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Thread: Just upgraded to a 250 CFT argon tank.

  1. #1

    Default Just upgraded to a 250 CFT argon tank.

    I recently have been welding up a storm and I have been using argon at rates I have not seen before. So it was time to get an upgrade from a 150 tank to a K 250 argon tank.

    Best investment I've made in quite a while. I make things that I sell over the internet and I got tired of driving to the LWS to get gas every other week.
    I have been looking to do this for a while but I finally bit the bullet and traded in the 150 for a 250 tank plus $80.

    I have so far in the last month saved quite a bit in gasoline and getting the 250 filled is cheaper per quantity to fill than the 150. It was costing me $45 to fill the 150 tank and the 250 tank is costing me $65 for almost double the gas. My nearest LWS is almost 50 miles away so I had to do this. I also got a good deal on the 250 tank as they are not as common as the 150's or the 320's. The 320 tank is huge and was just a bit too big for me. Plus I saved quite a bit as the LWS wanted to move the 250 tanks.

    Now I must say that the 250 tank weighs in at a little over 200 lbs. and is a bear to lift. I can do it but it takes some muscle. Plus I had to modify my cart to carry the larger tank. But it sure was worth the effort.

    If you are thinking of getting a larger argon or CO2 tank, just do it. It is one of the better things that you can do to make welding a bit less expensive and put more money in your pocket.
    Last edited by Steve; 07-27-2013 at 10:13 PM.
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  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    If you are thinking of getting a larger argon or CO2 tank, just do it. It is one of the better things that you can do to make welding a bit less expensive and put more money in your pocket.
    Well, you are right, but to get any bigger, I would have to go on lease. A lease would cost me nearly as much in a year as buying the tank outright did, except at the end, I wouldn't be able to resell the cylinder and get my money back out of it. So... not the cheaper option after all, unless I was going through enough gas to save approximately $200 a year, which I'm not.

  3. #3

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    For perspective, the 250 is 1.66 times as big as the 150, and it costs you 1.44 times as much to fill. You are saving about $15 per fill up by going with the larger cylinder. For me, a lease of a 125 cf. cylinder is about $200 a year, so I would need to fill up 13 times every single year that I owned the cylinder to break even relative to owning my cylinder. And the number is actually higher than that, but I don't remember what the lease on the larger bottles costs. Of course the equation changes if you add in fuel and time to the supplier, and downtime for a professional costs money too. But it's hardly a slam dunk that a larger tank is cheaper, if you have to go on lease to get it. Which, of course, is what they want.
    Last edited by joshuab; 07-28-2013 at 12:27 PM.

  4. #4

    Default

    Going to a bigger tank is almost always a good deal unless you run into lease costs like joshuab or are continually forgetful like me and run the risk of leaving the tank valve open and leak all of your gas from time to time ....

  5. #5
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    If your LWS only leases the big tanks, it might be time to shop for a new supplier. At the lease rate here, my 300 would be paid for in about 3-1/2 years, not being a pro, there isn't really any justification for leasing.

    Only down side for a huge cylinder is that experimenting with different mixes can be a bummer. It will be a long time before I burn off all that 75/25 and can try something a little richer.
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  6. #6

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    Absolutely nobody in the Knoxville area sells larger than 80 cf except Praxair, who sells up to 125. At least not that I could find. Everything else is lease only, and if you do manage to buy larger somehow, they won't exchange it, only fill and return, which requires you to make two trips a week apart, since they don't fill on site.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuab View Post
    Absolutely nobody in the Knoxville area sells larger than 80 cf except Praxair, who sells up to 125. At least not that I could find. Everything else is lease only, and if you do manage to buy larger somehow, they won't exchange it, only fill and return, which requires you to make two trips a week apart, since they don't fill on site.
    Yeah, that seems to be a state or regional thing. There is a long thread here on gas bottle sizes, availability, and prices. Some places it's hard to get large bottles, or can take signing up as a business with a major gas supplier. The price for gas in Hawaii was heart stopping.

    Did you check with BOC gas and Airgas? They both show locations in Knoxville.
    Last edited by Rambozo; 07-29-2013 at 04:44 AM.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    I recently have been welding up a storm and I have been using argon at rates I have not seen before. So it was time to get an upgrade from a 150 tank to a K 250 argon tank.

    Best investment I've made in quite a while. I make things that I sell over the internet and I got tired of driving to the LWS to get gas every other week.
    I have been looking to do this for a while but I finally bit the bullet and traded in the 150 for a 250 tank plus $80.

    I have so far in the last month saved quite a bit in gasoline and getting the 250 filled is cheaper per quantity to fill than the 150. It was costing me $45 to fill the 150 tank and the 250 tank is costing me $65 for almost double the gas. My nearest LWS is almost 50 miles away so I had to do this. I also got a good deal on the 250 tank as they are not as common as the 150's or the 320's. The 320 tank is huge and was just a bit too big for me. Plus I saved quite a bit as the LWS wanted to move the 250 tanks.

    Now I must say that the 250 tank weighs in at a little over 200 lbs. and is a bear to lift. I can do it but it takes some muscle. Plus I had to modify my cart to carry the larger tank. But it sure was worth the effort.

    If you are thinking of getting a larger argon or CO2 tank, just do it. It is one of the better things that you can do to make welding a bit less expensive and put more money in your pocket.
    Yep...bigger is better,,,,my tank weigh in at that 200 pound weight,,,it's a bear for an old fart my age,,,found that I had to slide it in the cart on it's side then lift it upright,,,then put the 250 EX and water cooler on the cart after...witha big tank you don't have to do that very often..
    Some of those lies people tell about me, are true

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer View Post
    Yep...bigger is better,,,,my tank weigh in at that 200 pound weight,,,it's a bear for an old fart my age,,,found that I had to slide it in the cart on it's side then lift it upright,,,then put the 250 EX and water cooler on the cart after...witha big tank you don't have to do that very often..
    Done it alone, but normally get an extra hand. But it is true, I don't do it often. So worth it for me. And the price. A 150 is $40-50, 330 (called a 390) is like $28. So it is not 1.44 on the price here for owner tanks.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    Did you check with BOC gas and Airgas? They both show locations in Knoxville.
    BOC, no. I don't think that listing is right. Airgas, yes. Airgas wanted as much for an 80 as Praxair wanted for a 125.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshuab View Post
    BOC, no. I don't think that listing is right. Airgas, yes. Airgas wanted as much for an 80 as Praxair wanted for a 125.
    That's interesting, the Airgas here was more than willing to sell a 300, they were also the least expensive, although the regional store was happy to price match.
    Penncrest Buzzbox - Infinite amp control! Man the 70's were good.
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    Everlast 250EXT - Sometimes it just takes a kick in the balls...
    Everlast 255EXT - Just started playing

  12. #12

    Default

    I bought mine outright. Total cost was an extra $85 over the $100 I originally paid for the 150 tank. I got the 150 tank off Craigslist.

    You can buy 250 tanks if you look around. My LWS was more than happy to sell me a 250 tank. It cost me an extra $20 per refill over the 150 CFT tank. My gasoline savings from driving back and forth to the LWS have more than paid for the one time charge of $85 as I was buying argon two or three times a month.

    I know that in some parts of the country, the LWS's sometimes will try to rip you off. I've heard stories like yours before from others. I guess I'm just lucky to have so many options. Here in northern Ohio, we have quite a few outlets for welding gas.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshuab View Post
    Absolutely nobody in the Knoxville area sells larger than 80 cf except Praxair, who sells up to 125. At least not that I could find. Everything else is lease only, and if you do manage to buy larger somehow, they won't exchange it, only fill and return, which requires you to make two trips a week apart, since they don't fill on site.
    I have heard that some folks will travel to get their larger tanks to own outright. Lots of folks are selling tanks on Craigslist. The LWS will then exchange tanks with no questions asked when time for a refill. Here is a link to a friends video that explains welding tanks and how to buy them.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndGB-Ww47M4
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    I have heard that some folks will travel to get their larger tanks to own outright. Lots of folks are selling tanks on Craigslist. The LWS will then exchange tanks with no questions asked when time for a refill. Here is a link to a friends video that explains welding tanks and how to buy them.
    I considered this, but the problem is that if the LWS doesn't sell Customer-Owned tanks in the size that you have, then they can't exchange them, because they only have tanks with their neck ring. They'll only fill-and-return the same cylinder back to you. But if the company doesn't fill on site, and many/most do not these days, then you have to drop the cylinder off, then come back when it's been sent out and filled. This may take 1-3 weeks, depending on their turnover and stocking rate. And the whole time, they kind of hate you for all the extra work they're having to do tracking your cylinder through the system, so there may be an extra surcharge, or you may just get an employee who doesn't know any better and who refuses to do it. It's just not worth it, IMO.

    There were times when I was shopping when I could have gotten a cylinder bigger than 125 cf, but since none of the local suppliers would exchange it, I passed. There's no point in having a cylinder that you have to make TWO trips to the LWS to get filled, AND you have to wait a week or more to get it back.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by redbeard View Post
    That's interesting, the Airgas here was more than willing to sell a 300, they were also the least expensive, although the regional store was happy to price match.
    My impression is that there is significant regional variation between suppliers, even within the same brand. In other words, Airgas in Tennessee may have a totally different policy than Airgas in Oregon. I have told my story, and had people say that it was the exact opposite where they were: Praxair was expensive and a hassle, and Airgas was cheap and as cool as a cucumber. It just all depends... You gotta shop around and see what's going to work for you.

  16. #16
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    I wouldn't go with Airgas for anything after buying my cylinder from them (along with some consumables) and getting WAY overcharged! It was my understanding that they charge the same amount regardless of the store location (that's what the guys at the counter told me anyways). I started dealing with Mathison and they are quite a bit cheaper on bottle exchanges, plus they have a little more stock on hand that Airgas didn't have. Weldingcity.com and one other welding supply website (can't remember which one right now!) are my new favorite places to buy consumables due to their cost advantage and fast shipping. As Geezer said, I hate having to move the damn cylinders that are huge, not because I'm old but because I'm a scrawny weakling. At least I still have my beauty and brains...most of them anyways.

    If memory serves me correctly, Airgas charged me $305 for the full cylinder (150CF owned) and wanted $114 total to exchange my 150 when it went dry. Mathison is charging $64 for an exchange and the total with fees is $71.00. They wanted $75 or $85 plus my cylinder if I was to upgrade to a 250CF cylinder. I won't even consider getting anything bigger than that as it's a pain to move and transport! One other large chain welding supply place wanted $57 to exchange my tank, but they were out of my way. Maybe I'll try them next time. It pays to shop around, and mentioning that your a student at the local JC sometimes works for a small discount.
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  17. #17

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    Airgas here is way cheaper than praxair.. praxair wont even sell a tank larger then 150cf.. Airgas sold me a 300 for the price praxair told me their 150 would cost I guess the stores decided what they charge individually?
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Airgas here is way cheaper than praxair.. praxair wont even sell a tank larger then 150cf.. Airgas sold me a 300 for the price praxair told me their 150 would cost I guess the stores decided what they charge individually?
    I don't know what to believe when it comes to these welding shops. It seems like every time I go into one (regardless of which one), they sugarcoat everything and make it seem like I'm getting some smokin' deal. Then I return months later and they've changed policies and pricing. To make matters worse, prices are different depending on which salesman is at the counter! One person cuts you a deal and another cuts a fat hog for himself. Now I remember why I call this the "Whine Country." Everyone thinks that living here gives them a license to steal.
    Andy
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by youngnstudly View Post
    I don't know what to believe when it comes to these welding shops. It seems like every time I go into one (regardless of which one), they sugarcoat everything and make it seem like I'm getting some smokin' deal. Then I return months later and they've changed policies and pricing. To make matters worse, prices are different depending on which salesman is at the counter! One person cuts you a deal and another cuts a fat hog for himself. Now I remember why I call this the "Whine Country." Everyone thinks that living here gives them a license to steal.
    I don't really miss that part of the country at all I still have family out there but I moved out of state at 18 and have not moved back.
    Jason
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  20. #20

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    I bought a MM 252 in the spring and my LWS gave me a killer deal on larger tanks, 300 cu ft for their price of their 250's, so I could not resist. COP=Customer Owned Property. They are a pain to lift but I bought a gantry crane for other needs and will use it for the tanks. They asked if I wanted to fill out a simple form like a company which was just my name and address so I could get better fill rates that they guarantee for months (but not on Helium gas).

    It will be a while before I have to fill these bad boys up. My LWS is only open during the week and I have to scramble at lunch time to get refills done, so the frequency will be less...BONUS!Click image for larger version. 

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    Prices are in Cdn.
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