Welding Gas Tank Refill (Argon) in Boston or MetroWest
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  1. #1
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    Default Welding Gas Tank Refill (Argon) in Boston or MetroWest

    Looking to refill my 80 cf Argon tank (I own the tank so don't want a rental or to swap tanks).

    Have been using IGO's in Watertown ($52 plus $24 delivery) but they no longer deliver and it's difficult for me to get over there during their limited business hours.

    Any suggestions for an welding gas supplier in or around Boston or MetroWest? Preferably a place that will pick-up and drop-off or who has extended hours?

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    Can you get an Über or Lyft driver to do the delivery cheaper ?

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    Funny.

    I considered that. Didn't think a millennial Uber driver would be cool with my asking them to transport a high-pressure cylinder. Figured getting into a lengthy argument about the difference between inert and combustible gasses would be a waste of time.

    Seriously, though. If no-one has a recommendation I'll be forced to take it in myself on Friday. I'm kind of turned-off to Igo's (they took my order, failed to show up to pick-up the tank, and only after I called them repeatedly did they admit they had no interest in pick-up and delivery...which they had done in the past for a fee).

    I'm thinking maybe Tolman in Boston, or Airgas in Dorchester.

    The other issue is I've experienced 1-2 day delays getting Argon refilled from IGO's. Something about how they prepare or purge their own machinery that (they said) means they prefer to do a batch of tanks at a time.

    Which means a separate trip to drop off and a separate trip to pick-up.

    A hassle.

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    Not sure I understand the rationale in not swapping tanks. No contract hassles. Been doing it for decades with my acetylene and argon tanks with no issues. One phone call to ensure they have a full tank, one drive, done.

    Lucky7

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    Lucky7

    I'm willing to consider swapping. But I purchased my own brand new tank a year ago. I know it's provenance and maintenance history and that it won't be falling out of certification or failing a certification for years. I go through a tank of Argon only twice a year...so I (think) I save $ each month by not 'renting' their tanks and I (think) I can assure I get a full 10 years or whatever it is between certifications by sticking with my own known tank.

    Have I got that wrong? If I accept a swapped tank, how do I know how long it's got before it's no longer refillable? How do I know that when I try and swap it a year from now the gas house isn't going to say 'thanks, but no thanks, we don't want that out-of-cert old tank...buy a new one from us'?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dumpster_diving View Post
    don't want a rental or to swap tanks).
    If you swap tanks you don't have to deal with the re-certification cost when it is needed. Of course, the outfits that do the swaps spread the re-certification costs across all of their tank customers but if you are a small volume user it works out for the better, I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dumpster_diving View Post
    Lucky7

    I'm willing to consider swapping. But I purchased my own brand new tank a year ago. I know it's provenance and maintenance history and that it won't be falling out of certification or failing a certification for years. I go through a tank of Argon only twice a year...so I (think) I save $ each month by not 'renting' their tanks and I (think) I can assure I get a full 10 years or whatever it is between certifications by sticking with my own known tank.

    Have I got that wrong? If I accept a swapped tank, how do I know how long it's got before it's no longer refillable? How do I know that when I try and swap it a year from now the gas house isn't going to say 'thanks, but no thanks, we don't want that out-of-cert old tank...buy a new one from us'?
    You look at the date that is stamped on the top of the tank. That's how you know how old the tank is. BTW, I have a CO2 tank that is over 100 years old. It has a very long list of re-certification stamps on it.

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    Are they going to be willing to do a tank swap with me if I don't sign-up for a monthly rental contract? Isn't their primary business model that they prefer customers with monthly contracts or tank rental arrangements? And if my usage is only 1-2 refills/year (say $110 for two refills of gas only into my own tank) that the monthly rental rate will end up being more expensive than one-off refills keeping my own tank?

    I really appreciate the feedback, by the way. I'm honestly trying to figure out if I'm barking up the wrong tree expecting the gas houses to do something so out of the norm.

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    I've had no problems swapping tanks with my local Praxxair whenever I empty a tank. No contract. No fuss. Only problem is that I'm usually in the middle of something when I run dry, but that's my poor planning, nobody elses...

    Lucky7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dumpster_diving View Post
    Lucky7

    I'm willing to consider swapping. But I purchased my own brand new tank a year ago. I know it's provenance and maintenance history and that it won't be falling out of certification or failing a certification for years. I go through a tank of Argon only twice a year...so I (think) I save $ each month by not 'renting' their tanks and I (think) I can assure I get a full 10 years or whatever it is between certifications by sticking with my own known tank.

    Have I got that wrong? If I accept a swapped tank, how do I know how long it's got before it's no longer refillable? How do I know that when I try and swap it a year from now the gas house isn't going to say 'thanks, but no thanks, we don't want that out-of-cert old tank...buy a new one from us'?
    I own all of my tanks. 2 Argon 160's, 20 pound CO2, and med. oxy acetylene. I swap them at my LWS. I always get tanks that are years ahead on date. I also get starred tanks, good for ten years and in cert. Eventually your tanks will go out of cert since all tanks are dated.

    Most LWS's will swap customer owned tanks anytime and will show you the codes before you load up.

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    I think you are barking up the wrong tree...It's kinda like a propane tank. Ultimately you buy a tank for your grill the first time but you don't keep that tank for life or have to do all the maintenance. The guy that fills it just checks it over, or you exchange it wherever, and whoever takes it in does it. Whenever you get a full tank it's on the filler to make sure the tank is good.

    The couple of gas suppliers up here service several exchange places around, you don't even know which supplier services which one year to year. Like has been said, just call the most convenient exchange place and make sure they have the size/gas you need and you just exchange it. Not big deal. Even though you bought the tank you never have to worry about it again.

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    As others have said you should have no problem just exchanging the tank for another, without paying for anything more than the gas in it. The only thing I can add is be sure to always get a linde tank or a tank with a blank ring. These can be filled or exchanged anywhere. If you get a tank that has "praxair"(or any other brand) stamped or cast into it you must return it to them only.

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    Thanks all.

    In the meantime, another call to IGO's and it seems like the owner got involved and is, apparently, willing to swing by to pick up my tank.

    I'll be more flexible going forward about swapping tanks. I'll accept my own or another swapped tank. Whatever.

    All the perspectives much appreciated.

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    The thing you need to understand is that for 125 cf and under bottles, most of them are considered 'owner' tanks anyway. Yes, they'll have some available for annual lease if you prefer to go that route, but it doesn't become a more or less requirement until you get over that size.

    I've got a handful of 125 size bottles that I have for stuff I use less frequently (and thus don't want to pay an annual lease fee on a 330). Every one of them I've bought 'new' from whatever welding supply I've used - basically, pay the new retail cost for a bottle that size, but get whatever old bottle they have in the 'full' rack. No annual lease fees, and just swap out every time. The recert cost is rolled into the cost of the fill over time. By using your own bottle, you're already paying the recert cost in your gas, but you'll have to come out of pocket for recert when the time comes.

    FWIW, you're already getting a huge premium upcharge for being a non business customer. I pay $12.96 for a 125 cf fill of straight argon, plus $10 delivery charge (per shipment of however many bottles, not per bottle).

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    Thanks, Fish On-

    That certainly makes sense. I gather my 80 cu bottle is kind of outside of the sweet spot for commercial customers tanks. I happy to pay $300/decade to own my own bottle plus a per-fill up premium for the gas and delivery (in exchange for essentially opting out of the $300/year lease fee). I was also willing to live with a 1-3 day turn-around so they could hold my bottle while they grouped it together with a larger order of refills.

    I guess what surprised me was that for $75 they weren't willing to just refill my bottle on a one-off basis.

    If IGO's is willing to do that (we'll see) then I'm a satisfied customer and happy to pay the premium. If they're not, I guess I either need to find a supplier willing to do one-offs (Boston Metro-West suggestions still welcome) or else go the tank swap route.

    But there's no way I'm going to contribute my 1-year-old bottle (cost $300) into a supplier's system plus pay $300/year rental fee plus $10/delivery plus cost refills (even at a lower rate). That's just way to expensive for 1-2 bottles of Argon/year.

    Do you think if I purchase a 125 size bottle I'm less likely to experience this resistance?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dumpster_diving View Post
    But there's no way I'm going to contribute my 1-year-old bottle (cost $300) into a supplier's system plus pay $300/year rental fee plus $10/delivery plus cost refills (even at a lower rate). That's just way to expensive for 1-2 bottles of Argon/year.
    Why do you think there will be $300/yr rental fees? Just have the truck bring you a full bottle, give him the empty. Request a linde bottle when you make the order.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dumpster_diving View Post
    Thanks, Fish On-

    That certainly makes sense. I gather my 80 cu bottle is kind of outside of the sweet spot for commercial customers tanks. I happy to pay $300/decade to own my own bottle plus a per-fill up premium for the gas and delivery (in exchange for essentially opting out of the $300/year lease fee). I was also willing to live with a 1-3 day turn-around so they could hold my bottle while they grouped it together with a larger order of refills.

    I guess what surprised me was that for $75 they weren't willing to just refill my bottle on a one-off basis.

    If IGO's is willing to do that (we'll see) then I'm a satisfied customer and happy to pay the premium. If they're not, I guess I either need to find a supplier willing to do one-offs (Boston Metro-West suggestions still welcome) or else go the tank swap route.

    But there's no way I'm going to contribute my 1-year-old bottle (cost $300) into a supplier's system plus pay $300/year rental fee plus $10/delivery plus cost refills (even at a lower rate). That's just way to expensive for 1-2 bottles of Argon/year.

    Do you think if I purchase a 125 size bottle I'm less likely to experience this resistance?
    80s and 125s should be viewed equally by the gas suppliers. Only thing is, you probably have a greater chance of a 125 being full in stock when you swing by, but it shouldn't affect how you're treated.

    $300/year lease fee is outrageous, too. I pay $60/yr for 330 leases.

    Nonetheless, contributing your bottle shouldn't cost you anything. You own a good bottle - they swap it out for a good bottle. You pay for the gas, and nothing more, and you still own a good bottle - it's just a different one.

    Somebody at the facility should be able to understand it (unless it's Airgas), they do this every day.

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    Funny end to the story.

    IGO's was ultimately willing to swap my empty tank for a full one with no problem. Did that and finished up my welding job.

    Next day, I get a call from another local welder. Seems he brought his owned tank in for refilling and was given my tank (I ended up with his). But he didn't want a swap. He was expecting to get his original tank back refilled and wanted to swap back tanks with me, which we did.

    So apparently I'm not the only anal retentive type out there...

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    Boy, you guys need to get out more. Around these parts Purity has the best prices, and, not only will sell tanks, but they will upsize them for what must be at or less than their cost. As the tank size goes up the fill price stays pretty flat.
    I filled a K and a B (for $54 and $57.00 walk up price). I swear that It really haven’t cost me more than a couple bucks to ever upgrade a tank size.


    Specialty mix tanks like helium and helium/argon only come in big “H” cylinders, and I’ve got a few that I parlayed up from crappy little acetylene tanks off of eBay.

    Renting is a suckers game.

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    Hey,youre tellin me?......the local BOC ,now Linde,has charged me a kings ransom over the years for cylinder rental,there was no option.....and I reckon their shareholders ,all pommy lords most likely,have been loving it.On top of rent ,a missing bottle is thousands in compensation.......now I get a message from them ....no more rental......first on CO2,now seems on all gas........I think they are hurtin from all the hardwares selling little bottles.......but anyhoo,Ill believe it when I see it.


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