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Gas transfer between cylinders

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  • Gas transfer between cylinders


    I was wondering if someone could give me some advice.

    I can get 330cf of argon for $80 at AirGas, while Leeky Air will fill MY 80cu tank for $80.

    Is there a method for me to transfer gas from the large tank to the small tank in a safe manner?

    Thanks for your comments,



  • #2
    You will need some high pressure hoses and proper fittings. The problem is that you will only get the smaller tank to equalize with the big tank meaning you will only get it around half full. You also have to be careful to purge the supply line while filling the small bottle to get the air out of the lines. This is usually done by not tightening the small bottle fitting all the way before filling, then crack the supply bottle and let it blead for a few seconds then tighten fitting and crack the valve open on the small bottle. As far as safety, it's up to you to take the precautions and get the proper hoses. Check your fill dealer, maybe they can put a set of hoses together for you.



    • #3
      First off, 80 bucks for an 80 cf bottle of Argon is highway robbery. Why not switch and see what Airgas wants for an 80 cf refill?

      As far as transfilling.....It can be done, safely, as long as you follow proper procedures and use the proper equipment. There are drawbacks. As Andy said, you often will only get half a tank. It is easy to contaminate the gas when transfilling. To avoid this you will need to purge of a certain amount of gas, which negates part of your savings. Of course if the smaller tank is ever run completely dry, you have no way to vacum it and assure purity.

      A word of caution....Most 300 cu ft tanks are 2400 psi....most 80 cu ft tanks are 2015 psi, and you could find one lower. When the 300 is full, it could create a higher than spec pressure on that first fill, especially if the 80 is not completely empty. Make sure all your fittings and hoses are rated at 3000 psi or greater. Also make sure you open the valve on the large tank very slowly. You will want to let the pressure build slowly in the smaller taank to avoid too much heat build up.

      Like I said, it can be done, but please make sure you do it safely and properly. A steel cylinder with 2600 psi of gas in it is not a toy. Sorry if I am preaching too much, just hate to see accidents happen.


      • #4

        Why not just nab the big jug and forget about it?

        We filled breathing-air cylindrs for years in the fire department from manifolded 2500PSI bottles. We always used a water-filled "shatter tank" for the target bottle, both to rduce the heat generated by the fill process, and to protect the operator in case of a cylinder failure. klsm54 's advice is right on. I'd avoid it if I could.

        ...from the Gadget Garage
        Millermatic 210 w/3035, BWE
        Handler 210 w/DP3035
        Victor O/A "J" series, SuperRange


        • #5
          Highway robbery is a understatement, Airco charges me 20 bucks for my 80's and usually give me a little ta ta to boot, last trip a new set of heavy stick welding gloves . I guess purchasing all those little boogers is not so bad, now if I can justify that helium mix, I believe I will have to talk real nice just to see if he will mix one up. I don't think it is a standard mix in my area... I do get some funny looks from the info that HAWK has put in my head... DANGEROUS but having fun at it


          • #6
            Thank you for all your input.

            Just to set things straight. (All prices in CND)

            I do own a 80cf bottle and AirGas will not fill it or replace it as they are not in the business of smaller bottles. So I lease a 330cf cylinder for $50 per year and $80 to fill. No one here will sell a 330cf tank, they are all leased.

            I originally went to Air Liquid when I started welding (8 months ago) and they wanted the $80 for 80cf (argon). To make a long story short, after approaching Air Liquid they would not budge on any of their prices.
            I.E. 5 times more for filler rod, 4.5 times more for gas, $100 more for helmet, 4-5 times for all other accessories. They screw the little guys. I hate it when that happens, I actually thought that I would have to quit welding as it was so expensive. (I could not justify $80-$100 a weekend to practice welding scrap)

            I ended up going with AirGas, they are quite a bit cheaper and have most things in stock. What they do not have they order in and it arrives in two days. I usually give them a call to see if they have things, if they don't then I just order it.

            I wanted to fill my little tank so that I do not have to keep leasing the big tank. If it were possible I would either purchase a big tank or have AirGas fill the little tank but neither of these are options. As it stands now, it makes sense for me to use the big tank as I am welding quite a bit. When I get better and do not require lots of gas for practice, I would like to stop the lease and just use the smaller bottle.

            If all else fails I hope that people shop around and do not go with outfits like Air Liquid because they are "one of the biggest", they are actually "one of the most expensive". I hate it when people steal my money.


            • #7
              I can tell you that $50.00 CDN, is a fair lease price. I can also tell you that when you fill the 300 cu. ft. tank, it should always be considerably less, per cubic foot of gas, than the 80 cu. ft tank. Unless portability is an issue, I would stick with the larger tank. The savings in gas price will help offset the lease price. Also, you might get a cheaper, per year, cost on a longer term lease. Worth asking about anyway...


              • #8
                My local Airgas dealer will fill or exchange for 80 cf tanks. Go to their website and ask them about this policy and see if you get it filled from that point on. Mine costs about $30 I think. I would definently ask and if nothing else find out why one does and others don't.

                Good luck,


                • #9
                  Well normally i'd have to say 80 bucks for a 300 size is a lot, but then again i don't know what ratio is between U.S. and CND. For a fill on an 80 cuft tank should run you between 20-30 US Dollars. And i know for my customers it is normally between 30-45 dollars for a 300 size Argon bottle. Airgas should be able to fill your little 80 cuft tank, and i would take pjseaman advice and find out why they don't fill them.

                  Hope this helps,

                  Dynasty 200DX
                  Coolmate 3
                  MM210 w/3035 spoolgun
                  Cutmaster 101
                  LC1230 12" Metal Cutting Saw


                  • #10
                    more dealers?

                    You could try going to Praxair... 609 42nd Ave. Calgary- phone 403-287-4550.
                    Just for fun, try it out and post your outcome...


                    • #11
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