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Old 07-09-2007, 05:41 PM   #1
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Default 20lb CO2 and kegerator questions

Okay, here is my story, and there is a good chance this is a stupid question...so bare with me.

I am planning on getting into kegging soon, in the next month or so, and I have been kind of eyeballing the stuff I am going to need (kegs, CO2 tank, regulator, chest freezer, controller, tubing etc etc). Anyway, my plan was to get a mediumish sized chest freezer, in the 8cu ft range, and keep my keg(s), CO2 tank et all inside of the chest freezer with picnic taps and eventually make some taps on the freezer. Anyway, I now have a slim possibility of picking up a 20lb tank for cheap (cheaper than I can get a 5lb at any of the online places I checked). I dont know the source too well, but he says he bought it a few years ago and never used it. Here are my questions:

1) If I had a 20lb tank, there is virtually no way I would be able to fit it inside the chest freezer. How would I go about that? Just leave it outside the freezer and maybe drill a hole for the line?
2) What do I need to know safety wise? I know that a tank needs to be pressure tested every so many years, but how many years is that? Is there anyway to tell when it was last done without just taking the guys word for it?
3) would it be smarter to just buy the tank and take it to a professional and have him look at it? If he told me it was not right, do you think the expense of fixing it would be excessive?

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Old 07-09-2007, 05:50 PM   #2
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  1. Yes. Drill the hole in the collar if you are building it with one.
  2. Places will fill or exchange if the test has been done in the last 5 years.
    Learn to read the cylinder makings here:http://www.catalinacylinders.com/markco2.html If it needs a test, you will have to pay ~$15 or so. If it fails you are SOL.
  3. If you are within the test range, ask if you can trade down OR see if you can get a deal on 2 5#s or a 10# and a #5. That'd be ideal!
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:51 PM   #3
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They have to be recertified every 5 years and it should be labeled when the last time it was tested. It's not too expensive to have it recertified though.
If you plan to have it outside the freezer, you would just drill through the freezer and run some lines in. I'm pretty scared of drilling though as I'd be afraid of hitting a line or something.


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Old 07-09-2007, 06:00 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies guys. I think I may avoid it, unless I can get a good look at it before I buy it. The whole, "if it fails the test you are SOL" thing worries me. It may sound stupid, but I would rather pay a little more, for a smaller tank, from a reputable source, than dink with a guy I dont really know, on a tank that is too big, that may be a waste of money.

Thanks guys.

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Old 07-09-2007, 06:08 PM   #5
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He should be able to provide you with the stamp information.

If it fails the test, per the DOT, the tank will be confiscated and destroyed.

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Old 07-09-2007, 06:13 PM   #6
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MOST (at least all that I have dealt with after years in the machining business) welding supplies will just exchange the 20# tank without even looking at them. They fill and test their own bottles, so most really do not care about the hydro stamp. As a matter of fact, took my 20 to get exchanged today, and it was out of hydro stamp. The valve was leaking if you left it in any position except full open or full closed. Let em know, he shrugged and said "We send all our tanks to the main warehouse to get inspected. They will fix it if they find a problem."

So, Yes.....Just drill a hole and leave it outside since the cost is normally the same to fill 5# versus 20#

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Old 07-09-2007, 08:11 PM   #7
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It depends on the place. I called every place in a 25 mile radius and found no one that would do tank exchange. They all filled on prem either overnight or while you wait. The good news is a new hydro around here is only $12.

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Old 07-09-2007, 08:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunkensatyr
The valve was leaking if you left it in any position except full open or full closed.
Isn't that normal?
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Old 07-09-2007, 09:06 PM   #9
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Normal for a valve that is not sealing. When I say Open and Closed, I mean you had to CRANK on it in either position to get the valve to seal off. I am also referring to the valve stem, not the open face of the valve where your regulator hooks up.

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Old 10-08-2007, 08:58 PM   #10
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Sorry to bring this thread back from the dead.


Over the weekend I found a guy selling a 10lb co2 tank for $30. I drove all the way up to his house to find that it was a 20lb bottle. Oh well, I bought it anyway. This morning I came to reality and figured out that the 20 is less than ideal size wise for a kegerator.

What I did was I went to the local praxair and told the guy what I was trying to do. He happily took the empty 20lb bottle off my hands and did an even trade for a full aluminum 10lb bottle. Not bad for $30.

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