Need to Know The MIG Welding Part2
Gas cost is one of those hidden or difficult to assess parts of MIG welding. Invariably, the smallest possible gas cylinder is always the first choice for beginners, thinking they are getting out on the cheap. But in reality, it can cost nearly as much to fill and maintain the smaller cylinder as it does the larger ones. A small 80 cu ft. Cylinder can be bought and owned relatively cheaply, but may only last three to four hours of limited welding. Large cylinders are usually rented by the month or leased by the year, instead of sold. A typical yearly cylinder lease cost can vary from 50-80 dollars per year. But in reality, re- fill times are extended, and re-fill costs are not much more than refill cost of a smaller cylinder in many cases. Additionally, depending upon your local welding supplier, the bottle you get back may or may not be your own, and hidden fees can be charged to you if you receive a cylinder that is at or near it’s inspection date. Cylinder inspection dates are stamped on the neck. Depending on the test date, your next exchange may cost you an extra 60-70 dollars for a hydrostatic test of the cylinder before it can be filled. If you lease a cylinder and an inspection is due this cost is always borne by the filling company, and not by the customer. Any repairs additionally are carried out at the welding supplier’s expense. Not so with a customer owned cylinder. If anything goes wrong with your cylinder, the cost of replacing a whole valve or even the cylinder itself is borne by the customer.