you'd have ~213mL (less than 1 cup) of volume inside so I wouldn't fret about it. If you put ice in your cup and drive up the pressure of your carbonation so this warm flat water can mix with your super carbonated water so you don't have to waste a drop.

I've made an instructable of exactly this set up inspired by this thread. I've got push-fittings going from the household pipes to an RO system to the pressure tank, the carbonation tank and finally to a beer faucet. It's been over a year and works flawlessly. I changed the filters once and refilled the co2 tank once.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Home-carbonation-setup-for-unlimited-seltzer/

I wouldn't worry about running out of carbonated water either if you choose to discard the warm hose water. It probably stores about 2-3L of carbonated water in the tank and if you supply it with more pre-chilled RO pressure tank water it should be able to easily keep up with a small dinner party throughout the evening.

I read through this entire thread after searching the web for info on how to pull off a custom soda water dispenser for my kitchen. Thanks for all the great information everyone!

What I'm hoping to do is install a soda faucet in my sink, alongside the normal faucet, to dispense carbonated water on demand fed directly from my city water. My wife and I drink a decent amount of soda water each day as we both work from home and we're sick of filling several bottles in a SodaStream several times a day.

I've got a good idea of what needs to be done from reading this thread, and other posts on the web, but I'm still unsure of how best to feed the water from the basement up to the kitchen faucet without the water getting too warm. Our kitchen is pretty small, so there's no room for a kegerator or even a mini-fridge.

My plan is to connect to my house water line, run through a filtering system (charcoal or reverse osmosis?), into a reservoir of some sort, then the carbonator and then the soda faucet. I'd keep the carbonator and the reservoir (5 gallon) in a mini fridge in the basement, directly under the kitchen, and then run a hose from there to the soda faucet in the kitchen sink.

Will that extra hose length from the carbonator to the faucet cause any issues with pressure or temperature? Anyone see any other issues with my plan?

I've still got a lot of legwork to do since this is a project I don't have much experience with. And I have to buy all the parts. But you have to start somewhere I suppose...
 

bryanf650

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I think it will be fine as long as the line running from the carbonator os reasonably short. My setup is pretty much exactly what you have described except it is built into a wetbar. The mini-fridge is right next to the sink, so the line is only about 2 1/2 feet long. I used an old-school soda fountain faucet which has a 1/4" line from the carbonator to the faucet, so the volume of room temperature water in the line is very small and I insulated it so it wouldn't warm up during the pour (probably overkill).

Also the 5 gal reservoir is probably way overkill. Mine is closer to a liter and I have the smaller carbonator (32 Oz) and I've never had a detectible change in temperature when pouring 2 liters or during heavy use during a party. I think the heat capacity of the carbonator and reservoir keeps everything cold longer than the simple math would suggest. I did it this way because I wanted to still use the mini-fridge for drinks. Overall it is very compact and only uses a small corner of the fridge.

This setup has been working for a couple years now without any problems. I calculate it has dispensed about 1000 liters without any issues.

Here is a link:

Carbonator set up in home wetbar/drink fridge
 

notasausage

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Thanks for the info everyone. I think I'll shoot for a 1 or 2 liter reservoir since it'll just be me and my wife using it for the most part. The hose from the carbonator in the basement to the kitchen tap would only be about 4-6 feet long.

Maybe I'll try and find a small enough mini fridge to fit that and the carbonator that could fit under the kitchen sink. If I did that, could I still have the motor for the carbonator in the basement to keep the noise removed from the kitchen?
 
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roger55

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Thanks for the info everyone. I think I'll shoot for a 1 or 2 liter reservoir since it'll just be me and my wife using it for the most part. The hose from the carbonator in the basement to the kitchen tap would only be about 4-6 feet long.

Maybe I'll try and find a small enough mini fridge to fit that and the carbonator that could fit under the kitchen sink. If I did that, could I still have the motor for the carbonator in the basement to keep the noise removed from the kitchen?
Yes absolutely, and would be the better way to go.
4 to 6 feet is way shorter than I was guessing for you but if you can do the mini fridge, it will still be better.
 

bryanf650

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I wouldn't worry too much about the noise. It only runs for a few seconds every other pint or so. Also it isn't that loud--quieter than a garbage disposal, a little louder than a dishwasher. I was originally going to build a sound attenuating box over my pump, but found that that noise really wasn't a big deal at all.

Bryan
 

mcysr

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I read through this entire thread after searching the web for info on how to pull off a custom soda water dispenser for my kitchen. Thanks for all the great information everyone!

What I'm hoping to do is install a soda faucet in my sink, alongside the normal faucet, to dispense carbonated water on demand fed directly from my city water. My wife and I drink a decent amount of soda water each day as we both work from home and we're sick of filling several bottles in a SodaStream several times a day.

I've got a good idea of what needs to be done from reading this thread, and other posts on the web, but I'm still unsure of how best to feed the water from the basement up to the kitchen faucet without the water getting too warm. Our kitchen is pretty small, so there's no room for a kegerator or even a mini-fridge.

My plan is to connect to my house water line, run through a filtering system (charcoal or reverse osmosis?), into a reservoir of some sort, then the carbonator and then the soda faucet. I'd keep the carbonator and the reservoir (5 gallon) in a mini fridge in the basement, directly under the kitchen, and then run a hose from there to the soda faucet in the kitchen sink.

Will that extra hose length from the carbonator to the faucet cause any issues with pressure or temperature? Anyone see any other issues with my plan?

I've still got a lot of legwork to do since this is a project I don't have much experience with. And I have to buy all the parts. But you have to start somewhere I suppose...


I have done this very thing, I used foam pipe insulation to cover the soda line from the fridge to the soda faucet. Soda line is about 15-20 feet out of fridge to soda faucet up by sink. It works extremely well. I let the soda run for a few short seconds first, into a sink, and then I have very cold, well carbonated soda.

I put my whole carbonater into the fridge in the basement, along with two small stainless storage tanks, one before the carbonater, to chill incoming water, and one after the carbonator, to store soda water. #20 CO2 tank is right by the fridge.

Again, works amazingly well. System has been in use now for about 8 years.
 

Taz420NJ

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I have done this very thing, I used foam pipe insulation to cover the soda line from the fridge to the soda faucet. Soda line is about 15-20 feet out of fridge to soda faucet up by sink. It works extremely well. I let the soda run for a few short seconds first, into a sink, and then I have very cold, well carbonated soda.

I put my whole carbonater into the fridge in the basement, along with two small stainless storage tanks, one before the carbonater, to chill incoming water, and one after the carbonator, to store soda water. #20 CO2 tank is right by the fridge.

Again, works amazingly well. System has been in use now for about 8 years.
FYI insulating the line won't do anything. Regardless of how thick the insulation is, the soda in the line will still warm up to room temperature because there is nothing to keep it cold. The only reason to insulate the line is if there is a glycol loop bundled with it.

Basically you have what amounts to a bar gun setup with a cold plate - those lines are not insulated either, so the first couple seconds will be warm and go flat as soon as it hits the ice. But given the volume of the tubing, it won't amount to much waste over 20', let alone 4-5'.
 
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roger55

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With 1/4" ID line, waste would be 1.3 oz per foot.
6 ft = 7.8 oz
10 ft = 13 oz
20 ft = 26 oz
For my setup that uses bottled water, no waste is acceptable.
 

Taz420NJ

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With 1/4" ID line, waste would be 1.3 oz per foot.
6 ft = 7.8 oz
10 ft = 13 oz
20 ft = 26 oz
For my setup that uses bottled water, no waste is acceptable.
Oh no doubt, but the one who asked is using filtered city water, so waste on that small of a scale isn't a concern. The only way to eliminate waste is to either build the entire system into a fridge such as how we have done, or install a glycol loop on the remote faucet line.

Edit.. I just noticed your numbers are way off. Volume of 1/4" ID line is 0.3floz/ft, not 1.3.

Volume of a cylinder is πR²xL. So R=0.125", squared=0.015625 x 3.141529 = 0.049086 in³ x 12 = 0.589036 in³/ft. 1in³ = 0.554113 floz, so that means it's 0.326392 floz/ft, or approximately:

1.9oz per 6ft
3.2oz per 10ft
6.2oz per 20ft.
 
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roger55

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Yeah you are right. I forgot to divide the ID by 2.
Not so bad for 6ft.

There are a couple of other things to consider. One is the CO2 waste if it's not a concern for water waste because of a city water supply.
The other is the frequency of use. Once used, it will take some amount of time for the water in the line to warm up again. Insulation will definitely help there.
I'm sure that's why waste for a bar gun setup isn't a problem. A busy bar and they are running very often.
 

tylerg123

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I wanted to thank this thread. I was able to figure out how to make seltzer using this method and slightly modifying it. Check out my short explanation video.
 
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