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used argon tank

05-29-2009, 10:05 AM
I found someone on craigs list selling a used 40cf argon tank for $25. To me that seems like a deal. Unless it is damaged I should be able to exchange it for a full one or get it filled right? Is there any thing I am not thinking of?

I have one 40cf tank now but it would be nice to have a spare. Or one to use when I win the MIG welder in the contest here. :-D


05-29-2009, 11:40 AM
Hi Eric,

There has been a lot of discussion regarding buying used argon tanks on the welding forums. The price of the tank on sources like Craig's list is usually very appealing, but a couple of cautions are in order.

Basically the "policy" (if there is one) regarding refilling the tanks varies from dealer to dealer. A few only refill their own tanks, i.e. purchased/rented/leased through them. Ask at the store where you plan on having the bottle filled what their policy is on exchanging tanks for refills. Of course if you live in an area where there are several dealers, you may get different answers from each.

HerbD 8)

05-29-2009, 12:08 PM
I called a local place and they said they would do an exchange. (assuming the tank is ok)

I know there was some discussion about tank sizes a while ago where it was mentioned that filling a larger tank only cost a little more than a smaller one. Prices at the places I called around here seem to scale fairly linearly.

I got a 40 cf tank to get started with and was considering getting another one or getting a larger tank. There are some advantages to two small tanks vs one big one if the cost to fill them is about the same. I drive by a gas supplier fairly often but it is a bit of a drive from the shop. So I could have a full tank ready to go if I run out. Then get the empty one filled without making a special trip.

Of course that plan requires getting a working second tank fairly cheaply. :)


05-29-2009, 01:14 PM
There should be a date stamped into the tank. The date shows the last time it was tested. It needs testing every 5 years, the test cost between $25-$50 depending on the dealer. The dealer is not allowed to refill a out of date tank.
This is how it is done in Chicago area. The date on the tank is important.

05-29-2009, 01:29 PM
I wouldn't buy a used tank unless you have the original purchase receipt. Then the tank would have to be within the inspection date period. If both requirements are met then you should be ok.

05-31-2009, 10:05 PM
25$ is a deal. I just spent around 80$ on one from Indiana Oxygen.

That said, if you don't have a receipt, you may have a hard time getting it filled. I'd at least check it for company ownership stickers / stamps.

06-02-2009, 11:39 AM
The seller didn't get back to me when I asked about how old the tank was or if it had been inspected recently. It is a bit of a drive for me to actually go and take a look at the tank so I decided not to buy it. If it was closer I would have gone and taken a look at it to see if it was worth buying.

06-02-2009, 01:08 PM
Good decision!! Anouther deal will come your way.

06-02-2009, 06:47 PM
I think you probably avoided a big headache.


06-21-2009, 12:32 PM
by federal law they have to accept the exchange tank(pressure vessel)if it is out of date they cant refuse it,they will deal with it its a cost of their doing business. if the tank it deemed un serviceable (damaged arced on or cracked)they will destroy it and charge you for a new one. if the valve is bad they take care of that but if you break it its about $25 for them to replace it (well worth it imo).so if old tanks worry you dont i have one in my shop that originaly dates 1918 they gave it to me after cutting the bottom off because it had a little arc mark on it .I'm going to make a bell out of it

08-27-2009, 09:00 PM
the dates have to be with in 10 yars that is when they have to be tested. Most of the time as long as you go to your lws and buy from them they wont mind trading a tank. I would go for it for sure.

08-27-2009, 09:34 PM
I have moved many times, had tanks from different states and it's a real headache. Each state has different rules and the local weld supply houses seem to take advantage of you when they can. Best states were midwest, mostly traded tanks with little problem; east coast and west coast were real headaches especially if you have older airco or linde tanks; they just don't want to trade them into their system and make you own the hydro testing and all. I'm back now in TX and if you have a tank, it's yours period, as long as it wasn't an owner tank or lease tank you never should claim as owned. Normally the ring on the top will tell you if it's a leased tank. Here if your tank is out of date (10 years on O2; acet; propane or 5 years on CO2) they may catch you and charge you for a hydro ($14 last time I paid) and give you a new tank; mostly they will just trade you out. So a lot has to do with your local laws and lws. I would check different dealers, those that are hungry for business will be more flexible. I always pick up a tank when I see one and trade it in, got one at the recycle place last week and swapped it out for a new CO2 so work the system if you can.

08-28-2009, 03:03 PM
I live ny and I have never had a problem
at my Lws about tanks of anykind.

08-28-2009, 06:03 PM
It can vary a lot based on your local supplier. I'll pick up a used tank anytime if the prices is right since I've got a good flexible local place in TX, sounds like you do in NY as well. Southeast is particularly bad, like in FL where I have a house as well. They are probably the worst area. Bottom line nothing wrong with buying used tanks if you know what to look for, just don't buy a leased tank. I have I think 12 tanks now, various gases and all owner. Just hate to see a guy go out and spend 150 or so for a tank when there are other options out there if you shop a little.