Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to our frequently asked questions section. This section contains helpful information to some of the most common questions. Here you will see videos, answers and diagrams that may provide you with common problems, procedures or basic knowledge of beverage dispensing and soda fountain industry.
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guide for installation of a soda fountain dispenser
First, there are a few things to consider
· Type of System: Post-Mix (BIB or Bag-In-Box) or
Pre-Mix (Pre-mixed canisters)
(Usually determine this by the type of syrup available in your area.)
dispensers: with syrup pump, carbonator and a Co2 tank.
in restaurants, bars, hotels, fast food, convenience stores)
have a carbonator that takes average cold tap water and combines it with
Co2 gas to produce soda water. Then you have syrup pumps, which operate
under the power of Co2 gas. Lastly, you have the dispensing unit, which
has a cold-plate in the bottom of it's ice bin, then two electronic valves
that control the amount of syrup with soda water that gets dispensed when
activated (some have push-buttons on the front, others have metal tabs in
the back that you press your cup against.)
dispensers: with pre-mixed syrup, carbonator and Co2 tank.
used at fair grounds, carnivals, smaller stores)
The soda comes pre-mixed and ready to drink inside metal canisters. The soda exits via a dip-tube, because CO2 gas pushes down on the top of the soda. It usually passes through a cold-plate in the ice bin, and out of simple dispensers. The benefit is that only Co2 is required to make the thing work (and ice). But the soda doesn't taste as good, and you have to buy the stuff from the drink companies and they aren't very helpful about delivering to home users. Most likely you won't be able to find a stable supply of pre-mix for a home dispenser unless you make the soda yourself.
Systems are the most common and we will consider this the best choice.
***We will use the Post-Mix System as our standard guideline continues.
· Style of System: Post-Mix
with ice bin or Post-Mix Refrigerated
with ice bin:
A cold plate with a separate ice bin is used, in which you must fill the ice bin with ice every few days. This is usually very inconvenient for the average home owner. You can buy some larger soda dispensers with the ice bin on top of the dispenser. In which you would dump ice into the bin or use an ice machine, sits on top of the dispenser, and fills the dispenser, but the ice machine cost about $2000 new. Ice bins should be insulated; so you can get away with adding ice only every few days, or possibly even every week if the insulation is really good and you load the bin down with lots of ice.
This is the same type of system as stated above, except there is no ice-bin.
Style of System: Post-Mix with ice bin
Most home owners take the cold plate and take a separate refrigerator or freezer (with temperature control device, sold separately) and set their cold plate inside and mount their dispenser unit on top or mount the dispensers on top of a counter. Make sure to insulate the lines properly to keep from freezing. Keeping the lines cold are very important in maintaining proper carbonation.
Maintaining your soda temperature is the most important and troublesome parts of any soda dispenser. If soda is dispensed at improper temperatures, you will lose your carbonation and your soda will taste flat. Soda should be dispensed at no more than 40 degrees.
Style of Dispenser: Counter Top
Beverage Tower Dispensers or Beverage Dispenser Guns
Top Dispensers are nice to mount to a separate refrigerator or freezer.
Freezers will require a separate temperature control (Sold separately).
Mounting to a counter top can be a little more challenging, as to keeping
the supply lines at proper cooling temperatures. This is very important as
to the carbonation of your drinks.
Dispenser Guns are basically connected the same way as counter top units
except the connections are made underneath the counter top. Drawback is
without an insulated re-circulating pack, product lines can warm up and
you may loose carbonation.
are complete units available with power packs, that would have an
insulated duct line to the bar gun, which re-circulates the water through
the duct line to keep the product cold. The duct line units can also cost
a great deal more money.
syrup is mixed 5 to 1 (this means 5 parts Soda Water to 1 part Syrup) so a
gallon of syrup makes 6 gallons of finished product. You can buy 5 gallons
of syrup from $50 to $85. This will make 30 gallons of finished product.
of the key ingredients of fountain soda is the water. Adding a water
filtration is highly recommended for better tasting soda. Also filtration
will also cause less damage to your equipment and a longer lasting life to
usually can get your Co2 tanks filled at a local welding shop, fire
protection service or gas company. Some companies will not fill your tank
and only make exchanges. If you have access to purchase a used tank from
one of these companies, you could save some money.
Carbonators are the heart of your soda system. This
device has a tank where the Co2 gas and water are mixed. It also has a
booster pump attached to it. This pump pressurizes the water up above the
pressure of the Co2 gas, causing the two to mix together to form soda
water. The carbonator can run as often and as long as we need it, so we
don't have to keep tons of extra water on hand, and it can pressurize the
incoming water so we don't push Co2 gas back into the water supply.
Notice: Carbonator sizes vary depending on the
number of products and the distance to the fountain dispenser. Carbonators
can be very loud and are often set up in a different room. It is best to
hide your syrup boxes and carbonators in another area, separate from the
of water pressure to your system is also important. Your water pressure
should be about 55 psi. In which case some will have to increase and
others may have to decrease the pressure by a regulator or booster. You
can purchase a small regulator gauge and fitting to test your pressure.
There is also a 3-way pressure regulator available that you can install
before your water filter, which would provide your water line connections
and pressure gauge together. Others may need to install a water pressure
booster to increase your pressure.
use stainless steel fittings including all nipples, splicers, tees and
Please take the appropriate precautions, such as using stainless steel
fittings and installing a secondary back-flow preventer.
Soda water in contact with Copper or alloys
containing copper (such as Brass) will react producing toxic compounds. If
those compounds are ingested, you could become violently ill and/or die.
Please take the appropriate precautions, such as using stainless steel
fittings and installing a secondary flow-back preventer.
The compounds produced when carbonic acid and copper
react are toxic, and will induce vomiting, nausea, and a whole host of
unpleasantness you don't even want to know about. Seek medical attention
immediately if you ingested any such thing. Remember that when CO2 enters
water, it becomes carbonic acid. Use stainless steel fittings to be 100%
sure. Also remember that brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, and
reaction will still take place.
CO2 compressed gas can cause frostbite when exiting
the tank. The tanks are heavy, and if they tip and fall, could break the
valve off causing the tank to rocket through walls killing or injuring
yourself or others. Please secure the tank in accordance with proper
A large CO2 leak could cause you to suffocate; check
for leaks and proper ventilation. If you are in a small apartment or other
enclosed space, it is recommended that you vent the used CO2 gas from the
syrup pumps outside. Be sure to keep an eye on the CO2 main gauge, as a
significant movement of it may indicate a large leak.
You must comply with all local and federal health and
safety regulations, and it is your responsibility to know what those
Legal Disclaimer: Soda-Dispensers cannot promise that this information is correct or useable in any form. If you have any serious questions concerning your system or safety issues, please consult a proper soda fountain technician or the manufacturer.
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader file: Soda Dispensers Guidelines
Draft Beer Videos
Anatomy of a Kegerator- Video: There has never been an anatomy class like this. You'll enjoy the final exam - pour a perfect glass of draft beer. Take a tour of the components and equipment settings of a draft beer dispenser. Our animated presentation will leave you thirsty. Click here to play video
Fresh Draft Taste: The Result of
a Clean Beer System - Video:
Special Thanks to Micro
Matic Inc. for links to their videos.