Is there a Helium Shortage?
Helium is a byproduct of Natural Gas which comes from the ground. Most helium is extracted from natural gas fields throughout the US- the largest being in Amarillo, Texas.
The US governement along with large refining companies, such as ExxonMobil, control the supply of much of the helium found in the US. They are currently not mining as much natural gas which results in less extraction of helium, and they are also trying to pass a bill called the Helium Stewardship Act which would raise the price of helium in order to encourage more exploration of helium in states like Wyoming and New Mexico.
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Providing Unique Balloon Decor or the Helium, Supplies, and Education You Need to Do-It-Yourself!
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What do I need to get Set-Up?
-It's A Gas rents the helium tanks, balloon fillers and safety items throughout Southern California, and we sell the tanks and equipment nationwide. If you purchase items and you are not located in Southern California, we will send you a tip sheet which explains how to locate a helium filling station.
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I tried to refill my tank, and they said it needed to be Hydrotested. What is hydrotesting?
-Hydrotesting is done every 5 years on a Helium Tank and it is required to be done by law before any filler can fill the tank. Hydrotesting ensures that your tank is safe to use since it will be put under high pressure conditions.
-When a tank goes in for a Hydrotest, the main valve is unscrewed from the top of the tank and then the tank goes through a testing process in which it is inspected for hairline fractures in the metal. If there are no cracks in the metal, then the tank passes Hydrotest and the tank is marked by engraving a date (month-year) into the top part of the tank. If the date stamp is current within the last 5 years, your tank is safe for refilling.
-If the tank does not pass Hydrotesting, the tank is marked condemed and cannot be refilled. This may happen if the tank was damaged in some way. Usually extreme conditions cause this- fires, dropping of the tank a number of times, also softer metals such as aluminum tanks sometimes do not pass. When metal has been bent (especially around the top part of the tank, it starts to weaken the metal).
How do I know if I need a refill if I don't have a gauge?
-Keep track of how many bags of balloons you have used: A large tank will do about 160 17" balloons (about 2 and a half bags of 72 count balloons) or 420 11" (about 4 bags of 100 count balloons), so if you have done 2 bags of large balloons or 4 bags of standard size balloons, you are probably close to needing a refill.
-Watch the speed of the pressure coming out: The pressure will slow down considerably when the tank is getting low. It will take many seconds to fill the balloon as opposed to 5-8 seconds (the normal time it takes). When it seems like the pressure has slowed down, this is also an indicator that you may need a refill.
-You can purchase valves with gauges- $95 each (and then you won't pay the $10 per month on the valve, and you will be able to read the pressure in the tank). This valve also has a cutter on it to cut your ribbon or string.
How do I order refills?
-Call us at 909-982-3301. Email us at email@example.com or fax us at 909-982-3381. If you need the refill in an emergency, call us.
-It's A Gas can also put you on a regular schedule to be checked periodically- weekly, monthly, bimonthly, etc. Simply tell our driver that you would like to be checked, or call our office and ask to be set up on a regular schedule.
I already own my own helium tank, does It's A Gas fill tanks?
-Yes, It's A Gas fills customer owned helium tanks, but only in Southern California. Call us at 909-982-3301 with your tank size (chest high, waist high or knee high) and your city name, and we will let you know when we can schedule to come out.
Can I get Set-Up on account for payment?
-If you are an established business, we will usually set you up on a Net 30 account. You must fill out a New Customer Form in order to be on account.
-If you are a new business or calling for personal use, we usually ask for payment upon delivery.
What forms of payment does It's A Gas take?
-It's A Gas takes Visa, MasterCard, Discover and AMEX. We also take checks and cash.
-We offer Paypal through our website.
-We also offer a Net 30 to businesses. If we set you up on a Net 30, we accept check as payment.
Can I transport a helium tank in my car?
-You may transport up to 1000 cubic feet of helium in your car (a large tank is a 244 cu. ft.), so yes. But be aware that there is a limit.
-You need to make sure there is a green diamond label sticker on the tank before you transport it. This label shows haz-mat crews and safety personel that the tank has an inert, unflammable gas inside (that it is relatively safe!)
-You will also need to keep your invoice with the UN number that is assigned to Helium in the front compartment of your car. The UN number for helium is UN1046.
Can I store the tank in my garage or office or even outdoors?
-It's A Gas recommends that you store the tank in a cool dry place that is protected from the outside and from high traffic areas.
-You can store the tank in your garage as long as it is well venilated when you are using the tank.
-We discourage keeping the tanks outside exposed to the elements because rain can cause the tanks to start rusting. Try to keep the tanks in a covered area. Always remember that helium is considered a hazardous material and it is under extreme pressure. The tanks are heavy and can cause injury should they fall.
What can I expect upon delivery from It's A Gas?
-It's A Gas drivers will take you through the process of using the tank properly, safety, and how to blow up the balloons. We can also show you basic, fun balloons designs to help you stand out! Ask us about the balloon flower or watch how to make it right now!
Can I just come by to fill my tank?
-You will need to call and schedule an appointment to come by. We operate mostly by delivery, and our staff is often delivering or decorating. Our goal is to make the process easier for you- our drivers are trained to work with the tanks (which can be very heavy). Delivery charges range from $15 to $25 and most of our customers enjoy the convience of not having to lug a huge, heavy tank into and out of their car.
I see a star and plus next to the hydrotest date, what does that mean?
-Sometimes a star and a plus sign are engraved next to the date. The star means that the tank can be filled every 10 years from the date, and a plus means you can add more pressure to the tank.
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