Breakmate - Fountain Soda in the Home - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-20-2006, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Everyone here has been so helpful to me that I thought I would post some info about an item that we recently purchase and really love. I have always wanted the ability to have fountain soda in the house. I had looked into the post mix systems (similar to what you see in McDonalds) and while I know several people have them in their house it seemed as though the cost could be high, it took some work to put it in, and with all of the boxes of syrup it takes up a lot of room. I started reading about the Breakmate and decided I would give it a try and we love it.

Here is a picture of ours: http://blackcows.com/breakmate.JPG

One limitation is that it only allows for 3 flavors but because we have a button that supplies only soda water we have been able to purchase syrups and make many flavors such as Root Beer, Strawberry, Cherry, Grape, etc. and by adding Vanilla syrup to Coke we get Vanilla Coke we can add Cherry to get Cherry Coke, etc.

One other limitaion that I though may be a concern is that the drink sizes are fixed. On my machine you can either select a small (about 3 oz) or a large (about 6 3/4 oz). This really hasn't been an issue at all. If you want 12 oz you just push small 4 times, in fact we rarely switch it to large.

I was also able to purchase the Coke logo cups you see in the picture at the local Coca-Cola plant. I purchased 2000 for $55.00. The set-up was simple. You use a water line similar to that used for an ice machine and plug it in and you are ready to go.

One other advantage I have seen is that I don't find a lot of pop cans and bottles with a few drinks taken out of them. We have three kids and quite often they have friends over and it never failed that I would find several bottles of pop laying around with a few drinks taken out of them. Now I tell the kids you can have as much pop as you would like but you can only take a small drink (3 oz) each time and now we have virtually no waste.

You would be surprised at how compact these are. I knew the dimensions when I was looking for one but I was still pleasently suprised when mine showed up with how compact it really was.

I found a local source that sold these and got mine for $375.00 but you also find them on eBay.

Mike
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-20-2006, 11:07 AM
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That's a neat find. Congrats.
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-20-2006, 05:47 PM
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My parents have had one for 12 years now. My dad got it for free because he helped the distributor convince his boss that the office needed a couple more of them :) Remember to do the maintenance on the filter and the CO2 clampy thing and it'll last a long time. Sadly, the novelty will wear off in a couple of years. It gets renewed every time that someone new comes over though. Remember to take the dosers apart and clean them every time you throw a new syrup box in there and you'll be good.
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-20-2006, 06:06 PM
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where is all the soda at"????
really interested in one od these
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-20-2006, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManTown2
where is all the soda at"????
really interested in one od these
I'm not really sure I understand your question. The machine has three syrup boxes that look like this:

http://www.gotomybreakmate.com/break...up%20Order.htm

and the syrup mixes with carbonated water to make the soda. When the "Coke" button is pushed the machine dispenses carbonated water and Coke syrup which mix in the way to the cup.

Mike
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-20-2006, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quadmasta
My parents have had one for 12 years now. My dad got it for free because he helped the distributor convince his boss that the office needed a couple more of them :) Remember to do the maintenance on the filter and the CO2 clampy thing and it'll last a long time. Sadly, the novelty will wear off in a couple of years. It gets renewed every time that someone new comes over though. Remember to take the dosers apart and clean them every time you throw a new syrup box in there and you'll be good.
Thanks for the info. Do your parents still use theirs on a regular basis?

Mike
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-21-2006, 06:11 AM
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How many drinks does a 3 liter pack make? (i.e. what are the overall operating costs?)
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-21-2006, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrmoGamecoq
How many drinks does a 3 liter pack make? (i.e. what are the overall operating costs?)
Take a look at this page, it give some info on yield:

http://www.mrbreakmate.com/cpi/html/syrups.html

I have seen a few comparisions on the web about cost per oz. compared to buying two litre bottles, etc. and of the only reason you were doing this is to save money it is probably not a good option. I didn't buy mine with economics in mind but I purchased it for the Wow and fun factors. I will say that I do find we don't waste very much soda because the kids can take 3 oz and that is usually all they will drink and therefore I don't find bottles or cans with 9 oz left in them.

One other thing I will mention is that there are companies that are selling plexiglass containers that are the same size as the breakmate syrup containers which will allow you to purchase 5 gallons of syrup at a time (available at Sam's) and also allows you to use products other than Coke. In this case the cost may be more economical.

Mike
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post #9 of 14 Old 07-24-2006, 07:43 AM
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The big thing on the breakmates (We had one at my old company before we went with a Coke supplied post-mix system), is that you want to make absolutely sure the internal tanks and parts are clean. If it has sat around for a while and not been cleaned, the water dispensed will be dirtier than drinking from a local pond.

If you purchase it from someone who knows how to clean them then you will be fine, but do not purchase one that has "been in storage" for a while without making sure it is clean.

As to price, it is certainly not as economical as a 5 or 2.5 gallon Bag-in-box system. the 1 liter tanks are much too small and too expensive to be competitive with 2 liter soda bottles, etc. But you are correct, as to the wow-factor. It is still nice to be able to get soda quickly.

Another thing, there is an adaptor that allows the use of 10 and 20 lb CO2 tanks, so you do not need to refill the small CO2 tanks inside the unit. That makes the cost a little less because a 20 lb CO2 tank costs around $20 to fill, unlink the small ones that cost more per pound to fill.

I wish I have saved the unit we had at our office, because we had the CO2 adapter, a water supply capability, etc. Oh well.

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post #10 of 14 Old 07-24-2006, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I had thought about purchasing the Co2 adapter but the bigger bottles don't fit inside the unit and I didn't really have a good place to hide the bottle and didn't want it showing.

Mike
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post #11 of 14 Old 07-26-2006, 11:40 AM
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I have had a Breakmate for a few years, and use the bag in box sirup from Sam's Club about $50 for 5 gallons.

At first I just took the cardboard breakmate box apart, laminated it, and re-used them. That worked ok, but after a year or so I picked up on of the acrylic replacement sirup containers and they work really well.

Also it is worth making an adapter to use with 10 pound CO2 cylinders. I just took the valve out of the CO2 tank that came with mine, drilled and tapped a 1/8 NTP fitting into it and ran a hose out of the breakmate to a regulator on the C02 tank set to 100 PSI. Otherwise getting the little breakmate tanks filled can be a pain and is more expensive. CO2 adapters can be had on E-bay etc for those not inclined to make their own adapter.

I'm in Canada, so importing the little 1 litre containers was not really an option.

There is still a pretty good supply of parts here in North America, but the breakmates are made in Europe where they are known as the Minipom. If you search that on E-bay etc you will find additional sources for breakmates, parts, containers etc.

I picked up a diet doser and imported it from Germany since they are not very availabe on North America. (Needed it for my acrylic sirup container).

There is a Yahoo group about breakmates that has a lot of details, info, how to repair etc. Worth subscribing to for sure if you own on of these units.

Overall with the mods I've made the breakmate is less expensive than 2 litre bottles and every glass is fresh with no waste. Plus no lugging 2 litre bottles around...

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post #12 of 14 Old 07-27-2006, 03:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Skippy,

Once you open the 5 gallon syrup containers do they need to be refrigerated?

Mike
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post #13 of 14 Old 07-27-2006, 07:49 AM
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It's a good idea to refrigerate the diet syrup as it only lasts a few months before the flavour goes off a little. The regular syrups I've had over a year now and they seem to be OK so far with no refrigeration.

We go through the diet syrup every 4-5 months but don't drink as much regular soda. I just keep the diet syrup in the fridge and move to a 2 liter pop bottle to use to fill the one liter breakmate containers. That way I don't mess with the big box as often.

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post #14 of 14 Old 07-28-2006, 07:34 AM
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When we had a breakmate at my old company, we took an old plastic syrup container, and added a float (a cork) on a switch, and drilled a hole in the front of the breakmake. The switch power a small pump which pumped the syrup from a 5 gallon BIB into the 1 liter breakmate plastic syrup container. It was an engineering marvel, which actually worked pretty well.

Since we drank mostly diet coke in the company that was the one that we did it for.

We also purchased 5 gallons of ginseng up ginger ale, and refilled one of the containers when it was empty also.

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