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Old 03-31-2014, 11:19 AM   #1
jar944 OP
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Welding tanks, do you rent or own?

I'll start off by saying I own all my tanks (80 up to 330) and never gave it much thought. In fact I don't believe my former LWS even had a rental/lease program, if they did they never mentioned it.

Fast forward to me living in another state and wanting to get my tanks refilled/exchanged. So I call around locally checking prices and this happens:

Me: How much for a xxx argon refill.
LWS: Do you have a account with us
Me: No
LWS: Is it our tank?
Me: no, its my tank
LWS: you need to take it back to whoever's tank it is
Me: its my tank, I own it.
LWS: oh, we only exchange up to 80cf owner bottles, anything larger must be rented from us.
Me: uncontrollable laughing, thanks.

After reading some other forums it seems like this is common from the large chain stores.

So does everyone rent/lease? use tiny bottles? or are you lucky enough to be close to a independent shop?
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:06 PM   #2
rapidoxidationman
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When's the last time your bottles were hydrotested?
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:08 PM   #3
Ironwood
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We don't have that issue in our region. I guess we have real welding stores that believe in customer service.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:20 PM   #4
broncobowsher
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I own my tanks, but all except one tall K of oxygen are smaller tanks.
The aluminum CO2 I have refilled, also pay for my own hydro testing.
The rest of them I trade out for whatever they have. They deal with the hydros. Never had an issue with any of them.

Never go through gas fast enough to justify renting a bottle. Just buy it once and be done with it. There are times I may not hit the welding shop for over a year at a time. If they will only rent, they are getting greedy and want the extra profit off the rental.

It might work out to set up an account. But if they are this flakey, probably don't want much to do with them. Hopefully you have another welding shop that wants to work with a customer, not against them.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:40 PM   #5
jar944 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rapidoxidationman View Post
When's the last time your bottles were hydrotested?
Current oldest is 2011, but I just exchange them anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by broncobowsher View Post
I own my tanks, but all except one tall K of oxygen are smaller tanks.
The aluminum CO2 I have refilled, also pay for my own hydro testing.
The rest of them I trade out for whatever they have. They deal with the hydros. Never had an issue with any of them.

Never go through gas fast enough to justify renting a bottle. Just buy it once and be done with it. There are times I may not hit the welding shop for over a year at a time. If they will only rent, they are getting greedy and want the extra profit off the rental.

It might work out to set up an account. But if they are this flakey, probably don't want much to do with them. Hopefully you have another welding shop that wants to work with a customer, not against them.
Fortunately I think I found a place about a hour away that will exchange up to T sized owner bottles. Otherwise I'll continue to go to my former Not local welding supply whenever i'm in the area (300mi away).

jar944 screwed with this post 03-31-2014 at 12:49 PM
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:47 AM   #6
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I own two an 80 & a 150 I think? I can't remember but they are decent size. I use the big one mostly, and the smaller serves as backup. Both argon. My buddy works at a local store and hoooooooooooks me up. I think the 150 is $14 fill or something stupid like that. I just swap them out. I started off with a little 40 pony tank and he'd let me buy my way up by exchanging up in size.

I don't go through a ton but during bike builds I can use up a tank quickly. I really like having two tanks, makes the dreaded brown crap weld on Saturday mid project a thing of the past.
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:36 AM   #7
Stan_R80/7
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I use Airgas and Arcet for welding gases. Both have the same policy for non-business "contracts" where the largest bottle they will directly swap out is 80 cf. Anything larger and they rent. The swap and rental takes care of the hydro testing, replacement valves, etc.

However, at work they regularly fill K bottles (300 cf). I don't know how the hydro or replacement valves are handled. So, obviously, it depends on how much money and business you have.

If you can find an independent shop that will deal with larger owner supplied bottles, then you are lucky. Best of luck!
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:59 AM   #8
jar944 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan_R80/7 View Post
I use Airgas and Arcet for welding gases. Both have the same policy for non-business "contracts" where the largest bottle they will directly swap out is 80 cf. Anything larger and they rent. The swap and rental takes care of the hydro testing, replacement valves, etc.

However, at work they regularly fill K bottles (300 cf). I don't know how the hydro or replacement valves are handled. So, obviously, it depends on how much money and business you have.

If you can find an independent shop that will deal with larger owner supplied bottles, then you are lucky. Best of luck!
GTS-Welco in Winchester is the one shop who said they would fill/exchange my T (330) tank.

My old shop (Youngstown oxygen) still had 80/150/277 tanks on display in the showroom for purchase. I don't think they have moved in the 20 years Ive been going there.
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:07 AM   #9
trailer Rails
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I started welding when I lived on Colorado. Out there, I was never given an option to rent. I move back to Pittsburgh and everywhere I went looked at me a little weird when I told them I owned all my tanks. The shop I go to most of the time will just exchange my tank for another they have already filled.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:01 PM   #10
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I own all my tanks.

It's far enough to Maine Oxy that I thought I'd start swapping tanks at an auto-parts store with an exchange program. They carried only certain sizes. It didn't work out for them so they dropped the program. Turns out a different auto-parts store across the street is an exchange depot for Maine Oxy.

I have had to exchange for sizes other than what I'd originally bought and have at times had to have a contract (to cover hydro testing).

Right now I have the same sizes I originally bought in Ohio and Maine.
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:26 PM   #11
redprimo
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I own all my tanks, a set of small oxy/ace, a large oxy/ace and a large argon. Ive never had a problem other than if they need hydro or a new valve they charge me for that and swap me out a full tank.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:49 AM   #12
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I own my own bottles but found I could only exchange them where I bought them. When the local AirGas place shut their store I had to go about 30 miles to where they still had a store. The other local welding store has been in business forever and I have exchanged tanks there that I had not filled in over 10 years.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:51 AM   #13
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Having worked in a tech school where the welding gas truck came weekly, I took my mt's to school, traded them out there with charges going to me for my tanks. Check around...
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:23 PM   #14
broncobowsher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSWayne View Post
I own my own bottles but found I could only exchange them where I bought them. When the local AirGas place shut their store I had to go about 30 miles to where they still had a store. The other local welding store has been in business forever and I have exchanged tanks there that I had not filled in over 10 years.
If there is a name embossed in the collar around the neck, you are generally screwed and have to go through that supplier. Didn't pay attention to that once when I got a CO2 cylinder at a garage sale for $5. Was pretty much screwed as the company name on it only rented that style tank. Thus there name, there ownership.

Mine just have a sticker. That can be peeled off and the tank has no history other then hydro stamps.

I have taken mystery tanks and traded them while in the process of buying other equipment. Lump it in as a package deal. Traded an extra oxygen cylinder for argon/CO2 mix while getting a welder.

At one time I had better than a dozen tanks around the garage. I can only think of 9 that are in service right now.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:30 AM   #15
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I just rent/lease. I don't like headaches. They can charge me the extra $7 a fill or whatever to lease them and swap tanks.
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