I learned you should bring gloves! That cylinder was so cold it almost hurt carrying it! I didn't even think of that before I grabbed it from the guy at the gas store. Next time I'm definitely bringing something to wrap it in at least!
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Hmm, mine is usually not cold at all, and they hand it to me immediately. Except for once. My guess is if they overfill it, and need to let some out, it gets very cold, since the liquid co2 boiling off is an endothermic process.
I believe you can get them full more easily by cooling them first. Sometimes they do that by filling them just a little and releasing the CO2 to rapidly chill the tank prior to the actual fill.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. - C. S. Lewis, English essayist & juvenile novelist (1898 - 1963)
CO2 is filled from a bulk tank with a siphon tube drawing liquid. Once some of that liquid enters your tank it expands into a gas and the pressure increases. The two tanks will quickly equalize and no more CO2 will flow from the bulk. In order to keep the pressure in the customer tank lower than the bulk tank it must be chilled. Some shops will put them into a freezer before filling, others will partially fill the tank and then vent it to chill the tank.