I recently got a large tank bout 4 ft tall. ( new at welding ) I got the
tank for free, actually I got 4 tanks. But I really need one filled with
argon for my mig. I went to the local refiller and was told that he nor
anyone else would refill my tank unless I provided proof of purchase. What
gives, Do I have to actually buy a new tank or is this guy pullin my chain?
Depends on the supplier.. some may want a POP, others don't care. Did
you acquire the tanks properly? Is there a name on the neck ring? If the
name on the ring is ground off you may not find anyone who'll take them.
If nothing else, buy one new tank and then use that POP for the others-
once you exchange a tank you likely won't see it again, that's common.
If someone gave them to you, find out where the tanks were registered
in his name. Then go to that place and ask to have the registration
transferred to you. That worked for me.
After I'd done that, then I got them to transfer the registration from
them to a welding store closer to me. They said they do that all the
time, no problem.
It depends on the area. My area is completely open. Bring a bottle in,
somebody grabs it and brings you a full one. No questions asked, no
accounts, no demurrage, no nothing. Bottles can be bought and sold
among individuals. Other places are picky about owner bottles and
assume that if you have it, you stole it. I'd call all the shops in
town and find out if any will fill an owner bottle.
Depends on the vendor. I'm somewhat like you in keeping tanks for years,
until the hydro is dated, but I've never been questioned in swapping them
for filled-with-fresh-hydro tanks. Most gas suppliers seem to expect to
make money on the gas itself and not on the tank-swapping or hydro testing.
As a customer, I appreciate that because it would be a nuisance to be
always concerned about it and dickering over it.
I'm in the Seattle, Wa area, actually about 30 miles north. Mostly I
go to Central welding. I called about buying some used bottles because
I didn't want to buy any stolen bottles. Central told me that they
have Owner bottles and Rental or Lease bottles. The Owner bottles are
different sizes than the Rental or Lease bottles. So even though there
are several sizes of each there are no overlaps. This way, if someone
steals a Leased or Rented bottle and tries to get it filled they know
just from the size that it's not an Owner bottle. They will ask you
who you are or who you represent and if they don't know you by sight
will ask for ID. If it doesn't match with the bottle they confiscate
it. And maybe call the police. If it's an Owner size though they will
just fill it or exchange it. When I called Central about buying used
bottles they told me how to identify them to make sure I wasn't buying
a Rental or Leased bottle, because only Owner bottles can be sold.
Central told me that the other gas suppliers in the area use the same
system. It seems to be true too, because I had no trouble exchanging
my bottles filled at Central at Airgas and then later taking the
Airgas filled bottle to Central for exchange.
Eric R Snow
If your tank is 125 CF or smaller and you have a Tractor Supply store nearby
take it there. They now have a program where they'll take any other
company's tank as long as you sign a form stating that you are the rightful
owner of it and their gas prices are better than most local welding
suppliers unless you buy large quantities and get a great discount.
They don't have pure argon but you really don't want that for MIG anyway.
You want C25 which is a 75% argon / 25% CO2 mix and they do sell that.
They're also open on weekends for when you run out of gas in the middle of a
If your tank is larger than 125 CF then it may very well be a leased tank
and you shouldn't have it. And instead of getting it filled you'll have to
swap it out for a full one and the only place that will likely swap it out
is the company that it was leased from.
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"
This is what I was told in a local shop: bottles smaller than 80 cu ft
are always owner bottles. Larger that 80 are always rent/lease bottles
(exception - there are some large military surplus bottles that can be
owned). 80 cu ft can be either owner or lease. The guy said that this
was federal regulation, but I'm not sure that I believe that.
Ok, Thanks for the quick info. I will just happen to stop by and try to
have it exchanged. See what happens. I haven't picked up the tanks yet, so I
have no idea as the the neck ring information. If I cannot decipher the
info look for me to ask yet another question.
My local supply asked if the ring had a name - no slick ring. And I have the
sales document showing size and what was in it. Slick ring - No problem.
So I will copy the sales slip and provide that if needed. Still, I won't need
gas for some time unless the value is open. Nice large tank, and low usage.