My 1920s soda siphon.
A few weeks ago, I took a fresh look at the soda siphon, and it all of a sudden dawned on me that the CO2 bomb doesn't have to be threaded, because there must be something else that holds it tight onto the bottle. Once I got that idea, a quick search on the internet solved the mystery. There really is something, called a charge holder, that cups the CO2 bomb and screws onto the soda siphon, forcing the bomb to be pierced open. The CO2 then rushes out of the bomb and pressurizes the water in the soda siphon bottle. Gas gets forced into the water and carbonates it, while also creating pressure so that the soda will stream out of the soda siphon when you open a valve.
The next problem was finding parts for my antique soda siphon. Many modern ones exist, but I guess there is a small cult which collects and uses antique soda siphons. What a relief it was when I found some parts on http://prairiemoon.biz, a beverage company. The siphon needed new rubber gaskets, a charge holder, CO2 bombs, and a special tool to unscrew the part where the CO2 bomb attaches.
Romy screws in the CO2 bomb in the charger holder.
The UPS truck came today with all of the parts from Prairie Moon. Romy and I were so excited, we opened the package right away and started putting the new gaskets on the soda siphon and basically revamping it. When we did everything we could, we decided to go ahead and try making our first liter of bubbly water! Fearing that the thing might explode or something, we took it to the back porch steps outside and attached the CO2 bomb in the holder, screwed it in, and . . . .
No!!! A leak!
There was a small pop and then a rush of gas into the bottle. The water bubbled like crazy, and the air inside turned all cloudy with CO2. But then all of a sudden, a steady stream of water started leaking from the most unexpected place - the valve handle! We thought that we replaced all of the seals! And in fact, it didn't leak from anywhere but the valve handle, and we weren't even aware that there was a gasket there, but apparently there is and it went bad sometime in the past 80 years!
After all of the pressure escaped, we opened it up to try to find a way to access the gasket, but it appears that there is a permanent cap of soft metal covering the area, like a lid. The only way to get to the valve and gasket is to remove the metal cap, but we will have to destroy it to do so. I guess that is what we will have to do, and then we'll have to make a new lid when we're done.
I'm so happy that we at least got it going!