15 Common FAQ about CO2 cylinders used in home carbonation machines

Carbonating your own beverages at home is a fresh, healthy way to stay hydrated. Home carbonation machines and kitchen taps (like the one from SeltzaTap) use CO2 cylinders to give your water beautiful bubbles.

Here are some common questions we get asked about CO2 cylinders used in home seltzer machine systems.

How do CO2 cylinders carbonate my water?

Those bubbles in your sparkling beverages are actually CO2. In at-home carbonation machines, you attach a small CO2 cylinder to the machine. When you activate the machine, you release small bursts of CO2 directly into your water, resulting in that signature fizzy look and taste of carbonated beverages.

How long does a CO2 cylinder last?

This depends on your level of carbonation and how often you use it. The cylinders used in the SeltzaTap home carbonation taps are 5 lbs and will carbonate approximately 100 litres of water. If you drink a litre of seltzer water a day, it’ll last you 12 weeks!

Can CO2 cylinders be refilled?

Yes! Many grocery stores do a CO2 cylinder exchange program. You bring your used CO2 cylinder to the shop, and they exchange it for a filled one. They will take your old cylinder, inspect it for damage, clean and sterilize it, refill it with fresh CO2, and sell it to the next customer.

Where can I buy/exchange CO2 cylinders?

CO2 cylinders suitable for home carbonation machines are available from various retailers, including London Drugs, Canadian Tire, Home Depot, and Home Hardware locations in Canada. You can also order new or replacement canisters for home delivery.

Are the cylinder sizes interchangeable?

Some home carbonation units are only designed for one size of cylinder. However, the SeltzaTap system will work with any 5, 10, or 20 lb CGA320 Cylinder with TR21-4 threads.

Should I buy multiple CO2 canisters?

Once you try freshly carbonated water, you don’t want to be left without it. We suggest buying at least one spare cartridge that you can use while getting your other one refilled. Then you always have at least one full canister at the ready.

Is the gas dangerous?

The gas in the cylinders used for home seltzer water machines is colourless and odourless. It’s also incombustible, so it is safe for storage in your home. It’s also essential to keep CO2 cylinders away from excessive heat. They are best stored at approximately 21oC. Finally, as with any pressurized gas storage, it’s not wise to throw or drop the cylinder as it can cause it to break.

How do I check for leaks in my canister?

Carbonation canisters are safe but can occasionally develop a leak. If you suspect a leak, apply soapy water to the bottle, especially the top around the valve and on any hoses. Look for bubbles to form. If it’s around the valve, try tightening it and test again. Most times, the cylinder wasn’t installed tightly enough, which is an easy fix.

Are CO2 cylinders safe to transport in my car?

Yes. According to Transport Canada, it’s recommended that they be transported in an upright position whenever possible unless it’s designed for horizontal use.

Do I carbonate cold or room temperature water?

Carbonation machines work best when dispensed into cold water. Use filtered water rather than straight tap water for the best and healthiest flavour.

Do I add flavours before or after I carbonate?

Most home carbonation systems suggest you add your flavourings after the water has been carbonated. You can add any flavours and sweeteners you want (some of our favourites are fruit).

How long do home CO2 canisters keep a drink fizzy?

It’s so easy to carbonate your water at home. If stored correctly in a sealed container in the fridge, it can last a week or more. Just keep in mind that every time you open a bottle of carbonated beverages, some of the CO2 escapes and the drink starts to become flat. But we always recommend drinking it immediately to maximize the bubbles and flavour.

What if my dispensed water isn’t very fizzy?

If you are carbonating water at home and it doesn’t look as fizzy as you usually get from your machine or carbonation tap, there may be a leak in the line or, more likely, a near-empty canister. First, check all lines and connections to ensure no cracks or broken seals. Rub some soapy water along any suspected leaks to look for bubbling (indicating where the leak is). If not, you’ve likely used up your canister, and it’s time to replace it with a new one.

Is it eco-friendly to use CO2 cylinders and home carbonation machines?

Yes! Canadians create a collective 3.3 million tonnes of plastic waste per year. One 5 pound CO2 cylinder can replace up to 100 one-litre plastic bottles per fill. And because the CO2 cylinders are exchanged and recycled, fewer canisters end up in landfills.

What’s the best way to get cold, on-demand seltzer water at home?

If you’re tired of clunky appliances taking up space on your countertop, we recommend SeltzaTap. It’s the home carbonation water system that provides refreshing sparkling water with the flick of your kitchen tap handle! It’s easy to install and uses recyclable CO2 canisters tucked neatly under your kitchen sink. Available now for Canadians and arriving in the US soon.

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