How to Troubleshoot a Soda Fountain

Americans consume over 15 billion gallons of soda every year. And restaurants across the country capitalize on this craving by offering fountain soda. Fountain soda machines mix flavored syrup, water and carbon dioxide (CO2) as they dispense the soda into a glass. This keeps costs low for restaurant operators since they don't have to stock cans or bottles for soda. However, these machines do not always work perfectly. Many problems involving soda fountains can be solved with common sense troubleshooting.

Flat Soda

Turn the soda fountain machine off.

Check hose that connects CO2 tank to soda machine for leaks or loose connections. Usually a hissing sound can be heard if gas is leaking. If no leaks are occurring proceed to next step.

Check CO2 tank gauge. The gauge is located near the valve. If gauge reads empty then detach hose from soda fountain, replace empty tank with full tank and reattach hose. Open the valve on the new tank to start the flow of gas to the soda fountain.

Turn machine back on. Dispense soda and check for quality. If CO2 is not empty and no leaks are occurring on the line but the soda is still flat use a flashlight to locate the service number on the information panel located on the back or side of the machine. Call for service.

Watery Soda

Turn the soda machine to off.

Check to see if syrup is flowing from the syrup container to the machine by examining the hose that connects the two. Most hoses are transparent. If it is not, squeeze to see if it is full. If the hose is empty check the syrup container. If the container is empty, unscrew the end of the soda fountain hose from the empty container.

Replace with a full container and reattach the hose. If the hose is transparent, you will be able to see syrup flow into the machine.

Turn the soda fountain on. Taste the affected soda. If it dispenses water but the syrup container is full and properly hooked up to the machine, call the service number on the machine.

Not Dispensing Properly

Turn the soda fountain machine off.

Check the power source for the soda fountain to make sure it is plugged in. If it plugged in, check the circuit breaker for the outlet to make sure it has not been tripped. If it has, turn it back on.

Turn soda fountain on. Try to dispense soda. If nothing comes out, but machine is plugged in to an active power source, call the service number on the soda fountain.