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Old 04-13-2011, 05:27 AM   #21
AussieBrewerInColorado's Avatar
Jul 2009
Denver, CO
Posts: 472
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I usually have to travel to refill so swap when I can but if all the LHBS has is rusty old ones, I don't swap but they generally have ones as nice as mine to swap so that's what I do.

"The mouth of a perfectly happy man is filled with beer." - Egyptian Proverb

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Broomfield, Colorado

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Old 04-13-2011, 06:25 AM   #22
JuanMoore's Avatar
Oct 2009
The Old Pueblo
Posts: 22,373
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I swap because it's faster, cheaper, and I don't have to worry about hydro certs. I tell the guys at the welding shop that it's for beer and ask nicely for a clean aluminum tank. Some of them have had a little paint on them, but they've all been pretty nice looking, and much better than the rusty steel tank I started with.

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Old 04-13-2011, 01:31 PM   #23
Feb 2011
Boston, MA
Posts: 22

When I went to have my 5# tank refilled, the guy at Airgas said they wouldn't do it, and that they would only swap, because it takes more CO2 than that just to fill the filling line, and it isn't worth it for them to do small tanks like that, unless someone else s having a bigger tank filled. If you have a bigger tank, it isn't a big deal, but 5# tanks are usually worth the swap unless you have a shiny aluminum one

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Old 04-13-2011, 02:59 PM   #24
Jan 2011
Posts: 4

I swap at Airgas and have always received a nice shiny aluminum one in return, i don't see the tank sitting in the fridge anyway, just to easy to swap.

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Old 04-13-2011, 06:27 PM   #25
Mar 2011
Portland, OR
Posts: 206
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This was one of those things I didn't think about before buying my kegerator kit, which included a shiny new aluminum tank. First time I went to Airgas to get some more CO2, I ended up with a dingy used one...oh well.

If doing it again I wouldn't bother buying a new tank, I'd just go to the welding shop for a used one to begin with. Swapping seems much quicker & easier than refilling.

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Old 04-13-2011, 07:00 PM   #26
mtbiker278's Avatar
Nov 2010
Frederick, MD
Posts: 277
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The airgas swapped my shiny but empty Catalina tank for a filled one. I said awesome! Went back later to get a back up. Got a dingy aluminum tank. No biggie though. however, if you do get a tank from a welding supply place the generally are more cause you need to pay for certs and hazmat fees. 5lb tank was something like $75 plus cost of CO2.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:28 PM   #27
bad coffee
bad coffee's Avatar
Jun 2008
Posts: 5,117
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The welding shop here in NYC drooled when I took in my 5# aluminum. "We only swap. And we only have steel"

I kept my 5#. I do swap out my 10# though. I ask the dock guy to give me the best looking one he's got because it's for beer. Usually I get a pretty good one.

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Old 04-13-2011, 10:20 PM   #28
May 2010
Gitmo Nation West, NC
Posts: 170
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I work with ultra high purity CO2, (usually require bottle certs for commissioning machine). Medical grade can be as low as 99.5 %(ie: 2.5) I use/need 4.8 (ie:99.998% pure yes it matters a LOT) Food grade falls in the 99.5 range, but the diff is the amount of 'other stuff' (as a comparison a 50lb tank of 4.8 is going for about $500 from AirGas 2.5 medical for $170)

That other stuff really comes from the bottle its going into (and delivery plumbing). All bottles are filled from the same source (though that tank may not be 100% pure)

If you can get a bottle that was used for the batch certs, and can verify the bottle serial number to the cert then all is good. Bottles are tested every 10 years or so. You will see the dates stamped in. if ya can get the newest bottle in the bunch.

But like said prior, if you bought a new tank, get it refilled.

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