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Thread: ARGON and ARGON/CO2 TANK SIZES

  1. #1

    Default ARGON and ARGON/CO2 TANK SIZES

    Here is a quick chart to give an idea of the actual size of the bottles.

    Bigger is normally better as the refill price is lower, however the weight has to be considered for your space and vehicle. Unless you have a big shop and have the LWS take care of your tanks.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Mike R.
    Email: everlast@us-it.net
    www.everlastgenerators.com
    www.everlastwelders.com
    877-755-9353 x203
    M-F 12 - 7PM PST
    FYI: PP50, PP80, IMIG-200, IMIG-250P, 210EXT and 255EXT.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Greater Seattle, WA
    Posts
    806

    Default

    Here are the sizes of high pressure gas cylinders listed on the back of my LWS's catalog:
    Code:
    Name  Cubic feet  Width Height  Weight
     21     21 cf      5"    17"    15 lbs
     46     46 cf      7"    24"    25 lbs
     80     92 cf      7"    33"    47 lbs
    125    125 cf      7"    43"    61 lbs
    150    155 cf      7.5"  46"    70 lbs
    250    251 cf      8.5"  51"   115 lbs
    330    336 cf      9"    55"   135 lbs
    I just swapped my 80cf argon tank for a 150cf, and am really looking forward to having a lower cost of argon as a result. The 80cf was going empty too fast; sure they say "6 hours of arc time" or whatever, but I think that doesn't include waiting for pre and post flow and if you do lots of tack welds or smaller stitch type welds or short bead lengths, I think the actual amount one will get is a lot less. I was also feeling like I could easily handle a larger bottle. (Maybe this metal fab work has made me stronger? :o ) They are giving me a nice deal on 150cf refills, too: 10% more refill cost for almost double the gas. $40 (before tax and hazmat mark-ups) for the 80 vs. $45 for the 150cf.

    I checked the pressure and it seems my LWS is filling the 150 the same pressure as the 80. It seems like all bottles I buy from them are always filled to 1800 psi. (kind of a lower than expected amount I think... but it makes having a large physically sized bottle all the more important!)

    The cost to upgrade the size of the bottle itself (about $60) I figure will be paid off and then saving money after just two bottle refills. And I will save time not having to run to the LWS so often.

    I handled the 125cf and the 150cf cylinders to get a feel for them. The LWS said some 125cf's were rentals and some customer owned swaps, while the 150's were all customer owned. They said the 150cfs were very common customer owned size, and will never be inadvertently be exchanged for a rental cylinder anywhere in the area. I also liked the look of the larger cylinder, it seemed "right" to me for my needs. I did look at the larger cylinders but they seem to get pretty big.

  3. #3

    Default

    I am sure my tank is well over 135 lbs or maybe I am just getting old/weak.

    But I agree, even the 125 is too small for me. Maybe for MIG, but the TIG just eats those little bottles up.
    Mike R.
    Email: everlast@us-it.net
    www.everlastgenerators.com
    www.everlastwelders.com
    877-755-9353 x203
    M-F 12 - 7PM PST
    FYI: PP50, PP80, IMIG-200, IMIG-250P, 210EXT and 255EXT.

  4. #4

    Default

    Does anyone know a good place to buy tanks other than LWS. or what is a good price is for the differn sizes. Thanks.
    Miller Trailblazer 301
    Miller CST 250
    Miller Super32sp
    Hypertherm Power max 1000

  5. #5

    Default

    National Cylinder used to have a site. Not sure if they still do.

  6. #6

    Default

    Sometimes you'll see them on craigslist.com with a welder. And sometime the price of the bundle, you can buy it all, keep the tank and re-sell the welder. I have a couple owner 150's I paid $100 for with argon in them. Would love to trade them for a 250 or 330 though.

    Make sure the ring on the top of the bottle has no name on it or you will be locked into one supplier. Also check the date on it or they will get you on the first fill. Also make sure the bottom has not rust on it.
    Mike R.
    Email: everlast@us-it.net
    www.everlastgenerators.com
    www.everlastwelders.com
    877-755-9353 x203
    M-F 12 - 7PM PST
    FYI: PP50, PP80, IMIG-200, IMIG-250P, 210EXT and 255EXT.

  7. #7

    Default

    What size bottle would you recommend for someone who does not weld real often? As of now I probably wouldn't be using it more than a few times per week. If the plans I have go right then I would be welding more often and at first I will probably be using it a good bit to get projects done that I have been adding up while I wait for the welder. I was thinking of getting a 150 or 250 tank.
    Jason
    Everlast 255EXT - On Order
    Everlast PowerPro 256 - UPS Demolished
    Everlast MTS200s
    12 Ton Shop Press
    DeWalt Hand Tools/ChopSaw

  8. #8

    Default

    I got the 150 CF bottle and burned through it in about 2 months. I must say I was doing lots of experimenting though. I think once I settle down to actual use rather than "practice/learning" a 150 will suit nicely for the occasional repair/project.
    PowerTig 225LX
    PowerCool W300
    PowerPlasma 60S
    Miller 140 MIG

  9. #9

    Default

    Jason,

    150 is the smallest I would go with to learn, stay with that until you need to go bigger. Smaller will cost more and run out faster.
    Mike R.
    Email: everlast@us-it.net
    www.everlastgenerators.com
    www.everlastwelders.com
    877-755-9353 x203
    M-F 12 - 7PM PST
    FYI: PP50, PP80, IMIG-200, IMIG-250P, 210EXT and 255EXT.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Just for the Aussie welders…

    When considering what company to go with for your gas, you should check the actual cylinder sizes as well as price (for rental and fill).

    I discovered that there is a big difference in “E” sized cylinders.

    BOC – E (or E2) sized pure argon…
    Actual capacity 4.1 cu m
    Refill price changes all the time but around $120

    Supagas – E sized pure argon…
    Actual capacity 4.8 cu m (17% more than the equivalent BOC cylinder)
    Refill $104 (with free delivery)
    Rental $14 per month

    Here’s a photo of the two “E” sized cylinders side by side (BOC on the left)…

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by AussieChris; 03-03-2011 at 02:30 AM. Reason: Should add: No affiliation with Supagas, just satisfied customer.

  11. #11

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    Hello,

    You know, they say for people who dont weld often to get the smaller tanks. My advice is to go with the larger tank if you got the room. As long as its closed the gas isnt going anywhere. Its rediculous the price differences. Its about $20 more for the 200 cubic of argon to get filled over the 40 cubic. So you get around 500% more gas for about 50% more in cost. I wouldnt even bother with a smaller tank on tig. Leave it for the portable mig welders. Just my two cents on how I waisted money on smaller tanks.
    Frank

    I have a 250 EX welder and several other machines and equipment to allow for small scale manufacturing and prototyping of inventions

    I am located in Oregon about 20 minutes west of Portland

  12. #12

    Default

    I based my tank size on what was available for a customer owned tank in my area. I called around and found out the largest customer owned tank any shop will refill is a 150cf. That was at my local airgas (the absolute worst place to do business btw) refill prices are reasonable and the tank is quite manageable by myself. wish I could of gotten a larger tank though. the welder here at work was showing me his gas lens that he made (and now sells) for welding up anything at the aerospace shop I work at. The gas lens is over an inch in diameter but very short with the tungsten protruding about 1.5"! he had the gas flow cranked up well into the 20+ range but it worked amazingly well. I've also seen the guy at weldingtipsandtricks.com use this setup. I couldn't keep a 150cf tank full for a week running as much argon through the tip as they are!
    Everlast Powertig 225LX
    Harbor Freight O/A rig
    60 gal air compressor

  13. #13

    Default

    Your other option is to get a couple of 125 or 150 cft tanks. Yeah, the price of the gas is a little more to fill both, but........

    You don't pay the rental fees for the tank. Plus, hauling around those big tanks is a PITA and I hate having the government tracking me like they do with the big tanks.

    I got a couple of full 125cft argon tanks for $100 each off of Craigslist. They were new last year and were good for the 10 year inspection. The guy who was selling them got them from a fabrication company that went belly up and was selling them for a good price. I'm probably going to pick up a few more as they are a pretty good deal.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Plus, hauling around those big tanks is a PITA and I hate having the government tracking me like they do with the big tanks.
    Once you learn to roll them and use your foot (or get a dolly, best option) the larger tanks are not that bad and save money. How does the government track you on the larger tanks. Never heard about this. Prax and WSI do nothing but charge me and off I go.
    Mike R.
    Email: everlast@us-it.net
    www.everlastgenerators.com
    www.everlastwelders.com
    877-755-9353 x203
    M-F 12 - 7PM PST
    FYI: PP50, PP80, IMIG-200, IMIG-250P, 210EXT and 255EXT.

  15. #15

    Default

    This is second post about government tracking...Have we got a conspiracy theorist in our midst?lol
    There's no tracking done on those tanks. I could see acetylene maybe, but definitely not argon, an inert gas. They can even "loose" a certain amount of cylinders yearly to good customers. I back my truck up to the dock tell them which gas I want pay cash or charge it, and drive off. Not much paper work. No serial numbers recorded or secret homing devices attached. I could drive a tank to Washington state, and no one would care or have a bit of concern (as long as it was properly carried).

    Incidentally, I compared the cost of filling your own tank versus the tank fee per year, and they charge a premium to fill customer owned tanks and if you use them much at all it comes out in the wash.'
    Last edited by performance; 08-30-2011 at 04:50 PM.

  16. #16

    Default

    Even the DOT would probably not bother you with no commercial info on your truck unless they saw a missing safety cap on a bottle sticking up. With the exception of acetylene, you can lay them all down in the back of the trucks and no one will know.

    But I always drive in, pay and go. Sign or show nothing to the salesman.
    Mike R.
    Email: everlast@us-it.net
    www.everlastgenerators.com
    www.everlastwelders.com
    877-755-9353 x203
    M-F 12 - 7PM PST
    FYI: PP50, PP80, IMIG-200, IMIG-250P, 210EXT and 255EXT.

  17. #17

    Default

    There is no tracking here and I have even taken a bottle in my car once with no questions asked. Folded the back seats down and slid the bottle in from the trunk. They had no problems with it as long as I loaded it myself and did not need their help.
    Jason
    Everlast 255EXT - On Order
    Everlast PowerPro 256 - UPS Demolished
    Everlast MTS200s
    12 Ton Shop Press
    DeWalt Hand Tools/ChopSaw

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jakeru View Post
    Here are the sizes of high pressure gas cylinders listed on the back of my LWS's catalog:
    Code:
    Name  Cubic feet  Width Height  Weight
     21     21 cf      5"    17"    15 lbs
     46     46 cf      7"    24"    25 lbs
     80     92 cf      7"    33"    47 lbs
    125    125 cf      7"    43"    61 lbs
    150    155 cf      7.5"  46"    70 lbs
    250    251 cf      8.5"  51"   115 lbs
    330    336 cf      9"    55"   135 lbs
    I just swapped my 80cf argon tank for a 150cf, and am really looking forward to having a lower cost of argon as a result. The 80cf was going empty too fast; sure they say "6 hours of arc time" or whatever, but I think that doesn't include waiting for pre and post flow and if you do lots of tack welds or smaller stitch type welds or short bead lengths, I think the actual amount one will get is a lot less. I was also feeling like I could easily handle a larger bottle. (Maybe this metal fab work has made me stronger? :o ) They are giving me a nice deal on 150cf refills, too: 10% more refill cost for almost double the gas. $40 (before tax and hazmat mark-ups) for the 80 vs. $45 for the 150cf.

    I checked the pressure and it seems my LWS is filling the 150 the same pressure as the 80. It seems like all bottles I buy from them are always filled to 1800 psi. (kind of a lower than expected amount I think... but it makes having a large physically sized bottle all the more important!)

    The cost to upgrade the size of the bottle itself (about $60) I figure will be paid off and then saving money after just two bottle refills. And I will save time not having to run to the LWS so often.

    I handled the 125cf and the 150cf cylinders to get a feel for them. The LWS said some 125cf's were rentals and some customer owned swaps, while the 150's were all customer owned. They said the 150cfs were very common customer owned size, and will never be inadvertently be exchanged for a rental cylinder anywhere in the area. I also liked the look of the larger cylinder, it seemed "right" to me for my needs. I did look at the larger cylinders but they seem to get pretty big.
    Just checked one of my bottles. They are filled to 2200psi. Look at the head stamp on the bottle and see if you have a "+" after the hydrostatic test date. If so, you are good for a +10% overfill.
    Lincoln Weld-Pak 100 (C-25 or CO2 Shield)
    Victor Oxy-Act
    Lincoln AC225 Tombstone
    Everlast 250EX & W300 Cooler

  19. #19

    Default

    I started out with an 80 for my mig, but soon traded for a 150. I got tired of going back and fourth every week. I own my argon bottle for my tig, but I plan to get another bottle asap, and would like to have another 125 or 150 for my tig. The smaller bottles will cost you some big $$$$ if you weld regularly. I own my oxygen and acetylene, they are 80's but I rarely use my torches. I have two sets of 20's for my Victor torch / tote and they are outrageous to fill, but at the same time they are so dadgum handy to carry for making a small cut. I need to sell the set, but the handy factor keeps me from getting rid of the set.

    The guy at the LWS told me something that was pretty smart. Gas bottles always go up in value, and they never go down. Owning your bottles is a good investment. I have one rental and when it's up I will buy a bottle instead of leasing.
    Everlast Power Arc 200 --> Money Maker$$
    Everlast Power Arc 140ST
    Everlast IMig 200
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    www.murphywelding.com

  20. #20

    Default

    Sean,

    I still have a uniweld O/A MC set for the same reason, can just throw it in the trucks and go.

    To save money, take them to an HVAC/AV supplier (like Johnston) to exchange them. It is close to 50% less here in my area. I get them done for $15 each compared to $29 at Prax..
    Mike R.
    Email: everlast@us-it.net
    www.everlastgenerators.com
    www.everlastwelders.com
    877-755-9353 x203
    M-F 12 - 7PM PST
    FYI: PP50, PP80, IMIG-200, IMIG-250P, 210EXT and 255EXT.

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