How to Set Up a Fountain Soda System

Brenda Priddy

Installing a soda fountain is harder than just attaching the CO2 and syrup to the fountain. There are a lot of pressure issues that can damage the system. The best way to install the system is to follow directions and take your time. This will produce the best tasting soda in a safe manner.

This project will likely take a full day to a whole weekend to complete, especially if you have to make adjustments in plumbing lines.

  1. Clean the entire system before use. Run a solution of four parts water and one part bleach through all hoses and connectors. Allow the parts to soak in the water for about 10 minutes, then remove and hang to dry.

  2. Clean out the pump by connecting a connector hose to the pump and a tank of CO2. Turn on the CO2 tank to allow the air to blow through the hose. Pour a small amount of the bleach solution inside the pump and allow the CO2 to push the cleaning solution through the hose to sanitize the pump.

  3. Make sure all fountain spouts and ice containers are completely clean and sanitized. Use a commercial cleaning solution to clean out the inside of all fountain parts, and then sanitize with the bleach solution. Allow to air dry.

  4. Connect the connector hoses to the CO2 tanks. Use the screwdriver or ratchet set to tighten the connection. Connect the other hoses to the syrup tanks and the carbonator. Connect the other ends of the hoses to the soda fountain. Make sure to connect the right syrups to the correct labels on the fountain. Place an O ring over the connection where the hose connects to the fountain itself for a tight seal.

  5. Set the CO2 pressure to 90 or 100 PSI for the line that goes to the carbonator. If you have a secondary gas line, hook the hoses to this line. The primary line sometimes exerts too much pressure through the line, which can explode the hoses or even the tank itself. Set the pressure for the syrup tanks to about 30 PSI.

  6. Connect the carbonator to a water line; a pipe line for a sink is ideal. Use a ratchet or screwdriver to attach the hose to the pipe leading to the carbonator. Do not use metal fittings as this can combine with the CO2 and cause a chemical reaction that will change the soda into carbonic acid, which can cause vomiting and a bad taste.

  7. Hook the drainage system to a drainage pipe in the wall if you have a drainage system in your fountain. This will prevent the base of the fountain from overflowing.

  8. Test the fountain heads to see how the soda tastes. Adjust the levels of CO2, water and syrup as needed. When you find the right mixture, write it down so that you can use the same formula when you need to replace any parts.