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juice in a 5 gallon water cooler?

TopiaTopia Registered User regular
edited July 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Is it safe (for the machine) to put juice in one of those 5 gallon jugs and throw it onto a water cooler? I kinda wanna try it, but think it probably has a high chance of wrecking the cooler.

Mostly just wanted some iced tea in there. Any opinions? Stupid?

Topia on

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    FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    My biggest concern would be a build-up of sugar in the inner-workings of the cooler. I've never taken one apart, but are they cleanable inside throughout?

    I foresee gunky moldy crap in your future if you can't effectively clean this thing regularly.

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    Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I agree that the biggest concern would be mold.
    I barely go through the one gallon jugs of iced tea fast enough (the last few glasses always taste a little off).

    ... and that's with refrigeration.

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    TrinisTrinis Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Glasses? Those jugs are built for chugging like a quarter gallon at a time. Just $2 at the corner shop too.

    On topic: I think anything with sugar in it is a bad idea.

    Trinis on
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    PracticalProblemSolverPracticalProblemSolver Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Oh it's safe for the machine, might not be so hot for the humans drinking out of it later on though.

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    ChanusChanus Harbinger of the Spicy Rooster Apocalypse The Flames of a Thousand Collapsed StarsRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I have a friend who makes punch and puts it in the water cooler at work... He's done it for several years... no one seems to have gotten sick.

    Though, mold does seem like a reasonable concern.

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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Chanus wrote: »
    I have a friend who makes punch and puts it in the water cooler at work... He's done it for several years... no one seems to have gotten sick.

    Though, mold does seem like a reasonable concern.
    What kind of punch? Are we talking, like, Crystal Light? Because nothing will survive on that.

    Thanatos on
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    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    As long as you flush it out with water, and maybe a mild bleach solution, between refills, you should be ok.

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    ChanusChanus Harbinger of the Spicy Rooster Apocalypse The Flames of a Thousand Collapsed StarsRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Chanus wrote: »
    I have a friend who makes punch and puts it in the water cooler at work... He's done it for several years... no one seems to have gotten sick.

    Though, mold does seem like a reasonable concern.
    What kind of punch? Are we talking, like, Crystal Light? Because nothing will survive on that.

    It may be Crystal Light... that's a good point.

    Chanus on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Chanus wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Chanus wrote: »
    I have a friend who makes punch and puts it in the water cooler at work... He's done it for several years... no one seems to have gotten sick.

    Though, mold does seem like a reasonable concern.
    What kind of punch? Are we talking, like, Crystal Light? Because nothing will survive on that.
    It may be Crystal Light... that's a good point.
    Crystal Light (or any other drink made with artificial sweeteners) shouldn't cause mold or anything else to grow on it, because there's nothing there for the mold to survive on (it needs to consume calories to eat). However, I don't know if it would gum up the internal workings of the cooler or not.

    Thanatos on
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    PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Having done a few schnappes coolers back in the day - yes, but you will need to run incredibly hot water and probably some manner of cleaning agent through there between refills.

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    ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    In highschool I met a man who sold and repaired water fountains. I asked the man if it would be possible to get a water fountain that provided me with hawiian punch or coke or something. He said that any sort of sweetener would eventually ruin the machine. I'm assuming a water cooler is not as complicated as a water fountain but it is still probably something to to take note of should you carry forward.


    It later occured to me that if I really wanted a machine to provide me with punch or coke or whatever I should just buy a drink fountain but that's neither here nor there.

    Shogun on
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    ChanusChanus Harbinger of the Spicy Rooster Apocalypse The Flames of a Thousand Collapsed StarsRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I imagine the sweetener (or especially actual sugars) could also corrode components of a machine meant to handle only water.

    Chanus on
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    shutzshutz Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    The insides of water coolers are usually made out of (food-grade) plastic and stainless. The risk of corrosion is practically nil.

    If you're going to do it for, say, a party, or something similar, so that the juice would be consumed within a short period of time, you'd probably be OK. Anything longer could cause some of the bad stuff others in this thread have warned about.

    If you're going to do it for a party, try adding enough ice cubes to the contents of the 5-gal jug to keep the contents somewhat cooler. I know it kind of defeats the purpose of using a water cooler, but by keeping the juice cool, you're reducing the chances that something bad might occur to it.

    Also, better to use clear fruit drinks (or even Kool-aid, or similar stuff) to using real juice, as real juice will tend to contain more solids which can gum up the insides of the water cooler.

    Note: I'm saying all this without ever having tried it. It would probably be best if you followed the advice of the more cautious ones here. But if I had a water cooler I wasn't super-attached to or didn't depend on, I'd be tempted to try it, too.

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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Also real juice (solids) are usually served en masse from those agitated machines for this reason.

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    TopiaTopia Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Wow, didn't think I'd get such a powerful response. Anyway, after consideration I am not going to do this... Now. Later I will. And when I do, I will chronicle the whole experience and post it here.

    Topia on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    We handle stupid things very seriously around here.

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    ResidentSleepwalkerResidentSleepwalker Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    We handle stupid things very seriously around here.

    Hahah!!

    If you do end up trying it, and you want to clean the cooler out - I'd suggest adding 1/4 ounce of "Star San HB" to 5 gallons of water and let that run through the machine at some point.

    Star San HB is the cleaning solution recommended by my local home-brewing store for sanitizing my equipment before bottling. I kid you not - 1/4 ounce for every 5 gallons of water is more than enough.

    It's probably the most toxic thing on the planet, highly corrosive, carcinogenic, but hey - I licked batteries as a child. This can't be quite as bad.

    ResidentSleepwalker on
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