Where can you get welding gas and how much should you pay? - water welder (2023)

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Where can you get welding gas and how much should you pay? - water welder (1)

In previous decades, stick welders did not have much information about welding-related gases. This whole concept changed with the invention of TIG and MIG welding machines and their increasing popularity. Gas is now considered a common product in most welding shops. But how much does welding gas cost? If you're just starting a business, you've come to the right place. We will explain where you can get welding gas and the associated costs.

Where can I get welding fumes?

Welding gases can be obtained from a variety of suppliers depending on the location and the type of gas required. Most vendors offer free shipping for local orders and charge a few dollars for local shipping.

The use of welding gas.

Welders use welding gases for a number of reasons, the main reason being to protect the arc from contaminants such as dust. The gases are also used to heat metals during welding and to keep welds clean.

Where can you get welding gas and how much should you pay? - water welder (2)

Crédito: SARIN KUNTHONG, Shutterstock

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Welding gases are divided into two types.— reactive and inert. It is known that inert gases do not cause changes in materials. They remain in the same conditions even during welding. This ability makes welding more comfortable without weakening or distorting welds.

Reactive gases are the opposite of inert gases. They react by changing their state and causing changes in materials. This property makes these gases ideal for enhancing metal melting.

The cost of the welding and gas cylinder.

The cost of a welding cylinder generally varies depending on its size and the type of gas it contains.

Below is an overview of the costs to purchase and replace different types of welding cylinders.

  • For a new R cylinder (20 cubic feet), you can expect to pay around $112, which adds up to $18 for gas. These cylinders cost $16 to replace.
  • A new Q cylinder (90 cubic feet) costs about $212 and the cost of gasoline is $33. A change will cost you $30.
  • A new M cylinder (132 cubic feet) is about $232 and fuel is $39. A change costs $36.
  • You should pay about $112 for a new MC acetylene cylinder (10 cu ft) and $29 for gasoline. A change costs $26.
  • A cylinder of acetylene B (40 cubic feet) costs $133 and gasoline $35. You will be charged approximately $32 for an exchange.
  • A new 10 lb bottle of carbon dioxide will cost you $145 and the cost of gasoline will cost you $28. A change costs $26.
  • A new 20-pound cylinder of carbon dioxide costs about $231, and the gasoline one costs $32. A change costs $30.

Argon gas cylinders are considered the most expensive, with prices as high as $350 for a new cylinder. This is due to the cost of extracting and collecting the gas. Buying one large bottle is cheaper than replacing several smaller ones.

Gases used in welding.

Here is an overview of the most important gases used in welding:

1. Oxygen

Oxygen is one of the most reactive gases, although it is considered friendly and passive. During welding, the gas is often mixed in small amounts with other shielding gases such as argon. The mixture speeds up the welding process and makes the melt fluid.

Oxygen is also used to raise heat in gas welding and to cut metals in a process called oxygen cutting. Welders prefer to mix oxygen with acetylene to achieve the highest temperature, which is ideal for welding thick metals like steel.

2. Carbon dioxide

Welders use carbon dioxide in their mixtures as a shielding gas. The gas is made of organic material and is therefore very economical to use. However, the quality of its welds cannot match that of Argon. Carbon dioxide is also used inmig welding,flux cored solderand plasma shielding.

3. Nitrogen

Nitrogen is an abundant gas that is used as a shielding gas in welding. It is essential in gas welding as it increases the mechanical properties of the alloy and deepens the penetration. The gas is also used to stabilize the arc.

4. Argon

Argon is an inert gas used as a shielding gas to prevent air from entering the welding arc. The gas is also used in the primary phases of welding and also in rinsing. Welders prefer to use argon in large quantities as a shielding gas.mig welding.

5. Hydrogen

Hydrogen is used as a shielding gas when mixed with other shielding gases such as argon. Due to its reactivity, the gas is generally used in small amounts to avoid potential hazards. The gas is useful as it increases penetration and creates clean welds.

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Welding Gas Cylinder Sizes

Most homeowners and small welders prefer to purchase 40, 80, or 125 cubic foot (CF) welding cylinders. On the other hand, heavy duty welders prefer larger cylinders as they allow for longer welding times due to the amount of gas they contain. Buying a big new cylinder can be quite expensive. For this reason, most welders prefer to rent them for a period of 6 months to 5 years for an agreed fee.

Where can you get welding gas and how much should you pay? - water welder (3)

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Find out how much gas is left

Knowing how much gas is left is important to keep your weld shop running. Welders using pure argon cylinders or an argon/carbon dioxide mixture can use the pressure gauge on the cylinder regulator to estimate the amount of gas remaining in the tank.

However, measuring the amount of carbon dioxide in the cylinder by the pressure drop across the regulator gauge is unreliable. As the gas approaches its end point, it tends to drop sharply in the reading, making it inaccurate. You can get an accurate reading from a tank of pure carbon dioxide by using a scale to monitor changes in weight.

Where can you get welding gas and how much should you pay? - water welder (4)

Photo Credits: Moments, Shutterstock

Using a cylinder filled with pure argon or a mixture of argon and carbon dioxide, the pressure reading should be approximately 2015 pounds per square inch (PSI), the maximum pressure. Depending on the amount of sweat, the pressure values ​​gradually drop. For example, when the tank is 75% full, the pressure is 1,500 PSI, while when the tank is 50% full, it is approximately 1,000 PSI.

During welding, be sure to monitor pressure changes while adjusting the flow rate to maintain a constant Cubic Flow Per Hour (CFH). Temperature changes can also change tank pressure. A drastic drop in temperature causes the tank pressure to drop by the same amount. Therefore, always try to measure the tank pressure at a constant temperature.

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The quality of the regulator also determines the pressure values. Often the regulator needle can get stuck at a certain reading due to slow gas supply. This can cause frequent tank pressure drops, resulting in inaccurate readings.

How long does the welding gas last?

The duration of a welding gas depends on the following factors:

  • The flow rate of the welder:Seasonal welders tend to use a moderate flow compared to novice welders, so welding gas times vary.
  • The work environment:Welders working in windy areas require a higher flow rate to keep the shielding gas around the weld and prevent air bubbles from entering.
  • The type of welding machine:Welders who use machines that emit gas, regardless of whether the machine is on or off, always experience a shorter span with their gases.

Welders can accurately calculate welding gas time by dividing cylinder volume by flow rate. This will help you determine the number of hours to allocate per weld.

frequent questions

1. How much gasoline does a MIG welder use?

Medium size MIG welds require 25-30 CFH of welding gas to complete a weld. However, thicker metals like steel require more gas, around 60 CFH, to weld and make the product look aesthetically pleasing.

2. How long does an argon gas tank last?

Welders using a medium size argon tank with a flow rate of around CHF 20-25 should expect a welding time of around 10 hours.

3. How much welding gas do you need?

The amount of welding gas used to weld different metals is determined by several factors. These factors include the type of welding machine, the working environment, the quality of the pressure gauge, and the flow rate of the welder.

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final thoughts

There are several suppliers on the market for welding fumes and welders should be careful and only source from authorized suppliers. When purchasing or refilling, make sure you get a well-sealed bottle to avoid unnecessary leaks or half-full bottles.

Selected image rights: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

  • Where can I get welding fumes?
  • The use of welding gas.
  • The cost of the welding and gas cylinder.
  • Gases used in welding.
    • 1. Oxygen
    • 2. Carbon dioxide
    • 3. Nitrogen
    • 4. Argon
    • 5. Hydrogen
  • Welding Gas Cylinder Sizes
  • Find out how much gas is left
  • How long does the welding gas last?
  • frequent questions
    • 1. How much gasoline does a MIG welder use?
    • 2. How long does an argon gas tank last?
    • 3. How much welding gas do you need?
  • final thoughts


How much does a bottle of argon cost? ›

Argon gas cylinders are considered the most expensive, with prices going up to $350 for a new cylinder. This is due to the cost of mining and collecting the gas.

How much gas does it take to weld? ›

For MIG short-circuit welding it's recommended to use a 25 to 35 cubic feet per hour (cfh) gas flow rate. TIG welding typically runs a lower flow rate, while MIG processes using other transfer modes (other than short-circuit transfer) can run slightly higher than 35 cfh.

How much should I charge for welding? ›

For new welders, $15–$20 per hour is the average. Lower pricing is great if you're just beginning and need experience. Once you have a few years of experience, you can begin charging between $20-$30 per hour. As you advance in years of experience, the rate rises.

Is argon gas worth the cost? ›

So for the small additional costs of having argon-filled windows compared to air-filled windows, you'll enjoy lower energy bills, a more comfortable home, and a beautiful view without condensation. Homeowners can use argon gas in double-pane windows to improve energy efficiency and reduce condensation.

How long will a bottle of argon last? ›

In an average goldsmith's workshop, one filling of a 10-liter bottle will last for about 6 to 12 months, depending on how intensively welding is done with the PUK.

How long does a disposable argon bottle last? ›

Cylinder Details

2.2Ltr Argon gas bottle (220 Litre) offers up to 55 minutes of welding time at 4Ltr/Min (gas flow rate)or 30minutes use at 6ltr/Min.

Which is cheaper argon or Co2? ›

Active gases are used for Mig Welding most metals (except Aluminium and Mig Brazing, where pure Argon is used). Co2 is the lowest cost of the Active Gases, but is far from the best. Co2 produces a cooler, coarser, more spattery arc and a marginally harder weld.

What gas to buy for welding? ›

Argon or argon/helium mixtures can be used for welding all grades. However, small additions of oxygen (O2) or carbon dioxide (CO2) are usually needed to stabilize the arc, improve the fluidity and improve the quality of the weld deposit.

How long does a tank of gas last for welding? ›

How Long Does Welding Gas Last? How much welding time you'll get per bottle will depend on the flow rate you set on the regulator. The setting is usually between 10 and 40 cubic feet per hour (cfh) depending on the work environment. You'll need a higher flow rate to maintain shielding gas protection in a windy area.

What gas is better for welding? ›

Argon. For companies that place an emphasis on weld quality, appearance and reducing post-weld clean up, a mixture of between 75 – 95 percent Argon and 5 – 25 percent CO2 may be the best option. It will provide a more desirable combination of arc stability, puddle control and reduced spatter than pure CO2.

What do most welders charge per hour? ›

The national average hourly rate for welding services ranges from $65–$125, often with a minimum service fee to cover overhead and transportation. Most welding shops charge an hourly rate for services, particularly if they're doing straightforward jobs or pipeline work.

What is the cheapest way to start welding? ›

Stick welding is very versatile, inexpensive to start, and easy to learn. It can be used on a variety of metal alloys.

How much does a beginner welder? ›

How much does an Entry Level Welder make? As of Feb 15, 2023, the average annual pay for an Entry Level Welder in the United States is $33,368 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $16.04 an hour. This is the equivalent of $641/week or $2,780/month.

What size bottles does argon come in? ›

Argon gas bottle sizes (argon bottle sizes) include G2, E2 & D argon bottle sizes- welding bottle sizes, argon cylinder capacity & argon gas bottle dimensions. Argon cylinder capacity is 2.0 m³ for a D size cylinder, 4.1 m³ for an E2 size cylinder and 10.2 m³ for a G2 size cylinder.

Can you buy liquid argon? ›

Buy Compressed Argon Gas or Liquid Argon (Ar)

We offer argon gas and liquid argon (Ar) in a variety of purities and concentrations. See the chart below and download the spec sheets and safety data sheets for more information on buying argon gas and liquid argon.

Which is better argon or krypton? ›

Argon is the cheaper option on the market. Its thermal conductivity is two-thirds that of air, making it an attractive option. Krypton is a more expensive option but also has better insulating properties, and better reduces heat transfer in your energy efficient windows.

Which is better argon or nitrogen? ›

There are two instances where argon is superior to nitrogen. Arc welding, where nitrogen becomes reactive in the presence of the electric arc, and in window insulation where argon has a much lower thermal conductivity than nitrogen. In almost all other uses of the gases, nitrogen is the better choice.

What is the drawback of using argon? ›

Disadvantages of Argon

One of the biggest problems with Argon gas is that it increases its presence in the air when in use. Argon is denser than air, which can become a problem. To avoid this, make sure to use Argon outside or in a space with a lot of ventilation.

Can you weld steel with 100% argon? ›

In summary, it is possible to stick steel together using a good MIG welder with 100% Argon shielding gas. But, you end up with a shoddy-looking, weak, brittle weld. What is this? If you need a strong, quality weld, 100% Argon is NOT a good choice for MIG welding steel.

Is it OK to lay argon bottles down? ›

The standard only permits compressed gas cylinders to be horizontal for short durations when they are being hoisted or carried. Accordingly, using compressed gas cylinders horizontally is not permissible under the standard.

Where do you store argon? ›

Store away from direct sunlight in a dry, cool and well-ventilated area, away from incompatible materials (see Section 10). Cylinders should be stored upright, with valve protection cap in place, and firmly secured to prevent falling or being knocked over. Cylinder temperatures should not exceed 52 °C (125 °F).

How do I know what size argon bottle I need? ›

The easiest and safest way to determine the contents of a gas cylinder at your business is by checking the label. The cylinder labels will tell you everything you need to know about the gas specifications inside the cylinder, the potential hazards and safety warnings.

How do you store argon bottles? ›

Store cylinders in a clearly identified, dry, well-ventilated storage area that is not exposed to heat or the direct rays of the sun, and away from doorways, aisles, elevators, gangways, and stairs. Post "no smoking" signs in the area.

How should welding gas bottles be stored? ›

Cylinders should be stored preferably in the open air on a concrete or load-bearing surface. Flammable liquids, combustible, corrosive, oxidising materials, toxic materials or compressed gas cylinders should be kept separate from LPG containers in general. Containers should be stored with their valves uppermost.

What is 75 25 for welding? ›

The 75/25 mix of Argon and CO2 is chosen most often as it delivers consistent results, ensures arc stability, maintains puddle control, and has low spatter. The mixture also allows for spray transfer. This makes the welding process easier, more productive, and yields visually appealing results.

Which shielding gas is the cheapest? ›

CO2 (carbon dioxide)

In MIG welding, carbon dioxide is the most common reactive gas. It's the only gas you can use in its pure form without adding a noble gas. carbon dioxide is also the cheapest among the shielding gases, making it an appealing choice when material costs are the top priority.

Which inert gas is cheapest? ›

Argon is the cheapest noble gas and thus the most frequently used. In applications insensitive to chemical reactions with nitrogen, even nitrogen gas (N2) may be used as inert gas.

What is the easiest metal to gas weld? ›

Steel is the easiest metal to weld, hence why it is the most popular form of metal for welding. In fact, carbon steel is the cheapest metal to buy on the market. Steel welding often involves stick welding, MIG welding, and tig welding.

What type of welding is most needed? ›

Pipe welders will always be in high demand as long as the demand for fuel and other resources is high. Many pipe welders work on oil rigs and refineries. These facilities comprise the majority of the oil and gas industry.

What is the hottest welding gas? ›

Excellent Welding Quality: Acetylene is the hottest fuel gas when combined with oxygen. In the right applications, this makes acetylene ideal for welding different steel materials.

Does welding expire? ›

Since welding certifications expire every six months for most codes, three months for others, it is essential that maintenance forms and continuity records are submitted promptly to avoid costly re-testing for certification.

Can welding gas freeze? ›

Even under normal temperatures, frost can develop on a gas cylinder regulator. The frost that develops during normal weather is the result of condensation. However, during the winter, regulators can become frozen both inside and out. Frozen regulators can block the flow of gas completely.

Can you weld an old fuel tank? ›

The process of welding gas or diesel tanks can be extremely dangerous. There is the possibility of igniting fuel vapors, and if the welder is using the welding process of MIG or TIG inside a fuel storage tank, they are in danger of suffocating from fumes if argon gas is used.

Which welding is strongest? ›

TIG welding is often considered the strongest weld since it produces extreme heat, and the slow cooling rate results in high tensile strength and ductility. MIG is also an excellent candidate for the strongest type of weld because it can create a strong joint.

What is the hardest welding to do? ›

Pipe welding is considered one of the more difficult processes for welders to master. In order to pass pipe welding tests, you must be able to join two cylindrical metal pipes together utilizing shielded metal arc welding or any number of other methods.

What gas do you use to weld aluminum? ›

The gas for aluminium welding can be argon or helium. These two gases are used pure or mixed. Pure argon is the most popular.

What is the average day for a welder? ›

Welders work full-time and often must work overtime. They can work up to 10 hours a day if needed. They primarily work outdoors and are exposed to hazardous situations on a daily basis. They may work in confined spaces, on scaffolding, or in inclement weather.

How many hours do welders work a day? ›

Work Schedules

Most welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week. Many manufacturing firms have two or three 8- to 12-hour shifts each day, allowing the firm to continue production around the clock if needed.

What welder is best for beginners? ›

MIG Welding (Beginner)

MIG welders are among the best type for beginners, as they're designed with a wire welding electrode on a spool that is fed at a pre-selected speed through a welding gun. As a semi-automatic or automatic process, gas metal arc welding (GMAW or MIG), is the easiest to learn.

What welder is easiest to learn? ›

MIG welding (metal inert gas welding) is often considered the easiest type of welding for a beginner to learn. MIG welders have a wire welding electrode on a spool which is then fed through a welding gun at a preselected speed.

How long does it take to learn basic welding? ›

A welding program may last just a few weeks or take up to six months to complete. A school for welding will cover welding theory and welding basics to arm students with the skills they need to start work upon completion. They will learn how to use welding equipment safely, read blueprints and complete work orders.

How long does it take for a welder to make good money? ›

In surveys by the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, most entry level welders earn a starting pay near $17 per hour. Like any profession, experience will lead to higher wages. It has been my experience that welders with an average of five years' experience are reporting pay of 30 dollars per hr. and more.

How long does an argon bottle last? ›

In an average goldsmith's workshop, one filling of a 10-liter bottle will last for about 6 to 12 months, depending on how intensively welding is done with the PUK.

Which is cheaper argon or CO2? ›

Active gases are used for Mig Welding most metals (except Aluminium and Mig Brazing, where pure Argon is used). Co2 is the lowest cost of the Active Gases, but is far from the best. Co2 produces a cooler, coarser, more spattery arc and a marginally harder weld.

How long does a tank of argon last MIG welding? ›

A couple of things. Your flow rate is usually set from 10-20 cfh which on average if you had a 250 cf bottle would last for 10-20 hours of welding non stop. That would work out to about 2-4 days of serious welding. HOWEVER our regulators measure in lpm, not cfh!

Why is argon the cheapest? ›

Argon is inexpensive, since it occurs naturally in air and is readily obtained as a byproduct of cryogenic air separation in the production of liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen: the primary constituents of air are used on a large industrial scale.

What size argon bottle do I need? ›

But the three main sizes a homeowner, or hobby welder will most likely use is the 40, 80, or 125 cubic feet (“cf”) tanks of Argon or MIG gas mixture (75% Argon, 25% CO2). What is this? The largest of the three sizes provides plenty of use time without sacrificing too much portability.

How long are welding tanks good for? ›

Most cylinders are required to be tested every 5 years.

There are two other markings which are sometimes found on these cylinders. The plus (+) sign located after the test date designates that the cylinder can be filled to 10% above the pressure stamped on the cylinder.

What is the best welding gas? ›

Argon is the most commonly used inert gas for the TIG welding process. This is a top pick amongst welders because it can be used on metals such as mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum. Versatility is key in this industry. An Argon and Helium mixture can be used in both TIG and MIG welding.

Can I MIG weld without argon? ›

While it's technically impossible to MIG weld without gas, it's very possible to weld without lugging a gas cylinder and other equipment around. Self-shielding welding with flux core wire is a great option for many hobby users, and with the right welding supplies you can achieve great results!

Can you store argon bottles laying down? ›

Section 1926.350(a)(9) provides that compressed gas cylinders must be secured in an upright position, regardless of whether they are in use or in storage.

What is the cheapest inert gas? ›

An inert gas is a gas that is unreactive in its environment. The noble gases (helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon) are considered inert in most applications. Argon is the cheapest noble gas and thus the most frequently used.

Why does argon glow purple? ›

Its outer shell is full with eight electrons. Under standard conditions argon is an odorless and colorless gas. It is also an inert gas, meaning that it typically doesn't react with other elements to form compounds. When argon is excited by a high voltage electric field it glows in a violet color.


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