I Have Gas

Yup, I have gas, and lots of it too!


It’s kind of a weird picture, but hey, it works. Basically I just scored a third gas tank, for “free”. It is a sweet 50# aluminum tank. So now I have a 5# aluminum, a 20# steel, and a 50# aluminum tank. The two aluminium’s I own and the steel is on permanent borrow/exchange with the gas company.

I scored the 50# tank at work, it was empty and they were going to throw it out and I was like “can I have that?” And they said sure! So I took it to G&E Welding to get it filled. They admired my tank which I thought was funny (“man, that’s a really nice aluminum tank, man, where didja get that nice aluminum tank, man, I’d hold on to that aluminum tank if I were you” – it was too funny), and then told me it was going to be $25 to fill. Good deal I thought, my 5# tank is normally $10 to fill, so for another $15 I was going to get 10x the gas. Then he started looking at it and realized that the tank was out of date. Basically every 5 years the tanks have to get tested to make sure they can still hold the pressure from the gas. He said to get it pressure tested and stamped was going to be like $50, fine whatever. Then I get a call after they have had it for like a week, “man, what kind of gas was in here?” I told them I didn’t know. Basically the nozzle was fitted for a different kind of regulator than a CO2 regulator, so they were going to have to change out the nozzle too, another $50. So as of now my “free” tank was going to cost $125 – ouch.

When I went to pick up the tank, after quite a while waiting for it, I brought my empty 5# tank with me. They did charge me the $125 for the 50# tank total, but filled the 5# tank for free and threw in some nylon regulator gaskets. I was a little perturbed with the wait, but overall good results. I then realized how heavy a full 50# aluminum tank was, almost a 100 lbs., so I was glad it wasn’t steel.

After I got home I did some research and found out that a new 50# aluminum tank costs around $300 depending on where you go, some less, some more. So my “free” tank was actually a pretty good deal, though I put out a lot more money for it than I had originally anticipated. I was hoping I was going to be able to use the 50# tank to fill my 5# and 20#, and basically use the 50# as like a storage tank. I asked the guy at the shop about that and he basically said it is possible, but that I wasn’t really set-up for it, something about tubes being put inside the tanks and liquid CO2. I figured I might try anyway, they do have pressure relief valves on them. Who knows.

5 Responses to “I Have Gas”

  1. garrett Says:

    I think you’re asking for trouble trying to do the filling yourself – namely via CO2 asphixiation. If things don’t go down as you expect, that 50# cylinder could easily fill the room with enough CO2 to cause you to pass out or worse.

    A better plan would probably be to pressurize your kegs with the 50# and use the smaller ones for your kegerator.

    And yeah, $125 is not a bad deal for an aluminum tank, particularly if it is in good shape. I had to pay $50 to get my “free” 20# cylinder tested for exactly the reason you discussed.

  2. Brian Says:

    I think your “better plan” is realistically the route I am going to take. I think I am going to use the 5# in the kegerator, the 50# to carbonate my beer in a stationary location, and the 20# will be my portable gas pusher – for like moving cleaning solutions and such when cleaning kegs.

    Do you know if a 20# tank will even fit in the kegerator with 3 cornies? It’s already a little tight in there.

  3. garrett Says:

    It wouldn’t fit inside for me… and I wasn’t about to drill another hole in the thing to run the gas line through the side. That’s why its sitting down in the basement. Even my 10# tank was too tall to fit w/ 3 5gallon cornies – the stem hits the compressor.

  4. Brian Says:

    I haven’t looked, but supposedly there is room to snake a CO2 line in with the thermostat line and the coolant lines coming in, and people have put there tank outside (behind) their kegerator without drilling additional holes. Right now, I am content.

  5. Fool Circle - Artisanal Ales » Blog Archive » Gas Leak Says:

    […] I have already said I went and got gas on 12.30.08, filled up my 50# and my 5# tanks. Haven’t touched the 50 yet, but the 5 went right on the […]

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