CO2 tank - questions and concerns - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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CO2 tank - questions and concerns

After some bad luck with standard compressors, I'm seriously contemplating going to a Powertank or similar CO2 inflation system, but I don't know enough about them.

I'm thinking about my own DIY tank. Basically buy a tank from Harbor Freight, along with regulator and hose and tie it down to my rear cargo area with a Powertank mount.

But I have some questions and wanted to solicit some feedback from the JKO community, expecially those who currently use CO2 tanks:
  • Is it safe? Expecially at high temperatures and exposure to the sun when wheeling topless on a summer day.
  • Can you store the tank flat? I know you need to stand it upright when you air up your tires to keep the liquid CO2 at the bottom, but can it be driven around flat?
  • Have you ever dropped or hit the tank hard enough to cause it to rupture or blow?
Everything else I've read up on and I'm fairly comfortable with the concept, but I'm wary of what I don't know. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks all!

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post #2 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 09:46 AM
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Harbor freight sells co2 tanks? You also need a high volume regulator, something like a low volume welding regulator will frost up quickly.

*Yes you can store it flat and use it vertically.

*Yes it is safe in the heat, 110*+ in Vegas..mine never complained

*Dropping it and rupturing it? You don't drop it. Period.
Even if you do drop it, likely won't cause any tank problems, but if you drop it off to knock the valve off (and are dumb enough not to have a valve protector on it) you'll have a 30# missile. An impact would need to be pretty substantial to put a hole in the tank.

*You also want an aluminum tank, not steel, it's substantially lighter.

I've ran a 20# aluminum beverage co2 tank for almost 3 years now with no problems, incidents or concerns. If you handle it like a pressurized tank should be handled, you won't ever have any trouble with it. It's not a toy, it shouldn't be left rolling around a rig, it shouldn't be setup in a place where someone can knock into it, trip over it, etc. If I set mine on the ground outside of the Jeep, it stays very tight to the rig to keep people contacting it to a minimum.

It's not that it is very delicate, it's pretty damn durable actually..but being careless would be like walking around with a gun in your pocket, one in the chamber and the safety off. If it does go off...it's not going to be good...so the safety [your common sense] needs to be on.

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Last edited by Goodysgotacuda; 09-11-2012 at 09:51 AM.
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post #3 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 10:04 AM
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Actually, (I'm not recommending you do it) I think you could knock the top off the tank with little danger. CO2 is a liquid. I'm no scientist, but I don't think that liquid would create a "missile". I do think it would suck all the oxygen out of an enclosed passenger compartment though. And if the tank were to fly around because of a roll or accident, that would be very bad but I've never heard of a CO2 tank becoming a projectile on it's own.

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post #4 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotlime? View Post
Actually, (I'm not recommending you do it) I think you could knock the top off the tank with little danger. CO2 is a liquid. I'm no scientist, but I don't think that liquid would create a "missile". I do think it would suck all the oxygen out of an enclosed passenger compartment though. And if the tank were to fly around because of a roll or accident, that would be very bad but I've never heard of a CO2 tank becoming a projectile on it's own.
Lets just handle it as if it would and if it happens and it doesn't do anything we'll be surprised.

But really I couldn't tell you exactly how quickly that would boil off at whatever given temperature and if it'd be enough propulsion to move the tank at a high enough speed to take something out.

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post #5 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 10:18 AM
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Lets just handle it as if it would and if it happens and it doesn't do anything we'll be surprised.

But really I couldn't tell you exactly how quickly that would boil off at whatever given temperature and if it'd be enough propulsion to move the tank at a high enough speed to take something out.
I agree.

I thought about doing a little Mythbusters experiment and then thought about how I would explain to my neighbors why a 15# missile just shot through their child's bedroom.

I have a Powertank and it has the guard around the top, so I think I'm good.

Goody is right about the regulator. Get a good one. An adjustable one if you can swing it.

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post #6 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Goodys - thanks for the info!

One more question: (a) buya nd refill or (b) exchange tanks? This is assuming a home-built kit, not a Powertank obviously.

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post #7 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
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Goodys - thanks for the info!

One more question: (a) buya nd refill or (b) exchange tanks? This is assuming a home-built kit, not a Powertank obviously.

I exchange, since the tank I have is not pretty. If I had a nice new tank, I'd refill it. But I also don't need to worry about keeping the tank "up-to-date" by swapping it out.

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post #8 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChryslerChris View Post
Goodys - thanks for the info!

One more question: (a) buya nd refill or (b) exchange tanks? This is assuming a home-built kit, not a Powertank obviously.
If you don't want to exchange, find a shop that refills fire extinguishers. I've done that twice on tanks without any problems.

Sure my rig has seen the trail, but I wheel it like a soccer mom looking for a parking spot at Nordstroms.
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post #9 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 10:45 AM
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just picked up my 5lb tank from my local Fire Equipment and Safety store. Brand new 5lb aluminum tank with standard shut-off valve on top. Certified for 5 years and 20 bucks to refill. I put together a regulator from spare parts at our shop and it is adjustable to 160psi. Just need to get a valve protector/carry handle and make a cradle/mount to hold it in the Jeep. It will only be in there when going on a trail ride so i don't need a fancy mount.

The Powertank chart says i should be able to fill each of my 35x12.50x17 tires 15 times or basically 3 times for all around air up.

Would have prefered a 10lb tank but that is all they had other than a 20lb steel tank. I will try the 5lb out and see how i like it. As long as i am only using it to air my Jeep up and not everyone else it should be more than adequate.


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post #10 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 10:46 AM
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jAs long as i am only using it to air my Jeep up and not everyone else it should be more than adequate.
Everyone else thinks it's free and that you brought it so they don't have to wait on their baby air compressors

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post #11 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 10:48 AM
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It tougher to find a place to fill it than I thought it would be.

Home brew places: No go. They want to exchange.

Scuba place: can't recall why but they wouldn't do it.

Welding gas places: Nope. I can't recall if it was they wanted to exchange or you had to have a commercial account.

I found one fire extinguisher place that had thier own fill station and would do it, but they have funky hours. I have a buddy who has a machine shop and gets various gasses delivered so he's looking ato add a CO2 fill station. That would be nice.

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post #12 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 10:50 AM
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Everyone else thinks it's free and that you brought it so they don't have to wait on their baby air compressors
So true.

We have 15 rigs going wheeling this weekend. I can't wait to see how many "hey can I get some air from ya?" I get.

I just have them chip in a buck or 2. Costs me $15 to $20 to full it up.

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post #13 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 10:51 AM
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Everyone else thinks it's free and that you brought it so they don't have to wait on their baby air compressors
yeah, they work great!!!! and everyone DOES think you just fill there tires back up. Hand me some cash, no problem.

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post #14 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 10:58 AM
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I have been using a 15lb tank from Ultimate-Air for 5 years now and love it. Not sure if they are still in business anymore though. I do have some Power-Tank accessories and hoses I use with it and never had any problems.

My tank has been through some really hot temps (Mojave and Anza Borrego Desert) and never once had a issue when it was in my Hummer and now JK.

I am pretty lucky and have a oxygen supply shop near me. Been going there for re-fills and they charge me a flat $18.

Definitely recommend a Co2 setup vrs a compressor!
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post #15 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 11:02 AM
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Aegis Welding supply right across the highway from you off of Opdyke fills them. Right now they have my tank for hydro test.

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post #16 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Aegis Welding supply right across the highway from you off of Opdyke fills them. Right now they have my tank for hydro test.
Cool thanks Mike! I also called a Fire Extinguisher place in Livonia and they charge $20 but have to leave it with them.

I'm probably just gonna go with a tank exchange. And I'll see how well my HF regulator holds up.

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post #17 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 11:15 AM
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Love my Powertank and would have nothing else. The new SuperFlow regulator and just the whole setup kicks ass. I have known Steve the owner of Powertank for 15 Years, he is smart and excellent to deal with above all.
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post #18 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 11:41 AM
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Tell me about that Powertank mount. That looks to be exactly what I'm looking for. Store it flat, then lift up when end to fill up your tires.

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post #19 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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OK I lied. One more question: 5, 10 or 15 lb? Unless people mooch air all the time, I'm guessing 5 lb is enough for a typical wheeling trip that you may have to air down/up about 2-3 times?

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post #20 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 12:22 PM
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I carry a 20lb for tires, and a 10lb for running air tools, I run a 150psi constant regulator from poly


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post #21 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 12:31 PM
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I carry a 20#, I don't like worrying about using enough or do i have enough in the tank. You can't go off gauges with co2 to determine how much is left, it goes by weight. If I have to reseat a bead and still air back up at the end of the day...I don't worry about it.

The initial price difference should be minimal, the refill difference should be minimal. Go bigger IMO.

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post #22 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 12:50 PM
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The only caveat to getting the biggest tank is size and storage.

My 10lb fits perferct on my roll bar. The 20lb I have as a loaner is freakin huge and has to sit under the rear rack where other things probably could be packed.

Just something to think about specially for a 2 door with a family packed in as well.

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post #23 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 12:53 PM
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I'd never consider wheelin' with a 2dr full of people any way

Mine sits vertical on the opposite side of the subwoofer. It's 9" in diameter, height isn't a concern for me.

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post #24 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 12:58 PM
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I'd never consider wheelin' with a 2dr full of people any way

Mine sits vertical on the opposite side of the subwoofer. It's 9" in diameter, height isn't a concern for me.
This was my 4dr for the weekend, but we also had passengers so it all had to go in the back.




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post #25 of 75 Old 09-11-2012, 01:08 PM
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The only differnece between 5, 10 and 15 should be height. Mine's a 15. Works for me. Doesn't really take up any more space than a smaller bottle. I'm still working on a permament mounting solution that I like.

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