Would You Buy Used Tanks?

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SteveHGraham
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Would You Buy Used Tanks?

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:26 pm

I have no torch. But eventually I will have a conniption and buy one. Saving a few bucks on tanks would be pleasant.

Today I saw something interesting on Craigslist, while doing my daily vigilance. Some dude is selling two sets of 20-cubic-foot tanks (2 O2 and 2 acetylene) for $89. Says they're not empty.

Would you take a chance on old tanks? They look fine, and I assume they're not doing anything dangerous at the moment, because they haven't blown up or anything. But I don't know what happens when you swap old tanks that have expired test dates.

I notice the seller has not troubled himself to put caps on them, so for all I know, his dog may have knocked one over and burned the house down by now.

http://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/tls/4974141804.html
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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boaterri
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Re: Would You Buy Used Tanks?

Post by boaterri » Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:54 pm

As long as they are not out of date and have no obvious damage, go for it. When you turn them in for a fill you will get another tank anyway.

You might want to ask at your welding supply store how to check the reinspection date.

Rick

Russ Hanscom
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Re: Would You Buy Used Tanks?

Post by Russ Hanscom » Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:11 pm

Any problems are going to be external, so as long as there are no gouges, corrosion, or other visual defects, you should be ok. You might want the history because if the selling party does not have paperwork for a lease or rental, the store may take them in, say Thanks, and not give you anything in return.

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ronm
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Re: Would You Buy Used Tanks?

Post by ronm » Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:42 pm

Yep-make sure he owns them...

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warmstrong1955
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Re: Would You Buy Used Tanks?

Post by warmstrong1955 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:02 pm

Yup.....
Make sure he owns them.
KNOW....where they came from.
KNOW...they aren't expired. Mighta been hiding in some guys shop for 47 years or something.

I bought my bottles from NORCO. If I take 'em to AirGas to get 'em filled, they will say 'bite me'. They are not allowed to exchange bottles they don't own. Fed thing....
If they actually filled them on-site, might be different, but they don't. Far as I know....nobody does anymore. I bring in my empty to NORCO, they give me a different full bottle. Far as I know, that's how they all do it now-a-days.

In the long run....works out. The bottles I bought, will never expire.

Bill
Today's solutions are tomorrow's problems.

Harold_V
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Re: Would You Buy Used Tanks?

Post by Harold_V » Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:39 am

I own a few bottles, and have for years.
Be very careful about buying bottles from individuals. They often are not owned, as many bottles are just rented, or leased. Also don't discount the possibility that they are stolen. If you purchase such a bottle and return it to be refilled, they have every right to confiscate the bottle, assuming it belongs to them.

Most customer owned bottles don't display an owner name on the collar. If the bottles in question show a company name, pretty good chance they are company owned. There are exceptions, as when I'd return one for exchange, I didn't always get one with a plain collar. In such a case, if the bottles show ownership, ask the seller to produce a document that would show ownership. If they are legitimate, the seller most likely can produce such a document. If not, there's a more than even chance they are stolen, or he has them leased, and does not own them. To my knowledge, if they are leased, they are not bound to exchange them when a refill is needed unless you can prove legal ownership (either through purchase, or lease in your name).

Because I have documents showing I have made the purchases, I have never had a problem with such a bottle, and I have made exchanges in a different state from where they were purchased.

Don't worry about the bottle(s) being out of date if they are bottles that can be exchanged. That's very much a part of the contract when you own and exchange bottles. They will maintain the bottle so long as it has not been rendered useless by exterior damage, such as an arc strike.

Bottles can enjoy a very long life. When I was refining, my SO2 bottle was an old oxygen bottle with dates that reflected WW II. It had been demoted to SO2 service, but was still very serviceable for that use.

Please correct me if I'm wrong in any of these comments.

Harold
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BadDog
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Re: Would You Buy Used Tanks?

Post by BadDog » Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:53 am

It is worth caution, but can be worthwhile. I found a nice small (forget the model) old school victor cutting torch with a few welding/brazing tips and even a rose bud along with small "portable" tanks that were full, all for $100. Not the toy tanks used by plumbers, though too small for any real use (based on what I was used to years ago). But they were cheap, and would fit my then cramped shop. So I called the local Phoenix welding to check on issues to look for, and these passed the test. They needed and got new hoses, but otherwise served me for a while in my limited needs. When I wanted to upgrade, Phoenix Welding gave me full purchase value of the nearly drained tanks against an upgrade to the larger typical bit-n-little shop sizes (I can never remember the size designations, oxygen about 5' tall, acetylene about 3' tall) with me paying the fill (which I needed anyway). Saved me over $100 in the process, and I got the years of use plus the gear. I now have a decent small body and full size body setup along with both size cutting heads, and assortment of nozzles, and welding/brazing tips for all occasions.

The gist is that you need to check with the local shop that you'll be dealing with. Get educated on the markings and what to look for, then go out and make an informed decision.
Russ
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f350ca
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Re: Would You Buy Used Tanks?

Post by f350ca » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:46 am

TSC stores up here have a good arrangement with I believe its Linde gas. You pay a couple of hundred dollars for their bottles up front, then they exchange them. If you want to get rid of them they give you your purchase price back. Change sizes they charge or give you the difference. Liquid Air is up to $100 a year per bottle on their leases.

Greg

Russ Hanscom
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Re: Would You Buy Used Tanks?

Post by Russ Hanscom » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:11 am

All these paperwork issues sounds like a project for an attorney.

hammermill
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Re: Would You Buy Used Tanks?

Post by hammermill » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:27 am

sound like a good attorney job, my process, take detailed pic of the neck of the bottle and go to your dealer. usually???? they have differient size tanks for the rental/lease program differient from the private owner tanks. I deal with both oxarc and Norco.

by the time you do all the running around new tanks are not a bad idea.

redneckalbertan
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Re: Would You Buy Used Tanks?

Post by redneckalbertan » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:14 pm

Harold_V wrote:Bottles can enjoy a very long life. When I was refining, my SO2 bottle was an old oxygen bottle with dates that reflected WW II. It had been demoted to SO2 service, but was still very serviceable for that use.

Please correct me if I'm wrong in any of these comments.

Harold
The technical school had a CO2 bottle with Nazi stamping and an original date of 1936. Lots of life if you treat them right!
Russ Hanscom wrote:Any problems are going to be external, so as long as there are no gouges, corrosion, or other visual defects, you should be ok. You might want the history because if the selling party does not have paperwork for a lease or rental, the store may take them in, say Thanks, and not give you anything in return.
Not necessarily true. Older accetylene bottles used all sorts of filler in them to keep the accetylene and acetone in close association, including asbestos, straw and cement. Settling can occur over time leaving the bottle with a void and possibly unstable. Dents in the bottle could also mean that there is a void of filler meterial and the bottle may be unstable as well.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Would You Buy Used Tanks?

Post by SteveHGraham » Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:38 am

redneckalbertan wrote:The technical school had a CO2 bottle with Nazi stamping and an original date of 1936. Lots of life if you treat them right!
I never really thought about that. The Germans and Austrians must have had a lot of great industrial surplus after their total humiliation by the Allies.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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