argon tanks, buy vs rent?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Northern VA
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    19

    argon tanks, buy vs rent?

    My LWS (Roberts Oxygen) either sells up to 80cf tanks, or leases larger ones, 125 or 330cf on an annual or monthly basis.

    I am just starting to tig, it's a hobby, I have a few projects to do early on but I won't be welding for a living or anything. Typically anything I do i go for value, more bang for the buck. renting a 336cf tank is $65 deposit, $140 for the gas and then either $10/mo or $90/yr. and then another $12/mo or $90yr for hazmat charges... Talk about effing you in the drive thru!

    What do most hobbyists go with? if i go through a single bottle of 336 its basically $336/yr, it'd give me about 22 hours of welding at 15cfh... Seems like a whole lot of welding to me!

    Is that a lot? guess if i'm just a hobby welder with occasional projects the 80cf is probably enough.

    I'll be welding mild, stainless, and a little aluminum, probably with an average of 10-12cfh. I'll also be doing some back purging at some point, is it better to get 2 tanks for that, or a splitter?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    155

    Re: argon tanks, buy vs rent?

    Pretty good profit they got going on there. 125 CF cylinders look to run right around $300 and have found some 330's on the web for around $400. Between rental and they hazmat fee you would be paying for a new bottle every 1 1/2 -2 years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    long island , NY
    Posts
    53

    Re: argon tanks, buy vs rent?

    $140 for the gas???? Did he have a gun???. I buy argon regularly, so I do get a good price. I'm paying $38.00 for a 300 cu/ft bottle. If I shopped around a little more I know I could shave a buck or two off of that price.
    My LWS treats me well so I'm not going to jump all over town for a dollar.

    Welderbob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    ocala Fl.
    Posts
    168

    Re: argon tanks, buy vs rent?

    Mellman I am just a hobbyists but I go thru a lot of gas, I use Air Gas and I have two 80cuft tanks. All I pay is $26.50 for a refill / exchange to a full tank I am not sure how I got pass the rental part, I just today Pick up a MM252 and wire and Gas a 120cuft tank $2332.00 out the door, and nothing for the tank.When I p/u my MM211 3years ago it was the same, just exchange for a full tank, I would keep looking in PW county and No Va. some one will work with you on a tank.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
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    3,191

    Re: argon tanks, buy vs rent?

    Check with Arcet. They have locations in Manassas Park and Fredericksburg. http://arcet.com
    "USMCPOP" First-born son: KIA Iraq 1/26/05
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    19

    Re: argon tanks, buy vs rent?

    Thanks for confirming my suspicious...ROberts is great because its literally across the street, but i've always felt their prices were ridiculous. i swap my 20# co2 tanks with them for serving my homebrew but this is yet another new expensive hobby...

    I'll checkout arcet. Any other shops you could recommend in the area? The guy at Roberts was also telling me that it's illegal for residential folk to own anything larger than 80cf? So sounds like if I want larger I'm pretty stuck with rentals then? hazmat feels and monthly charges seem a bit ridiculous. Damn pointless government regulations...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,758

    Re: argon tanks, buy vs rent?

    I have my own tanks, 125 for C 25 and argon. Big 330 oxygen and 150 act. You gotta shop for prices for sure. Each supplier has their own policies. Here's a earlier post.
    http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php...ght=argon+tank

    http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php...ght=argon+tank

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    ...Shoulder of Orion...
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    1,079

    Re: argon tanks, buy vs rent?

    @ Mellman & Oldendum - Highly recommend Arcet in Manassas Park. Great crew. Deal with Sean weekly. He's GTG!

    My plan of attack, in the worx:
    * Lease a 150CF of Ar for TIG ($62/ yr + $42ish per refill)
    * Buy an 80CF for C25 (25% CO2, 75% Ar) for MIG ($225 new...TBD used...+ $44 per refill)

    TakeAways:
    * Arcet has best customer service and prices in NOVA. Visit 'em and support your local LWS.
    * Arcet will NOT fill a customer-owned 125CF inert cylinder. Even if your sweet 125 cost you $1.
    * Gas Fill cost (Ar, CO2, etc) ~ = for a 150CF or 80CF. Wild!

    :: I'm LEASING a 150CF and BUYING an 80CF, as my TIG burn rate exceeds my MIG rate ::
    Last edited by ManoKai; 02-05-2013 at 09:53 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Long Island, Socialist Republic of NY
    Posts
    2,705

    Re: argon tanks, buy vs rent?

    Quote Originally Posted by boatbuilder View Post
    $140 for the gas???? Did he have a gun???. I buy argon regularly, so I do get a good price. I'm paying $38.00 for a 300 cu/ft bottle. If I shopped around a little more I know I could shave a buck or two off of that price.
    My LWS treats me well so I'm not going to jump all over town for a dollar.

    Welderbob
    That's dirt cheap.

    I just paid $44 for a refill on a 244, and I thought that was cheap.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    19

    Re: argon tanks, buy vs rent?

    Just got off the phone with Sean at Arcet in Manassas and updating this in case anyone else from VA checks this in the future. Prices subject to change of course...

    They charge a flat $62/yr per cylinder regardless of size.

    fill rates are:
    155cf @ $32.67/fill +tax/$3hazmat
    336cf @ 70.80/fill + tax/$3 hazmat

    so they charge the same price per gas...just depends on how much driving i want to do, if i can make room for it i think i'll opt for the 336, or maybe 2 for back filling.

    the 80cf tanks they sell are $222 + tax, and come filled. Additional fills are $38.50/each.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    3,191

    Re: argon tanks, buy vs rent?

    Arcet is headquartered here in Richmond. We lease O/A and Argon tanks, own our C25 tank.
    "USMCPOP" First-born son: KIA Iraq 1/26/05
    Syncrowave 250 w/ Coolmate 3
    Dialarc 250
    Idealarc 250
    SP-175 +
    TA 161 STL
    Lincwelder AC180C (1952)
    Victor & Smith O/A torches
    Miller spot welder
    Clausing 5904 lathe
    Wells-Index 745 mill

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NH no mo - MA now.
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    1,595

    Re: argon tanks, buy vs rent?

    I have a 40cuft and a 60cuft which I "own", bought them from an individual off Craigslist for $60 and $80 respectively.

    When empty both can be swapped out for full at the LWS through their exchange program. Cost of C25 gas for the 60cuft is something like 40 bucks including tax and haxmat fees. The 60cuft will last me many months doing hobby work. It doesn't last a year but more than 6 months usually.

    Leasing larger is $55/annual rental fee plus fillage and HAZMAT plus $25 delivery if I can't carry it myself. If I were to get anything much bigger than a 60cuft I'd be paying a fortune in lease fees every year in comparison with the gas consumed.

    If you buy from an individual make sure the cylinder test date is still valid or the LWS may not want to accept it into their system without charging you a test fee. How to read markings on a cylinder: http://www.airgas.com/content/detail...=7000000000243

    Remember that any cylinders you pick up off Craigslist will hold their value (you are just swapping them for full ones at the LWS) and several years down the road the cylinder you have in your posession, even after being swapped at the LWS a hundred times, can be re-sold on Craigslist for the same money or more than you bought it for. But if you buy a cylinder from the LWS you will pay the price of a NEW cylinder then when you take it back for fill they will swap it with a used one. If you decide later on to part with it the LWS will never pay you new cylinder price to take it back. So buying a cylinder from the LWS is usually a loosing proposition

    There is another issue to consider:
    All cylinders SHOULD be transported upright, all flammable gasses MUST be transported upright. All cylinders MUST be secured against movement while being transported. Some states may require ALL cylinders be transported upright regardless of contents, empty or full. Be aware of these rules when making your decision. Do you have a pickup or a car? If you have a pickup does it have a cap? How high is it inside the cap? If your cylinders can't be transported in your own vehicle then you may have to pay delivery fees. For me that's $25/trip regardless of what they are bringing to me.

    - Mondo
    Member, AWS
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    24

    Re: argon tanks, buy vs rent?

    Year old post, but still relevant for those looking for gas in nova..

    The only place I found that would exchange/refill a customer bottle (adult sized) was in winchester, the name escapes me currently. Everyone else limited it to 80s or 140/150s depending on the shop. They wanted leases on anything bigger.

    I think I laughed at the guy for a full minute when Roberts said the largest they would full was a 80.
    Last edited by jar944; 03-30-2014 at 08:50 PM.

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