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Oxy Acetylene regulators and industrial gas prices

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  • 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.

    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.

    Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.

  • #2
    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
      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.
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      • #4
        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.


        • #5
          One can use propane to cut costs.



          • #6
            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
              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
                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.

                Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.


                • #9
                  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
                    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.


                    • #11
                      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.


                      • #12
                        Cobra and others

                        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:






                        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.


                        • #13
                          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?
                          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                          • #14


                            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.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BigMike782
                              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.
                              Mark Hockett