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root beer dispenser
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root beer dispenser

by farmboy-1954 on Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:25 am

I have a 1965 Draft A & W Root Beer Machine (Made by Sinco in La Port Indiana) that I have used for 30 years. My service tech has passed away and no one in the Tri State area will work on it. It looks like a very simple beverage system with old parts. The system has two motors with procon pumps. One pump moves the root beer syrup and the second pump moves the water to a common output tube (containing root beer and water combined not carbonated yet). This tube leads to the input of the 48 oz carbonator tank that has a 3/4 inch hole for the probe (probe has two stainless steel rods one 2 5/8 inches long and the second rod is 4 inches long extending into the carbonator tank). Two wires leave the probe and go to a liquide level board that turns the two motors on and off. Before the service tech passed we used the last back up liquid level control board and he commented that he could not find anyone to rebuid the boards. Now the board is bad or the probe or maybe both. I dont want to use the old technology and would like to scrap the board and tank and go with a McCann Big Mac carbonator. I have talked to McCann and they are not sure the float system in the tank will work properly with root beer / water comming into the carbonator. They have only used water as the input and added syrup to the carbonated water thus getting root beer. The old timers have told me the reason A & W carbonted the root beer syrup and water at the same time was the secret to the great tasting root beer. Since we have done this for 30 years with a great deal of sucess.... I would like to continue this way. Has anyone updated old equipment like this?
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Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:22 am

Re: root beer dispenser

by lyndon on Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:20 pm

Hi farmboy-1954:
This is one of those things that could be a fun project but it really helps to be local for stuff like this since a lot of poking around and looking at how things work is generally needed.

Have you tried searching for online forums about those old dispensers? If they were popular, there might be an online community discussing them. The probe you describe sounds like it might be measuring conductivity of the mixture.

I can see why they'd be concerned about the float switches not working properly. If they were designed to work in water only, then the higher viscosity of the water + syrup may cause them to stick or otherwise misbehave. I've seen float switches fail in weird ways when things didn't go exactly as planned.

Worst case, if you can post pictures of the original failed board, maybe we can get it working again.


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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.