Replacing Parts on a Drink Fountain: When and How
Drink fountains are a convenient, fast way to obtain the soda, tea, lemonade, water, and other beverages you want. Every fast food restaurant has one, nearly every sit-down restaurant has one behind the scenes, and common households are purchasing them more often.
It’s obvious that when parts break, they will need to be replaced, but many people do not realize that certain parts should be changed regularly, from time to time. Fountain equipment can be obtained directly from the manufacturer or from businesses that specialize in the specific type of drink fountain you own.
In order to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, nozzles need to be cleaned regularly. For restaurants, where the soda machines are used frequently, the nozzles should be soaked overnight – every night – in a warm, soapy solution. Households should soak their nozzles weekly, and should perhaps wipe them down every day, as possible. Even with constant cleaning, nozzles should be replaced regularly. The frequency of their use will dictate how often this is done, but consider doing so at least twice a year. Bacteria can grow in hard-to-reach places and could lead to E. coli and other dangers. If your nozzles are the type that cannot be physically removed and soaked overnight, you may need to replace them more often.
When you hear complaints that the “drink tastes funny,” it could be due to dirty tubes. Unclean tubes can also lead to the growth of bacteria. Replace tubes at least once a year. Tubes, like nozzles, can be obtained from any supplier that produces your specific machine. They do not require professional help to change – use the instruction manual that came with your machine, or look up directions for your product online. Of course, professional help is available too, if needed.
The carbonator combines water and CO2 gas to produce carbonated water. For households, the tank will run out of gas every few months (or perhaps closer to 6 months, depending on the size of the tank and frequency of use). For restaurants, the tank will likely run out of gas every few weeks. Some suppliers have a policy where you can physically take your empty carbonator and exchange it with a full carbonator, only paying the price of the gas. Other people/restaurants prefer to hire a supplier that comes directly to refill the CO2 in the tank. Either method works.
Be sure that your fountain equipment is replaced regularly to prevent sickness and breakdowns of the machine. Good upkeep of your beverage fountain is like good upkeep of your home or facility – without regular maintenance, it will fall apart and become a breeding ground for unhealthy substances.
Lancer Corporation produces a full range of fountain equipment parts. View their products at lancercorp.com or call 888-676-5196 for more information.