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How to set up water in your coffee cart or food van

FAQ - how to set up the water in your coffee cart

Which water pump should I choose for my coffee cart or food van

The Escaping Outdoors FL43 240v diaphragm water pump is ideally suited to a coffee cart or food van. The FL43 water pump will happily supply water to your sink, hand basin, water heater, coffee machine and jug rinser. It can pump either fresh or salt water up to 17 L/min. The FL43 water pump operates at one speed and uses an inbuilt pressure switch (the square box on the end of the pump) which will automatically turn itself on when it detects a drop in water pressure, or off when it reaches its desired pressure (40PSI) so you have water on demand when required.

The Escaping Outdoors brand of FL43 pump range is certified as meeting the new Australian Standards (December 2021) and comes with the Global Mark Certification number - GMA-511899

Do I need a water pump in my coffee cart

Councils across Australia have a variety of requirements but most of them want you to have running hot water in your coffee cart or food van so you require a water pump and a water heater. Please check the specific requirements for your area.

FAQ - coffee cart water pump

FAQ - water heater for coffee cart

How do I set up my plumbing for my coffee cart or food van

To set up the plumbing in your coffee cart or food van you will need the following:

  • A water tank / water source
  • Food grade pipe, fittings and connections
  • Water pump (either 240v or 12v)
  • Accumulator tank
  • Non return valve and pressure restricting valve if required

      Typical food van coffee cart water pump set up - Escaping Outdoors

Fresh Water Tank

The water tank can be a flexible fresh water bladder which will fit into odd shaped spaces or a rigid poly water tank. Both come in a range of sizes to suit all set-ups and are available in our Escaping Outdoors store.

FAQ - coffee cart flexible water bladder

FAQ - portable rigid fresh water tank

Hose, fittings and connections

From your water source / tank to your coffee cart water pump, install food grade hose and connect to the pumps strainer / pre-filter which comes with the pump. The pumps strainer / pre-filter is installed on the inlet side of the pump, and prevents any sediment entering the pumps diaphragm from your water source. (waranty on pumps is void without it). Make sure the hose is reinforced so it does not squash flat as the pump runs.

How do I mount my pump?

Your Escaping Outdoors FL43 water pump (most commonly used pump), can be mounted on your floor, horizonally or vertically, however if mounting vertically, PLEASE ENSURE THE PUMPS MOTOR IS ABOVE THE PUMP HEAD TO REDUCE THE CHANCE OF WATER DAMAGE TO THE ELECTRICS. An example of this is if the pump is installed vertically, the pump motor is at the top. Please ensure your pump is mounted securely.

Accumulator tank

An accumulator tank is a must for every pressurised set up and must be used with the FL43. The accumulator tank is installed in the pipe line immediately beside the water pump on the outlet side of the pump.

The accumulator tank can be installed in any direction; however it is recommended the plastic nipple is at the top.

FAQ - Escaping Outdoors 0.75L accumulator pressure tank for potable water

Do I need an accumulator tank?

The main reason you install an accumulator tank is to balance your water flow and absorb any excess pressure in your system. If you cannot balance your water flow, you will create excess pressure in the system. The excess pressure puts excess load and resistance on the pumps motor and can cause the pressure switch to fail or worse, burn the pumps motor out. The pressure switch also acts as a safety device protecting the pump and your system. If a pressure switch fails, the pump will not operate.

The lifespan of the pump and system will dramatically improve by installing the accumulator tank by also reducing the water pumps operation time and/or its frequency. As the coffee cart pump operates, pressure is added to the downstream water system. As the water is pumped into the accumulator tank the pressurised water “pushes” against the compressed air until the pressure stabilises at the acceptable level for the system (40PSI). When the water pressure reaches the desired pressure, the pump will shut off. This balances your water flow.

The pump will start again when the water in the accumulator tank is depleted and the pressure in the system drops. This way the water pump runs less frequently, and you don’t run the risk of burning out the pressure switch on the pump or putting excess load/resistance on your pumps motor and system. Very importantly the accumulator tank will also protect your coffee machine from water surges. The accumulator tanks pressure should be set to 2 to 3 PSI below the cut-in pressure of the pump (33PSI for the FL43 Pump). We can do this instore for you prior to postage. The pressure in your accumulator tank should be checked at regular intervals just like checking your car tyres or bike tyres to ensure the pressure is at the required level and it is working as it should.

Do I need to use a pressure restricting valve?

If you are using town water, please ensure you install a pressure restricting valve on your system as shown in the "typical setup" diagram. Town water supply can vary from 15 PSI to 120 PSI, depending where you are in Australia. The pressure restricting valve protects your system.

FAQ - coffee carts

Do I need to use a non-return valve

The typical setup shown also shows a non return valve immediately after the accumulator tank. This ensures there is no excess pressure going into the accumulator tank or water pump if you are using town water.

***** There are many variations to this typical coffee cart and food van water pump set-up with each set-up being different, so please use this information as a guide for your installation.

Help and advice is only a phone call away. Please don’t hesitate to contact us or phone on 0412 150 120.

We welcome your enquiry.

Check out our full range of coffee cart products at 

Escaping Outdoors online.