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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Filling my own 5lb CO2 tanks
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Old 02-20-2010, 06:35 PM   #1
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Default Filling my own 5lb CO2 tanks

Does anyone know the technique and hardware needed to fill a smaller tank of CO2 from a larger one? I have two smaller kegerators that use 5lb CO2 tanks and I just bought a larger 20lb tank for a bigger freezer. I can get the tanks filled for $12.50 each plus 50 cents a pound. So 5lb tanks are $15, but 20lb tanks are only $22.50. I'd like to fill the little ones from the bigger one and save the $12.50 every time.

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Old 02-20-2010, 09:30 PM   #2
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yep, build a proper line from bottleto bottle. get a good scale. Hook the big bottle to the little bottle. Put the little bottle on the scale. Tip the big bottle upside down. make a note of the weight. Open the valve on the little bottle, open the valve on the big bottle. Put 5 pounds of CO2 (by weight on the scale) into the little bottle. Close the valve on the little bottle, then the big bottle. It will help tremendously to freeze the 5 pound bottle before you fill it. You may not be able to get a complete fill all of the time, but you'll get enough in there to make it worth your while.

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Old 02-20-2010, 09:47 PM   #3
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It's pretty straightforward. You'll need the followings items:

1.) Fill Station


2.) CGA320 Adapter


3.) 1/4" x 1/8" Female Coupling (to connect the CGA320 adapter)


4.) Fill Station Muffler (recommend)


The parts can be purchased on ebay and at your local hardware store (or McMaster).

You'll need a stand to hold the 20lb tank upside down. This ensures you're filling the destination tank with liquid CO2. You'll also need to freeze the destination tank prior to filling, or you can purge the destination tank with a couple ounces of CO2 to quickly chill it.

Like the other poster stated, be sure to get an accurate scale and fill it ~90% to weight. If you overfill the tank, it will likely rupture the safety disc after it warms up.

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Old 02-20-2010, 11:44 PM   #4
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Thanks for the information! I have the stuff ordered from Ebay. To be sure, the fill station was set up for paint ball tanks right? The fill station looks like two female fittings and if I put the CGA320 adapter on the 1/8 to 1/4 female, I won't have a male for the fill station. What is the paint ball tank thread?

Also, wouldn't it be the same to weigh the 5lb tank until it shows 4.5 in it? Then I wouldn't need an upside down support scale.

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Old 02-21-2010, 01:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricand View Post
the fill station was set up for paint ball tanks right? The fill station looks like two female fittings and if I put the CGA320 adapter on the 1/8 to 1/4 female, I won't have a male for the fill station. What is the paint ball tank thread?
When I fill paintball tanks (20oz, etc.), I use an adapter. I just screw the adapter into the CGA320 when necessary.



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Also, wouldn't it be the same to weigh the 5lb tank until it shows 4.5 in it? Then I wouldn't need an upside down support scale.
The destination tank (e.g., 5lb) should be right side up or on it's side. The source tank (e.g., 20lb) should be upside down. So ya, you either need someone to hold the source tank or build a simple support frame.
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:36 AM   #6
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Ok.. I have everything in the pictures and I don't mean to be dense but..

In picture 1.) of the fill station, one side goes on the CO2 tank, what is the thread of the other end? Is it a female 3/8" NPT? Do you need a nipple?

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Old 02-26-2010, 01:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
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In picture 1.) of the fill station, one side goes on the CO2 tank, what is the thread of the other end? Is it a female 3/8" NPT? Do you need a nipple?
It's just a purge valve port for chilling/purging tanks. So, no, you don't have to attach anything to it. But, I do recommend #4 (Fill Station Muffler) as purging tanks can be quite loud when you suddenly release the CO2.
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:19 PM   #8
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Thanks.. but I meant the piece with the knurled knob on it. I'm assuming that is the fill valve. I'm hoping it's a 3/8" NPT female that I can put a nipple on, then the adapter to 1/4" and then on to the CGA320 for the tank to be filled. I'll just take it to HD and check it out. Thanks so much for the reply's and answers to my incessant questions about this thing.

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Old 02-26-2010, 04:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricand View Post
I meant the piece with the knurled knob on it. I'm assuming that is the fill valve. I'm hoping it's a 3/8" NPT female that I can put a nipple on, then the adapter to 1/4" and then on to the CGA320 for the tank to be filled.
It should be an 1/8" male (depending on which fill station you bought). See #3 - 1/4" x 1/8" Female Coupling (to connect the CGA320 adapter).
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:37 PM   #10
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Wow, mine ended up being ~1/2" female, at least it threads in OK but leaks a bit. I just used a reducing bushing to go to the 3/8" CGA320 pipe. I filled a tank, but leaks were shooting out around the paint ball adapter. It was a bit scary. A couple thousand pounds of pressure makes me jumpy.

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