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How Much Does an Oxygen Tank Weigh? (All You Need to Know)

Oxygen tanks, also known as oxygen storing cylinders are mostly used for industrial works, medical purposes as well as breathing-related problems in aircraft in case of decompression emergency. In this article, we will be discussing oxygen tanks.

How much does an oxygen tank weigh? 

Usually, the weight of a standard oxygen cylinder is about 130lbs max when empty. The oxygen inside weighs around 20lbs. The cylinders are made of high-quality steels plates and capable of holding oxygen at 2200psi. They can hold much more pressure than this and be tested before going into service. 

Oxygen tanks, also known as O2 tanks, can be of different sizes and weights depending on the case. It all depends on the type of oxygen you need.

Depending on the size, they are sometimes available in the form of oxygen bottles and sometimes in the form of large cylinders. Oxygen cylinders that are mostly used for medical purposes are more common in the market.

Since oxygen cylinders are made of a high-quality thick sheet of steel, you can store oxygen at high pressure in this type of cylinder.

Cylinders made of high-strength materials can often withstand double the pressure of their maximum pressure-bearing capacity.

Oxygen cylinders can be made of different metals or elements other than steel and their weight might vary depending on the materials used to make the cylinder. Some of the different types of cylinder weights are discussed:

Medical oxygen tank:

These tanks contain oxygen compressed in high pressure so they are made of durable steel and can weigh up to 12lbs. In some cases, they come in a smaller size with a narrow diameter and those cylinders are lighter in weight. 

Portable oxygen tank:

A portable oxygen tank weighs around 28lbs and contains at least 1200ltr to 1500ltr of compressed oxygens in it. Some of these types of cylinders are certified as medical grade and are mostly used in transporting medical patients.

Firefighter oxygen tank weigh:

These cylinders weigh around 25-30 pounds. The cylinder contains around 2400 liters of compressed oxygen in it.

The firefighter oxygen tanks are placed upside down when used by firefighters so that oxygen is not leaked due to damage to the cylinder during a fire rescue.

Diving oxygen tank weigh:

Diving oxygen tanks are mostly made of aluminum as well as steel and that’s why they are slightly lighter than conventional oxygen tanks. They weigh about 35lbs when empty. A full tank adds around 8 pounds extra.

Liquid oxygen tank weigh:

Liquid oxygen tanks are usually larger tank that weighs about 150lbs. These tanks are used to provide oxygen supply to households.

Liquid oxygens are heavier in weight so adding them to the cylinder will increase its weight significantly.

Small oxygen tank weigh:

The small oxygen tanks are usually portable tanks that can be carried anywhere. But the reason why it cannot be carried all the time is that in some cases they weigh around 10lbs.

So, they are most likely to sit somewhere and provide the oxygen flow.

What are the sizes of oxygen tanks?

Depending on demand, functionalities, and purpose, the oxygen tanks come in different sizes. The smaller one can be used as a portable cylinder.

The larger ones are mostly considered as a reservoir and are dedicated to providing a huge amount of oxygen to several people for various purposes. The large oxygen cylinders are mostly filled with liquid oxygen in a cold state.

Because liquid oxygen can be filled in greater amounts and weigh much lighter than the compressed oxygen cylinder. On the other hand, the smaller oxygen cylinders are mostly used as portable cylinders and they carry compressed oxygen.

Compressed oxygen is less expensive so they are packed in smaller tanks so that they can be affordable to everyone. Some of the popular oxygen tanks based on sizes are described below: 

M4 cylinder:

These are high-pressure aluminum oxygen cylinder that weighs around 1.5lbs and 8.7 inches in height with a diameter of 3.21 inches. 

M6 cylinder:

These are some of the popular cylinders in the market. Their height is about 12 inches and has a diameter of 3.2 inches. Generally, these cylinders weigh around 2.2 lbs.

M9 cylinder:

The M9 oxygen cylinder is about 15 inches high and has a diameter of 4.5 inches. The diameter may vary due to different companies. It contains highly compressed oxygen in it.

C type cylinder:

Specially designed for scuba diving, these cylinders are 36 inches in length and have an 8-inch diameter with a weight of 39lbs.

D type cylinder:

These cylinders are 18 inches long and are mostly used as lightweight medical purpose cylinders. The diameter of these cylinders varies by manufacturer but the standard diameter is around 5 inches.

E type cylinders:

The E cylinders are considered the largest of all cylinder sizes starting from 26 inches. The capacity of the cylinder is about 650-700 liters. And the diameter is around 5-10 inches depending on the manufacturer. 

What’s the smallest size of oxygen tank? 

The smallest size of an oxygen tank is considered to be an M4 cylinder. It is a lightweight cylinder, made of aluminum to reduce extra weight. It contains highly compressed oxygen and is available at an affordable price in the market.

It comes with a measurement of 8.7 inches in height, 3.21 inches in diameter, and weighs about 1.7lbs. It contains 4 cubic feet or 113 liters of compressed oxygen at 2200 per square inch pressure. It can be used as a portable oxygen cylinder.

What is the weight of an empty vs full oxygen cylinder? 

Usually, the weight of a steel-made standard oxygen cylinder is about 130lbs max when empty.

An empty cylinder will always be lighter than a full oxygen cylinder. No matter if the oxygen is in compressed or liquid form, it will add weights to the empty cylinder.

The weight comparison between an empty and a full oxygen cylinder is dependent on some constants. For example, a cylinder that contains compressed gas will be heavier than a cylinder containing liquid gas.

Then again, a cylinder made of steel is heavier, whereas a cylinder made of aluminum is lighter. So, a cylinder that usually contains compressed gas will add 8-10lbs to the empty cylinder weight.

In addition to that, the materials used to make a cylinder will affect the weight in a significant way. The difference between cylinders is made so that they can be portable. Adding a different form of oxygens in cylinders will put an effect on their weight.

Can portable oxygen tanks be laid on their side?

Every oxygen tank comes with a releasing valve that lets the oxygen release and stop. So, there is no harm in keeping the oxygen cylinder to be laid on their side. But it is recommended to use a cart or stand to keep them straight.

In cases of a liquid oxygen cylinder, it is better to avoid them being laid on their side. Portable cylinders can be laid to their side but it is important to make sure that they are not placed closely together in a place.

Also, it is important to keep the releasing valve secure from colliding to prevent unwanted blow offs.

How do you carry or transport a portable oxygen tank?

Oxygen cylinders are sensitive. Especially the aluminum cylinders. They are mostly portable and that is why made lighter so that they can be transported anywhere. But it is important to keep them safe from colliding.

Colliding with each other might end up putting a dent on the cylinder or even breaking it. It will cause the oxygen to leak and create a drastic fire.

There are some safety tips that are needed to follow when transporting a portable oxygen cylinder, they are discussed below:

Using a proper pallet to place the tanks:

When transporting the portable oxygen cylinders, it is recommended to use a pallet that will keep them secure and prevent them from colliding with each other.

When using a pallet to transport the tanks, you can easily transport 3500lbs each pallet. 

Use a flat platform and keep them upright:

During transport, it is better to keep the cylinders standstill. Laying them down might cause the risk of breaking down the release valve and leaking oxygen from the cylinder.

Also, liquid oxygen tanks are prohibited to be laid down. So, whenever transporting a portable tank, always try to keep it standing still and make sure to fit it somewhere where it won’t collide with any object.

Use valve protection cap:

Make sure the valve is closed tightly and use a valve protection cap to seal the oxygen tank. It will reduce the risk of leaking or causing any fire risk.

Final thoughts 

Oxygen tanks weigh depending on what materials are used to make them and what form of oxygen they are carrying. The aluminum gas tanks are lighter than the steel-made oxygen tanks. The liquid oxygen is heavier compared to the compressed oxygen, the steel tanks usually weigh about a max of 130lbs.