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Our Competition

One of the great things about our great country is the freedom to innovate, manufacture, and compete in the world marketplace.  Need creates the opportunity; Competition demands innovation; Innovation ultimately rewards the Customer with a better product at a fair price.

Sadly, competition also breeds the opportunity for the less scrupulous to make a fast buck, at the expense of the unwary or uninformed consumer. 

You've seen the TV ads for "Miracle Bracelets" that allegedly tap into your Energy Aura; or the $250,000 inheritance left for you in a foreign bank which can be yours if you send in your Social Security Number.  Common sense tells you the statements are questionable, and possibly a SCAM!

Unfortunately, with Consumer Products, you have to delve in a bit deeper than just listening to the claims.  You need to identify the well built items from the junk; the safe items from the potentially dangerous or unhealthy-healthy.   As you travel the Internet in search for product information, you will inevitably run in to the occasional Snake Oil Salesmen presenting themselves as experienced practitioners of their craft.  Another phenomenon of the Internet is the YouTube deluge of instructional videos.  Our competitors have chosen this platform to promote their wares; after all... a video supposedly adds credibility...; maybe... ; we don't think so.  Instead, we prefer the higher road which is paved with facts, customer testimonials, and credibility based on REAL consistent performance.

In this Competitive Analysis, we will attempt to give you a straight forward Engineering viewpoint and in-depth comparison of our competition's products.  We will also compare them to our products from both a design perspective as well as safety and value for your Dollar.

This analysis should NOT be seen as trying to bash or degrade our competition.  Instead, its purpose is to inform and highlight the quality and safety differences between CO2Doctor and the competition; differences based on FACTS not conjecture.  Ultimately, it is YOU as the Customer that must pass judgment, hopefully based on your analysis of the facts once the information is presented.  We urge you to judge wisely and avail yourself of this new powerful medium we call the Internet for your research.

The Technical Stuff

Now, for the "Technical" meat of the comparisons.  Let us first establish some facts about Carbon Dioxide (CO2):

CO2 is also known as Carbonic Acid.
In spite of it's name, CO2 is NOT corrosive to brass or other metals.
CO2 Tank Pressure varies with Ambient Temperature and the liquid CO2 volume in the Tank.
Pressures can vary between ZERO (empty) and over 3,000psi (Pounds per Square Inch).
CO2 Tanks come with Safety Rupture Disks rated at either 1,800psi, 3,000psi, or 7,200psi.
Safety Rupture Disks are used to prevent the Tank from rupturing due to over-pressure.
CO2 is a Cryogenic Liquid that transforms in to a Gas.
The Liquid to Gas transformation is known as it's "Phase".
CO2 is very harsh on seals, valves, and plastics due to its Cryogenic (freezing cold) properties.
CO2 is colorless, odorless, and relatively tasteless.
CO2 Transportation and Storage is governed by the laws of the US Department of Transportation (DOT).
CO2 if improperly used with under rated equipment is dangerous, even potentially DEADLY.

Those are just some of the important facts to keep in mind when reading the following comparisons, especially when comparisons are made on materials ratings and type of materials used by our competitors.

Our First Comparison

On eBay and on their website we've found this competitor's advertisements with the following blatantly deceptive and misleading claims on the benefits and suitability of their products.

Our Competitor States: "All of our products have been professionally engineered using the latest CNC metal milling machines.  Each adapter is made from the finest 6160 Aerospace aluminum, and then hard-coat anodized to prevent corrosion and save the clean, crisp flavor of the CO2 from the harsh metal taste found when using standard brass fittings."

We State: NOT SO!  "Engineered"... Hardly!   Their adapters are re-threaded, thin walled aluminum Paintball refill fittings used to mount on Paintball Guns.  Our competitor does NOT manufacture them and they are NOT designed to be used in the home or for use in conjunction with Soda Machines.  ALCO2JET CO2 Carbonator Tank threads are much wider and thicker than the Paintball Tank threads his adapters are intended for, therefore when re-threaded as his, they leave a dangerously thin metal wall structure. Please look at their own photo and see for yourself, would you trust over 3,000psi CO2 to their adapter?  We wouldn't.

THEIR THREAD ADAPTER

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OUR CO2Dapter-II™ THREAD ADAPTER

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Which would YOU trust?

Our Competitor States: "We use the finest Aerospace Aluminum" and that supposedly, aluminum keeps the CO2 from getting a harsh metal taste like Brass would give.

We State:  NOT TRUE!  Most of the tank valves in the world, including Sodastream's are made of Brass.  Brass is the industry standard!   Technically speaking, CO2 is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas in which neither Brass or Aluminum metals are soluble.  Please note the hypocrisy and misleading statements about Brass allegedly leaving a "harsh" taste, when in fact they use Brass Valves and fittings throughout their own Fill Station product.

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HOSES: Our competitor uses a very short 4" hose which prevents the weight verification of the now filled Carbonator Tank.  While weighing is not absolutely necessary, weighing does offer the customer the ability to verify that the tank is full and that they are not merely standing there waiting on a tank to fill from a potentially EMPTY donor tank.  Additionally, the stress and constant flexing radius of a 4" hose will inevitably cause premature and dangerous failure of the crimped-on connections.  In comparison, our FillStationPro-II™ comes with a 24" 4,500psi rated flexible hose that is available in optional longer lengths and coiled hose design.  Theirs is NOT.

BALL VALVES: Our competitors use 600 WOG Ball Valves to control the flow of the liquid CO2 into your Carbonator.  Remember the above facts on CO2 PRESSURE and HARSH ENVIRONMENTS.  A 600 WOG Valve is ONLY RATED AT 600psi, that is 2,400psi LESS than what it SHOULD be rated!  While Ball Valves are pretty rugged, under these high pressure conditions they WILL NOT LAST.  Our own experience and testing has proven that; and that's why our new FillStationPro-II™ is rated at 4,500psi.   Unlike the competitor's Fill Station, ours can be easily rebuilt by the customer using basic tools and replacement o-rings that are readily available on our Ordering Page.

In the interest of fairness, most inexpensive hobby grade Fill Stations use the 600 WOG Ball Valves.  Our very own early 2008 design used Ball Valves with custom made High-Pressure seals and Teflon valve seats.   After some failures and in-house product life testing, we quickly stopped using them.  Even with the custom High-Pressure seals and seats, they would still fail.  To us, failure is NOT acceptable!  600 WOG Valves when used in High-Pressure Gas environments just don't last.

THREAD SEALANT:  ALL of our thread sealers are Non-Toxic and approved for use in equipment and appliances associated with Human Consumption and High-Pressure Gases.  NONE of our competitors offer this, NONE.  This is very important because sealants not rated for use as stated can be harmful if ingested via your carbonated water.

BOOBYTRAPPED VALVES:  To "allegedly" fix the Booby-Trap problem, our competitor published a YouTube Video on how to "remove" the Sodastream Anti-Refill Booby-Trap.  This Video presents a real quandary for us... on one hand, it wrongfully fools the Customer into believing that it is an easy task... on the other hand, our sales of the FreedomValve™ have almost DOUBLED because unsuspecting customers try the modification in good-faith, only to destroy the valve in the process, eventually necessitating the Customer to come back to us for a replacement FreedomValve™.  You see, if the valve is destroyed in the modification process (and there's a better than 90% chance it will), it becomes SCRAP since there are NO SPARE PARTS available anywhere, not even the factory!  We know this from our own experience since we used to offer a modification service to our clients.  Because of the high failure rate in the modification process, we designed the non-booby-trapped FreedomValve™.

The photos below are unedited-edited photos of our competitor's thread adapter sold as part of their CO2 Fill Station.  Recently, a Customer sent this to us to see if we could help him since repeated attempts to contact our competitor failed, including repeated eMails seeking answers and support.  To make matters worse, this Customer was on his Yacht on a remote Caribbean island when the CO2 Fill Station and Adapter failed, leaving him without any way to refill his carbonator tanks.  We agreed to help him since they wouldn't even respond to their pleas for help.

Please note the inner seal failure (crumbled o-ring at the back wall of the adapter), and the 4" Hose.  Additionally, this adapter would not properly screw on and seal correctly on his Carbonator tanks.  Also notice the "CP" (Custom Products brand) logo on the side of the adapter.  Good for Paintball Guns... NOT so good for reliable and safe home use.

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After we received the Customer's defective Fill Station for repairs, we replaced the competitor's adapter with our CO2Dapter-II™ Fill Head and added a 24" 4,500psi rated High Pressure Hose.  Turn around time was 24 Hours, and the customer is now back to sailing the Caribbean.  This is typical of the seemingly endless situations where our unscrupulous competitors have failed their customers.

Second comparison

This Competitor really has only one CO2 related product; a "Kit" that will convert your Sodastream Soda Machine to use an external CO2 Tank.  The concept is a very poor imitation of our FreedomOne™ CO2 System.  Below is a picture of their system as published on eBay and on their ThriftyScrimper website:

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THEIRS OURS

WHICH WOULD YOU RATHER USE?      

The Competitor's system consists of a 36" Automotive hose (UNSAFE in Human Consumption products); CGA-320 CO2 Tank Fitting; two Garden-Hose Washers; common plumber's Teflon Tape (NOT High-Pressure Rated); and a cast bronze plumbing coupling that has been re-threaded to accept a sacrificed Sodastream Carbonator Tank Valve.  While basically functional, there are HUGE major health issues and hazards with their product.

Our suspicions on the quality of his product were confirmed when a very angry customer of his shared his experiences on our Customer Forum and then sent us pictures of the system he purchased and then immediately returned due to the quality. We want to be very clear on this, we DID NOT solicit or compensate this person in any way for their submission.

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This is what the customer receives.  Note that the hose is so stiff it is barely able to stay in a coiled state.  For sealing some generic plumbing tape and standard Garden Hose washers are provided.

Generic Teflon plumbing tape is NOT rated for use in High-Pressure Gas environments.  They just DON'T seal properly and will ultimately result in leaks.  Prior to this, our competitor used greasy thread sealant but caught so much hell over it that he changed to Teflon Tape.

 

Hose is made in China.  Real comforting to those who've read all about Lead and other Toxins in Chinese made goods, especially industrial rubber hoses.
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Rethreaded cast bronze "T" and a ground-off cap to cover unused hole.  Note the crooked threading and poor quality.   Clearly a homemade hobby grade attempt to produce a critical high-pressure component, totally disregarding all expectations of safety and quality.

 

Cast bronze Chinese made water pipe coupling.   Note that standard water pipe plumbing fittings are NOT designed to sustain 3000psi since plumbing is generally less than 100psi.  All his fittings are sealed with generic greasy thread sealant.
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SAE100R2AT Designation which proves it is an industrial hose made for Hydraulic and Automotive uses like Fuel Lines or Power Steering.   Certainly NOT safe for use on an appliance designed to carbonate water for Human consumption. Closeup of his rethreaded bronze "T" showing its Indonesian manufacturing as well as poor homemade rethreading.  These threads clearly show what is referred to in the machining world as "galling".   Customer sending this picture claims to have found bronze chips/shavings still inside the "T".  Imagine what those shavings/chips will do to the insides of your soda machine, or better yet, YOUR insides.

 

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Customer complained about the standard Garden Hose washers that were supplied as seals for the Sodastream Carbonator Valve.  Garden Hose washers CANNOT withstand 3000psi nor are they safe to use in appliances which produce water for human consumption.  Note that they do NOT fit. Customer provided this picture of his Genesis machine and how ridiculously stiff and out of balance this competitor's product is when installed.  Note that there is no usable bend radius and the soda machine is actually lighter than the behemoth snake of a hose provided.  We suppose this is OK if you want your soda machine or countertop to look like a Hell's Garage Experiment.

MAJOR HEALTH RISK WARNING:  Our Competitor uses an Automotive / Hydraulic grade Rubber Hose to connect his system together.  This practice is absolutely UNSAFE and presents MAJOR Cancer Health Risks.  Automotive / Hydraulic grade Rubber Hoses like the ones he's using contain LEAD and TALC, both of which have known health risks for Cancers; Leukemia; Learning Disabilities; and Blood Disorders, especially to children.

With so many unsavory elements in our daily diet, adding unnecessary health risks in exchange for cheap soda is probably not a good idea, that is why we take the extra precautions to ONLY use materials that are deemed safe for human use and consumption in all of our products. 

Salvaging of a Carbonator Valve as suggested by the competitor for use with their product is something we DO NOT advocate unless you are mechanically inclined and your budget is tight, since removing the Sodastream valve can be difficult.  Valve removal typically requires the use of a large Vise and a large Wrench, as well as a lot of brute force to successfully remove it.  Additionally, the quality and durability of the Sodastream Valve is not very good since it is designed to be a "throw-away" device with no consumer or factory replaceable parts.  Since no parts exist other than the industry standard external safety burst disc; when the valve fails (and it will); there are no means to repair it.  So... you wind up sacrificing yet ANOTHER "Licensed" Carbonator to the tune of over $40+ Dollars.

With ours you DO NOT need to sacrifice a Valve because we provide you with our own 100% compatible FreedomValve™.   We designed our valve with a high quality non chemically reactive Silicone seal; does NOT have any booby-traps; is easily rebuilt or repaired with our spare parts; and will last YEARS longer than the Sodastream valve.  With our FreedomOne™ CO2 System, no extra pipe joint compound or washers are needed.  We supply EVERYTHING you need except for your Paintball or Commercial CO2 Tank

Our FreedomOne™ CO2 System is available with 24", 36", 48", and 72" Hoses as well as Coiled Retractable hoses, and longer custom lengths for a more professional looking installation.   Our competitor's kit is only available in a 36" Hose length and the hose is so stiff that installing it in your machine will be as difficult as wrestling with a six-foot snake.  Not very appealing to they eye as this industrial behemoth adorns your kitchen countertop.

COMPARISON CHART

PRODUCT FEATURE Ours Competitor
Carbonator Valve Included WB01372_.gif (406 bytes) NO
Food-Grade Hose and Components WB01372_.gif (406 bytes) NO
Quick-Disconnects on Hose WB01372_.gif (406 bytes) NO
Maintenance-Free CO2 Gas Filtration WB01372_.gif (406 bytes) NO
Designed by REAL Engineers WB01372_.gif (406 bytes) NO
Everything Included (except tank) WB01372_.gif (406 bytes) NO
Manufactured by a REAL Company WB01372_.gif (406 bytes) NO
Established Industry Sales Record WB01372_.gif (406 bytes) NO
Ninety Day Product Warranty WB01372_.gif (406 bytes) NO
24/7 Support Website and Forum WB01372_.gif (406 bytes) NO
100% Attention to Product Safety WB01372_.gif (406 bytes) NO

In conclusion, we feel that an Informed Customer will never suffer from Buyer's Remorse if they truly feel that the products or services purchased have met their expectations of quality; performance; and value.

We hope that this Competitive Analysis has served to inform you on the choices that are available and how they compare to our product offering.  Our goal was NOT to disparage our competition.  All of our comparisons have been made with 100% technically and factually accurate information.  Unfortunately, the facts presented here may appear to some as a character attack or disparagement of the competition.  We assure you that is NOT our intent and we apologize to you if you have interpreted these comparisons in that manner.  These are indeed the facts and it is now up to YOU, the prospective Customer, to decide on the validity of what has been presented and whether or not it has assisted you in the decision making process.

Please consider the technical merits of our comparisons and not any perceptions of personality or political views and correctness.  After all, you are about to decide on where to spend your hard-earned money.  When doing so, please remember the key areas we have focused on...

Safety of Use and Materials Safety
Product Design Innovation
Top Value for Your Dollar
Reliability and Performance
Service Before AND After the Sale
Consistently IN Business and here to stay!

Thank You for taking the time to Shop and Compare!

 

Disclaimers - Terms and Conditions for Sale and Product Use

The names: Primo, Flavorstation 100, Flavorstation 500, Sparkler, Soda-Club, ALCO2JET, and Sodastream USA are owned and trademarked by their respective owners.  CO2Doctor.com is NOT affiliated with Soda-Club or Sodastream USA, nor do we endorse or claim ownership nor rights to any of those Trademarks or product names and they are solely used on our Website to identify their respective marketed products which are marketed by their respective sales organizations.

CO2Doctor.com, nor its owner(s), operators, or affiliates endorse any products nor claim any suitability for use other than as specifically stated in our online product information. All use of our products are solely at the Owner(s) / Buyer(s) risk and they bear the sole responsibility for adhering to their proper use and observation of safety precautions. No other warranties are expressed or implied and none are given or to be assumed. Any use or licensing violations rest solely with the product user and not the website, CO2Doctor.com, or its Owner(s) / Operator(s).

By Ordering and Using any products or services from CO2Doctor.com, you hereby attest that you legally OWN the ALCO2JET CO2 CO2 Tank to be refilled as well as any Valves or associated hardware for said Tank that is claimed to be "Under License" by Sodastream USA or its enterprises.  By reading these terms and purchasing any of our products you hereby agree to hold CO2Doctor.com, its Owner(s) / Operator(s), and affiliates fully harmless and agree to indemnify the same for any and all losses as a result of legal action brought on by the improper or illegal use of our product(s).  CO2Doctor, LLC reserves the right to refuse any sale or service to anyone for any reason.  Please read and agree to our terms and conditions prior to the purchase or use of our products.   Thank You.

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