Carbon Dioxide or CO2. This is a very common gas found in nature. In fact, humans and animals breathe out CO2 along with other gases. Plants and trees inhale Carbon Dioxide to sustain their life. Therefore, CO2 is indeed an essential gas or compound for Earth.
However, you might ask a question: Why do I need CO2 tanks or cylinders when this gas is freely available in nature?
Here’re some reasons to use CO2 tanks and cylinders
Uses of CO2 Tanks & Cylinders
You’ll be surprised at the number of uses that you would have to refill or buy CO2 tanks and cylinders. In fact, this is one of the very few gases for domestic use as well as industrial purposes.
- CO2 Fire Extinguishers: Yes, a lot of fire extinguishers for homes and offices contain CO2 and other fire retardants. These fire extinguishers are available easily online and offline.
- Soda Machines: If you have a soda machine at home or are selling homemade soda, you need a CO2 tank to add fizz to the drink.
- Homebrewing: Lots of persons that brew their own beer, ale and other fizzy alcoholic beverages also require CO2 tanks and cylinders for the kegerators.
- Paintball Shooters: Also known as paintball guns, they require Carbon Dioxide to propel the paint darts. If you’re into playing with paintballs or run a place for this type of sport, you would require CO2 tanks.
- Tire Inflation: Though not really a gas of choice, some vehicle owners prefer pumping their tires with CO2. That’s because it isn’t flammable and instead acts as a fire retardant. Normally, air from any gasoline station would suffice for your tires.
Caution While Handling CO2
Carbon Dioxide is a relatively harmless gas that occurs freely in nature. However, the CO2 that exists in nature doesn’t harm us unless its concentration at any place is very high. Therefore, be sure that the place you use a CO2 tank or cylinder is well-ventilated and too much of the gas doesn’t accumulate at the place to prove toxic and, sometimes, fatal.
Secondly, buying CO2 tanks from unknown sources is also dangerous. That’s because it might also contain some Carbon Monoxide, which is a very poisonous gas. Carbon Monoxide is emitted by gasoline-burning engines, such as those used by vehicles. Carbon Monoxide was also used at extermination camps by Nazi Germany during World War II.
You can imagine how CO2 can prove fatal: Several people have lost their lives while participating in contests to gulp down fizzy soft drinks. This led to massive consumption and accumulation of Carbon Dioxide in their bodies, causing death or CO2 poisoning that requires emergency treatment.
Therefore, I suggest you take a lot of precautions while handling CO2 tanks and cylinders, even if they’re small fire extinguishers. There’re also cases where persons using CO2-based fire extinguishers have suffocated on the gas and died or suffered severe poisoning.
Always follow safety instructions and guidelines issued by various Federal agencies and manufacturers while handling CO2 tanks and cylinders.
21 Locations For CO2 Refill Near Me!
I will list both online as well as brick-and-mortar stores where you can buy CO2 tanks and cylinders as well as other gear. The cost usually depends on whether you’re looking for a refill or a new tank. The price can vary anything between $11 per refill to $50, depending on the volume of Carbon Dioxide that goes in the tank.
You can buy unfilled CO2 tanks and fire extinguishers from Amazon online. They don’t sell prefilled CO2 tanks for safety reasons.
There’re lots of suppliers of CO2 tanks listed on eBay as well. You can also find some preowned CO2 tanks and other related gear on this online store.
Thanks to the free advertising feature, a lot of stores near you sell CO2 tanks, cylinders and other related stuff nearby. However, check the credentials of the supplier to be safe.
If you’re looking at buying preowned CO2 tanks and cylinders, search Craigslist. There’re several individuals that wish to sell such tanks and cylinders they no longer need.
5. Gas Cylinder Source
This company sells filled CO2 tanks and cylinders across the US. You can place orders for CO2 gas tanks and refill cartridges online through their website.
6. Keg Outlet
Keg Outlet supplies CO2 tanks for kegerators and other brewing supplies. You can place online orders for CO2 tanks, cylinders and cartridges, among other stuff.
7. Rapids Wholesale
You can buy CO2 tanks from Rapids Wholesale, too, online. Browse their list of tanks, cartridges, cylinders and other services for C02 products. They deliver across the USA.
8. Party Kegs
Party Kegs is located in Miami, Florida. You can place an order online and get delivery of CO2 tanks and cylinders as well as other stuff for kegerators by filing an online form. They also provide free refills after a certain number of paid ones.
It’s no secret that ACE Hardware sells CO2 tanks, cylinders and accessories. As a matter of fact, they’re a store of choice for a lot of Americans looking for empty tanks or refills and CO2-related stuff.
Walmart sells only CO2 cartridges that you can use for refills in tanks and cylinders. They don’t have a refill service and nor do they sell filled CO2 tanks and cylinders.
REI operates in over 40 states across the USA. However, you can only buy CO2 cartridges and refill yourself at home. They don’t offer refill services or filled CO2 tanks.
A famous name among domestic users of CO2 is Airgas. This company operates close to 1,000 stores across the US. They sell filled and empty tanks, cylinders, cartridges and other stuff.
13. Dick’s Sporting Goods
Not all the 750 locations of Dick’s Sporting Goods sell CO2 tanks and cylinders. Therefore, you will have to call them in advance and check if such stuff is available and the charges.
14. Blain’s Farm & Fleet
This brand of store operates from some 40 locations spread across Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan. At most of their stores, you can find CO2 tanks and cylinders as well as get refills and cartridges.
15. Fire Extinguisher Makers
If there’s a company that makes fire extinguishers in your area, they could offer you some refill services. However, you would have to check with them before.
16. Fire Extinguisher Workshops
By law, you’re required to get a fire extinguisher replenished every year to ensure it works. This involves taking it to a workshop and testing and replacing the cartridge and other chemicals. They will offer refills of extinguishers and small tanks.
17. Dry Ice Companies
Dry ice is actually Carbon Dioxide that’s been frozen and solidified. These companies use a lot of CO2 gas and could offer you some refills or tanks and cylinders.
18. Sports Stores
A lot of stores that sell sports stuff also keep small CO2 tanks and cylinders, usually for paintball guns and other such uses. Some of them also offer refills.
19. Industrial Gas Suppliers
They will definitely offer CO2 tanks and cylinders. However, check with them about sizes and costs since some of them might offer only industrial sizes, which are too large for home or restaurant use.
20. Agriculture Suppliers
CO2 as a gas is used in hydroponic agriculture as well as greenhouses or where crops are grown under controlled conditions. They can offer gas tanks, cylinders and refills for garden and other uses.
You might be able to get some CO2-related stuff for a small cost or wholesale price from nearby brewpubs. They require lots of CO2 tanks for kegerators and can offer you some if they have surplus stocks.
These are the top 21 places where you might be able to refill or buy Carbon Dioxide tanks, cylinders and other accessories. However, it’s best to call these places and confirm before your visit. As craft brewing gains ground, the demand for CO2 tanks is also on the rise. Moreover, C02 is also used in pisciculture and aquariums.
If you’re fresher to handling CO2, it’s best to learn some of the tricks of the trade. Handling CO2 is relatively safe, but you have to ensure there’re no accidents and leaks while using the gas, even for domestic purposes or at restaurants and bars. Also, learn how to use CO2-based fire extinguishers to ensure personal safety in case you’ve to put out a fire.