How to Make a Soda Carbonator

Written by sarah l. harrer
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How to Make a Soda Carbonator
Add the fizz to seltzer in your own kitchen. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Store bought soda carbonators are convenient, but the cost of maintaining them can add up quickly. Turns out, you can make any flavour of soda you want at home for a fraction of the price. Assemble your own inexpensive soda carbonator with several easy-to-find parts.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • CO2 tank
  • Dual gage CO2 regulator
  • Braided polythene tubing
  • Hose or gas-fitting tube
  • Carbonator cap
  • 2-liter PET (polythene terephthalate) bottles

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  1. 1

    Purchase a CO2 tank. They are available in various sizes, but a 9.07kg. tank is ideal: small enough to be carried by hand and placed in a cabinet and large enough to make hundreds of gallons of carbonated beverages.

  2. 2

    Attach a regulator to the CO2 tank. The regulator reduces the gas to a pressure that is low and controlled. It consists of two valves, one for low pressure and one for high. CO2 regulators can be purchased from soft-drink distributors, welding suppliers or home brew hobby suppliers.

  3. 3

    Connect flexible, braided polythene tubing or hose to the CO2 regulator. This is also called a gas-fitting tube. The tube will deliver the CO2 from the tank to the liquid in the PET bottle.

  4. 4

    Connect the braided polythene tubing to the carbonator cap. Carbonator caps are ball-lock gas fittings with threads for plastic soda bottles. They are available from online brewing sites.

  5. 5

    Attach the carbonator cap to the 2-liter PET soda bottle. The PET soda bottle will be prefilled with the beverage you intend to carbonate.

Tips and warnings

  • It is illegal in some locations to refill a CO2 tank. Instead of purchasing a new tank when the CO2 runs out, exchange the empty tank at a local welding supply company, keg brewer or anywhere that refills fire extinguishers.
  • CO2 fire extinguishers are another source of gas and can be bought cheaply and adapted to work as carbonators.
  • Always use braided tubing. Unbraided vinyl tubing bursts at low pressures.
  • Carbonator caps have leaky seals. Do not leave the gas on for too long when using them, or the CO2 tank will be empty.

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