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Thread: Contaminated Argon

  1. #1
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    Contaminated Argon

    I'm going to make this as simple as I can.

    Does anyone know of a way to test the contents of a jug of Argon to see if it is contaminated?

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Not sure how to test? Pure argon? No leaks in lines or torch?

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by Weldordie View Post
    I'm going to make this as simple as I can.

    Does anyone know of a way to test the contents of a jug of Argon to see if it is contaminated?
    What do you suspect it might be contaminated with? Water? Oxygen? Nitrogen, hydrogen, helium or neon? A good lab with equipment could test for all; water can be tested for by using dry strips with Cobalt Chloride in a large sealed container. I assume you mean cylinder by the term "jug"; how large is it, where did it come from and are you trying to TIG with it? Can you provide a few more details, perhaps some pictures of the "jug" and other equipment and particularly of the work, if that's where the problem is showing?

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by tapwelder View Post
    Not sure how to test? Pure argon? No leaks in lines or torch?
    Stubby bottle of what should be pure Argon for tig welding, but it's contaminated with something, as proven by welding with a substitute bottle, which yields beads, as expected. Beads produced from stubby bottle are junk, and when 4043 rod is introduced it just carbons up in a ridiculous glob.

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldiron2 View Post
    A good lab with equipment could test for all
    Where would I find such lab?

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by Weldordie View Post
    Where would I find such lab?
    I've always used the Yellow Pages...but I haven't looked for many businesses in years. You would want a chemistry analytical lab, but it would likely be very expensive.

    Where did the bottle come from, a welding supplier? If so, it's the shop's responsibility. If it was yours and you had it filled by a shop, it would have been your responsibility to insure it was dry inside.
    What does the tungsten look like after striking an arc with the gas?
    You could buy cobalt chloride on Ebay, find online what concentration to mix and apply to some filter paper, dry it in the oven, and do some crude tests for water for very little cost. Or find the test strips and buy them; much easier. Would need a large, dry, sealable container like a 5 gallon water bottle to do the test with.
    Last edited by Oldiron2; 05-09-2022 at 03:01 AM. Reason: word added

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by Weldordie View Post
    Stubby bottle of what should be pure Argon for tig welding, but it's contaminated with something, as proven by welding with a substitute bottle, which yields beads, as expected. Beads produced from stubby bottle are junk, and when 4043 rod is introduced it just carbons up in a ridiculous glob.
    That's a good enough test for me, assuming everything else is the same (regulator, welder, torch etc)
    Murphy's Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by Weldordie View Post
    Stubby bottle of what should be pure Argon for tig welding, but it's contaminated with something, as proven by welding with a substitute bottle, which yields beads, as expected. Beads produced from stubby bottle are junk, and when 4043 rod is introduced it just carbons up in a ridiculous glob.
    I would just take it back to where I got it and tell them that. It should be enough "proof" for them to give you a different bottle. (Contamination happens, sometimes. Mislabeling, too.)

    If they give you an argument, and you're trying to PROVE the gas is contaminated, it's probably going to cost more to have the gas analyzed by a lab than it would be to just write it off and swap it out. Either way, if the gas supplier is giving you an argument about it, then it's time to find a new gas supplier.

    Let me guess: Airgas?

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by StandarDyne View Post
    (Contamination happens, sometimes. Mislabeling, too.)
    Contamination shouldn't happen, unless somebody in the supply line just doesn't care about the quality of the product they are selling. Life is too short to dicker around, guessing what might be in a tank. When I purchase a cylinder of pure Argon I expect it be what is represented by the sticker on the tank. If it turns out to be something else, then that is called fraud. I've had too many tanks with water in them... that only shows up when the psi hits about 500 psi. But, I never thought I'd get a fresh tank at 2,000 psi that starts off yielding crap. At this point I don't care what the cost might be for a professional test... I'll recover the cost of the test from the settlement I get after suing the company for misrepresenting their product. Nope, not Airgas.
    Last edited by Weldordie; 05-09-2022 at 06:45 AM.

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    That's a good enough test for me, assuming everything else is the same (regulator, welder, torch etc)
    It's good enough for me, too... that proves it's not all Argon. But, I need to find out just what the contaminant is.
    Last edited by Weldordie; 05-09-2022 at 07:46 AM.

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    I had this happen recently and brought the bottle back to AirGas they exchanged it but i had to pay for the gas, they are sending back to be tested before issuing a refund or telling me i am crazy. In the I exchanged an old bottle with another gas company and moved on. I think your supplier will test it.

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    You get bad gas you should be returning it the moment you do a swap test and know it isn't right. If any length of time has passed you just swap it even if you have to pay for the gas again.

    Swap it out and let it go. Problem solved.

    You can't prove anything no matter what any test shows. You will waste more time and aggravation for jack.
    Last edited by danielplace; 05-09-2022 at 08:48 AM.

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    That's true but paying for the bad gas you didn't use sucks.

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by Weldordie View Post
    I don't care what the cost might be for a professional test... I'll recover the cost of the test from the settlement I get after suing the company for misrepresenting their product.
    Good luck with that.

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by Weldordie View Post
    At this point I don't care what the cost might be for a professional test... I'll recover the cost of the test from the settlement I get after suing the company for misrepresenting their product. Nope, not Airgas.
    Much as I understand your frustration I really can’t get onboard with your “misrepresentation” concept.


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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Settlement?



    jaysus h christ- just take it back to the supplier and ask for an exchange.
    I had it happen once- took it back, exchanged. Done.

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    Much as I understand your frustration I really can’t get onboard with your “misrepresentation” concept.


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    Without knowing the actual situation the OP is in, it is impossible to judge whether he's justified or not. In California, it would be considered misrepresentation if the seller refused to correct the problem and make amends for wasted time and energy and the added expense of another exchange. If it had been medical oxygen and someone had been injured or worse, the settlement would be huge.
    Yes, mistakes happen but a good shop would act reasonably after one.

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    Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldiron2 View Post
    Without knowing the actual situation the OP is in, it is impossible to judge whether he's justified or not. In California, it would be considered misrepresentation if the seller refused to correct the problem and make amends for wasted time and energy and the added expense of another exchange. If it had been medical oxygen and someone had been injured or worse, the settlement would be huge.
    Yes, mistakes happen but a good shop would act reasonably after one.
    Agreed. But I look at this as my personal interpretation of the term and not the legal one. The OP can pursue whatever legal avenue he wishes.

    Just not my style. I prefer to put my efforts into more positive endeavours.


    If I met him in person I would probably tell him to “get a life”. However I would never do so online as that is just plain rude
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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by StandarDyne View Post
    Good luck with that.
    Never lost a case, yet.

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    Agreed. But I look at this as my personal interpretation of the term and not the legal one. The OP can pursue whatever legal avenue he wishes.

    Just not my style. I prefer to put my efforts into more positive endeavours.


    If I met him in person I would probably tell him to “get a life”. However I would never do so online as that is just plain rude
    I've got a life, but it's growing short. All I asked for was how to test for bottle contamination... not for all you dipshtts to give me advice I don't need.

  25. #21
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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    Much as I understand your frustration I really can’t get onboard with your “misrepresentation” concept.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Apparently, you're not a critical thinker.

  26. #22
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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by Weldordie View Post
    Stubby bottle of what should be pure Argon for tig welding, but it's contaminated with something, as proven by welding with a substitute bottle, which yields beads, as expected. Beads produced from stubby bottle are junk, and when 4043 rod is introduced it just carbons up in a ridiculous glob.
    I have had exactly the same problem with a bottle of argon (125 cf from Airgas). Was welding fine with one bottle, changed it out for a new one when the original was empty, couldn't even form a bead using the new bottle. Not even on clean 6061. Even switched TIG machines. Same result. Tested for air leaks: none found. So you are not imagining things!

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by b2major9th View Post
    I have had exactly the same problem with a bottle of argon (125 cf from Airgas). Was welding fine with one bottle, changed it out for a new one when the original was empty, couldn't even form a bead using the new bottle. Not even on clean 6061. Even switched TIG machines. Same result. Tested for air leaks: none found. So you are not imagining things!
    I feel your pain. Thanks for posting. I made of video of my welding test... tried to post, but no success, yet.

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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    Agreed. But I look at this as my personal interpretation of the term and not the legal one. The OP can pursue whatever legal avenue he wishes.

    Just not my style. I prefer to put my efforts into more positive endeavours.


    If I met him in person I would probably tell him to “get a life”. However I would never do so online as that is just plain rude
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    Re: Contaminated Argon

    Have you tried just taking it back to the shop where you got the bottle filled or swapped and talking the person? Explain what went wrong, how you swapped bottles and the problem went away. That leads you to believe there is bad gas.
    They may just swap the bottle and you will be on your way. A decent shop will do that.

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