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Old 02-15-2012, 06:34 PM   #1
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Default Out of Cert co2 tank

Wanted to get some opinions from the experts on here. I am not currently kegging but I want to start this spring/summer. I have the chance to buy an out of certification 20# CO2 tank. I can either get an empty one for $60 or get a full one for $85. My questions are a) is this a good deal? and b) what would you all suggest? full or empty? is there major problems that could happen using an out of cert co2 tank.

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Old 02-15-2012, 06:40 PM   #2
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If you want to get the tank refilled, you'll have to pay for a recertification. Not the end of the world - most people seem to say around $20 or so.

If you just swap your tank (like I do, and like a lot of people do), most places won't look or care what the date is. I've swapped a tank that was dated.... boy, I think the last date I saw was 1992, and they never batted an eye. I think I've heard of maybe one time when a swap-place objected to an old tank - but absolutely worst-case, you pay for a certification. But, that's one time I've heard of a place bitching, and about eight hundred thousand times people have said "no issues with old tanks when you swap" (and that's always been my experience).

And, I'd get the full one - it's not like CO2 ever goes bad. You're basically paying $25 extra for $20 of CO2, which isn't bad.

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Old 02-15-2012, 06:52 PM   #3
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Using a CO2 tank that's out of certification may be problematic. Pressure vessels are required by USDOT to be hydrostatically tested every 5 years (the test measures the amount of deformation that the vessel undergoes at either 3/2 or 5/3 of it's rated pressure capacity). A tank that has failed a hydro is presumed unsafe and is supposed to be condemned (and it's quite illegal to fill them). If it's just a matter of the tank being out of date, you'll probably have to get it tested before it can be refilled. Out of hydro tanks aren't supposed to be refilled, and it's technically illegal to do so, though it does happen.

The primary danger in using pressure vessels is catastrophic failure during filling.

Personally, as someone involved in two hobbies involving pressure vessels (kegging homebrew and scuba), I generally won't buy a used tank that doesn't have a current (preferably recent) hydro date, unless it's priced such that I can get enough utility value from it before the hydro expires.

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Old 02-16-2012, 02:21 AM   #4
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It depends on the refill/swap places you have around you. All the scuba places near me are fanatical about current hydro, 3000+ PSI with 80-120ft^3 with rough handling in a corrosive environment. The gas distributors around me do enough volume that they hydro their own gear, i guess as a service to their customers, and they'll take anything that doesn't have bullet holes or busted valves. So if i was offered your deal in SD i would take it.

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Old 02-16-2012, 02:28 AM   #5
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Get the empty and find a place to exchange for a full tested one.

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Old 02-16-2012, 03:12 AM   #6
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Got one last summer for $90 (Craigs list). It was a year into its cert, full, and nearly unblemished. Hope that helps by way of comparison.

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Old 02-16-2012, 08:51 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone. I think i'm going to get one empty. It would be nice to find a place that Outside is talking about, but if I have to pay to get it certified I know it's not much.

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Old 02-16-2012, 12:13 PM   #8
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Look for a welding-supplies distributor; all the ones around me do swaps (and don't care about cert dates). Airgas is one of the biggies (they may not be the cheapest though - I always seem to pay more than everyone else).

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Old 02-16-2012, 02:48 PM   #9
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+1 on airgas - if you do a swap and act like it's normal, the guy at the dock doesn't know if you own the tank or your renting one of theirs and just need gas, so they won't check the date. The tank they give you will be current since they check them when they refill. Even some of your soft drink distributors do that (with the renting of the tank), so as long as they think it's their tank, you're golden

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Old 02-16-2012, 03:38 PM   #10
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Airgas around here checks, I got a 20# for 20$ off Craigslist that was out of cert .they just gave me a new tank and charged me 25$ for the cert and 22$ for the fill. I would not pay 60$ for out of cert 20# tank.

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