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My Soda Fountain Adventure - Page 2

post #31 of 104
ok, care to share how to get the clamps off? lol

and does just the syrup go through the cold plate? or does the soda water also run through it?
post #32 of 104
double post... my bad
post #33 of 104
LOL - yeah, guess I should have included that also.

The best way I have found is using the Oetiker clamp tool. I have the side pincer jaws, but it's not necessary for this unless you are trying to squeeze into a tight spot.

Let's start with a picture of the clamp itself...



See the flap that is closest to you in the picture? You want to get under that with one side of the clamp tool pincers and pull it away from the clamp. It can be a little tricky depending on how close that flap is to the clamp. I usually try to wedge it under a corner, then grip it and rip it. Once you get it pulled away from the clamp, then you just bend it back towards the ear. It's almost like taking off a piece of tape since you're unwrapping it in the reverse order it was manufactured.

This is the bad side of the clamps - it can be a pain to get them off (it will get easier with practice) and they are not reuseable. Once you twist/rip a clamp off it is toast. That said, they are solid once on with no slippage like you can get with a worm clamp.

Another use for the Oetiker clamp tool is cutting away bits of tubing off used equipment. The pincers are sharp enough to cut through the hose. I would cut the section of hose attached to the connectorThat will loosen the hose on the hose connector enough that you can grab the loose end with the clamp tool and bend it off the connector. I had a lot of this work to do since I bought a lot of 14 used syrup pumps (for $40!) in addition to my soda fountain, and they all had used tubing connected to them. Couldn't have done that without the clamp tool!
post #34 of 104
Forgot to answer the second question......for my machine the syrup and carbonated water both go through the cold plate. I believe that is pretty standard for the machines, but not sure if that is true for the soda gun setups.
post #35 of 104
well I still need to buy the clamps, crimper, hoses. My regulator should be here this week sometime. I still need to finish my den (another 2-3 weeks) then I can start cleaning everything, and hooking it all up.

Ok, so the carbonated water also goes through the cold plate.... hmmmm might be a challenge since my cold plate is only an 8 pass.
post #36 of 104
I too am in the process of putting a home system together, and am just about ready to assemble all of the components I have. I am pretty confident on most aspects remaining, however I really am unsure how to sanitize the system when it is complete - specifically the water side. Most of the components I have are used, so I think this is pretty important to do, but want to make sure it is done right. How do you sanitize a system, including the carbonator, to make sure it is not only cleaned, but that you have all the cleaning solution out of it? Also, is there a specific chemical that you have had the best luck with?
post #37 of 104
most folks use bleach, put a bleach in a bucket of hot water and connect it to each of the soda pumps, then run it through the system until the bucket is empty.

as far as the carbonator goes, you can take it apart, get all the old stagnate water out of it, clean it with bleach/soap solution and just rinse it clean. All of my parts are used too, so I have to do the same thing. it's going to be a pain in the @ss I know. and I will end up using a whole tank of Co2 cleaning all the parts.

all you need to really clean is the gun/soda head, pumps, and carbonator. You should replace all the soda lines with new ones. Remember to get food grade lines or the soda will taste like plastic.
post #38 of 104
Understand on the new tubing, and that is exactly what I have been doing. Any idea what kind of ratio of bleach to water you use? I want to make it sure it is clean, but not so strong I poison myself because I can't get it all cleaned out again.
post #39 of 104
Hi,
I'm going to attempt to get my self a soda fountain or as dispenser as it's know in the UK. But I am getting it in a games room (ex bedroom) and get put off buy the co2 the syrup pumps release? There is also the fear of the tank rocketing through the wall!! I know if you have a leak you don't know about it can suffocate easily. Anywho i have got £200 to spend and know a friend who would sell his old machine for that. (full set-up he acquired)
I would post images on here of course, not sure where I would get syrup if anyone in the UK can recommend a place down south that would be great. I have read about this for months now and have finally decided to do it!!

Thanks
George
post #40 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by smidley View Post

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.

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.

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.

Could you take a look at my post? Also how you doing now?
post #41 of 104
Thread Starter 
I still haven't finished my setup. I have almost all the parts, I just need to hook them all up and figure out how I'm going to tap into my water supply. You guys have some impressive setups! Keep the pics coming!

McCreadieDesign, You just need to make sure that your CO2 tank is secured to a wall so that if there's an earthquake or something, it won't fall over. Not sure what you're going to find for syrup or a setup for that price range. I'm in the US.
post #42 of 104
Why has everyone stopped posting? I need some inspiration! I'm hoping to snag my freinds refrigerator fountain 5 head for £200 ($500ish)

Can anyone post any videos?

CHEERS!
post #43 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by smidley View Post

I still haven't finished my setup. I have almost all the parts, I just need to hook them all up and figure out how I'm going to tap into my water supply. You guys have some impressive setups! Keep the pics coming!

McCreadieDesign, You just need to make sure that your CO2 tank is secured to a wall so that if there's an earthquake or something, it won't fall over. Not sure what you're going to find for syrup or a setup for that price range. I'm in the US.

Do you think this would work?
I dont have any water in the room i wish to install into
Flojet Water Pump
post #44 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by McCreadieDesign View Post

Do you think this would work?
I dont have any water in the room i wish to install into
Flojet Water Pump

Well that water source says the output is about 40psi which should be fine. You only need about 30psi before hitting your water pump on the soda fountain. Should be just like hooking it up to a house water supply.
post #45 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by smidley View Post

Well that water source "CHOP".

Cool thanks for the reply, when do you think your fountain will be up?
I came across this on my travels http://www.bobizan.com/coke/
post #46 of 104
I just got my regulators from Ebay - 3 of them and I scored it for 32 bucks!!
why 3? well 1 for the carbonator (95-100PSI), 1 for the pumps(35-42PSI), and 1 for beer (8-12PSI). Yes they all have to be ran at a different pressure

I still need to get hoses, clamps, clamp tool, beer tower. And my den has walls now This weekend I am hoping to get the flooring done.... once that is done and over with, I can work on the wetbar... which in turn means that I can start putting everything together.
post #47 of 104
SatansFX - I am currently running my syrup pumps about 50 PSI. You may want to bump yours up when you start your connections. My carb runs at 95 PSI.

You also can buy a double regulator that has two outputs coming straight out of the CO2 tank, but you got a much better deal than anything you would get on a double.
post #48 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satansfx View Post

and 1 for beer (8-12PSI). Yes they all have to be ran at a different pressure

You're having a beet tap too? Soo Cool! Can't wait to see it! I'm still saving for the shipping Oh Well i'll have it soon!
post #49 of 104
Donk711 - you are right.. I made an error about the PSI on the pumps, it is 50. I tried to get a double regulator but every one I found I was out bid lol

McCreadieDesign - Yes I'm also running beer

Give me about another month to finish my den, and I will end up putting a whole write up on how it was all done. For now I just look at all that I have and it's a bit overwhelming!!
post #50 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satansfx View Post

Give me about another month to finish my den, and I will end up putting a whole write up on how it was all done.

I might set up a site with forums about how its all done, like boneville.net's one.
If you want to contribute to it, as you know much more than me?

Also does anyone know of any disadvantages of the refrigerated fountains?
The one i'm planning to get is,

You won't believe how hard it is to get a normal fountain in the UK.

Thanks
post #51 of 104
It all depends upon what you want. There are good and bad things on refrigerated units vs. ice bin units. Here are some of my thoughts..

Ice Bin
Pros
  • Less mechanical components to break/repair from refrigeration of water
  • Can have ice with your drink right from the fountain head
  • Usually easier and cheaper to obtain (in US)

Cons
  • Have to refill ice bin (for our machine it gets a load of ice at least every other day)
  • Need ice source, either ice machine or buy ice bags
  • Soda fountain is much larger due to ice bin well


I went with the ice bin because it was easy to find off of EBay and I got a sweet deal ($300 for the machine, pumps, carb, and BIB rack). If I had to do it all over again, I probably would go with a refrigerated unit due to the size and ice refilling. But then again I'm the only one in my house that likes just cold soda without ice.
post #52 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donk711 View Post

It all depends upon what you want. There are good and bad things on refrigerated units vs. ice bin units. Here are some of my thoughts..

Ice Bin
Pros
  • Less mechanical components to break/repair from refrigeration of water
  • Can have ice with your drink right from the fountain head
  • Usually easier and cheaper to obtain (in US)

Cons
  • Have to refill ice bin (for our machine it gets a load of ice at least every other day)
  • Need ice source, either ice machine or buy ice bags
  • Soda fountain is much larger due to ice bin well


I went with the ice bin because it was easy to find off of EBay and I got a sweet deal ($300 for the machine, pumps, carb, and BIB rack). If I had to do it all over again, I probably would go with a refrigerated unit due to the size and ice refilling. But then again I'm the only one in my house that likes just cold soda without ice.

Cool Im Glad Are refridgerated relitively easy to service your self?
Thanks for the info
post #53 of 104
Can't speak to how easy they are to service. I would highly recommend searching online for your machine's model number and saving off any and all service manuals you can find.

For instance, I was able to find not only documentation on my machine, but on how to retrofit my current fountain head valves (the older Cornelius SF1 model) to the newer valves (UF1) if I ever want to. All of that information may not mean much to you now, but it may down the road and that documentation may be harder to come by at a later time.
post #54 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by McCreadieDesign View Post

Cool thanks for the reply, when do you think your fountain will be up?
I came across this on my travels http://www.bobizan.com/coke/

Good link! Added to my favorites. Mine will be done as soon as my room mate decides to stop being lazy and help me. lol.
post #55 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by smidley View Post


Good link! Added to my favorites. Mine will be done as soon as my room mate decides to stop being lazy and help me. lol.

Do you have any interesting instruction links or any good ones, I love a good read tell your roommate to get of his @ss because I want to see the fountain :-)
George
post #56 of 104
Thread Starter 
I went to home depot today to try and find some connectors for hooking up my water line, but was unsuccessful. I will probably need to order online. I have to go from the 3/8 house connector, to a T spitter, and then from that splitter into a line for the fountain. I'd like to get some sort of switch in the line to the fountain so I could shut off water to it without having to shut out the house water also.

I did pickup a pair of clamp pinchers though, but they didn't have any clamps that were 1/4" or 3/8".

Now I just need to get the stuff mentioned above, and some additional hose for the syrup lines, and new clamps. Then I'll be ready to start assembly.
post #57 of 104
Well my flooring went in last night.. tomorrow (hopefully) I will do the tile under the fireplace hearth. Next is staining/installing the cabinets then countertop.

I still need to buy all the small things and I also need to figure out how to install the water line to the carbonator, but I have the copper water line ran into the garage
post #58 of 104
Instead of plumbing the fountain into the mains, im gonna use a flojet water barrel pump its abit pricey though, so if anyone knows how to make a cheap one

I still haven't picked it up yet, can't wait for pictures Satansfx!
post #59 of 104
Have not got much news so far apart from I'm hoping to get my machine in the next couple if days. Also got my bib connectors today. There for a energy drink brand.
LL
post #60 of 104
Anyone have any updates on their status?
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