Gas Tanks - Oxygen and Propane
- Usually rented at your local welding shop. Tank
size can vary between 20 cubic feet of oxygen to about 300 cubic
feet of oxygen. The larger the tank, the cheaper the price is
per cubic foot. Prices can vary a lot depending on location and
store and are usually negotiable. Shop around. I have seen prices
for large tanks under $10 to over $40. We pay $25. Each time
you refill, you will pay this fee (actually exchanging tanks,
not using the same one). There is also a monthly rental fee for
each tank, usually between $3 and $5 and may require a deposit
for it, around $100. You can bring the tank to the welding shop
for exchange or have the welding shop deliver it to you, for
a fee of course. Don't forget to find out what this fee is when
you are shopping around. Some will not deliver to certain areas
like residential neighborhoods. Ask them. Also consider how heavy
the tank will be if you have to move it yourself or up a stairs.
How about buying your tank instead
of paying a monthly rental fee? Sure! The "break even"
point may be 4 years. Tanks are running around $300 to purchase. But no
monthly rental fee. Run the numbers.
How long does the tank last? It
depends on the torch and is the torch setting high or low. Typically
a Minor Burner Torch set at a medium setting will use about 15
cubic feet of oxygen per hour or approx $1 per hour.
We have been talking about a compressed
gas tank. There is also another type of oxygen available, Liquid
Oxygen. When Oxygen is cooled it turns from a gas into a liquid.
You can use a tank of Liquid Oxygen. It will last a long time
and would cost much less to run your torch. Cost of a 160 Liter
tank is about $100 to $200. Also a $1.50 to $2 per DAY rental
fee. We pay $45 per month. Once again, shop around.
Liquid compared to Compressed Tanks of Oxygen
Propane Tank - Simply use a standard 5 gallon (or larger) Barbecue
Propane Tank that can be purchased at your local hardware store.
Costco has a good price but sells only in the BBQ season.
| Advantages of Liquid
|| Disadvantages of Liquid
| 2 to 3 times less expensive than compressed
|| Large heavy tank needs to be delivered. Neighbors
may get upset seeing a "scary" looking tank being
delivered to you.
|| May not be available in all areas
|| Some suppliers do not want to sell and deliver
to residences or homes, only businesses.
Within hours or a day after the tank not being used, the
oxygen leaks, bleeds off, and continues to bleed until you begin to use
it again. It is designed to bleed off. Remember the liquid is warming and turning to a gas
and it needs to go somewhere. You must use the tank often, almost
daily to take advantage of the cheaper price.
The BTU's of a torch can vary a lot a lot depending if the flame setting is low or high.
| 14.1 Ounce Disposable Cylinder
|| 19,000 BTU's
| 16.4 Ounce Disposable Cylinder
|| 22,000 BTU's
| 7 Pound Refillable Cylinder
|| 150,000 BTU's
There are 96,000 BTU's in one gallon of Propane.
Another option is to use Propylene Fuel which is a little hotter than propane.
Propylene Fuel is also called Brazing Fuel or a common brand name is MAPP Gas.
You can purchase Propylene two ways:
- Disposable Cylinders - Around $9. You
can usually find them at your local hardware store.
- Refillable Cylinders - Sometimes difficult
to find. Check with your local welding shops. Air Gas, a large
supplier of, welding supplies, sells Propylene in 3 sizes:
| Size of Tank
|| Who Owns Tank
|| Daily Rental Fee
|| Refill Charge
| 7-1/2 LB
|| Tank ownership
| 30 LB
|| 27 cents
Most torches work with natural Gas. Cost
of the gas is about the same.
Advantages of Natural
Disadvantages of Natural
More convenient, you do not have to refill
Propane has a hotter flame than natural gas.
This is the big reason not to use natural gas unless you have
You never run out of gas.
May require a plumber to make the gas
outlet near your work area, where the propane setup is easily
You don't need a Propane Regulator
Nature Gas pressure is not adjustable.
You are stuck with the barely minimum pressure available.