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  • How long should a tank of argon last?

    Iím beginning to think the regulator that came with my syncrowave 180 is not very good because I seem to go through the gas like crazy. I probably welded for a few hours total and my gas is **** near gone!?!

    How long should a tank last? (I have the one that about 4 foot tall, got it form airgas).

    Iím running at 15 thou I noticed it was at 25 for the 1st Ĺ of the tank. **** regulator seem to keep creeping up. Is a Flow meter worth it? And just to clarify those are the ones with the little ball in a tube right?

    Last thing, someone told me if I get one I have to make sure it has the right ball in for argon or it wonít be accurate, is this true ? I believe he said the ball needs to be red.

    Again thx in advanced, seem the more I weld the more questions I have.

  • #2
    Your bottle will be rated a certain "cubic feet" volume. That bottles useful life per fill is directly proportional to the amount of flow you have set at the regulator. If you have an 80cf bottle of gas, and you're regulating it to 10cf/h, then that bottle will last 8 hours. @20cfh, it's down to 4, and so on...

    If you're starting and stopping a lot, the pre and post flow will eat up your available welding time by discharging more gas than you might realize you're using.
    Syncrowave 250DX
    Invison 354MP
    XR Control and 30A

    Airco MED20 feeder
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 81
    Smith O/A rig
    And more machinery than you can shake a 7018 rod at

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    • #3
      I don't know about the color of the ball, but the ones I've seen had different scales for different gasses, depending on which side of the glass you had facing you.

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      • #4
        Ok I think I have a 125 cubic feet cylinder (itís 43 inches tall). So at 15 CF/H I should be able to weld for 8 hours but I bet got less then ľ of that on this last cylinder. I did notice my regulator got turned way up to 25 somehow so that probably cost me a lot gas.

        Would this save me enough gas to warrant the 60 bucks?

        http://www.welding-direct.com/sinstagflowr.html

        Right now I have the dual gauge setup and it seem very inaccurate.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lowlypawn
          Ok I think I have a 125 cubic feet cylinder (itís 43 inches tall). So at 15 CF/H I should be able to weld for 8 hours but I bet got less then ľ of that on this last cylinder. I did notice my regulator got turned way up to 25 somehow so that probably cost me a lot gas.

          Would this save me enough gas to warrant the 60 bucks?

          http://www.welding-direct.com/sinstagflowr.html

          Right now I have the dual gauge setup and it seem very inaccurate.
          As others have said before TIG is expensive! if you wanna play, you've got to pay. If you're using a 125 cf tank, & your regulator was set at 25 cfh, that's only 5 hours (not counting the pre & post flow!) sounds like you're just about where you're supposed to be.
          Syncrowave 180 SD
          MM185 with 3035 Spool gun
          1971 Roughneck 1e
          Stars-n-Stripes BWE
          Optrel Satellite OSE
          ESAB 875 Plasma Torch
          Lincoln 200SA Diesel
          O/A Set
          Century 250A/C-D/C BuzzBox
          1.5 kVA Spot Welder
          Phoenix Electrode Conditioning Oven

          Professional Auto Mechanic since 1974
          My own shop since 1981

          Cya Frank

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          • #6
            Pawn,
            Do you know what your pre flow and post flow is set for.I've seen guys use 20 sec of post flow and not even know they have post flow.
            Bulldog
            5 Passport Pluses
            2 MM 212's
            MM 210
            MM 251 MIA
            MM 350 P w/Python
            Syncrowave 250
            w/ tig runner
            Trailblazer 302
            12RC w/meters
            Spectrum 1000
            Spectrum 2050
            2 Black BWEs
            Joker BWE
            Star & stripe BWE Digital
            2 star & stripe xlix's

            REAL TRUCKS RATTLE
            CUMMINS BABY

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            • #7
              Yes I do know what post flow is and I think mine is set for around 5 or 10 seconds, I havenít timed but it seems at most maybe 3 to 5 seconds longer then needed.

              For pre-flow I just tap the pedal, wait a second then start welding, thatís the correct way right?

              Is the post flow adjustable? This is the model I have. Itís an older model.
              http://www.millermotorsports.com/pro...wave180sd.html


              Also no one has told me if a ball flow meter would be more accurate then my current gauge setup.

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              • #8
                I started with a 60cf that i used with my mig welder(which lasts a long time on there) when i got my tig machine I used the 60cf tank on there for a short time and was going through gas like crazy. its the pre and post flow that really eats it up, then I jumped to a big tank...keep the little for backup and portability..
                Lincoln SP170T
                ESAB 875 Plasma
                Smith oxy set
                Dynasty 200DX
                pulsed mig is next...

                Long Island Cummins Ram Owners Club

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                • #9
                  I don't think one is any more accurate than the other. For small short welds set post flow to minimum.---MMW---
                  MM250
                  Trailblazer 250g
                  22a feeder
                  Lincoln ac/dc 225
                  Victor O/A
                  MM200 black face
                  Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
                  Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
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                  • #10
                    When welding with my old 180 SD which did not have adjustable post flow, I would many times build up a black scale on the tungsten and then start getting erratic welds. After getting my bigger 351 with adjustable pre and post flow I read the manual and it suggests a post flow of 1 second per 10 amps of welding current.

                    I agree that this may be on the extreme high side, but, I try to stay around the suggestion to slightly under it and I no longer have the scale buildup on the tungsten.

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                    • #11
                      That sounds like what a plugged up collet body will do. You sure it was lack of post flow and not restricted flow in general? My tigmate has 10 seconds regardless of current or arc duration. I got some of that burnt tungsten when I had spattered some zinc up in the cup and plugged the gas lens.
                      Syncrowave 250DX
                      Invison 354MP
                      XR Control and 30A

                      Airco MED20 feeder
                      Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 81
                      Smith O/A rig
                      And more machinery than you can shake a 7018 rod at

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lowlypawn
                        Also no one has told me if a ball flow meter would be more accurate then my current gauge setup.
                        Both are fairly accurate... The "floating ball" may have a small edge, but any single stage regulator will change the flow rate as the pressure in the tank changes, nothing wrong, it's just the nature of the beast. You'll have to "tweak" it once in a while, & after each tank change.
                        If you don't trust your regulator, your peace of mind may be worth the $61 flow guage, it'll take a long time, if ever, to get a payback in gas savings! (Unless, of course, your regulator IS bad ! )
                        Syncrowave 180 SD
                        MM185 with 3035 Spool gun
                        1971 Roughneck 1e
                        Stars-n-Stripes BWE
                        Optrel Satellite OSE
                        ESAB 875 Plasma Torch
                        Lincoln 200SA Diesel
                        O/A Set
                        Century 250A/C-D/C BuzzBox
                        1.5 kVA Spot Welder
                        Phoenix Electrode Conditioning Oven

                        Professional Auto Mechanic since 1974
                        My own shop since 1981

                        Cya Frank

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lowlypawn
                          Yes I do know what post flow is and I think mine is set for around 5 or 10 seconds, I havenít timed but it seems at most maybe 3 to 5 seconds longer then needed.

                          For pre-flow I just tap the pedal, wait a second then start welding, thatís the correct way right?

                          Is the post flow adjustable? This is the model I have. Itís an older model.
                          http://www.millermotorsports.com/pro...wave180sd.html


                          Also no one has told me if a ball flow meter would be more accurate then my current gauge setup.
                          Lowlypawn, does your regulator look like this?


                          If so i think I think I know what's happening, for some reason as the bottle looses pressure the flow regulator increases flow.

                          You just have to be on top of flow adjustments with this setup constainly reducing flow as the bottle depletes.

                          I belive the floating ball regulator is better, it sure costs more.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You should be able to get this Victor flowmeter for 47 dollars.
                            #VIC0781-2723
                            Try ramweldingupply.com

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RadMan
                              Lowlypawn, does your regulator look like this?

                              Yep, that's it.

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