My CO2 tank recently ran dry (last night actually) so it was something that I planned to work in to the other running that I needed to get done today, not really a big deal. That is until we pulled up to the booze shop where I normally make the tank exchange. Yep, thats right, as much as I have hated it for the past few years the only way to conveniently get CO2 around here has been through a tank exchange. When you have to shell out over a hundred bucks for a brand new empty tank, that can be a rather annoying expenditure (of course if I were to buy the tank from this place it would be 150 for a filled used tank, basically what you are really buying anyway).
Back on track… So we notice as we are getting close that the windows are all boarded up. It turned out that the place caught on fire not too long ago. Oddly, this didn’t show up in any of the normal news channels we hear for local news (gossip mill). Sadly, this is a locally owned business that is either gone for good or at least down for a while (either way it can be painful for the family that owns it). But more to the point, because I am very ego-centric, I now have to find a new place for the tank exchange.
I was on my way to Bell’s General Store to pick up yeast for the mead as well as the heather tips. Considering that a few of the workers there have kegerators as well I figure that they might have a lead on finding some CO2. This is where I find out about the fire protection place. Turns out that not only do they have the stuff I need, they also do tank fill ups instead of exchanges, bonus info for the second kegerator (the next big ticket item I need to finish the build out).
Talking to the guy (have you noticed people and places feel kinda generic… true story), he starts looking over my tank and tells me that it needs to be serviced as well. Considering I have only had this tank for a few months I am of course a little annoyed. You would think that when you get a tank in an exchange that it should be up to code and such, even though it may be used.
Before the tank was taken back to leave my possession for a few days one of the other workers (I am assuming the more experienced one) looked at the tank and showed us where the markings are on it. Turns out that the tank still needs another 5 years before its next service date. So here we are at the first lesson of the day. Make sure you keep up to date with your CO2 tanks. For the place that refills instead of an exchange, it can be illegal for them to refill a tank that doesn’t meet code.
Next lesson came from a discussion of fire extinguishers. A fire extinguisher tank that uses CO2 can be refurbished as a dispenser tank which you might used for a kegerator. The refill place I was at actually had a few converted tanks in the back. This gave me a couple thoughts. One could be picking up an old tank at a swap meet and converting it for much cheaper than you would pay for a brand new tank (cost savings). Another interesting thought would be to keep the fire extinguisher markings on the tank and use it in a themed kegerator conversion. Personally I have some thoughts of a portable kegerator that has the look of a fire truck with the tank attached to the side.
Time for a pint…