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I have a 5lb aluminum cylinder ready for a refill soon. I bought it used from another member and it works fine. Well, I have two options. Only two places near me do refills. One does a refill of your cylinder for $20 plus tax. A little steep. Then the other one which is a company near me called airgas, they do a tank swap for only $8. My question is, does any here do swaps instead of fills and are the exchanged tanks just as good? I just want to know if the tanks you get are usually good quality from a swap place or are you better with one you got.
 

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Alot of people do swaps (I would imagine).

It sucks when you get a tank that is all beat up... but you don't see it anyway.
Just make sure that the certification (hyro-tested) on the tank is current.
 

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I do swaps, and the exchanged tanks are usually not as good as the nice shiny aluminum ones. They usually are steel, and a little on the old side (scratched, etc).

It really depends on the luck of the draw. Sometimes, the refill place may carry an aluminum tank that you could swap your empty one for.
 

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Dang I wish I could get a swap for $8. I have to pay $20 for a swap at an Airgas store in my area(outside Philly). The beer distributor near me charges $30 for a swap!
 

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Children Boogie
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I do swaps. I started with a 10lb and they swapped me out to a 20lb. So, I won't be going back for another swap in a while.
 

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If that is Airgas the chain, I'd re-check that swap cost. It's close to $20 at the two different Airgas stores (in different states) that I've used. You've got to figure they're only charging you for the CO2 and the labor in both cases (swap or refill) since you already paid for a tank somewhere. The prices should be identical or very close - not over double.
 

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Just make sure that the certification (hyro-tested) on the tank is current.
This is a non issue. It would be illegal for them to sell/swap/fill a tank that isn't current on its hydro test.

If you end up going to Airgas I would definitely call and ask first if they will swap for a tank that you did not buy from them. Members of the local aquatic plants club I belong to have had Airgas refuse to swap tanks that didn't have their sticker on it.

Some people prefer to swap so that they are not responsible for paying for a hydro test every five years. If you go to swap a tank at a shop that you didn't buy the cylinder from and it has an expired hydro test date they will charge you for the test in addition to the normal swap fee. As far as cosmetics, if you keep your cylinder inside your tank stand who cares what it looks like?
 
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