View Full Version : Oxy Acetylene regulators and industrial gas prices

04-16-2010, 10:08 PM
I did a job for a fella that gave me a oxy/acetylene rig for payment. He had a receipt on the tanks and they worked. He tossed in a spare hose that he bought because the current hose was checked badly. Nice fella.

Well, I dug it out today and messed a bit with it. I have a portable kit with the mc and 20 cuft oxy tanks and have them filled as needed.

On the donated kit, the tanks are getting low and the old Victor regulators worry me a bit. So I decided to look at different regulator kits. While I was out I asked about gas prices for the bigger tanks.

I was surprised that a 40 cuft oxy and a B acetylene tank were going to cost $300 for fillup. I only hit one gas house due to where I was driving but I was surprised. Also the Harris cutting kits were $260 including regulators, #2 tip with the torch body, cutting head, striker and goggles. Not horrible I guess but a bit more that I was thinking.

So I drove to the nearest farm store which had a Campbell Hausfeld set. It included the same items above but they added 2 more welding tips and a heating tip for $200. I know I will need a B tank converter for the CGA-510 regulator but thats only $20.

1) What does it cost to rebuild victor 200/210 regulators and is it something that a mechanical person can do? I thought the maintenance crew at the old place did this for our stuff in house.
2) Who makes Campbell Hausfeld regulators? Anyone have a kit?
3) Are gas prices really that high? My last exchange was $20 for 20cf oxy and $27 for mc acetylene plus $7 hazmat. His price could not have been right. He must have been thinking a new customer needing the tanks or I totally misheard him.


04-16-2010, 10:26 PM
Gas prices are all over the map, depending on what part of the country you live in and how much, if any competition exists in your neighborhood.

Lately, I've been paying $50 - $60 to exchange a tank.

Because of the expense, I avoid using oxy whenever possible. Which is a shame, because it's pretty handy for welding sheet metal and small parts (Santa hasn't dropped off a mig or a tig yet).

Plasma is looking more and more cost effective every day.

04-16-2010, 10:26 PM
The price of industrial gases is one of the biggest rip offs there is. Nitrogen is a case in point. Roughly 80 percent of the atmosphere is nitrogen. Extracting it is a waste product of the cryogenic distillation of air to obtain pure oxygen. The net cost of the product is zero. It has no hazmat properties other than being contained in a pressure vessel. Yet it costs an absurd amount to have a bottle refilled, something a trained monkey could do.

Welding gases are even worse. Oxygen is also abundant and there is no shortage of processing facilities. Welding gases are only a side market and the prices are essentially price fixed by the major suppliers.

Argon is also a waste product from the production of oxygen. In every cubic metre of air there is one litre of argon so it is also abundant. Much of the time during the distillation of oxygen the argon is vented to the atmosphere. When the supplies get low then it is tanked and sold for ridiculous prices.

Acetylene is mostly made from reformed natural gas today. There are still some carbide plants but around 80% is made from gas. Gas costs around 6 or 7 dollars per thousand cubic feet delivered. That gas will power the reforming process with the end product being about 300 cubic feet of acetylene and industrial grade carbon monoxide which can be mixed with the remaining partially reacted natural gas to make about 300 cubic feet of producer gas. The remaining gas is mostly carbon dioxide which is tanked and also sold for 1000% profit.

04-16-2010, 10:27 PM
Perhaps the tanks are out of date and need testing? Although I "own" my tanks, they carry the label of my local supplier and I just exchange them for full ones. This keeps the tanks in-date and the supplier deals with issues such as a leaky valve or similar. This seems to vary from place to place. In some cases, folks own their tanks and get the same ones back. In others, folks rent the tanks.

You might check on-line prices for the reg. set. I used that price to cut a deal with my local shop. Many places will haggle if you try politely.

By the way, there is a good welding forum at
with lots of knowledgeable folks.

04-16-2010, 10:43 PM
One can use propane to cut costs.


04-16-2010, 11:02 PM
In my neck of the woods regulator rebuilds cost about 60.00.
Parts will not be sold.....period.....liability.

WC(132 cubic foot)Acetylene is 47.00
Oxygen S is about 25.00.

04-16-2010, 11:02 PM
I spent $54 to fill both my oxygen and acetylene which included taxes. I don't know cu.ft. size of the bottles, but the acetylene is just over 3ft including the valve. The oxygen is just over 4ft including the valve. I think I'd check around if I were you on fill prices.

04-17-2010, 12:16 AM
I keep thinking about the price he quoted me and there has to be some error. I just cant see those prices being right. I dug out all my receipts and I cant imagine that is for a fill. I've been to the place a number of times but maybe he thought I needed tanks.

I will give them a call tomorrow and re-check.


04-17-2010, 12:30 AM
We swap bottles for Airgas at work.200 cf oxygen bottle $24.00 Ac4 $48.00.The smaller OX 125 costs more than the OX200,bout $28.00 and the AC3 bottles are $42.00.There is no way an exchange on the bottles you have should cost that much.

Most Airgas dealers will swap bottles if you have a bill of sale and the bottles look to be current(good paint/caps etc.)

Same as mentioned before on the Victor regs.There isn't much to rebuilding them,you just won't be able to get the parts.Same thing here,about $60-65 per reg for a rebuild.On the other hand if they are working and not leaking don't worry about them.

There usually is tons of torch stuff on Ebay and it usually sells fairly cheap.NOS stuff doesn't even bring much,it should be possible to get a set of NOS two-stage regulators for less than $150.Don't just stick to Victor,Purox and Smith make some nice stuff too.

04-17-2010, 12:35 AM
Just had a 45CF acetylene filled at OE Meyers, cost $55.
No way it could cost $300 for them both.

$260 sounds about right at welding stored for the Harris kit, they don't seem to give much of a break unless you push but will be better quality then the Campbell Hausfeld.
Most of the manufacturers are now making commercial and consumer quality so double check that model number.

04-17-2010, 12:37 AM
Sounds like you were quoted buying the cylinder. I say this because that's about what it cost for the new 75/25 cylinder to go with my mig welder.

Just bought a used oxygen/acetylene rig with larger size cylinders. The oxygen regulator had a busted diaphragm (noted to me by the seller). So, I first took both regulators to local welding supply. They repaired the oxygen and the acetylene regulator passed check. Cost was $44.00.

After putting the regulators back on the tanks and opening the tanks valves and regulators for the first time, I see that the acetylene tank is empty. Take the empty back to the welding supply house and offer to show them my bill-of-sale, etc. ... they trust me for it without showing papers and just swap me for one of their ready-to-go, filled, owner tanks. Cost was $37.83 with taxes.

04-17-2010, 01:38 AM
Oxy-acet uses most of both acet (lots) as well as oxygen when heating or welding and - LOTS!! - more when cutting.

I generally use LPG/propane (20# bottles - for portability) for heating and some soldering and brazing or the like.

A small - good - plasma cutter - rated for 3/8">1/2" - at 10"/minute - works well off domestic power supplies. It only uses compressed air and will cut anything that will conduct electricity. Your compressor will need to be pretty good though. Power supplies will need to be pretty good top as both the compressor and plasma cutter draw a fair bit of power each and the air MUST be running both for the plasma stream and for machine cooling.

I use either a 240Amp MIG or a 220 Amp "stick" welder for most steels.

I have a "Cobra" oxy-acet torch which runs beautifully and uses a gas pressure of 4 psi. It will weld or cut just about anything - not just steel - and is my choice over TIG. I have not used my "Industrial" grade oxy-acet set since I installed the "Cobra" set.

Check the links here:





http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://saber.net/jere/graphics/CobraInstruct.jpg&imgrefurl=http://saber.net/jere/video.html&h=373&w=250&sz=69&tbnid=rcLFi0woPFsZOM:&tbnh=122&tbnw=82&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dcobra%2Bwelding%2Btorch%2B%252B%2Bpic s&hl=en&usg=__c8FcFJdVS9b6T96pVDQKE_1-v8w=&ei=mjbJS5H-GIro7AOXi6mBAw&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=5&ct=image&ved=0CBUQ9QEwBA

I can see the need to shop around for best prices of gas and consumables but I can't see the point of bitching about the end-cost to the user. Its a matter of deciding whether you need it or not and whether or not you can afford to pay what is asked - or whether you can afford not to - and just getting on with life and the job.

Frankly, I could not give a big rat's ar$e about how much of any gases there are in the atmosphere or much it costs or how much profit is made or not - I just need to know how much I need at what cost and what I have to pay for.

Its all Economics 101.

Some of the bitching is not much short of teeth-grinding, "dummy spits" - and about as useful.

04-17-2010, 01:57 AM
Frankly, I could not give a big rat's ar$e about how much of any gases there are in the atmosphere or much it costs or how much profit is made or not - I just need to know how much I need at what cost and what I have to pay for.

Have you ever tendered an offer on something that was below the asking price? A car or a house perhaps? Are you really that unconcerned about whether the price of something represents fair value for your dollar? Does it make any difference to you how much you pay in taxes? Are you getting full value for those dollars and if not do you care?

04-17-2010, 02:33 AM

I get "trade" on all of my tools and supplies - with excellent service. If there is an additional discount I get that as well.

Other than that I always try for a better price - I get it sometimes - others not.

If its a "must have" item from else-where - after normal shop closing etc. - then if its a "cost doesn't matter" item, I get it.

I do value "value" but sometimes its a matter of "take it or leave it" either by the vendor or my assessment of my needs and cash etc. In short, its either worth the cost on the day or it isn't. It can and does vary from day to day and as needs arise.

Mark Hockett
04-17-2010, 03:04 AM
In my neck of the woods regulator rebuilds cost about 60.00.
Parts will not be sold.....period.....liability.

I have owned my Victor torch set since 1978 and have replaced the diaphragm in the oxy regulator twice and the Acetylene regulator once. The last place I bought a diaphragm from was,
Valley Torch Regulator Repair
3055 N Sunnyside Ave, #108
Fresno, ca 93727-1343
Phone: (559) 291-3499

It cost about ten bucks and took 5 minutes to replace.

I don't know if they still sell parts.

04-17-2010, 03:21 AM
I rebuilt both my Victor oxy and ace regulators a while back. Seems like the total cost with kits and new faces was about $30-35 for the pair, and it's trivial to do. Guides can be downloaded from Victor, likely others as well.

I also got my tanks filled, but that was about a year ago. I don't recall the price, but nowhere near what you were quoted. That even I would remember...

Jim Caudill
04-17-2010, 08:09 AM
Airgas in Dayton, Ohio (op is from Columbus, Ohio) exchanges the "B" acetylene cylinders (about 40cf) for $24.79 out the door. When you need to buy your own tanks, the price for the same tank is around $100 & the price for 80cf oxygen tank is around $185 (that is with a discount, list is around $240).

It sounds to me like your quote was to purchase a new set of tanks, not getting yours refilled.

Harris regulators are on sale at Airgas for around $70 each thru the end of April, I believe they have the Victor type on sale for the same price. I just purchased a new Oxygen regulator as well as exchanged (2) of my "B" cylinders in the last couple of weeks.

04-17-2010, 09:10 AM
Last month I purchased 125 cf oxygen cyl for 5.95, acetylene, medium for 32.95, 25/75 mix 128 cf for 18.95.

Rent for the 3 bottles is about 30.00 / month.

If you have a friend with a commercial account, I suggest you buy your supplies through them. There is a huge markup b/w commercial and retail.

04-17-2010, 09:52 AM
Thanks for the replies. I have the cobra kit and I keep forgetting that I have it. Its a shame to have so many tools that you forget what you have. But thats why we are all here, for support.

The acetylene tank looks rough. I dont know if it will pass muster and probably is way out of date. I think I will use the remainder of it up and see what they give for trade in.

Well, my coffee cup is empty and I am off to the "gas hause" for a part and a double check on price. I know that prices vary but its good to double check.


04-17-2010, 10:20 AM
My local Home Depot has all the popular gases available in a variety of sizes and the cylinders are exchanged.

They also have the filled tanks available for purchase.

04-17-2010, 10:50 AM
I was surprised that a 40 cuft oxy and a B acetylene tank were going to cost $300 for fillup.

If someone told you it would cost you $400 for a watermelon, what would you do? Just move down the line to the next store, right? Well .. those prices are completely outrageous.

On the other hand, I have noticed that tiny tanks like yours cost nearly as much as the much larger industrial tanks to fill.

I think I could get those filled for about $80 in my area.

I suggest you sell that kit and look a little harder for a used setup in your area. A B bottle is really only good for air/acetylene brazing or heating .. with a 40 cubic foot capacity you can only draw a little less than 6 cfh out of it, not anywhere near enough to use a real rosebud and barely enough to run a cutting torch with a small tip.

Get your regulators repaired (not rebuilt) by a reliable repair house. If you don't have one in your town, ship yours to Harold Heia at Hansen & Miller in Seattle:

Hansen & Miller
4101 Leary Way NW
Seattle, WA 98107

Herm Williams
04-17-2010, 12:23 PM
Goggle "seal seat" for parts. Look at your gas welding regulators or torch , get the model number look it up in their catalogue and select the part numbers you need. The last time I ordered parts from them they had a small mininum order size. Give them a credit card number and get the parts in a couple of days. I have ben using them for about twenty years with no trouble.

04-17-2010, 03:03 PM
I have used these guys for tips and such seem to be ok stuff. http://www.atlweldingsupply.com

04-17-2010, 04:10 PM
Again sounds like they tryed to charge you for a brand new tank.
I think my 75cuft actylene cost nearly $250 or so... new.

AFAIK, recerting a tank thats old as jesus himself still only costs $40~$60
I don't think theres any limit to how old a tank can be and get rectifyed.. at least, for argon/oxygen/etc.. Hmm, Not sure about actylene now that I think about it. Anyone know about actylene rectification processes? I guess you can't just hydrotest the tank... Unless maybe you hydrotest with more acetone.

If the tank shows deformation to the collar (if it has one), valve assembley, or dents/deep scratchs, that can be reason to disallow further testing/filling, but if its just the paint thats gone to hell im pertty sure thats still legal. Iv seen tanks that looked like a clown the paint job was so spotty.

Some places will *not* accept other companys/peoples tanks for a refill and require you to buy thier tanks (or lease them). That might be whats going on with that shop.

Also, with actylene afaik its pertty much the norm to only trade in empty for full tanks. at least here, the only place to refill actylene is like 200+ miles away in another province! They get shiped back and forth for filling at local gas companys!
Can't be cheap... I guess nobody wants to operate a local actylene filling stations due to the whole blows up at 15psi thing.. Can't say I blame them :)

So I guess im basicly saying is: if for some reason they can not accept your actylene tank, the price is right. They can't just fill your tank and give it back to you, they have to accept it into service rotation, meaning they are liable for how old/etc it is... though there should be some kinda 'heres $40, retest it, call me back in a month if it passes or fails' service somewhere to validate the tank, where if it passes you could get a diffrent tank of the same size, prefilled, for just the test+fill cost. And have to buy a whole new cylinder if it fails

If they can not accept your argon/oxygen/etc tank due to age, you just need it retested. that'll be $40~60 or something.

04-17-2010, 05:04 PM
100 years for a compressed gas cylinder in the US. (that otherwise passes inspection)

Alright you skinflints, time to discard those 1910 bottles now... :)

The ~ post WWII bottles, are made with a shatterproof steel...

Older tanks tended to shatter when roughhandled.

04-17-2010, 06:12 PM
Not to steal the thread, but I have a newbie question.

I was looking to add a torch rig to the home shop. At work (steel mill), we use natural gas instead of acetylene. I have NG service at the house and was wondering if I could plumb it into the shop for torch use. This would eliminate one bottle hassle.

Availability of torch rig, tips, & regulators wouldn't be a problem. I can buy anything I need from the warehouse at work.

I guess my only concern is supply pressure of home NG service. Would it be high enough to run a torch?

04-17-2010, 06:21 PM
Well, Here in the North East I recently had my bottles exchanged. 90 Dollars for the both of them. Not sure of the sizes but I'd have to say there the next size down from the larger ones you see in most comercial shops. O2 about 3 feet high and the Ac a little shorter. I own them but when I go there (Pony gas at Tractor Supply) the trade them. It is more costly than some places but they trade no matter how long it has been since you exchanged them. So that way the maint. is on them. and with this stuff so close to the house and some of the photo's Ive seen on this site I like it even more.

04-17-2010, 07:00 PM
Availability of torch rig, tips, & regulators wouldn't be a problem. I can buy anything I need from the warehouse at work.

I guess my only concern is supply pressure of home NG service. Would it be high enough to run a torch?

While im not sure about NG, I know lots of people run propane/oxygen torchs because actylene is much more dangerious and expensive to use.
Some even use gasoline+oxygen torchs for further cost savings! though iv heard these tend to drip gas everywhere if not operated just right.

One thing to consider is AFAIK and I could be wrong (someone please correct me if I am) is that actylene is the only gas suitable for welding. I vaugely recall it having something to do with the reactions of other gases when burnt produceing elements/compounds that contaminate the welds.

04-17-2010, 07:20 PM
Propane tends to pool in low areas and can be as dangerous as acetelene when this happens. Seen it light up around legs was glad it was cold enough to have a lot of clothes on.

04-17-2010, 08:51 PM
There are other considerations when it comes to alternate fuel gases. Both natural gas and propane have a MUCH narrower range of acceptable oxy/fuel mixture that will ignite and stay burning. Acetylene will burn in nearly any mixture of oxygen but propane is a paint in the arse, especially for welding because it is so fussy about the flame adjustment.

There is also the heat value (not the temperature) of the fuel gas to consider. Each fuel gas has a specific amount of heat it can generate when it is mixed with the correct amount of oygen. You can't just look up the specific heat of a fuel gas because the mix ratios vary according to the fuel and that changes the amount of fuel that is burnt. The temperature of the flame is also a major consideration and acetylene is far higher than propane or methane.

Propane and natural gas are not suitable of gas welding because to reach a high enough temperature to melt steel the flame must be made very oxygen rich, or oxidizing. That burns the metal and will not produce a satisfactory weld. If the fuel mix is increased to make a reducing flame then the temperature drops too low to weld steel. It may be used for brazing and silver soldering.

04-18-2010, 12:57 AM
Thanks for the replies, especially Evan.

I was planning on the torch rig to be primarily for cutting. Can't afford plasma just yet. But since my first foray into the metal world was O/A welding as a teen, I was looking forward to brushing up on some VERY rusty skills.

I guess I'll just have to check with AirGas to see about a standard 2 bottle rig.

04-19-2010, 07:50 PM
If you need a torch/hoses/regulator the harbor Freight Victor clone kit is an OUTSTANDING value at (generally) $100.

The local gas supply only have name brand (Harris/Victor) and when I told them that I am just going to be using it for car work even the DEALER said to try the HF unit, then get a Harris if I wanted to.

There are plenty of good reviews of the HF torch kit on youtube... all rate it highly.

I am also about out of 02, I show about 400 pci on the pressure guage... hoping it will be less than $30 to refill (big green tank, about 4ft)

04-19-2010, 08:49 PM
When the set of torches I have was purchased, the tanks were purchased as well. IIRC the Acet is the small B size and the O2 is the second up 80ft3?
Similar size mig bottles lease for 100$/year.

My father and I have been exchanging bottles for 35 years with never a question, sometimes years pass between refills... FWIW, the last pair of refills was 105$ from Air Liquide in Red Deer.

For various and assorted reasons, I went to plasma 4 years ago buying a Hypertherm 380. So far, it has burned up 5 sets of consumables, mostly due to poor torch skills on my part (mostly poor piercing)

Since the plasma landed in the shop, the oxy acet torches do material over 1/2". On rare occaisions they get used for heating,but most of the time I use a 125,000 BTU Tiger torch (aka weedburner for my american cousins). A 20# of propane costs +/- $20, but the tank needs a $30 recert or a $40 replacement every so often...:rolleyes: So far, I`ve got 6 expired tanks laying around and at least 2 more will expire this year:rolleyes: All I need now is a series of projects for expired Propane tanks..:D

Editted P.S.

Another cost issue is the `transport premium` gas retailers slap on. Locally, it is 30% for a 45 minute drive away from the major centers... Makes it worthwhile to driveinto the larger center on a Saturday morning.

04-19-2010, 08:53 PM
This was back in February. 80 cu' acetylene, $52. This is in the Philadelphia area (PA), at the local welding supply shop. This was a personal tank, it had to be sent to northern PA for filling (not done locally). Took 1month for the turn around and came back with somebody elses cap on it. Really sucks being held hostage doesn't it!!!

04-20-2010, 12:54 AM

If WalMart is in Canada ( I actually don't know if they are or not) 17.82 USD for exchange. Here, I can take an old style valved bottle in and get a new style valved bottle, no hassle.

Here, they don't check the date.

There are charts on the Web, Tractor Supply for one, that show you what is and is not acceptable as trade in bottles. Gouge from a grinder, no-no. Scratch from an arc welder, no-no. Dents, another no-no. "Surface rust", that's a go.

I'm with the others that they are selling you a full tank, not refilling or exchanging your tank. OR, you have just met the biggest ripoff artists of the year.



04-20-2010, 09:18 AM
Where to begin...... My original post had noted high prices for gasses.

I went over to a different place and found more reasonable prices. So, wanting to give everyone a fair shake I went back to the original store and asked about the pricing. The fellow behind the counter told me that the price he gave me was for a portable kit with fillup. ??? Strange because I had originally asked about a new torch regulator kit and we were talking about the larger kits. And I had noted that I had a B tank with a 20 cuft oxy tank that I wanted filled. It must have been too close to quitting time or something.

I did how ever find a place that rebuilds regulators. A buddy told me where they were located here in Columbus. He said that they charged him about $30 each to rebuild his regs just a few weeks ago.

So I think that I will use this set up while I look for the next larger acetylene bottle. I have seen them on Craigs list. Should have grabbed the setup that was about an hour away 2 weeks ago.


04-20-2010, 11:51 AM
my only concern is supply pressure of home NG service. Would it be high enough to run a torch?

No. Not hardly.


04-20-2010, 04:20 PM
Actualy I just thought of an awsome project for a 20lb or 40lb propane tank:

The UNBURNABLE shop trash can!

Iv wanted to make one outta stainless or something but that was like... $$$

I actualy know a dude who owns a gas station I used to work at, I bet I could snag an expired 40lb'er from him for $5. people just freely leave expired ones next to his pumps for him to send for recertification... after he says he won't fill em due to being expired.. :P

But yea, the idea of the unburnable shop trash can is just basicly a metal trash can, idealy with some well fiting lid that gets put on at the end of the day, or is maybe held up a 'meltable' coupleing.

Iv had a fire start in one of my plastic trash cans before.. Not cool. I believe I was grinding or welding next to too much paper towls in the trash. got to use a fire extinguser.. glad it was in the trashcan, what a mess it made.

04-20-2010, 05:17 PM
More info. The old guy that used to repair regulators is not doing it any more and no one knows where he is. I fear that he may have passed on to the great workshop in the sky.

So I did find a few internet sites with the help of members here.

http://www.sealseat.com/index.html - A good source of diagrams and parts for regulators. You can order from here as well.

http://www.regulatortorchrepair.com/store.php - Sells kits and other parts for torches and regulators.

I have a kit on the way. Just double and triple check all your numbers. Different parts are used for different gasses in regulators. Make certain that you talk with someone about getting the correct kit. I had all my numbers correct and it was verified by the sales group. All the numbers came from the pdf at Seal Seat.


04-22-2010, 09:29 AM
Let me add one more link. This was also a good find.


Under Gas Apparatus, then regulators is a manual or two that has instructions on ESAB regulators. This link is for their single stage regulators (http://www.esabna.com/literature/Gas%20Apparatus/Regulators/ARM_Sec-H03_R5500_Oxweld_Single_Stage.pdf)

While this my not be specific for all regulators (because it is only for ESAB) this can give one an idea of how its done.

Remember safety first. Please do some reading on the effects of acetylene leaking from your tank at more than 15 psi. Please also read about how oxygen regulators are affected by oil and contaminants.

Some acetylene information (http://www.airproducts.com/nr/rdonlyres/9d325c49-7c62-41e5-aa0b-8411db4d84f8/0/safetygram13.pdf)

Safetygram Listing (http://www.airproducts.com/Responsibility/EHS/ProductSafety/ProductSafetyInformation/safetygrams.htm)

And dont forget Victors site - Instruction manuals for Victor equipment (http://www.thermadyne.com/victor/literature/?option=com_doclib&dispBrand=victor&categoryID=25) Look to the left and select Service and Repair Manual

And I'll add More torch tests (http://www.argylesupply.com/ref.asp)