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Thread: Oxy Acetylene regulators and industrial gas prices

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Columbus, Ohio
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    Default Oxy Acetylene regulators and industrial gas prices

    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.

    Questions
    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.

    rock~
    Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    where the Snake swallows the Salmon
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    Default

    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    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.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Origin now settable to bottom left! All values positive. Click Here

  4. #4
    gregl Guest

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    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
    http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtalk/
    with lots of knowledgeable folks.

  5. #5
    Too_Many_Tools Guest

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    One can use propane to cut costs.

    TMT

  6. #6
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    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Kansas
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    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    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.

    rock~
    Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    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.
    I just need one more tool,just one!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Lexington, Ohio
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    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.

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