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Rookie Gas fill questions

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  • Rookie Gas fill questions

    Just used up all the gas in a pure argon bottle I bought at an estate auction. I think I want to switch to a CO2 argon mix because 99% of what I weld is steel.

    This cylinder is labeled DOT3AA2015 which I think means it holds 1.55 cubic feet? Manufacture date 1997162--guessing it's a 1997 tank? Another stamp is 04A0A+[star].

    There is no ownership stamp on the ring of the tank. There is a paper label saying it is to be refilled at a BOC facility.

    Generally, what am I in for when I take this to the welding gas supplier? A retest? Have to swap bottles to get CO2/Argon mix instead of pure Argon? Do I have to go back to BOC to get it filled? Any ideas on how much money I should be paying for a fill?

    This is all new to me so any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • #2
    Easiest way to find out is to take it in to a refill shop, let them see it, ask questions, get answers. Take your receipt from the auction i8n the event any ownership issues are involved. If they treat you like dirt, , go to another shop. Little shops (mom & pop if you have any) seem to deal with folks nicer than the chains.
    "Good Enough Never Is"


    • #3
      I agree with what hotfoot stated.... I asked at the LWS about my 251 oxy that I own.... they told me it is a lease size only and that they could swap it but I'd have to start paying a lease..... so I took it to the last place that filled it for the guy I bought it from.... they started with the same stuff so I talked with the guy behind the counter for a few min about welding fishing etc...... he rang me up and typed on my reciept (owner tank 251 Oxy) and told me I'd never have a problem in the future with them..... with your tank not having an ID ring on the neck makes it alot easier.... if there isn't another date on it then it will need a retest so be ready for far as cost that will depend on your area and the price at the time you swap it out.....
      George W. Bush saving your butt whether you like it or not!
      If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
      Thomas Paine
      Fear is temporary, regret is forever
      HH210 w S.G.
      Victor/Uniweld O/P
      Dewalt Chop Saw


      • #4
        You can't tell the capacity from the DOT stamp. All that tells you is that it is a high pressure steel cylinder rated for 2015 PSI.

        How tall is it? A 150 ft³ stands about 48".

        As for filling, the hydro date will expire this year. You will probably have to pay for a hydro test. You don't say where you are, and conditions vary widely accross the country, but in Northern California, if the cylinder is a 150 or smaller, you would have no problem swapping for a full jug of C-25.

        ...from the Gadget Garage
        MM 210 w/3035, BWE
        HH 210 w/DP 3035
        Victor O/A "J" series, SuperRange
        Avatar courtesy of Bob Sigmon...


        • #5
          You don't say where you are from, which is VERY helpful to these types of questions.

          BOC is a common welding/gas supply here in Oceania (Australia, NZ, PNG, etc.)

          Are you MIG welding or TIG welding. You say you've been using pure argon, which leads me to believe it was TIG welding, in which case it will work for steel or aluminum, of course.

          But, you CAN'T use an argon/CO2 mix for TIG welding, not even for steel, because it will contaminate the tungsten, among other problems.


          • #6
            I took it in as suggested. They said their standard operating procedure is to assume that any tank below 80 cubic feet is an owner tank and to exchange it out. I asked about needing a retest and was told not to worry about it. They exchanged cylinders with no difficulty at all. Cost about $41 total with tax for co2/argon mix.

            The cylinder is about 30" tall measured to the ring.


            • #7
              Sounds like a 60cuft tank and the price aint bad I'm payin $47.99 for my 60cuft from praxair and $54.00 for my 60 oxy from boc

              Invertig 100 DC Tig/Stick
              Hypertherm Powermax 30
              Milwaukee 15A 14" Chopsaw
              Hobart Handler 140
              60cuft Argon, 85cuft C-25 (largest customer owned locally)
              145cuft Acetylene,60cuft Oxygen
              Victor Advantage II Outfit
              Mastercraft 4 1/2 8A Grinder
              Extreme amount of automotive tools (First Love)

              More to come


              • #8
                I really didn't know whether the cost was good or bad, but I take it from the prior post that it's reasonable.

                I paid $45 for the tank at an estate sale thinking I would try MIG welding aluminum, and it just never happened. So I used up the argon MIG welding steel.

                If I recall right, I went to the estate sale in the first place because they had a TIG for sale which sold for more than I could justify for hobby use. Maybe I will have the opportunity to try TIG in the future.

                Thank you all again.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mod566 View Post
                  I really didn't know whether the cost was good or bad, but I take it from the prior post that it's reasonable.
                  Its fair.
                  Like buying a loaf of bread or a 6 pack of beer;
                  different places will have different prices.
                  But you're in the groove, and didn't get ripped off on the cyl. swap or the price.

                  "Gone are the days of wooden ships, and Iron men.
                  I doubt if we shall ever see thier likes again".
                  Circa 1900.
                  Author: unknown member of the USCG.


                  • #10
                    I have bought 4 tanks on Craigslist that have no ID on the neck. Always echanged them at Praxair with no problem. You don't need to worry about restest fees even if your tank is expired.



                    • #11

                      If you go through alot of gas it really helps to get to know your supplier. I go to the same place that my work gets their welding and gas supplies from so when I go in and there is someone new I mention my employer's name. They seem to be a little nicer and I've even gotten a discount.