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Welcome to the CO2Doctor Learning Center

After careful review of our past eMails, we felt that a good time saver for everyone would be if we set up this area for Frequently Asked Questions.

New questions are always coming in so this area will always be a work in progress.   Please check back often as it will constantly be updated as time permits.

Listed here are some of the questions and responses to customers regarding our products and their use.  Any editing has been done only to remove customer information or non-relevant content.  Questions are prefaced with a Q: and answers with an A:.  These Q&A's are not listed in any particular order.   In the future we plan to have them in a Wiki style searchable format, but for now, just use your browser's text search feature to find your relevant search key words.

While some questions may seem obvious or redundant, please remember that Soda-Club / Sodastream has deliberately mystified the CO2 world with twisted half truths; paranoia; and monopolistic statements.  They want it to stay a mystery, we want it to be out in the open and ALWAYS the Customer's Choice for their CO2 supply!

Q: I have a question about the freedom one systems.  Do they have a regulator/governor that limits the amount of co2 released?  How is this handled?

A: The systems themselves do not have regulation since the soda machine requires the full unregulated tank pressure.  All regulation and bypass venting is done by the machine.   The buzzing sound it makes is the high-pressure bypass valve that kicks in to vent excess pressure from bursting the plastic bottle (typically anything over 130psi).

Q: I just received my order and I was wondering why the hose on the FillStationPro-II™ has yellow paint dots on it and there's some markings on the brass fittings.  Did you ship us a used product?

A: Absolutely NOT.  We NEVER re-sell used products due to the nature of them as well as Health and Safety precautions.   All of are products are NEW and are hand assembled and tested one at a time.   The yellow dots you see are the markings made by the hose manufacturer so that lengths are easily identifiable by manufacturers that use their products.  Markings on brass fittings is normal since brass is softer than steel and steel wrenches are used throughout the assembly and test process.  Additionally, brass parts tarnish very fast when exposed to air and moisture, depending on the age of the brass part which can vary greatly, some will be brighter than others or exhibit some discoloration.  This is perfectly normal and has no detrimental effect on its suitability for use.

Q: I can't seem to refill my tanks beyond 1oz of CO2.  What is wrong with my system?

A: Without exception, the majority of all support requests for the FillStationPro-II and CO2Dapter-II is due to one or several of the following customer errors:

Not following the Online Product Instructions EXACTLY as provided
Failure to properly weigh the tank before and after refilling (NOT following Instructions)
Not using the mandatory SIPHON type tank as required for refilling applications
CO2 Vendor not providing the necessary SIPHON tank (must be marked as such on the tank)
Attempting to fill a Sodastream tank that has a booby-trapped valve (needs to be replaced)

In short, it all comes down to not following the instructions to the letter.  Cutting corners is no substitute for doing it right.

Q: My new Sodastream Fizz soda maker's LCD gauge is telling me that my tank is not full.  Why is your system not filling them?

A:  Regrettably, you have fallen victim to Sodastream's marketing hype and outright misrepresentations.  The LCD display in the new Fizz machine is merely a glorified overpriced fizz button counter that keeps track of how many times you have pressed the carbonate button.  It has no way to know how much CO2 is left in the tank nor does it weigh it.  In fact, if you follow the LCD display's counts, you're throwing away good CO2 because in reality, when it says your tank is empty, it is NOT.  In short, it is a means of instilling panic into the customer and making them believe they are out of CO2 when in fact they are not.  This is pure deception, shame on Sodastream!

Q: I recently received my Freedom One and filled 4-20 oz Paintball tanks yesterday and attempted to use the "new" set-up.  I can get a bottle to carbonate sufficiently but there is no buzzing now when using the Freedom One and the paintball tank.  Do you have an idea why there is not a buzzing sound no matter how long the button it depressed?

A:  You may be experiencing a low pressure condition.  This can happen if the Black on/off knob on the paintball tank connection is turned too far to the right and the center pin makes too much contact with the tank’s valve opening thereby blocking gas flow.  Some tanks will do this due to a different valve design.  Try backing off (turn knob to left) about to turn and that should fix the problem.

Q: I recently purchased your  CO2Dapter-II™ and after refilling at my local welding shop less than 10 times I they began having trouble filling the tank.  It began to leak as they were trying to fill it.  After closer inspection I noticed that the sealing washer deep in the large end of the adapter had seemed to take some heavy abuse or had been damaged to begin with.   I'm not sure how the seal would have become damaged by anything I or the supply shop would have done as the only thing that was coming in contact with it would have been the FreedomValve™on the end of my tank that I purchased from your company.  My question is do you sell these neoprene washers separately or suggest a provider?

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A: The damage you are experiencing is the result of not screwing the adapter on tight enough which then allows CO2 to leak during the filling process.  This CO2 leak causes water to condense and turns into very hard ice at the junction of the leak.  This ice acts almost like super-glue and when the adapter is unscrewed it tears the seal.  In essence, the valve is welded to the seal by the ice.   Additionally, the seal appears to not have been lubricated regularly as instructed in the product instructions.  This is very important since CO2 is very harsh on all seals due to the freezing temperatures.The only way to fix this is to purchase and install a new seal and keep it lubricated on a regular basis as suggested.  We sell both the seals and non-toxic lubricant on our ordering page.

Q: Hello, I received my FreedomOne a few days ago and have a question.  The first liter I made with it was perfect but ever since that one I am not getting enough carbonation even though I am getting the buzz sound 3,4 or even 10 times.  I am noticing ice build up on the probe that goes into the water and I think it is freezing up the tip and causing back pressure.   The tank I am using is a 20lb non siphon tank or at least that is what it is supposed to be.  The company where I get my tanks is a welding supply and they assure me it's not a siphon tank even though they do lease out siphon tanks.

I am not new to the Sodastream machine and have been using it for several years now making 2-3 liters a day on average. I had been refilling my own bottles with a siphon tank but ordered your hose system when this tank was empty and got a new tank.  So is it possible for the ice to form even if it's not a siphon tank?  If I hit the button on the Sodastream with no bottle I get clear air then a second later I get white mist.  Or could it be that the bottle is full and thus putting out a little   of the liquid even though it's not a siphon tank?

A: Your last sentence sums it up.  It may well be that you just have a very full tank.  Also, be sure that your tank is standing and not laying down as that will also dispense liquid CO2.  Icing like that can even occur with standard Sodastream tanks as well.  If it still does it after many uses, you may indeed have a siphon tank but it is doubtful and the real culprit is a VERY full tank.   Regardless, our system would never cause the icing since all it does is extend the CO2 tank from inside the machine to the outside of the machine by "X" number of inches, the operating principles are still identical.  Lastly, REALLY cold water can also allow ice to form, especially if it is around 32.1 degrees (just above freezing) and the CO2 being injected kicks it over to the freezing state.   This is the most likely culprit if it is not a siphon or full tank issue.

Q: I recently purchased two FreedomValve™ carbonator valves and a CO2Dapter-II™ with PBFILL option from you. I completely read all available instructions, and installed the FreedomValve™ and the CO2Daptor on my 110 liter tank.

Today I took it to a local paintball place who had agreed to fill my Carbonators for me.   The man was gone for at least 10 minutes and when he came out he said he tried but could not fill it.  He said that the paintball tip was different than usual (said it was missing a pin) and that nothing would go into the tank. When he brought the tank out it was very cold and covered with frost.  The CO2Dapter-II™ w/PBFILL was still screwed on it and I could hear CO2 gas escaping. I guess some CO2 must have gotten into it but it wasn't much.  What is the issue here?

A: Hi, this guy is not using it correctly.  If you look at the adapter, you’ll see that the black paintball end has a clean hole through it and it does not have a center pin like a regular paintball tank (the infamous missing pin). The reason for that is that there is no need for it since the “pin” which shuts flow on/off is already inside the FreedomValve™ you already installed. Also, not having that center pin in the paintball adapter end makes the filling process go faster.

If you look at the gold end of the
CO2Dapter-II™ you will see a silver center pin. That pin presses the center pin on the FreedomValve™ when the adapter is fully screwed on and seated tight, thereby opening the internal valve on the FreedomValve™ and allowing the liquid CO2 to free-flow into your carbonator tank. In summary, when the CO2Dapter-II™ is fully screwed on tight onto an empty carbonator tank, the tank has a clear, open, and unobstructed opening to the outside world. What he is doing is filling the tank, but he is also letting it all leak out again when he removes his filling equipment BEFORE he unscrews the CO2Dapter-II™ from the now FULL tank. He’s letting all the CO2 back out! That explains the frosty tank, he just wasted the entire fill.

After your tank is filled, he needs to keep his fill equipment ATTACHED but the main supply tank TURNED OFF, then he can unscrew the CO2Dapter-II™ from the filled tank. As he unscrews the adapter from the filled tank, the center pin stops pressing in the valve, and the CO2 stays in the tank as it is supposed to.

If he follows this procedure it will work. If he does not, gas will just leak out. Looks like we need to add this to our instructions, we just expect the paintball people to know more than they really do, then again he’s probably not done too many refills of Sodastream tanks.

Q: I have not ordered the Sodastream water carbonator yet because I am hesitant to spend so much money on their proprietary canisters.  I just read an article that said a C02 tank can be re-filled with an air compressor.  I'm new to this so I want to make sure I understand everything before ordering from you and the soda stream company.  What I would like to do is use the air compressor we have at home (are all air compressors the same?) to refill one of their canisters OR fill a paintball canister or a CO2 tank that can then be connected to the soda stream water carbonator.  Is this possible with the air compressor we have (big red craftsman air compressor we use to fill our RV tires with).  If so, can you tell me which adapters I would need to go with what kind of configuration? Thank you so much!

A: Where on Earth did you read this?  Please excuse us if we sound like we’re amused, at first we thought this email came from someone playing a prank on us, but that article or whoever told you this ranks up there with the idea that pigs can fly.  CO2 tanks CANNOT be refilled with an air compressor, that is a TOTAL and complete falsehood. AIR is NOT CO2, CO2 is NOT AIR, they are two COMPLETELY different gases that behave very differently from each other.

If someone told you this, RUN as fast as you can in the opposite direction.  Normal shop compressors cannot reach the requisite 3,000+ PSI needed to transfer high pressure gases and liquids like liquid CO2.

Q: Hi, I went through the Learning Center FAQ's and I am still a little fuzzy on what all I need to refill the Sodastream bottles. From what I have read I am looking at the Fill station pro II. Do I need a freedom valve for every tank I have or can you move it from tank to tank as you need to refill?

A: No, it is NOT possible to move the valve from tank to tank, all your CO2 gas would escape. The FreedomValve™ is an INTEGRAL part of the tank no differently than needing 4 tries on a car to drive it, you cannot use 1 tire and rotate it fast and drive. You could try, but it will not get you very far. grin.gif (1482 bytes)

Q: Hi, I did not buy the freedom valve and instead tried modifying the valve myself. Now the booby-trap is gone but the now valve leaks. Any suggestions?

A: The only suggestion we can offer is to buy the FreedomValve™. We see this happen all the time, people wanting to modify their valves because they saw our fly-by-night competitor showing how to do it. What our competitor does not tell people is that it is dangerous and that the seals in the factory valves are of poor quality; fail; and cannot be replaced. By the time it is all said and done, the customer will have spent a tremendous amount of time; effort; and expense to save the cost of a FreedomValve™.

We're very sorry you had to find out the hard way. We try to warn everyone, especially about our inexperienced competition, he’s got nothing to lose and only does it to try and get back at us for being a REAL business and not Scammers. We have hundreds of eMails from people like you who’ve tried the modification or have bought inferior products from him. Most, got cheated out of their money and never received their order, they got stuck with products that don't work and can't get support.  Sorry

Q: Hi Just got my FillStationPro-II™ and wanted to modify the valve like you have on the YouTube video. I must have drilled out too much and can't get the top of the valve to have any "spring" in it. Nothing to grab the spring I guess.

Anyhow, what I want to know is if I can get away with the FreedomValve™ Rebuild Kit, or do I have to buy the whole FreedomValve™ Replacement Carbonator Valve? My threads are not damaged and neither is the Teflon washer. Please let me know so I can place my order. Thanks for the quick shipping I appreciated that. Looks like a well made product.

A: Hi, that is NOT our video, it's a competitor that is advertising a modification that is not only dangerous but fails in almost all cases. The seals in the factory valve are not replaceable; they are of inferior quality; and designed not to last so you are forced to go back to Sodastream for refills. Our FreedomValve™, as well as the rebuild kit, are made by us with a better non booby-trapped design and ease of repair built in to it. We use high quality pliable Silicone seals that are much thicker and last years longer.   DON'T follow this guy’s instructions, he is a scammer and we have a huge complaint folder dedicated to the horror stories of people he’s cheated out of money and caused massive problems for. Your valve is now destroyed. Sorry to be the bearer of the bad news. Save yourself the trouble and go with our FreedomValve™.  You can read more about this guy and his products on our Competitor's Page.

Q: I bought a fill station from your competition and it worked but only on the first tank I tried, the other tanks don't fit their adapter, do you know why? Anyway if I buy a FreedomValve™ will I have the same problem?

A: Hi, we’d love to help you but when it comes to this guy’s products… let’s just say that we cannot guarantee anything that will work with his stuff. First, they are made from modified paintball gun equipment that was never designed for high pressure tank refilling. Second, there’s no telling what the problem may be since he's NOT a manufacturer and his stuff is sold out of a San Antonio Texas apartment. The latter you’ve probably figured out already if you’ve tried to get help and gotten no response for weeks if at all.  You can read more on this here. We get emails from his customers all the time and hear all the horror stories.  Unfortunately, we can’t do anything other than suggest you get your money back or file a charge-back case with your credit card company.

Can you send us some close-up pictures of your existing setup and a list of what you have? Some close-ups of the carbonator tank valves would also be helpful. If we can help you we will, just don’t expect too much from his products. Please, above all, make sure you are using safety goggles any time you use his devices. We are not kidding when we state that they are dangerous and NOT designed for the intended purpose of refilling. Good luck. Send us the pictures and we will try to suggest something.

Q: I bought Freedom Valves for each of my 60oz canisters. I've tried several times to refill each canister while weighting them and they never get beyond 3oz before stopping (usually after 10 or more minutes of refilling). However, when I use the canisters to make seltzer I'm never able to get more than 6 or 7 liters of seltzer made before the canister runs out.  What do I need to do to get more CO2 into the canisters, about how many ounces should I expect to get into the canister and about how long should it take to fill it?

A: You either do not have the required siphon type tank or your tank is empty.  You may want to evaluate whether or not you are following the required freezing and purging requirements.  Remember, 60L canisters are very small, only 14.5 oz of CO2 under optimum pumped filling conditions.  60-70% fills on a 60L is quite good. Please read all articles on refilling in our use support forum.    CUSTOMER FOLLOW-UP:  Apparently I wasn't using a siphon donor tank. Thanks for quickly getting back to me.

Q: Europe and Australia uses different CO2 Tank threads, will your products work here in the UK?

A: A nut to fit the European and Australian threads can be obtained from us by special request.

Q: I am interested in the FillStationPro-II and have some questions.  Why did you go away from the dual ball valve setup?  Is the new design reliable?  Can the adapter on my Sodastream canister be modified to remove the anti fill booby trap?  Can I do this myself.  Lastly, is there a difference between CO2 for welding or beverage?

A: Our new design was intended to provide Simplicity; Compactness; and Reliability.  Our new fill station’s seals can be replaced with simple tools whereas the old Ball Valve design the entire valve had to be replaced and discarded.  Additionally, the ball valve seals just did not hold up well to high pressure liquid CO2, they were only rated at 600psi (as well as those from other competitors).  Our new FillStationPro-II™ is rated up to 4500psi and is just an all around better design that’s expensive to manufacture but results in better performance and durability for the customer.

As to the anti-refill booby-trap, it is possible remove it but it is not reliable since there are no commercially available replacement parts/seals to replace them if the modification fails.  It’s not an easy task, and there’s a higher than 80% chance of failure.  The factory valves have very cheap seals that after only a few refills become brittle, discolored, and crack, causing slow leaks and ultimate loss of all CO2 gas.  Our FreedomValve™ has no booby-trap; have thick Silicone seals; and are re-buildable by the customer if necessary with our spare parts rebuild kit.

With the exception of "Lab" or "Hospital" grade CO2 used for hospitals and research, all CO2 is of the same purity and quality.  The hype Sodastream has created with “Food Grade Certified” is just plain hype and misinformation intended to raise concerns and raise just enough consumer doubt so they can continue to gouge the customer with $25+ for a simple CO2 refill.  The ONLY caution we issue is that you use reputable commercial sources that use clean refill equipment and not just dispensing gas from a rust bucket or greasy dirty refill fittings and tanks.  Most commercial welding or Industrial gas suppliers are good sources.  They are also the typical source for CO2 for most restaurants and beverage dispensing businesses.

Q: Can I get my Sodastream tanks filled at the local bar or paintball store?  What do you sell that will allow me to get them filled locally?

A: To refill at a gas supplier, you will first need to find someone that is willing to do it for you.  Due to the stampings and labels on the carbonators, most gas companies won't do it because of the false perception that they are somehow violating a law (they are not).  If, and we stress "IF" you find someone that is willing to do it, like a Paintball store, you would then need our CO2Dapter-II™ with PBFILL option.  Otherwise, you will need to have whomever is filling them to tell you what connection(s) they have and then you select an adapter from our site that will mate with whatever equipment they have (varies greatly).

If you decide to refill them yourself, then you will need to buy or lease a Siphon type CO2 Tank with CGA-320 Valve Outlet.  These tanks come in various sizes ranging from 5lb all the way up to 50lbs.  Large ones are usually steel, smaller ones are aluminum.  Aluminum is preferable due to weight and rust-free performance.   DO NOT have anyone sell you or tell you to use a Beverage or Kegerator type CO2 tank!  They are NOT the required Siphon type tank, or have anyone tell you or suggest you just "flip" the tank upside down, it's VERY dangerous to juggle 3,000psi gases.  Regardless of refill method, you will still need to replace the carbonator valves to remove the factory valves with the anti-refill booby-trap.

Q: I am really happy with the gear you sold me.  I've been on the same 20lb cylinder since September of last year and probably make a gallon of seltzer a day -- a big savings!  How do you know when it's time to exchange cylinders?  I seem to still have gas in the cylinder, but it isn't filling with the oomph that it usually does and the result isn't bubbly.  I disconnected the hardware from the cylinder and when I open the valve, there appears to be gas still blowing out.  Is it normal that you have to exchange the tank when there's still some gas left in the cylinder?

A: Glad you’re enjoying the savings.  Sad to say, it’s time for a 20lb refill.  Yes, you’ll still have gas left but the liquid co2 is all gone now.  Usually when that happens your carbonators won’t increase in weight, just high pressure gas, no liquid.

Q: I am very interested in your products.  I would like to know if the adapters, hoses, etc. are food-grade quality.  Also, if I get my 50 pound tank filled by a local Sporting Goods store, Paintball or Commercial Gas supplier, how will I know whether the CO2 gas and fittings they use, and compressor equipment, etc. is food-grade?   There seems to be plenty of opportunity to get metal shards, lubricating oil, dirt, or whatnot into the valves and ultimately the Soda-club tank and my water!  Maybe there is a classification for local suppliers since they probably do business with restaurant soda machines?  And what about your products?  Any help to ally my fears or let me know that I'm on the right track and should be concerned is much appreciated.

A: We do not certify any of our products as being “food grade”, although the materials used are perfectly safe for use in human consumption applications.  Our materials are no different than the quality and type used in most beverage dispensing equipment like the brass fittings, anodized aluminum, and Teflon lined high pressure hoses.  As for CO2, other than lab grade or hospital grade, all CO2 is the same, there’s no such thing as “food grade” CO2.  Your local industrial or welding gas supplier can provide you with the same CO2 as used in restaurants.  Just be sure you use a reputable supplier that maintains a reasonably clean and corrosion free environment.

Please visit our User Support Forum and Learning Center area, we have quite an extensive collection of Q&A’s which will address most concerns or questions on the above subjects.  Feel free to contact us with any other questions.  We respond fast and want you to be 100% confident with your decisions.  Thanks again for stopping by.  We hope to serve you and save you money on your CO2 use.

Q: I cannot find any information on your website about how to install the quick disconnects. We got a FillStationPro-II™ and the only place I can see where to install would be between the hose and the adapter for the Sodastream bottle. But I figure that if I did a disconnect with a newly filled bottle, the gas would escape unless there is a trap inside of the adapter to prevent reverse flow. Is this the case? But my main question is where to install the quick disconnects.

A: We do not provide instructions on the installation of quick disconnects because of safety concerns and potential misuse.  Quick disconnects are not intended to be used as you are suggesting (with pressure in the line) for obvious safety reasons, unless very expensive auto-shutoff types are used.  All quick disconnects, if installed, should be inserted/removed ONLY after there is no gas pressure in the line which in your case requires the unscrewing of the filled (pressurized) carbonator tank.

If you are wanting to install a quick disconnect on your fill station so you can swap fill heads between the Sodastream adapter and a Paintball adapter (to fill Paintball Tanks), you would install it at the adapter end of the hose.  Just remember to NOT disconnect it under pressure or you will lose all your gas and you WILL hurt yourself doing it as well as anyone around you.

Q: I almost blew myself up!  Ordered the FreedomOne™ system, it came in and I installed it, then I turned on the CO2 and the hose started flailing around.  It broke broke my oven, dented my refrigerator, banged up my cabinets, and damaged my floor.  I want a new one!

A: Sir, you could not have installed it by following our detailed published instructions.  The hose can only come off if the quick-disconnect is NOT properly seated as shown in the instruction pictures.

It is absolutely impossible to have it come off unless it was not seated properly.  The failure you are citing can only occur when instructions are not properly followed.  It is not a connector failure but rather an improper installation and a failure to follow instructions and adhere to proper safety protocol.

High Pressure Gases are NOT Toys, they are extremely dangerous when safety and instructions are not followed!  All of our products are clearly labeled and appropriate warnings are issued when the potential for abuse or misuse exists.  Not unlike a Chain Saw, these products can be safe when properly used, and like a Chain Saw, we do not suggest "juggling" with one unless you are either an experienced Chain Saw Juggler or just plain careless.

Our instructions are clear, and include pictures of how a proper Vs improperly installed quick-disconnect should look like.  Sadly, we just cannot make it any safer to avoid potential abuse or misuse.

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Q: What are the CO2 fill capacities for the Carbonator Tanks?

A: Refill capacities for Sodastream Carbonators are 14.5oz for the 60L (small skinny tank), and 33oz for the 110L (large tank). However, you will never be able to fill 100% to those capacities due to physics and CO2 properties. We have covered this quite extensively in our User Support Forum in the Technical Support area. Please stop by and read the articles, they will help you greatly.  Paintball tank capacities are stamped on the cylinder, typically 9, 20, or 24oz.  Same rules apply.

The short answer is that the Carbonators are refilled by WEIGHT / CAPACITY and not by PRESSURE.  It's like trying to fill an 8oz glass with 9oz of water, it just cannot be done.  Except that in a Gas like CO2, it can be compressed but only if you have multi-thousand dollar equipment.  Typical refills are 60-80% of rated capacity.  Realistically, it does not matter since YOU now control where and when you refill and it's INEXPENSIVE!

Q: When using a donor cylinder I am clear on the need to fill slowly so the "Sodastream" booby-trap valve does not shut down the process. What actually happens, would I need to empty the 60L or 110L cylinder and start over or am I locked out.   Can I use the cylinder even if it is not full and the valve has tripped?

A: If the booby-trap in the valve activates, then you just turn off the CO2 fill supply valve, purge a little gas with the purge valve, then start slow filling again.   It's not a permanent activation, it's just an annoyance, but there's no need to re-empty the tank.

Q: Is there something that you sell that allows me to refill the Sodastream Carbonators WITHOUT modifying the Carbonator or Installing a FreedomValve™ product, since the license agreement says that we do NOT own them?  If not, what's the next best option WITHOUT modifying the carbonators?

A: Replacing the carbonator valve is NOT always necessary, but it does eliminate the hassles of the factory anti-refill booby-trap.  The Carbonator Valve can be replaced with our FreedomValve™ product if the customer wants to avoid the hassles of Soda-Club's anti-refill trap.  As for licensing violations, that is subject to your interpretation and personal conscience.   We are not going to advise you on either since it is an ethical dilemma to either follow the letter of the license and be held hostage to a CO2 monopoly, or do what is necessary to recoup the outrageous money being charged to force you into a monopoly.

We suggest you review our Product Selector and our Glossary of Terminology.   Ultimately, if you desire to be 100% compliant with their licensing (deemed ILLEGAL in Germany), then you will need to keep using them for refills since they allege that refilling by anyone else violates their license.  Now, if you were to purchase a carbonator from someone other than Soda-Club (like eBay) and the licensing label was not on it, then you are not bound by any such license since you never agreed to enter into such an arrangement with the third party seller.

We realize this is complicated but no different than the government telling you what you can and cannot do in your private bedroom.  Ultimately, since we are NOT lawyers and do not render legal advice, YOU need to make the choices.

Q: Are your Adapters and Refill products safe to use?

A: Don't worry, they are safe, as long as you READ and FOLLOW the instructions for installation and use.  Some of the safety questions we get are based on either misconceptions, bad information, or just plain fear of the mystery.  Companies like   Sodastream have have a monetary interest in scaring you into believing that they sell only "Food Grade" CO2, or that refilling the ALCO2JET Carbonator is dangerous.  As you know, automobiles are dangerous when in the hands of  drunk drivers, but we still drive them.  Any product in the wrong hands can be misused, no argument there.

Q: Why don't I need a regulator?  Isn't it dangerous not to have one?

A: Sodastream Soda Machines do not need regulators because they rely on the high pressure gas to do the carbonation and inside the machine there are high pressure relief valves.  The buzzing you hear occurs because it is detecting that you have plenty of pressure in the 1 Liter bottle you are fizzing up.   In essence, it's a relief valve to burp out excess pressure.  It is not dangerous to not have one, especially since the machine requires the full pressure of the gas to operate.

Q: What's a Siphon Tank?

A: This is by far the most popular question and we have a separate topic for it.   Simply put, ALL refill Donor Tanks must be of the Siphon type so that liquid CO2 can be transferred to the ALCO2JET bottle.   Siphon tanks look identical to Gas only tanks, except that they have an internal Dip Tube that sucks up liquid CO2 from the bottom of the tank, and dispenses it through it's CGA-320 Valve.

Q: What's the operating pressure of the CO2 in the lines and adapter?

A: It varies, depending on CO2 Tank levels and room temperature.  This correlation is shown HERE in this chart.  It really does not matter unless your ambient temperature is that of boiling water.  Temperature and pressure are directly related.  Bottom line, it does not matter unless you're trying to use a garden hose to hook up to your machine.  All our hoses are rated to 4,500 PSI.  If the machine pressure ever reached that you'd have a lot more to worry about.

Q: Your site seems to suggest that your adapter is only for the large AlCO2JET bottles.  But maybe that's because the current smaller bottles are newer?  Do they all have the same proprietary fitting?

A: All of our adapters fit the ALCO2JET 60L and 110L Carbonators sold here in the US and Canada as well as most of Europe as long as they have the Proprietary Trapezoidal Thread.

Q: I ordered and received the FreedomOne™ with 48” hose and CGA-320 connection for a standard CO2 tank.  I had a question regarding placing a regulator on the CO2 tank.  While I see the Soda-Club cartridges are rated at 1800 PSI and there is no regulator to the dispensing unit, do you think it would be wise to place a regulator on the 10lb CO2 tank?  If so, what pressure should I run in the line (from the tank to the dispensing unit)?  Have you ever heard of anyone “blowing out” the plastic components on the dispensing unit?

A: No regulator is needed because the machine relies on the high pressure to operate properly.  If you put one on, it probably will not carbonate very well and start acting as if you had run out of CO2 gas due to the reduced pressure.  Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.  I would only be concerned if the room temperature was above 120 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s when the CO2 Gas REALLY expands), then of course you'll have bigger problems.

Q: I am very interested in your replacement FreedomValve™ product.  Once I install the new FreedomValve™ will I be able to take it to any refill station and have it refilled or do I have to buy special fittings?  I live in a condo and I don't have the room to keep a donor tank.

A: NO.  The FreedomValve™ Product only removes the anti-refill trap that soda-club built in to their valve.  Our valve is 100% compatible with Soda-Club's which means that it still has a non standard thread and you will still need one of our adapters or fill stations to refill it.  If you do not want to keep a donor tank, then the only options left are to either convert your machine to use standard refillable Paintball CO2 Tanks with our FreedomOne™ adapter or use a CO2Dapter-II™ with PBFILL option (Paintball fitting) so a Paintball store can refill it for you.  Just be sure they are willing to do it by checking with them BEFORE you purchase it.

Q: I was wondering if your products come with instructions on how to not over-fill the CO2 cartridge for the Soda-Stream machines.  It seems like there is some technique to this.

A: Generally speaking, when using our products it is technically impossible to overfill since we do not force-pump the liquid CO2 into the soda-club bottles.  The refill process we use just allows the liquid CO2 to transfer from one vessel to another until it is physically full (by volume, not pressure) which on average is about 60-80% of the soda-club Carbonator's rated capacity.  It is very safe when following the simple to use instructions.  Refills are always by Volume (liquid / weight) NOT pressure (Gas).

Q: I have my three empty canisters from Sodastream (14.5 oz. size) and I want to refill them myself.  I want to put my refilled canisters back into my Penguin soda machine.  I don't want the refill tank sitting on the counter next to the machine.

A: If all you want to do is refill your carbonators yourself, there’s no need to have the refill tank anywhere on the counter, it could be located anywhere, like the garage or outdoor storage.  When its time to refill, you just take the carbonators to wherever you have the tank, refill, reinstall in the Penguin, enjoy.

Assuming you are going to either rent or buy a CO2 Tank, you will need one that has a CGA-320 Valve and has an internal Siphon tube.  These are available at any industrial gas or welding gas supplier in sizes ranging from 5lb to 50lb.  From us, you will need either a CO2Dapter-II™ with CGA-320 Fitting or a FillStationPro-II™, depending on your convenience and budget considerations.  Please look over our Product Selection guide for more information.

Q: Will the new 60L Sodastream Carbonators fit the FountainJet machines?

A: Yes.  Sodastream appears to be slowly discontinuing the sale of the 110L carbonator and instead going with the 60L which is smaller.  In our opinion, their theory is to give the customer less, and make them pay more for it, all while making Sodastream their ONLY source for CO2.   The machine can still use the 110L 33oz carbonators or the slimmer 60L, either way.

Q: I know this sounds crazy but I would like to buy a 5lb cylinder and source the fountain jet with the bottle directly.  Do you have the adapters to do that?  I would like a 24" line to install it in my kitchen. Note: I do not have a carbonator.

A: That's not crazy at all.  All you need is our FreedomOne™ CO2 Gas System.  There are several configurations and hose lengths available that will fit your individual needs.

Q: Will your Adapters work if I hook it up to my spare Kegerator CO2 tank?   My gas guy down the street only charges a few bucks to refill it.  I'm not sure if its a donor siphon tank.  If not will it work if I take it with me and let him use it to refill my tank from his equipment?  He probably has those tall giant tanks with a standard hose fitting.

A: Unfortunately, the only product that will work with your Kegerator tank is our FreedomOne™ which completely eliminates the need to refill carbonators.  If you can stash the Kegerator tank under the cabinet, that's the best solution.  You can also use our CO2Dapter-II™ product or the FillStationPro-II with a siphon type tank at your gas guy's place (assuming he's willing to do this).  If he refills tanks then he must have a siphon tank.  Lastly, converting that spare Kegerator tank to a siphon tank is easily done by your gas supplier or he may just swap it out for you at no cost.

Q: I have the 33oz Alco2jet Sodastream cylinder and live in Alaska where there is no local person to refill other than a local paint ball store.  I need an adapter to hook up to his vertical cylinder to refill my cylinders.  I have ordered a part from another person over sea's but it did not come with the piece which pushes in the nipple to let the tank refill.  I like the "L" shape adapter (CO2Dapter), I presume it will fit right onto my cylinder but was not sure which item to order as there is a 1/8 and a 1/4, do I need to replace the actual piece at the top of my cylinder?

A: Is that paintball store eager to work with you?  Most places just don't want to bother.  Our CO2Dapter-II™ -II with CGA-320 Fitting allows you to screw in your 33oz bottle and the other end directly onto the tank you are filling from (must be a siphon type tank).  This means that he will need to disconnect his fittings, hook yours up, and carefully follow the fill instructions to avoid the anti-refill booby trap, or just replace the factory valves with our FreedomValve™ which eliminates the trap.

Alternatively, you can order the CO2Dapter-II™ with PBFILL option which acts as an adapter from his Paintball Fill Station to the special Sodastream tank threads.  Another suggestion is to consider converting the soda machine to use regular 24oz paintball tanks that are inexpensive to purchase and refill, easy to fill and store, and eliminate the hassles of refilling 33oz Booby-Trapped tanks.  To do this just order the FreedomOne™ product with either a 24”, 48”, or 72" hose and paintball tank fitting (PB Option).

Q: If I buy a Sodastream Penguin machine, will your FreedomOne™ adapter work on it so that I can save money on refills?

A: Yes, in fact, the FreedomOne™ product will completely eliminate the need for expensive refills by adapting your machine to use external inexpensive to fill Paintball CO2 gas tanks.

Q: How many refills do you get from a 50lb CO2 siphon tank?  I will be buying this and filling it close to my home, and just wondering if you know about how many refills I would get as I understand you need to purge some of it from the soda club bottle.

A: On a 50lb tank you'll get about 35-40 refills of the 110L 33oz carbonators, depending on how much is wasted purging etc.  At less than $30 for the full 50lb tank (CO2 cost) Vs $700+ doing Soda-Club carbonator exchanges.  You'll be burping’ real cheap!

Q: I was looking at purchasing a 10 LB CO2 tank from a local welding shop and purchasing your Freedom One with CGA connection and 24” hose.  I had a couple of question though.  Your website indicates we will need a non-siphon CO2 tank.   The welding supply store did not know what that is, but indicated they have a “regular CO2 10 LB tank with standard CGA-320 valve”.  Will this work with your connections?   Also once connected, do you leave the valve on the tank open (I assumed yes as the valve on the small soda-club tank is opened once connection is made).

A: A standard CO2 Tank from a welding supply house is fine, they are non siphon type, just be sure to ask and confirm.   Once connected, you can leave the valve opened when being used.  Close the valve only when disconnecting or when letting the machine sit idle for long periods of time (prevents extra wear and tear on seals) and avoid leaks.  If disconnecting from tank, be sure to press the carbonation button on the machine to purge any line pressure and avoid blowing any seals.  Most people opt for the way you are doing it since it means less refills and ultimately costs less.  The usual setup is the FreedomOne™ with CGA-320 and 48” hose with quick-disconnects.

Q: I am concerned over safety so maybe you can help answer a few questions.   The FreedomOne™ adapter seems the most versatile in that you are no longer relying on the Sodastream carbonators at all.  But I have a few questions.  Does a paintball CO2 tank have the correct pressure (psi) to attach directly to the FreedomOne™ or is some sort of regulator required to make sure the pressure is not too much?  Should I even consider a paintball bottle in the first place?  What is the maximum recommended pressure for use directly to the FreedomOne™ adapter?

A: Sodastream carbonators and paintball tanks are identical in how they work.   The only difference is the thread pattern.  Both are filled with liquid CO2, and both dispense gaseous CO2 as they empty.  CO2 turns into a gas as it escapes the tank at room temperature, the pressure generated (psi) goes higher as the temperature rises.   Sodastream machines are fairly crude devices in that there's no need for a regulator, as long as there's enough pressurized CO2 Gas, it works.

Q: I've heard that there is something called food grade CO2.  Do I need to be concerned over the quality of the CO2.  I have a Kegerator with a CO2 bottle but it is regulated down to 0-30psi.  Would something like the bottle itself work with this adapter if I remove the regulator?

A: As to "Food Grade" CO2, that's just a marketing ploy.  The CO2 sold to you is as pure as any, except for Lab Quality or Hospital Quality CO2 for lab or experimental use which requires special purity standards.  Your Kegerator CO2 tank will work fine as long as you take off the regulator or make a special "T" to branch off unregulated gas for the FreedomOne™ system.

Q: I have a 50lb siphon CO2 bottle and a paintball refill station.  Which of your products would I need to connect to a Sodastream CO2 bottle?  Do you have an adapter that will go from the paintball re-filler to a Sodastream bottle?  Also, how difficult is it to refill the bottles with their special valve?  I have 6 of their CO2 bottles so it wouldn't be economical to replace all 6 with the FreedomValve.

A: You already have the majority of what you need.  Our suggestion is to go with the CO2Dapter-II™ with 1/8" NPT Female threads, then go to our Ordering Page and order the Quick-Disconnect Coupling Set, a Quick-Disconnect Male Nipple, and a tube of Thread Sealer.  Assuming you have a standard Paintball Fill Station, this will allow you to (with a wrench) modify the end of the hose where the Paintball Adapter is at, to the Female Quick-Disconnect.  Then take the Male nipple end and screw that into your Paintball Tank adapter.  Now you’ll be able to switch from Paintball to Sodastream just by changing adapters.  CAUTION, make sure you have no pressure in the line before doing this, its dangerous and you can blow out o-rings and seals.

As an alternative, and do away with Sodastream bottles completely, you might also consider our very popular FreedomOne™ product with a 48” Hose, Quick-Disconnects, and Paintball Tank adapter.  You already refill your own Paintball tanks, why not convert your machine to use them.  The Sodastream tanks can be difficult, depending on the sensitivity of the booby-trap valve as well as the patience and determination of the person doing the filling.  Just consider that over the long term, even if you had to replace all 6 with our FreedomValve™ product, you’re still saving a lot of money.  Also, consider whether or not you really need 6.  Now that you can refill your own, when empty, just go to the garage and get a refill.   Most customers just keep 2 Carbonators, on in use, the other as a full spare.

Q: Sodastream states on their website that "you may return an Alco2Jet 110 and receive a Sodastream 14.5 ounce carbonator in exchange."  When you buy a new "kit" now, you get a "Sodastream 14.5 ounce carbonator", not an Alco2Jet 110 type bottle. Are the threads, etc. all the same on the new style bottles as what you are selling?  If not, what choices are we left with?

A: Their game remains the same... pay more get less, and only from THEM.  As far as we can tell from the ones we've bought, all the threads are the same, same trick booby-trapped valves to try and keep you from refilling.  What's really sad is that the "rated" capacity is 14.5oz, however, you will NEVER get that due to the physical properties of CO2 which under ideal conditions gets you just over 80% of the rated capacity.  Refilling your own or converting your machine to our FreedomOne™ product makes far more sense than ever.  Unless of course you own stock in Sodastream.

Q: Just wondering how your adapters defeats the Sodastream anti-refill valve?   It looks like it just allows you to connect to a siphon tank.  Can you explain how I would be able to fill my tanks with the adapter?

A: Our adapters are made to mate with the Sodastream proprietary threads, they don't defeat anything other than allow you to refill their tanks which can't be done without this adapter.  If you have problems with overly sensitive anti-refill valves or don't have the patience to deal with their quirkiness, then we suggest replacing their booby-trapped valves with our 100% compatible FreedomOne™ Valve.

Q: Do I assume the FreedomOne™ has no warranty of any kind?  What happens if it breaks after purchase?  Will this product work with the newer Sodastream dispensers and new smaller co2 60L carbonators?

A: If it is defective we replace it but the facts are that there's really nothing to break unless it is deliberately crushed with a hammer.  All parts are either brass, aluminum, or stainless steel.  This may sound odd but we've never had one break.   If the dispenser uses a 60L or 110L carbonator, it will work.  For more warranty details, please see our Warranty page.

 

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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.

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