Ozone therapy requires an oxygen tank in order to convert oxygen into ozone via an ozone generator. But unless you have a medical condition that requires you to use a medical-grade oxygen tank, odds are you don’t have a full oxygen tank lying around. So where do you get a tank, and how can you fill it? We’ll answer both questions in this post.
Medical vs Industrial
The first thing you’ll notice as you search for oxygen tanks is that there are two kinds: medical and industrial. This is because oxygen tanks are used for both purposes. While the use of medical oxygen is obvious, industrial oxygen is generally used for welding (though its uses are many). However, there is no difference in qualitybetween industrial oxygen and medical oxygen. Often, the same company that fills the medical tanks also fills the industrial tanks from the same source of liquid oxygen.
The only thing that distinguishes the two is the chain of custody. It’s a standard practice in the medical industry for all prescription machines to have full documentation for every detail of production (when and where it was filled, what percentage of oxygen, each time it changed hands, etc.) Industrial oxygen, while generally the same purity, doesn’t require the same level of documentation or any sort of prescription. You can just walk into your nearest oxygen supplier (we recommend Airgas or Praxair), pay for your tank and go. Just be sure to ask for 99% pure oxygen. Medical oxygen will always be 99% pure, but you have to ask for it at industrial suppliers. Just try to avoid mentioning what you are using it for, as most industrial suppliers will refuse to serve customers who indicate it’s for therapy or medical purposes.
Some locations, especially industrial, will make you swap out oxygen tanks. If you do not want to swap, call the location ahead of time and check.
Make sure you have the correct regulator
An oxygen tank is useless without the proper regulator. Generally we recommend the 870 regulator.
The 870 oxygen regulator is standard on most medical oxygen tanks in North America. It uses a pin-index safety system rather than a threaded connector. This extra safety barrier is what separates the 870 from other regulators as the medical standard in North America. However, an 870 regulator will only fit on an 870 medical oxygen tank, for which you will need a prescription. For this reason, we recommend purchasing an industrial oxygen tank and 540 regulator. But if you already have a prescription for medical oxygen, you can purchase an 870 regulator here.
While 870 is standard for medical oxygen tanks, the 540 regulator is typically used for industrial tanks in North America. But since there is no difference in the purity of medical vs industrial oxygen, the majority of home ozone users use 540 tanks with 99% pure industrial oxygen. 540 regulators can only fit on a corresponding 540 tank valve. Though it is used in North America for industrial oxygen, it’s also used around the world for both medical and industrial. Below is a list of countries that use the 540 valve for industrial oxygen. Get a 540 oxygen tank regulator here.
North and South America
Options for international users
In the United States, 540 regulators screw on to industrial oxygen tanks with no issues. However, you’ll find that in other countries this isn’t always the case.
But the same principle of buying industrial oxygen tanks locally in North America also applies to international ozone users. Simply search for “welding oxygen supplier” near your general area.
Some countries have slightly different ways of measuring oxygen, so having a general idea about size in respect to the amount in a tank will be of benefit. Generally a tank the height of your mid-calf or knee is enough to last you a few months depending on usage.
There are a number of different tank and regulator combinations. Below we list them.
First off is the bullnose. Just like a 540 industrial oxygen tank regulator in the US, the bullnose is a standardized connection for industrial oxygen tanks in the UK. Bullnose tanks and regulators are standardized not just in the UK but in many locations around the world, generally areas of British influence or previous colonies of the British Empire. Below is a list of countries that use the bullnose valve. You can purchase a bullnose valve here
DIN translates to the German Institute for Standardization and is similar to the 540 and bullnose standards mentioned above. There are a few other countries outside of Germany that use DIN valves too, and we’ve included a list below. Purchase a DIN regulator here.
SMS-690, UNI 4406, DIN-477 #6
This type of connection is the same for SMS-690, UNI 4406, and DIN-477 #6. Even though they have completely different names and designations, the dimensions are the same. SMS-690 and UNI 4406 differ by 0.1mm, but the regulator for those tanks will work on either style. These regulators also work on DIN-477 #6 tank valves. SMS-690 is common in Nordic countries, while UNI-4406 is the standard for industrial oxygen in Italy, a few other Southern European countries, and several countries in South America and Africa. See the list below.
Poland (DIN 477 #9 is also used)
Other Balkan States
South American countries
Middle Eastern/African countries
NFE 29-656 / AFNOR
This regulator and tank valve fitting is the NFE 29-656, also known as the AFNOR. AFNOR is an acronym for the French national organization for standards. These regulator and tank valves are very common in France and Spain as well as many other countries as shown below.
Greece (SMS 690 also used)
Middle Eastern/African Countries
This is not an exhaustive list of international valve styles. There are a few others out there, but the ones we listed above are the main ones we encounter in the industry. This list is no guarantee that your specific country uses that style tank, so we highly recommend double checking the tank valve you will have on the oxygen tank in your country. If you aren’t sure what you need, feel free to send us a picture of the oxygen tank and the dimensions of the valve you have and we’ll try to see what type of regulator you need.
Buying a tank from another country may be a cheaper option in some cases, but with all the myriad valve and regulator options and combinations, you might get a tank that won’t work with any regulators in your country. Hopefully this guide gave you a better understanding of which tank and regulator is best for you. Feel free to use it as a reference in your future endeavors with ozone therapy no matter where you find yourself.
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