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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    27

    Default Tanks

    I have a bunch of 125 cf but also have a few big ones (2 330s and 1 200ish). They are customer owned tanks but have a ring of the Welding suppliers. In my area, you cant buy a new one this size but you can buy one used from someone else.

    2 things to know that most don't - What is the difference between an owner tank and a leased tank? A person has a contract and owner doesn't. In my area, a couple big companies bought up the small guys. Air gas will get out a book and look it up and see if its theirs. Although you cant buy a new tank, there are tons of owner tanks on the market and they have no way of knowing since there are no serial numbers recorded on tank swaps. Basically you show up with a tank they will fill it.

    The other thing is switching your LWS. They "must" give you a blank ring so you can get it swapped at a different location. Its your tank. In many cases they don't get them often so you have to call and have them hold one for you. I did this with my airgas tanks because their prices was too high. The guy just matched the other place and all was good since the Airgas is 10 min from work so its an easy trip on lunch.

    I know you just get yours filled but around here filling on site is rare. Just giving you options that a lot of folks don't know exist. I hear it is different in other locations. This is the way it is here.

    The nice thing about 125's are that you can swap them out anywhere regardless of the ring. The big guys are for Argon and O2.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Forgive my ignorance, but is it any better to own your cylinders than to rent them?

    Any difference in fill prices (rent vs owned)?

    Don't the tanks have to be inspected (at the customers cost) if you take in your owned tank and it is past the inspection date?

    The reason I ask is I am scuba certified and have my own scuba equipment and a tank and every 5 years it has to be hydrostatic tested to check (I think) how much the cylinder has stretched. I was told by my instructor when I got cerified that if the tank fails the hydrostatic test that they will scrap it and your left with nothing.

    I am going to be getting some oxy/acet tanks for my brand new victor journeyman torch set.
    Not sure to rent or buy tanks?

    I also have thought about getting a tank (not sure what gas type) for my millermatic 140 since I finally have a shop to put it in next month.
    Not sure if I should rent or buy a tank for it?
    I have just been using the FC wire for it so far.

    I only do welding occasionally when I have projects come up (maybe 1 a month), but I like being able to do things myself to get the quality I want.

    So these tanks could last a year easily on a fill depending on the size.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Can anyone answer my questions in the post above?

    Thanks!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Four Flags city
    Posts
    298

    Default

    Your question does not have a hard and fast answer.My expirience is that it is cheaper to own cylinders.I have found that if rented I would pay the purchase price in about a year and a half.

    Price for gas and cyl ownership have no connection(that I have ever seen).You may find that your supplier will give you a break if you rent cyls or they may give a discount if you set up an account and pay cash......you would have to ask.
    There are a lot of opinions on the internet(and I am sure in other places too) that anyone behind a counter selling gas is just waiting to stick a gun in your ribs or has never struck an arc of any kind,I was VERY lucky to build a great friendship with the people that ran the shop I used to use(bought out)....again,you may have to test the waters to see what supplier you want to build a relationship with and it may be more than one.

    Yes,cylinders have to be retested but most welding suppliers will exchange your cylinder and never even notice it is out of test unless it is obvious....really old,fill tag for a company that is no longer in business etc.
    If they find you cyl is out of test most shops will exchange and charge you for the re test or if they fill they may re test and fill and charge you.The only reason I could see to scrap a cyl would be arc struck,fire burned or having been ground on(serial # or other identification).

    This is the world according to me(it is what has worked for me)
    Hope this helps

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northern Arizona
    Posts
    457

    Default

    Disclosure: I OWN my cylinders. I do not rent and I do not know about renting cylinders.

    Here is my take on the rent/buy game. I bought my most recent 125cf cylinder for about $200 at my LWS. It costs about $50 to fill it with c25 gas. Argon is about the same fill price. Lets say I am super busy doing projects for myself and customers. I could be filling that 125cf cylinder once a week. Now lets say that job that kept me busy paid me VERY well and I go on vacation for 6 months. During that time I am not using any gas. I am also not paying any kind of rent during that time. (I am also getting rusty as welder by not melting any metal for a long period of time!)

    You said yourself that your not planning on using it very often. Why pay rent on a cylinder when you aren't using it? Now, that could change VERY quickly. I know that when I first got a welder a couple years ago I suddenly had a whole bunch of projects that just came out of no where.

    You also wanted to know about hydrotest dates. I think the cylinders are rated for 5-years of service from the stamped hydrotest date. It has been my experience that the LWS does not check this date and will accept an out-of-date cylinder in exchange for an up to date test date with no questions asked. THIS IS NOT ALWAYS THE CASE, but in the smaller, laid back communities I work in the Intermountain West area it holds true. Take that with a grain of salt. It really helps all this to establish a relationship with your LWS. They know me by name here. It is pretty nice. Occasionally I balk at a price and they work with me.

    So lets boil this all down: Go buy a 125cf or so c25 shielding gas cylinder for your little mig. Then go buy an acetylene tank that holds 110cf or bigger. Depending on if you are going to focus on cutting/welding/heating with the oxy/acetylene rig you should size the oxygen accordingly. This is not cheap up front, prepare to spend $600+ on these 3 cylinders.
    MillerMatic 251
    CST 280 w/tig torch
    HF-251-D1
    Cutmaster 42
    Victor Journeyman OA

    A rockcrawler, er money pit, in progress...

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    596

    Default

    For most hobby guys BUY your tanks. My location a 125 is around 200.00 and 40.00 for argon or c-25.
    Check with suppliers in your area. They all are different. I was gonna buy a OWNER no name on tank neck cylinder from craigs list. Called local supplier about refilling and was told they will do it. However, I would have to leave it and come back when filled. More efficient buying from supplier and no issues.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Ok your points make a lot of sense. I am wanting to have tanks constantly because the times projects come up is sometimes unexpected and always on weekends and the LWS (airgas) here is not open weekends so I need tanks ready to go anytime. So I will need to buy tanks.

    Questions:
    - When you buy a tank from the LWS do you always get that tank back or do they just exchange your nice new tank with a already filled tank each time you come in for a refill?

    - I plan on cutting and heating/bending stuff with my Victor Journeyman torch and have an 8-MFA and a 6-MFA heating nozzels for it. Don't think I'll ever needing anything bigger. I do know these will be the most demanding on the tanks so that brings up the question.
    What size acetylene and oxygen tanks should I be looking at to handle these two heating nozzels?

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    385

    Default

    Your acetylene tanks are sized by the diameter of the tank, that is the more volume you need the larger diameter tank you need (or multiple tanks on a manifold)to extract sufficient gas off the surface of the acetone inside the tank. Your LWS should be able to advise you based on the largest tip you intend to use. Around here tank rental is an annual affair so there is really no more need to access the LWS on the weekend than there would be with an owned tank. Around $90.00/tank per year plus taxes if memory serves. That does put us in the regular drop off/pickup route as well. So to the door service.
    Meltedmetal

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Meltedmetal View Post
    Your acetylene tanks are sized by the diameter of the tank, that is the more volume you need the larger diameter tank you need (or multiple tanks on a manifold)to extract sufficient gas off the surface of the acetone inside the tank. Your LWS should be able to advise you based on the largest tip you intend to use. Around here tank rental is an annual affair so there is really no more need to access the LWS on the weekend than there would be with an owned tank. Around $90.00/tank per year plus taxes if memory serves. That does put us in the regular drop off/pickup route as well. So to the door service.
    Meltedmetal
    You just brought out another question I had. How to transport acetylene tanks from the LWS? I know you must have the tanks up right in use where as oxygen tanks can lay down like they do on many welding trucks.

    Can I lay down an acetylene tank in the back of my truck along with the oxygen and argon (or other mix for mig) and transport it home that way?

    Can I just let the acetylene tank set overnight before use after transporting laying down ? Anyone have anymore info on time frames for it to settle?
    I've never hauled tanks except on a welding truck so would like your thoughts.

    I had asked if they do tank delivery and the said the local FD does not like them driving their tank truck (moving 'bomb') through residental neighborhoods. So I can't get tanks dropped off or picked up.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    alabama
    Posts
    746

    Default

    I own about 20 cylinders of various gases. No way would I pay rent on them it would be over $200.00 per month just on rental. I purchased some of my cylinders from individuals, a few from Airgas and some were given to me. All are Airgas bottles or its affiliates . As far as inspections, no need to since I just exchange them when its empty.
    As far as transporting acetylene, no problem laying it down, just let it stand upright at least 10 minutes before use.
    2, XMT's 350 cc/cv
    1, XMT 350 vs
    1, TRAILBLAZER 302
    1, MILLER DVI
    1, PASSPORT PLUS
    1, DYNASTY 200 DX
    1, MAXSTAR 150 STL
    1, HOBART CHAMP
    1, HF-251 BOX
    1, S-74d
    1, S-75DXA
    2, 12-RC SUITCASES
    2, 30 A spoolguns

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