How to Get an Oxygen Tank (North America)

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How to Get an Oxygen Tank (North America)

Although it may sound intimidating, buying an oxygen tank is really quite simple. It’s no more difficult than going into a coffee shop and purchasing a coffee. You just need to know a couple details first.

Oxygen tanks are required to operate our ultra-pure ozone generators.  It's necessary to know which oxygen tank you will get before you get a regulator and buy an ozone generator.
 
In this guide you will learn:

  • If it’s better to buy a tank locally or online
  • The differences between an 870 and 540 tank
  • How to get an oxygen tank and what size
  • The cost and frequency of refill

Buying local vs. online

It’s best to get an oxygen tank locally because it will save you trouble and money. We do offer them on our website but they are shipped empty. You may find some full oxygen tanks you can buy online but these are not recommended because of the exponential cost. After a year of use you will end up spending 6 - 20x more if you buy a full oxygen tank online.

The best option is to purchase an oxygen tank near you. There are oxygen locations in every town. It usually cost about $100-120 to purchase an oxygen tank and get it filled. It typically cost $20-$30 to get it filled.

Which tank should I buy, 870 or 540?

In North America, there are two different types of oxygen tanks. One is an 870 medical oxygen tank, which requires a prescription from a doctor. The other is 540 industrial, which does not require a prescription and can be purchased at a welding supply shop, Praxair, or Airgas (every town has these).

The numbers (870 and 540) just indicate the type of fitting on the oxygen tank. This fitting will correspond with an oxygen regulator. For example, a 540 oxygen tank will require a 540 regulator.

Oxygen regulators are valves that connect to the oxygen tank and allow you to control how fast the oxygen comes out. They are necessary to operate an oxygen tank.

Both the 870 medical oxygen and 540 industrial oxygen are rated for 99.9% oxygen, so they are the same purity. Most people choose the 540 industrial oxygen because it is easier to get. You can read more about the differences here.  

How do I get the oxygen tank?

After you decide which tank you are going to get, you will need to find a local supplier, drive there, and purchase it. Start with a simple internet search. This should pull up a list of locations that provide oxygen.

870 - Medical Oxygen  

  • Get a prescription from a doctor for an oxygen tank. It is best to get a prescription for migraines if you have them because it will jump through a lot of loopholes in the oxygen world. 
  • Find a local medical oxygen supply. If you Google, “Medical Oxygen Supply in (insert your town)” you should see a list of options.
  • Recommended size is an M6 Tank. This lasts most people 4 - 12 months with normal use. These tanks are approximately 12 inches tall and weigh 4lbs. You can also choose to get smaller tanks if you prefer, such as the m4.  Or a larger cylinder would be the E-Tank.  

540 - Industrial Oxygen
These oxygen tanks are easier to acquire because they do not require a prescription. 

  • Locate a local industrial oxygen supply. They are typically a welding supply shop, Airgas, or Praxair. You can Google these terms to find one, “Industrial oxygen supply in (insert your town). You should see a list of options.
  • Go to the store and ask for a 20 cubic foot oxygen tank. This typically lasts people 4 - 12 months with normal use. You can get larger or smaller tanks if you prefer.
  • Industrial suppliers will refuse to serve you if you are using it for medical purposes.

What size oxygen tank should I get?

Tanks come in all sizes, you can get as small or large as you want.

If you’re not sure which size you want, ask for a 20 cubic foot oxygen tank, which typically lasts 4 - 12 months of daily use before needing a refill If you want a size up, get the 40 cubic foot oxygen tank. Tanks larger than this become cumbersome and impractical.  

Cost

It usually cost $100-120 to purchase an oxygen tank locally and get it filled. It typically cost $15-$25 to get it refilled.

How often do I have to refill the oxygen tank?

With typical use, an oxygen tank will last 4 - 12 months before needing a refill. The biggest issue is when people accidentally leave their oxygen tank on overnight. This will cause the oxygen tank to run out very quickly.

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