Cheaper Sodastream With A Big CO2 Tank Is A Semi-Dangerous Way To Save

Sodastream machines are a fun way to turn tap water into carbonated water. However, the canisters are expensive and generally require a trip to the store to get a replacement. Lifehacker has a workaround that may make life easier for the bubble-addicted set.

The trick is simple: simply buy a larger bottle of CO2, and hook it up to the Sodastream in place of the regular cartridge. CO2 can be bought in large cylinders at a far cheaper rate than Sodastream will charge you for their proprietary canisters. All you need is a local supplier of food-grade CO2 in cylinders, and you can visit them when you need a refill or swap.

There are several caveats, though, which the comment section dicussed when we featured a similar hack before. Getting an extra-large CO2 canister can pose a risk to life if there’s a leak. Alarms may not save you as the heavy gas has a tendency to lurk low to the ground. You should also consider using a regulator to lower the pressure from your large canister to something closer to the levels the Sodastream machine is built to withstand. Beyond that, you want to ensure you’re using food-grade CO2. Don’t go bubbling cheap welding gas through your water if you want to live a long and healthy life.

It’s a neat hack, it’s just one that requires you to practice proper gas safety at all times. Reports are that a cylinder costing less than $200 can last you for several years though, with ultra-cheap refills, so it may indeed be worth the hassle! Go forth and bubble, friends.

Hack Your Sodastream With A Giant CO2 Canister

Sodastream machines are popular amongst people who like to make their own seltzer water at home. However, replenishing the tiny gas canisters is expensive and wasteful. [Becky] decided to upgrade her machine to avoid this problem, and added some smarts while she was at it. 

The simple part of the hack is using an adapter to connect the Sodastream apparatus to a 50 lb CO2 tank from the welding store. This is easy enough, and just uses a off the shelf adapter. Using welding-grade gas in your drinking water is probably a really bad idea, but [Becky] was willing to take the nisk.

However, safety was given due attention in that a CO2 monitor was installed to make [Becky] aware of any dangerous leaks. The tank is also placed on a custom scale built with load cells and an ESP8266, which allows monitoring of how much gas is left. [Becky] notes that at her rate of drinking one bottle a day, the tank should last her a full 7 years or so.

The project brings costs down to 18 cents per liter of seltzer, versus 38 cents for the Sodastream gas supply. It’s likely that the Sodastream prices could still be beat even if a food-safe CO2 source was used. Plus, there’s no need to regularly buy new bottles!

Overall, it’s a great project and one that recalls us of continuous-ink printer hacks. Video after the break.

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