How Does a Soda Fountain Machine Work? - Donastar (2024)

By donastar / June 5, 2022 June 5, 2022

The key to being able to fix something is understanding how it works. Even a basic understanding of the main components of a machine can be instrumental in diagnosing and solving problems. While we at Donastar are always here to help, sometimes it’s more convenient for you if you can fix your machine than to schedule a time for us to come in!

A soda fountain machine has three sources: water, carbon dioxide, and the product.

Starting with water, every soda fountain has a main water source. For most facilities, this water source also runs through filter. From the water filter, the water will run and split at some point. At the splitting point, some of the water will go to the fountain unit and some will go to the carbonator. The still drinks, such as lemonade or tea, will source their water straight from the main water supply. On the other hand, the sparkling drinks will run through the carbonator first.

Another component to a soda fountain machine is a type of carbon dioxide canister. This can be a smaller canister that may sit close to the fountain, or it could be a bulk container.Both types of canisters will have a regulator to control the outgoing pressure. There is also a secondary regulator which drops the pressure to supply the pump. The carbon dioxide feeds into the carbonator tank, infuses the water, and runs the carbonated water up to the fountain dispenser.

The third aspect of a soda fountain machine is the product. This often comes in a bag and box with syrup tube attachments. The syrup tubes are individually connected to each valve. Each valve is calibrated to dispense the accurate ratio of syrup to water. What product would you put in a machine?

All three constituents of a typical soda fountain machine work together to dispense the final refreshing product. We hope this gives you a more clear idea of how a soda fountain machine operates. Check out our video on YouTube for a visual representation of this blog.

Thank you for reading our blog! We hope you found this helpful. For additional questions or concerns, please for contact information or call us at 833-366-2782. We are happy to help! We have lots of other content on diagnosing and fixing beverage issues, please check those out for a fast/free way to keep your cups full.

How Does a Soda Fountain Machine Work? - Donastar (2024)


How Does a Soda Fountain Machine Work? - Donastar? ›

A soda fountain machine has three sources: water, carbon dioxide, and the product. Starting with water, every soda fountain has a main water source. For most facilities, this water source also runs through filter. From the water filter, the water will run and split at some point.

How does a soda vending machine work? ›

The first component is the CO2 tank, which provides the carbonation for the soda. The second component is the syrup pumps, which dispense the flavored syrup into the water. Finally, the water and syrup are mixed in the dispensing head before being poured into your cup.

How did the original soda fountain work? ›

The original was patented in 1819 by a physician named Samuel Fahnestock. This relatively simple machine was composed of a specialized barrel with a pump and a spigot. While the original soda fountain wasn't serving up soft drinks, it was more than capable of producing carbonated water.

How does a soda carbonator work? ›

The water to be carbonated is filled in special pressure resistant bottles which are attached to the machine in a pressure proof way. The gas is then added to the water via a pipe and valve system which is activated by pushing a button.

Do fountain soda machines use tap water? ›

CAN I USE THE BEVERAGE FOUNTAIN? Soda from pre-mixed soda canisters does not use your tap water and may be served, but the water and ice dispensers must be turned off. Post-mix soda fountains mix tap water with syrup from canisters to create the soda.

How many PSI does a soda fountain need to operate? ›

The water supply to fountain equipment must provide a dynamic pressure greater than 50 psi. If the water pressure is too high (>70 psi) it can exceed the CO2 pressure and the water won't carbonate. If the water pressure is too low (<20 psi), the carbonator tank will not fill properly.

Is a soda vending machine a good investment? ›

Vending machine businesses have low startup costs and can be highly profitable if managed effectively. You don't need to have the funding saved up and may qualify for small business loans or business credit cards for a vending machine business.

How do simple vending machines work? ›

Typically, vending machines have rows and rows of products with each one held in place by coils. These coils are controlled by electric motors that are activated once your coins have been accepted or your card transaction has been approved. Some vending machines use pickers to retrieve the product.

How much does the average soda vending machine make? ›

59% of vending machine sales are in the cold drinks sector. The gross margin on snack vending items ranges between 40% - 60%. On average, vending machine businesses can earn a profit of about $1000 - $1200 per machine each year. The average vending machine's monthly income from snack sales is about $125 per month.

How did old water fountains work? ›

The water was stored in large cisterns, providing the necessary height to generate water pressure for the fountains to operate. A cistern's elevation alone created sufficient water pressure, with every foot of height generating 0.43 psi, allowing fountains to spray water without the need for mechanical pumps.

How did they make fountains work in the 1800s? ›

Until the late 19th century most fountains operated by gravity, and needed a source of water higher than the fountain, such as a reservoir or aqueduct, to make the water flow or jet into the air. In addition to providing drinking water, fountains were used for decoration and to celebrate their builders.

What is the CO2 pressure in a soda machine? ›

The High Pressure Regulator (photo A) controls the amount of CO2 gas your system uses to make carbonated water. Your High Pressure gauge should be set at 105 PSI for standalone carbonators, 95 PSI for remote refrigeration carbonators and 75 PSI for Bevariety™ dispensers and cold carbonators in counter electric units.

Are carbonation machines safe? ›

Every carbonating cylinder is fitted with a unique safety valve, which will safely release the gas in the unlikely event the pressure in the carbonating cylinder rises.

Who invented the soda fountain? ›

The soda fountain patent was first granted to U.S. physician Samuel Fahnestock (1764–1836) in 1819. He had invented a barrel-shaped with a pump and spigot to dispense carbonated water, and the device was meant to be kept under a counter or hidden.

How does fountain soda stay carbonated? ›

Cold plates are used in soda fountain systems to cool product down so that it remains carbonated once dispensed. Most importantly, your carbonated water MUST be run through at least one pass on the cold plate to cool it.

Why does soda from a fountain taste better? ›

Fountain Soda Is Freshly Mixed

When you push your cup up against that dispenser, you aren't getting pre-mixed soda. At that moment, carbonated water and the original soda syrup are both pulsating through the machine. The two streams combine at the end of their journey to create the soda you know and love.

How long does it take for fountain soda to go flat? ›

Even an opened soft drink isn't safe forever from becoming flat — it may take several months, but even an unopened bottle or can of soda will become flat. An opened bottle will get flat in just a few days — maybe a few more if you're lucky. The temperature of your soda will also affect how long it stays fizzy.

How do soda machines know when to stop? ›

How does it know when to stop so it doesn't fizz over? It's called Portion Control. The flow rate of the soda is set (So, Britvic set the flow rate on the system in KFC at 206ml in 4 seconds, the syrup is then measured against this to give the correct mixture (BRIX ratio) for the finished drink.)


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