Under Sink Carbonated Water Setup in home

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Shaun Sheys

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Hey all! Long time lurker, thought I’d share my recent project. Afterall, couldn’t have pulled it off without a few hours here. I tried to attached pictures and a diagram, but I am getting an error (on iPhone). Will try on a PC later.

I’m running 110psi into a refurbished Big Mac carbonator. Water is ambient and is filtered before flowing into the carbonator. From there, the carbonated water flows through a pressure reducing value and into an under sink water chiller. (This was an afterthought, since the water chiller is only rated for 50psi. In hindsight, I’d have purchased the “Chiller Daddy”, which appears to be rated for 100psi.)

Initially, I had the water chilled prior to entering the carbonator because everything I’ve read says cold liquid absorbs carbonation better. The result was disappointing, so I switched the order. This made sense because that how restaurants usually run then (ambient into a cold plate before serving). This made a huge difference and the resulting carbonation is great! I also read some Coca Cola literature that pointed out the importance of dispensing temperature, since warm soda will melt ice and dilute itself.

My only complaint is that the pressure reducing valve (in line type to 40psi) puts a ton of air in the line (I can see it through the line). So the dispensing sputters. Even with that, the result is nice, just wish it poured smoothly. Open to advice on this!
 
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Pappers_

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Very cool! So you can dispense both carbonated and still water. That is outstanding.

I'll try to edit your post to get rid of the duplicate photos for you.

So, as someone who seldom uses sparkling water, even in cocktails, how are you making use of this setup?
 
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Shaun Sheys

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Very cool! So you can dispense both carbonated and still water. That is outstanding.

I'll try to edit your post to get rid of the duplicate photos for you.

So, as someone who seldom uses sparkling water, even in cocktails, how are you making use of this setup?

Thanks for fixing! Technically, I can dispense still and sparkling. However, the still comes from the main faucet (which I don't filter or chill). We drink sparkling almost exclusively and can use the fridge system for filtered still water. I ordered a new chiller (Chiller Daddy), as its rated for 100 psi. It also allows you to control dispensing pressure. This should take care of my sputtering issues and eliminated the need for the pressure reducing valve.

Also, here is the schematic for the setup.
 

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excitebike99

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Thanks for fixing! Technically, I can dispense still and sparkling. However, the still comes from the main faucet (which I don't filter or chill). We drink sparkling almost exclusively and can use the fridge system for filtered still water. I ordered a new chiller (Chiller Daddy), as its rated for 100 psi. It also allows you to control dispensing pressure. This should take care of my sputtering issues and eliminated the need for the pressure reducing valve.

Also, here is the schematic for the setup.
This is awesome. I'm in the process of getting all the parts and installing a seltzer system this weekend with your setup. Have you installed the Chiller Daddy into your system yet? How is it? My question is regarding the pressure limiter. It seems like there is a preset pressure limiter in the chiller daddy system, but an optional adjustable is available. The following is an excerpt from their manual:

An optional use 30 -50 psi (factory preset to 40 PSI) pressure limiter is available for the Chiller for use in certain applications. The pressure limiter is not needed if Chiller Daddy® is installed on a typical residential reverse osmosis RO system. Even though Chiller Daddy® is rated for 100 PSI maximum inlet water pressure we suggest using the pressure limiter if there are possible “water hammer” pressure spikes. Pressure limiters help protect plumbing systems from water hammer pressure spikes in a similar way that surge suppressors protect electronics from damage by electrical spikes. The Pressure Limiter allows you to adjust the strength of the water flow to your desired faucet level. 30 – 50 PSI allows you to choose a very strong flow or a softer flow as the water comes out of the faucet.

Are you getting good seltzer directly from the Chiller Daddy? Do you think an optional pressure limiter is required?
 
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Shaun Sheys

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This is awesome. I'm in the process of getting all the parts and installing a seltzer system this weekend with your setup. Have you installed the Chiller Daddy into your system yet? How is it? My question is regarding the pressure limiter. It seems like there is a preset pressure limiter in the chiller daddy system, but an optional adjustable is available. The following is an excerpt from their manual:

An optional use 30 -50 psi (factory preset to 40 PSI) pressure limiter is available for the Chiller for use in certain applications. The pressure limiter is not needed if Chiller Daddy® is installed on a typical residential reverse osmosis RO system. Even though Chiller Daddy® is rated for 100 PSI maximum inlet water pressure we suggest using the pressure limiter if there are possible “water hammer” pressure spikes. Pressure limiters help protect plumbing systems from water hammer pressure spikes in a similar way that surge suppressors protect electronics from damage by electrical spikes. The Pressure Limiter allows you to adjust the strength of the water flow to your desired faucet level. 30 – 50 PSI allows you to choose a very strong flow or a softer flow as the water comes out of the faucet.

Are you getting good seltzer directly from the Chiller Daddy? Do you think an optional pressure limiter is required?

So, the pressure limiter is just an external, plastic inline device. I didn't use it, since the Chiller Daddy is rated for up to 100psi. I just keep the pressure around 90psi and its perfect. The only issue had is that the unit was too large for my space, due to the way the pvc drains are routed under my sink. I had to knock into the cabinet next to the one pictured. Even though the Chiller Daddy is meant for under sink use, it was running very hot to the touch. I ended up installing a cabinet fan ($16 on Amazon) where the chiller is in the picture I posted, to draw the hot air from the cabinet and that has solved the problem. I've thought about installing the pressure limiter between faucet, for more pleasant dispensing.
 

excitebike99

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Gotcha. Very helpful!
I’m at the final step. However, can’t figure out a way to couple the 1/4”OD output from the Chiller Daddy to the standard 3/16” ID faucet line (that’s fixed with a 5/8” or 3/4” FPT). What was your path from Chiller to tap?
 

sodium11

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@Shaun Sheys Nice Setup! I just finished my install this past weekend, all though I went a bit further under the sink and into the basement. I decided to take out the soap dispenser and put in a soda draft arm where it was and was able to score a 1950's Bastian Blessing that fit perfectly.
Sink 2.jpg


I already had a carbonator (or two) that I picked up years ago from some guys that do restaurant liquidation auctions for some projects to set up a multi-head soda fountain that I never got around to finishing (the reality is I would never drink enough soda to make it feasible) and I recently decided to give up beer since I've been enjoying it way too much so I repurposed my Beverage Air Kegerator to store the carbonator as well as keep the soda line chilled:
Keg Closed 1.jpg

Keg Open 1.jpg

Now, instead of adding a corny keg as a water tank for the very rare high demand times I need extra cold water I decided to take a queue from my refrigerator and just added a boatload of 3/8 water line (on the right). My thinking is that while the high pressure hose is thick, it allows the air to circulate around it better then a keg thus should cool down the water faster. Now, the built in fan that blew cold are from the coil into the draft tower wasn't powerful enough to get it the additional 7 feet to the sink, so I took a spare fan I had floating around and shoved it into a box that did the trick, and ran the soda line into that hose (kinda like a vacuum cleaner hose) so it was always in contact with cold air, and put it all in 2 inch PVC, sealed and insolated, so that the air could return back to the kegerator like it did when the tower was in place. I know a lot of people urge caution about putting an electric motor in a refrigerator because of the threat of condensation, but I've never had a problem with that in this monster. So far it's been working great for me, putting out well carbonated water in the mid to upper 30's ;)
 

sodium11

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Oh, and if anyone is thinking about picking up a vintage soda draft arm on ebay, there doesn't seem to be much out there on 'em. so here's what they look like disassembled:
IMG_20191202_231147.jpg

Basically, that black plastic disk has a bore in it that connects the center hole to either the front or back hole on the bottom. When you pull the handle forward you get a nice soft flow of soda water, and when you push it back you get a jet stream of soda water.

The two things that I had to get to make mine work was a new washer and a shank nut for a tailpiece.

Now, unfortunately the soda draft arms shank aren't the same size as a beer shanks (they're 13/16 inch) but I was able to find them here: https://www.chicompany.net/home-soda-draft-armspartsaccs-c-361_472/draft-arm-shank-nut-p-3351.html

The washer's actually surprised me, they're made out of leather. I'm guessing in the late 19th and early 20th century when these things were first designed rubber and early synthetic materials couldn't handle the pressure. But it turns out even the (now sold out) new models they came out with a few years ago went the same route. I was able to find them here: https://fhsteinbart.com/product/washer-leather-3-hole/
The one they have pictured on their website doesn't fit my model:Wrong.jpg
But they sell the ones that do: Right.jpg
How do I know this? Well, I ordered several and they sent me a couple of each. The one on their website is slightly larger with holes on the side but I was able to trim them down and add the holes that I needed based on the existing washer I had. If you go this route you can probably contact their customer support to specify the ones you want, but if you get one of these draft arms from ebay make sure to get it first so you know which one you need.

Finally, I didn't need one, but some of the listings on ebay are missing the nozzle. you should be able to get one from the folks at http://americansodafountain.com/ but I have found them to be very slow in their responses which caused me to go a slightly different route and get the one I now have, which had a nozzle.
 

lehman124

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I just obtained what looks to be a very similar draft arm. Not having much luck finding parts for it though. The source you sited for the leather washer looks to have dried up. I also need the plastic nozzle.
Do you use any kind of grease in there? When I took it apart it looked like there was dried up grease of some kind.
Also looking to copy your system for cooling the line up to the draft arm. Does the vacuum hose run all the way up to the draft arm and draw cold air up through the pvc pipe and back down to the cooler?
 

sodium11

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I just obtained what looks to be a very similar draft arm. Not having much luck finding parts for it though. The source you sited for the leather washer looks to have dried up. I also need the plastic nozzle.
Do you use any kind of grease in there? When I took it apart it looked like there was dried up grease of some kind.
Also looking to copy your system for cooling the line up to the draft arm. Does the vacuum hose run all the way up to the draft arm and draw cold air up through the pvc pipe and back down to the cooler?
Dang, they still had 'em on the 1st when I last checked.

You can get the nozzle from the folks at http://americansodafountain.com/ They don't have the clear ones but do sell black replacement ones, and since they are in the business of refurbishing old soda fountains I would think they should have some washers to sell. They seem to be very slow at responding to their emails so have patience. I ended up giving up on them when I came across the draft arm I now have which lead me to find the now-sold-out washer as well as the tailpiece and soda fountain draft nut.

In the next week or so I'm planning on creating a post of a complete teardown of one of these things and I'll include a scanned copy of the washer on grid paper as well as measurements for the washer since they can be made if you can find 5mm thick leather.

There was no grease in mine. Basically, it's just the plastic "valve" disk pressed tightly against the smooth side of the leather washer. I suppose you could use some kind of grease since I know that many pre-war motorcycles and cars used leather gaskets in various forms that came in contact with gas and oil, but you can probably ask that question when you reach out to the soda fountain folks when inquiring about the nozzle and gasket. Occasionally the thing gets a little loose so I have to retighten it about once a week.

For the soda line up to the sink, it's basically just a beer draft tower cooler like this one https://kegfactory.com/products/draft-tower-fan-kit I used the extra vacuum cleaner hose I had to extend what my kegerator already had to go all the way to the top and ran the soda water line inside of it so that it is always in contact with the coldest air, but any kind of hose would work as long as there is enough space for the air to return back to the kegerator. When I got near the draft arm I drilled a hole in a cap used to seal the PVC so that the air would return back to the kegerator. There is a couple of inches that the soda-water line is kept out of the cold air before the shank nut and tailpiece but I did that to prevent the kegerator from blowing cold air onto my sink, otherwise it would just create a bunch of condensation on the sink all the time (mine is cast iron coated with porcelain so I wanted to avoid a bunch of rusting underneath the sink) and then put air-duct insulation around the PVC pipe.

If you are going to use a carbonator, make sure to use braded water line from the carbonator to the draft arm. The carbonator puts out water at 100psi and beer line isn't really designed to handle those pressures. Last thing you want is the line to burst on you. Of course you can also go the corny-keg carbonated water route mentioned in some of the other posts, but I'm not sure how the soda draft arm will act with lower pressure.

You should also take some photos of what you've got, I'm sure there are others out here that might be able to throw some help your way ;)
 

lehman124

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I finally got parts for my vintage draft arm. I have my carbonator set up on a temporary basis without any cooling for now just to see how it is working. I'm running 105psi from the co2 regulator. The seltzer coming out is not that carbonated. I realize once I have the tank in a cooling device it will be better and I hope much better. What pressure are you running?
I am also getting a littage dripping from the check valve hose on the pump. Is that to be expected?
 

Telemachus

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Getting it chilled right before spending is so important.

I am hoping to install a cold plate in an edgestar ice maker I picked up for $200.

I just gotta figure out where to drill the holes...
 

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Sumeetjain

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View attachment 629586 View attachment 629587 Hey all! Long time lurker, thought I’d share my recent project. Afterall, couldn’t have pulled it off without a few hours here. I tried to attached pictures and a diagram, but I am getting an error (on iPhone). Will try on a PC later.

I’m running 110psi into a refurbished Big Mac carbonator. Water is ambient and is filtered before flowing into the carbonator. From there, the carbonated water flows through a pressure reducing value and into an under sink water chiller. (This was an afterthought, since the water chiller is only rated for 50psi. In hindsight, I’d have purchased the “Chiller Daddy”, which appears to be rated for 100psi.)

Initially, I had the water chilled prior to entering the carbonator because everything I’ve read says cold liquid absorbs carbonation better. The result was disappointing, so I switched the order. This made sense because that how restaurants usually run then (ambient into a cold plate before serving). This made a huge difference and the resulting carbonation is great! I also read some Coca Cola literature that pointed out the importance of dispensing temperature, since warm soda will melt ice and dilute itself.

My only complaint is that the pressure reducing valve (in line type to 40psi) puts a ton of air in the line (I can see it through the line). So the dispensing sputters. Even with that, the result is nice, just wish it poured smoothly. Open to advice on this!
I have a similar setup; the sputtering is terrible though. Wondering what type of pressure reducer you used?
 
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