After a long time of thinking about it, and wanting one, I decided that I would buy a soda fountain. I drink a lot of soda..... A LOT OF SODA.
I already have a premix system, but I've never even tried using it because it's difficult to get the soda, and it's not very cost effective. With a post-mix system, I can get the syrup locally and it's far cheaper than buying soda/pop from the grocery store. And so, the planning phase began....
I came across this guide which was a big help understanding some of the key concepts needed when doing something like this.http://www.boneville.net/soda/start.htm
I am on a pretty tight budget, so I'm buying parts of it in stages. I was able to find a restaurant equipment reseller on Craigslist that was selling a 6 head cornelius soda fountain for $850. After a few days, I was able to talk him down to just $400! I went and picked up the unit a few days ago. It was pretty dirty, but it's a fairly new unit (2005/2006). The only thing I don't like about the unit, is it doesn't have a built-in ice maker or ice storage.
I already have two CO2 tanks that are filled, but I need to get a new regulator for them. I'm thinking about getting this one: http://www.kegkits.com/Merchant2/mer...G&Store_Code=W
That one is nice since it's a dual regulator. This means that I can control two different CO2 pressures with just one unit. And I'll need to control the CO2 to the unit for carbonated water, and the CO2 to the syrup pumps.
Here are some pictures of it before any cleaning:
Sorry about the quality of the pictures, I'm just using my iphone.
I also need CO2 syrup pumps. I heard that Flojet makes the best pumps for this sort of thing, and I found two brand new ones on ebay for around $20 each. I'm just going to get two for now until I get everything else set up, and then I'll buy others when I want to add different flavors later. Like I said, I'm on a budget. Things I still need to do:
- Buy new supply and water lines for the syrup pumps and the fountain head.
- Buy CO2 Regulator.
- Buy water lines and connector, then hook up to house water supply.
- Buy Syrup
- Buy Bag-in-box syrup connector. (this depends on the brand of syrup I get)
- Figure out how to fill the fountain bath with water properly. (this is harder than it sounds)
- Make connection from drain on fountain to house waste system.
- Install the unit and try it out!
As for the lines and any plumbing equipment, I've found most of that at home depot, and I will probably be buying most of that in a week or so. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but it's been fun so far and a great learning experience so far.