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When do you refill your co2 tank?


Manny Tavan
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The pressure on reading on the gauge is not a safe way to tell how close you are to running out. Co2 cylinder are filled by lbs. of liquid. Do you know what size cylinder it is? 5lb., 10lb., 20lb.? This is how many pounds of liquid co2 they put in your cylinder. After you have that info look for a TW and a number stamped in the cylinder. This is the rare weight of the cylinder and will tell you the weight minus about a 1-1/2 lbs for the valve. Unhook your regulator and put it on a scale to find out out how many lbs. are left. Once you get under 3/4lbs. You should think about changing. After I get my new cylinder I hook it up to my regulator weigh it, write with felt on the label the full amount then everytime I weigh it I can tell exact amount. 

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The pressure on reading on the gauge is not a safe way to tell how close you are to running out. Co2 cylinder are filled by lbs. of liquid. Do you know what size cylinder it is? 5lb., 10lb., 20lb.? This is how many pounds of liquid co2 they put in your cylinder. After you have that info look for a TW and a number stamped in the cylinder. This is the rare weight of the cylinder and will tell you the weight minus about a 1-1/2 lbs for the valve. Unhook your regulator and put it on a scale to find out out how many lbs. are left. Once you get under 3/4lbs. You should think about changing. After I get my new cylinder I hook it up to my regulator weigh it, write with felt on the label the full amount then everytime I weigh it I can tell exact amount. 

Dang man, that's a pretty thorough assessment. The thing about these tanks, and @Gumby is right, is that the gauge reading is unreliable as a metric. Depending on temperature, once in place, the tank will read about 800 PSI and it will hold there until all the liquid CO2 is exhausted. Once there is not enough CO2 for it to be in a liquid state, the gauge will start dropping. If you want to be totally safe, once your gauge starts dropping you should look to replace it sometime soon, especially if you have a single stage regulator.

 

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I also think @Gumby is spot-on.  I  have a love-hate relationship with my calcium reactor, so I try to keep things as simple as possible.  Like @shaywood, I keep a second container and just swap them out when one is exhausted.  I hate running out, and I hate wasting CO2 by swapping out too soon.  I think it cost me $100 for the spare, which is well worth it to me.

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