Are all aluminum CO2 tanks the same?

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valkyrie

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Are aluminum CO2 tanks all built the same? How does one know the good stuff from the bad?

I found (what appears to be) a good deal here. I'm looking for a 5# and a 20# tank.

Any reason this won't work for my new keezer build? Cheers!
 

shafferpilot

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before you order online, check with your local gas suppliers. Many don't actually fill bottles while you wait. You exchange your empty bottle for one they filled in a batch fill. It'd be a shame to lose a brand new shiny bottle on the first fill. Anyways, if that's the case, see what kind of a deal you can strike with them for the first bottle. I've found that with a promise of "I'll be coming back here forever if you give me a deal" seems to yield a very reasonable buy-in price. I've done this with welding gases as well as CO2...
 

marzsit

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very few shops in the seattle area fill co2 on a while-you-wait basis, and it's always much more expensive than tank exchange. even the big companies (praxair and airgas) don't do custom refills anymore.

airgas will exchange a 20lb tank for $17. that's the cheapest i've found.
 

shafferpilot

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There is only one fill while you wait company that I've found here in Cincy. It's a fire-extinguisher remanufacturer.... JFYI
 

stevo155

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airgas will exchange a 20lb tank for $17. that's the cheapest i've found.
That's alsmost what I pay in NH for a 5# exchange :(

There is one place in town that will do a 5# fill for $10 while your wait, but they are only open M-F 8a-4p, when I'm at work.
 

wildwest450

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For whatever reason, it's almost as cheap to get a bigger tank exchanged. I think it was only a dollar or two difference between a 5# and a 15# tank here.

_
 

pelipen

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For whatever reason, it's almost as cheap to get a bigger tank exchanged. I think it was only a dollar or two difference between a 5# and a 15# tank here.

_
It's the same here. They will fill while I wait, and the price difference between 5, 10, and 15 is small. You are typically paying a setup and handling fee, the cost of the actual gas is cheap. The money isn't in the gas, it's in the metal rental and service charges.

Praxair fills them for me. Last time I talked to them on the phone, the woman said that most of them no longer do while you wait fills. I just called the number on their website, and she found me one that would.

Forgot to address the OP's questions:
Yes, all cylinders must meet a testing standard. If it does not have stamped markings on the crown, send it back. It must have a test date stamped into the metal. I would guess these are probable Catalina. You can determine the marking codes online.

That is a good price. I bought a new 10 lb one from beverage factory, and it was more than that by $9 plus shipping, which I still felt was an ok price. Go for it.
 

JKoravos

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very few shops in the seattle area fill co2 on a while-you-wait basis, and it's always much more expensive than tank exchange. even the big companies (praxair and airgas) don't do custom refills anymore.

airgas will exchange a 20lb tank for $17. that's the cheapest i've found.
Damn, the Airgas I get my CO2 from charges me $21.50 for 5#. I really need a bigger tank.


To the OP: get the cheapest tank you can find used and exchange it.
 

Golddiggie

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Damn, the Airgas I get my CO2 from charges me $21.50 for 5#. I really need a bigger tank.
Gorham Fire Appliance Co (in Quincy) charges $7 to fill a 2.5#, $10 to fill a 5# and $18 to fill a 20#. I forget what they charge for a 10#. Check for a similar place where you are.
 

JKoravos

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Gorham Fire Appliance Co (in Quincy) charges $7 to fill a 2.5#, $10 to fill a 5# and $18 to fill a 20#. I forget what they charge for a 10#. Check for a similar place where you are.
I'll have to check around. The Airgas is literally a few hundred yards from work, so it's very convenient. Maybe there's someplace else relatively close.
 

Golddiggie

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I'll have to check around. The Airgas is literally a few hundred yards from work, so it's very convenient. Maybe there's someplace else relatively close.
It's about a 5-8 minute drive from where I'm currently working... Might be moving to either Maine (Lewiston area) or Vermont (Burlington area) soon... I'll have to hunt down someplace wherever I end up...

Considering how much cheaper Gorham is, I would hunt for someplace closer to you. Gorham fills the tanks while you wait, so you don't need to leave them or anything. I would try some web searches (superpages for one) and see. You might even be able to get a recommendation from Gorham for a place in your area that offers the same services... I do see one place, in West Springfield, but I'm not sure how far that would be for you... There's also Liberty Supply, Inc. in Leominster that might be a source... IMO, it's worth making calls and such if you can end up spending 1/2 what you are now, and get your own tank filled...
 
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valkyrie

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Thanks for all the suggestions. If this were just a garage keezer, I'd grab whatever is cheap, but as this is going to be off my living room, I'm going for a bit of a polished look. As such, I was hoping to have a night Al tank. Given all the comments, I'm going to call around and be sure I can find someplace to fill it. Thanks, all!
 

Golddiggie

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IMO, steel tanks are just too damned heavy once you hit the 5# tank (and larger) mark... I had a chance to compare two filled tanks, one steel and the other aluminum. Convinced me that aluminum is the ONLY way to go.

You could get a nice, new aluminum tank, clean it up real nice and then spray it with some clear coat so that it stays that way. You could even paint it a color to better match the rest of the room (could do that with either tank type). Just be sure to leave the hydro easily read. I might do something like this in my next place, depending on how I position things. For now, I don't really care since the tanks all look decent and I can easily carry even the 20# tank when full of gas.

I'm sure there's someplace close to where you are that will fill up your tank. Start checking with homebrew clubs, HBS stores, other HBT members from your area, etc...
 

Fennis

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It's about a 5-8 minute drive from where I'm currently working... Might be moving to either Maine (Lewiston area) or Vermont (Burlington area) soon... I'll have to hunt down someplace wherever I end up...
If you move to Maine, check out MaineOxy or Firesafe Equipment Co. Both are just across the river from Lewiston in Auburn. I know MaineOxy does exchanges, I am not kegging just yet, I ordered a setup yesterday, so I don't have experience there, but I have gone there before to exchange 20oz paintball tanks.
 
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